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Information for Attorneys and Representatives Before the Office of Administrative Law Judges:

Qualifications, Generally

The OALJ Rules of Practice and Procedure provide at 29 C.F.R. § 18.34:

(a) Appearances. Any party shall have the right to appear at a hearing in person, by counsel, or by other representative, to examine and cross-examine witnesses, and to introduce into the record documentary or other relevant evidence, except that the participation of any intervenor shall be limited to the extent prescribed by the administrative law judge.

(b) Each attorney or other representative shall file a notice of appearance. Such notice shall indicate the name of the case or controversy, the docket number if assigned, and the party on whose behalf the appearance is made.

(c) Rights of parties. Every party shall have the right of timely notice and all other rights essential to a fair hearing, including, but not limited to, the rights to present evidence, to conduct such cross-examination as may be necessary for a full and complete disclosure of the facts, and to be heard by objection, motion, and argument.

(d) Rights of participants. Every participant shall have the right to make a written or oral statement of position. At the discretion of the administrative law judge, participants may file proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law and a post hearing brief.

(e) Rights of witnesses. Any person compelled to testify in a proceeding in response to a subpoena may be accompanied, represented, and advised by counsel or other representative, and may purchase a transcript of his or her testimony.

(f) Office of the Solicitor. The Department of Labor shall be represented by the Solicitor of Labor or his or her designee and shall participate to the degree deemed appropriate by the Solicitor.

(g) Qualifications

  1. Attorneys. An attorney at law who is admitted to practice before the Federal courts or before the highest court of any State, the District of Columbia, or any territory or commonwealth of the United States, may practice before the Office of Administrative Law Judges. An attorney's own representation that he or she is in good standing before any of such courts shall be sufficient proof thereof, unless otherwise ordered by the administrative law judge. Any attorney of record must file prior notice in writing of intent to withdraw as counsel.
  2. Persons not attorneys. Any citizen of the United States who is not an attorney at law shall be admitted to appear in a representative capacity in an adjudicative proceeding. An application by a person not an attorney at law for admission to appear in a proceeding shall be submitted in writing to the Chief Administrative Law Judge prior to the hearing in the proceedings or to the administrative law judge assigned at the commencement of the hearing. The application shall state generally the applicant's qualifications to appear in the proceedings. The administrative law judge may, at any time, inquire as to the qualification or ability of such person to render legal assistance.
  3. Denial of authority to appear. The administrative law judge may deny the privilege of appearing to any person, within applicable statutory constraints, e.g. 5 U.S.C. 555, who he or she finds after notice of and opportunity for hearing in the matter does not possess the requisite qualifications to represent others; or is lacking in character or integrity; has engaged in unethical or improper professional conduct; or has engaged in an act involving moral turpitude. No provision hereof shall apply to any person who appears on his or her own behalf or on behalf of any corporation, partnership, or association of which the person is a partner, officer, or regular employee.

(h) Authority for representation. Any individual acting in a representative capacity in any adjudicative proceeding may be required by the administrative law judge to show his or her authority to act in such capacity. A regular employee of a party who appears on behalf of the party may be required by the administrative law judge to show his or her authority to so appear.