Administrative Law Pro Bono Opportunities

By Stephen J. White

The Section’s Council wants to ensure that administrative law practitioners are aware of pro bono opportunities available to them. The Section Council has worked with the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) over the years on pro bono opportunities. One goal of the Section’s pro bono committee this year is to compile a list of attorneys across the state who have an interest in handling OAH cases on a pro bono basis. An updated list will be an invaluable tool to help connect our Section’s great attorneys with persons in need of pro bono services before OAH. You can specify a particular type of case that you are willing to handle pro bono in OAH.

If you would like to be included on the pro bono list we are compiling, you can respond directly to me. I can be reached at Ott Cone & Redpath, P.A., 336-373-1300, sjw@ocrlaw.com.

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National Regulatory Board Seminar Covers Sanction Issues and NC Board Case

Nahale Kalfas and Johnny Loper recently attended and participated in the Federation of Associations of Regulatory Boards’ (FARB) annual regulatory law seminar in St. Louis, Missouri. Kalfas is NCBA Administrative Law Section Secretary, General Counsel for the NC Board of Examiners for Speech and Language Pathologists and Audiologists, and legal counsel to the Council of State Governments. Loper is a partner with Womble Bond Dickinson. FARB is a not-for-profit corporation formed in 1974 to promote public protection and provide a forum for information exchange for associations of regulatory boards and their affiliate stakeholders.

Kalfas and Loper, along with Arizona Assistant Attorney General Mona Baskin, participated in a panel presentation on “Probation: Sanction Options & Consequences.”

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Articles and Other Information of Potential Interest for Admin Law Practitioners

GSA Wants Public Feedback on its eRulemaking Modernization Effort.  Brandi Vincent, Nextgov.com. December 30, 2019.

GSA is seeking public comments on modernizing its eRulemaking and will hold public hearings on the topic on January 30 and March 25, 2020.  If you have ever commented on a federal rule or been frustrated by the eRulemaking process, this is your chance to make the system better.

Trump uses North Carolina’s Basnight Bridge to justify change in environmental rules

By Lynn Bonner. Durham Herald-Sun. January 09, 2020.

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Recent Cases from the Court of Appeals That May be Of Interest

Recent Cases from the Court of Appeals That May be Of Interest

On Tuesday, January 7, 2020, the Court of Appeals issued a large number of opinions, including several that may be of interest to administrative law practitioners.  Opinions discussing the Rules of Civil Procedure and Rules of Evidence are included because of their potential usefulness in OAH cases.  Myers v. Myers, although a family law case, will be of interest on several issues.  Summaries are taken directly from the Court’s website, with a few notes added (they’re in complete sentences).

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NC Hosts 2019 State Administrative Law Judge Central Panel Directors National Conference

By Ann B. Wall

North Carolina was recently the site of a national conference that, it is hoped, will improve the managerial efficiency of Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) central panel operations across the country.  The State Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) Central Panel Directors National Conference (CPDC) was hosted by Julian Mann, III, co-chair of the National Conference, as well as Director and Chief Judge of North Carolina’s own central panel, the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH).

Issues common to central panels have either already arisen in North Carolina, or may yet arise here.  Such issues may be appropriate for discussion by the Administrative Law Section as we look to the future of administrative law in North Carolina.

“Central panels are panels of [ALJs] who, instead of being attached to a single administrative agency, are assigned to a “central,” “independent” panel that supplies [ALJs] to conduct contested case hearings for a variety of agencies.” Hon. W. Michael Gillette, “ALJ Central Panels: How is it Going Out There?”, The NJC Experience (September 17, 2015), https://www.judges.org/alj-central-panels-how-is-it-going-out-there/.  The alternative to a central panel is a system such as that of the federal government, in which ALJs are employees of the agencies whose cases they adjudicate.

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You may find these articles of interest

By Ann B. Wall
Members of the Administrative Law Section found the following recent third party articles to be interesting.  Remember – if it says subscription required, check your legal research provider, as many of them include law reviews, journals and other publications.  So, you may not subscribe directly to the publisher’s materials but may have access anyway through other means.

The NC Courts Website as a Research Tool. http://blogs.law.unc.edu/library/2019/10/14/the-nc-courts-website-as-a-research-tool/.  This article from the UNC-CH School of Law Library mentions features of the courts’ new website that you may not yet have discovered.

“The Future of Administrative Deference”,  Andrew Hessick, 41 Campbell L. Rev. 421, Spring, 2019.  Although written before the US Supreme Court ruled in the deference case before it last year, this article provides a useful overview of the issues and why they may matter to NC practitioners.

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Looking Back, Learning from a Recently Retired Administrative Law Judge

An Interview with former ALJ Butch Elkins

By Ann B. Wall
ALJ Augustus B. (Butch) Elkins II officially retired from the Office of Administrative Hearings on September 30, 2019. This article, based on an interview before his retirement, will offer answers to some interesting questions.

What kinds of legal experience did Judge Elkins have that qualified him to serve as an ALJ? 

Judge Elkins’ legal career began in the military, where he served from 1979 to 2001, first in the U.S. Air Force, ultimately retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel from the Air Force Reserve. In the course of his military career, he handled a variety of administrative law related matters, including employment, environmental, health and mental health law, as well as serving as legal advisor on investigations. He gained extensive hearing officer experience while conducting Article 32 investigations and hearings, including ruling on motions and submitting findings and recommendations regarding possible courts martial.

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You may find these articles interesting – other Administrative Law Section members did.

Members of the Administrative Law Section found the following recent third party articles interesting:

Regarding contested case records retention:  Retaining Contested Cases, Emily Sweitzer / June 25, 2019, Archives, NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources .  This post applies to any State-level agency, including occupational licensing boards, that works with the Office of Administrative Hearings to resolve contested cases.

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Riding the Waves of Change: 2019 Legislative Review

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By Christina Cress
Four NCBA Sections are combining their respective experience and subject matter expertise to bring you an informative CLE highlighting this session’s legislative updates.

The Administrative Law Section; Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Law Section; Government & Public Sector Section; and Juvenile Justice & Children’s Rights Section are teaming up to bring you a 6.0‑credit hour CLE beginning at 8:15 a.m. on Friday, November 8, titled “Riding the Waves of Change: 2019 Legislative Review.”  Although it will be available by webcast and On Demand, we encourage you to attend live so that you can enjoy fellowship and networking during breakfast and lunch, both of which are include in your CLE registration.

The content-packed agenda features speakers who are both seasoned veterans on Jones Street and those who are relatively new to lobbying.  The sessions are both broad enough to include tips for all lawyers and practice areas, but sufficiently tailored to provide a specific substantive update on the most salient legislative actions taken this session as well as a general refresher of legislative procedure 101!  Come learn what the North Carolina General Assembly has (or has not) changed and the practical effects of those changes.  Brush up on your legislative procedure knowledge and skills.  Hear about the most debated and followed bills of the current legislative session.

Specific sessions include a Hot Topics Potpourri Panel moderated by Bain Jones, featuring panelists Jack Nichols, Reginald O’Rourke, and Robin L. Tatum.  You also will hear from Karen Brinson Bell, Bob Joyce, Katelyn Love, and Bruce Thompson, II, during our Elections and Redistricting Updates.  Meisha Evans and Nick Fountain will bring you Legislative Process 101.  Dixon Snukals will take you on a deep dive into Environmental and Energy updates.  And LaToya Powell will end the day with an update on Juvenile Justice Reform and Child Welfare Law.

There truly is something for everyone in this CLE – even if not in your specific practice area, then at least in your role as a citizen of the Old North State!  We hope you will join us!

From Your Administrative Law Section Chair

By Brandon W. Leebrick

Dear Members of the Administrative Law Section,
I am honored and excited to be serving as the Chair of the Administrative Law Section for the 2019-2020 bar year. The section’s leadership (listed here) is prepared for a productive year full of quality CLE, social activities, and learning opportunities to make your administrative law practice better.

We encourage you to make the most of your NCBA and Administrative Law Section membership and participate in the many activities we will have this year. Additionally, we invite you to become active with our many committees as you will gain invaluable experience and develop lifelong friendships; please sign up here or contact me or anyone in leadership about becoming a committee member.

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