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Advisory Committee-Meeting Minutes of DC Office of Administrative Hearings

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Office of Administrative Hearings - District of Columbia  Advisory Committee 

 

December 15, 2020 at 1:30 pm

 

The Advisory Committee to the District of Columbia Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) met on Thursday, December 15, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. via WebEx Event.

 

Attendance

 

Committee Members

Jed Ross, Director, Office of Risk Management

M. Colleen Currie, Chief ALJ, Office of Administrative Hearings

Toni Jackson, Chief, Equity Section, Public Interest Division, Office of Attorney General

Christine Davis, DPW

Alice Thomas, Professor of Law, Howard University

Chelsea Sharon, Legal Aid DC

Alexis Christensen, Legal Aid DC

Paul Wolfson, Partner, Wilmer Hale

Mary Buckley, Associate Professor, George Washington University

 

There were judges and representatives from agency general counsel offices in the audience, as well as staff from OAH.

 

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 1:42 p.m. by Director Jed Ross filling in for Chair Betsy Cavendish.

 

Introductions

Director Ross invited all the individuals who participated through the app and could speak to introduce themselves, including the committee members as well as Judges Rushkoff, England, and Rooney.

 

Report of OAH by CALJ Currie

CALJ Adams welcomed the Committee members and OAH staff.

Spoke on Louis Neal’s accepting General Counsel position at OAH. Two ALJ’s will leave at the end of the year, but four new ALJ’s have been hired.

OAH is working with DPW to recommence hearing those cases (what cases?), including their backlog, in the middle of January 2021. They hope to be caught up in 2-3 months.

OAH is working with DFHV to coordinate recommencing hearing those cases (what cases?), hopefully, in February 2021. Those two jurisdictions are the last to be restarted after the PHE (what does this mean?) forced OAH to suspend hearing most cases in mid-March of this year.

OAH has contracted with their case management vendor to add an e-filing system. The work is in its infancy, so there is no expected go-live date yet.

OAH is working hard to improve an on-line, searchable, public database of final orders (a “public portal”).

Acting Chair Ross asked a few questions about the e-filing system and gave committee members ORM’s perspective on teleworking as we move past the PHE.

Judge Rooney offered an observation that remote hearings sometimes benefit the litigants who have difficulty getting to a physical courtroom at OAH, which prompted a discussion about using the lessons we have learned during the pandemic to refine how OAH works.

Chelsea Sharon, committee member from Legal Aid DC, offered agreement with Judge Rooney’s comments.

Director Ross also offered observations about the District’s budget as impacted by the PHE. There were no other questions or comments.

Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 2:15 pm.

 

Minutes submitted by Lisa Wray, Executive Assistant