Federal employment discrimination specialist serving nationwide from Philadelphia
1. Prepare a list of the pending issues and bases the Administrative Judge (AJ) must adjudicate or rule on. The Notice of Acceptance or Partial Acceptance and Rejection of Allegations is important document to identify what the issues are in the case. AJ will rely on this Notice, which is found in the Report of Investigation (ROI). If you filed a motion to amend to include additional or dismissed allegations, you should be prepared to present them at the hearinng--that you filed such a motion, that the motion is still pending or AJ ruled on it accepting or rejecting the allegations you wanted to be included, etc. The AJ may or may not remember receiving such a motion or ruling on it.
2. Prepare a list of facts you must establish to prove your case. Line them according to the applicable theories of discrimination. You should have done that already in your Pre-hearing submission. Each fact must be supported by ROI pages or Exhibits you submitted along with the Pre-hearing report. For pre-hearing report, see EEOC hearing. The relevant facts needed to be established during the hearing may be written already in your response to Agency's Motion for a Decision without a Hearing.
3. Know your Exhibits and Agency's Exhibits.
4. Know in advance what your witnesses and Agency's witnesses will testify. They will mostly testify along the line of the affidavit submitted and included in the ROI. Agency witnesses' affidavits are ofter reviewed and revised by Agency attorney, despite the prohibition not to do so.
5. Know what Agency will say and present in defense at the hearing. Agency's facts and arguments will be written in the Agency's pre-hearing report. Know it well. Your job is to defeat Agency's purported non-discriminatory reasons for acting the way they did that you found to be discriminatory or retaliatory. Your job is not to present what happened but to defeat Agency's defense.
6. Prepare a brief opening statement, highlighting the allegations and evidence or the anticipated testimonies in your favor. The closing argument should address strength of your evidence and testimony presented during the hearing; and you should try to supplement the weakness of your case revealed during the hearing. Make a separate notepad for things you need to say during the closing argument.
7. Organize your papers so that you can find them easily at the hearing. Papers will mount as both parties submit hearing exhibits. You need to show docs when you are questioning the witnesses. You need to be able to find the docs quickly.
8. Get a good night sleep prior to the hearing. You need to be in full mental capacity. The hearing will be exhausting and draining.
9. Be nice to the court reporter and be civil and courteous to all--even to the Agency attorney without giving in any legal point. AJ's would appreciate that.