I am an ALJ and an AALJ member, and I do not want in any way to be associated with this amended complaint . There have been complaints in the AALJ board that the union leadership is arrogant and out of touch. I have not paid attention before but I sure am now. At this point, however, I am not sure I am going to be a member for much longer. [By the way, I am not a former OHA attorney].
Thank you for the help! Regrettably, the April 18, 2007 version on the link you provided appears to be the original version that doesn't have the attack on the new ALJ examination process. Would you happen to have a copy of the newly amended complaint somewhere?
Last Edit: Jun 15, 2007 15:02:15 GMT -5 by workdrone
Post by ODARWriter on Jun 15, 2007 20:55:11 GMT -5
These douchebags are looking for an injunction because "based on information and belief" 70% of those who applied had the inside track and are only qualifying because of 7 years of administrative law experience. Does anyone write for them? Each and everyone of the plaintiffs is an SSA ALJ. Talk about eating your young. I will post their names once I get a hold of an e-copy of the complaint.
Post by Justice for all on Jun 15, 2007 20:57:00 GMT -5
The complaint is well founded. Some people wil be against it; other will be for it. So, lets wait for the best, and hope that, as a collateral remedy, the whole ALJ examination process be stricken. This is an opportunity to amend the disastrous exam process, and to do it all over again in a fair manner, no matter how many years it might take. In sum, the AALJ has acted responsibly and I will suport it a 100%.
Having just read the papers, the ALJ's are alleging that due to the "advanced notice" the Agency provided it's attorneys, they had an unfair advantage and now they belief that 70% of the people on the new register will be applicants with 7 years Agency experience, while 30% of the people on the new register will be applicants with 7 years litigation experience. Where does that leave me? Ten years litigation experience prior to becoming an Agency attorney and now 8 years of Agency experience? I guess that I once again find myself as a real "nowhere man"? What an insult to all Agency attorneys. I wonder if there isn't someway we could file a suit against the AALJ?? Maybe for libel? After all, they are maligning our professionalism and it could affect our career? Hopefully the Court will dismiss this count but who knows, our Prima Donna robed wonders are just sooo powerful. Perhaps the Agency will start kicking their lazy butts. ALJ's that issue less than 20 decisions a month and then have the time to file law suits. Oh, they also mentioned that we all took off on Friday to stay home and work on our time consuming applications, implying more unfairness on our part. As if any leave taken wasn't a right and not a privilege. Considering that some of the ALJ's don't even sign in or out they have a lot of nerve. Sorry for the attitude, but gee whiz guys, get off our backs and quit back stabbing us.
It has always been that way. Neither the ALJ'S nor the agency has respect for the agency attorneys. It is seen as a looser position by both parties.
Post by In the Boondocks on Jun 15, 2007 21:54:55 GMT -5
It's no wonder that the SSA adjudication process is so screwed up when the agency and AALJ leadership hold a low opinion about the lumbar and thoracic spine of the whole program: agency attorneys. The cervical spine is comprised of the lead legal assistants. I have met good and bad agency leaders over the years and many good and bad ALJs. The one thing the good ones have in common is that do not go out of their way to denigrate the professionalism and work product of the staff, unless they richly deserve the criticism. The bad ones usually think everybody but them are incompetent rubes (when the exact opposite is true). Unfortunate for us all, the bad ones appear to have now assumed prominent leadership roles within the AALJ. I believe Bernoski and company's ugly spots are now finally appearing to the world as they really are. When the going gets tough because a new Commish and deputy are gunning for incompetent and low producing ALJs, the AALJ decides to attack OPM, SSA, and the agency attorneys. Do you see a common theme? Attack everybody else and hold yourselves out as pure and clean as new fallen white snow. I predict the AALJ (whose name appears at the top of this ridiculous federal complaint) will regret the day they ever filed took such action. It is a huge PR disaster and controversial position that will cost them dearly in political clout and, eventually future dues paying membership.
If one only wished to be happy, this could be easily accomplished; but we wish to be happier that other people, and this is always difficult, for we believe others to be happier than they are. - Montesquieu
Post by rolling eyes on Jun 16, 2007 6:10:39 GMT -5
Boondocks and others, I can't see that the complaint involving the OPM process won't be dismissed. I'm not sure that the alj union even has standing to challenge OPM on this. My guess is that only potential applicants who believe they were discriminated against in some unlawful way would have standing to challenge this and even they would have a tough time proving it.
The lack of a license is another story. Yes, they have standing but a federal judge is not going to be sympathetic to a bunch of whiners. He or she is sitting there with license intact wondering why these morons can't even get it together to fill out a form and pay a few bucks. I will be very surprised if they don't lose on this. The whole notion that aljs elevate themselves above other decisionmakers but that their process can be done without a license is absurd. If they are going to go that route, then let's give AFGE its way and just make a career track from clerk to alj.
Post by on the sideliness on Jun 16, 2007 7:36:11 GMT -5
Which scrappy claimant's attorney or watchdog group is going to scrounge for the list of ALJs and challenge the decisions of those inactive ALJs sitting on the bench and rendering federal administrative decisions? This may get uglier day by day. SSA may be forced to address the issue.
Don't ask - Don't tell may work for the military, but it is going to be pretty tough to make that dog hunt up in these woods when it comes to qualifying requirements to hold a particular legal job.
We are talking about federal judicial positions. You should at least have some judicial bar status or a state bar exemption if your licensing jurisdiction does not allow you to have an active bar status while acting as a sitting judge.
The recent applicants for the ALJ examination may have been given a gift with the union lawsuit. The run on "gone fishing" signs is imminent.
Post by Devils Advocate on Jun 16, 2007 8:39:56 GMT -5
Dear On the Sidelines,
I thought I spoke the language. If you had said “some ALJ’s in the AALJ think OPM gave ODAR AA’s / SA’s a leg up on ALJ jobs created by the SSA backlog” I would have understood what you meant. I also understand “don’t ask, don’t tell” and “dogs not hunting in these woods.” However, the reference to a run on “gone fishing” signs somehow escapes me. I’m sorry. Could you please explain?