Public Law’s "training manual" for adjudicatory hearings gets first update in 25 years

Issue July/August 2008 By Jennifer Rosinski

For the first time since it was created 25 years ago, the "Training Manual for the Conduct of Administrative Adjudicatory Hearings" is being updated by the Public Law Section under the direction of Chair Robert Lawrence Quinan Jr.

The 84-page manual will be distributed for free on Nov. 6 to participants of the MBA’s "How Cases are Best Tried and Adjudicated in Administrative Tribunals" seminar. The seminar, which will be held at 20 West St., was last offered in March.

Much of administrative law has remained the same over the past 25 years, with one exception: standard rules of adjudicatory procedure, said Quinan, managing attorney of the Administrative Law Division in the Office of Attorney General Martha Coakley. In addition to changes in law, several cases of importance have been decided over the past 25 years.

"We’re taking this opportunity to insert case law," Quinan said. Those cases will help illustrate points of law brought up in the manual, which began its overhaul in the fall of last year.

The manual is a valuable resource to administrative hearing officers and attorneys whose clients may be going through the process.

"I’ve heard from a number of hearing officers that what is lacking is a good comprehensive written guidance on how to hold a proper adjudicatory hearing on the administrative level," Quinan said. "This is an attempt to give everyone a solid grounding on the law."