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State of Washington Classified Job Specification

HEARINGS EXAMINER 2

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HEARINGS EXAMINER 2
422J
Category: Legal Services

Definition

Most Hearings Examiners 2 work on a territorial or rotational basis handling mill run cases of the department.  In some departments, the caseload may be screened to eliminate uncontroverted cases or the unusually complex hearings as described under Hearings Examiner 3. 

All Hearings Examiners 2 conduct hearings of contested issues in which two or more parties are represented by counsel, and in which they are regularly required to make independent determinations of procedure and admissibility of evidence without supervisory assistance.  Findings and proposed orders are normally written at a headquarters office where technical or supervisory assistance is usually available though infrequently requested or offered. 

Most Hearings Examiners 2 are held directly responsible for the entire process of pre-hearing conferences, hearings, and issuance of proposed findings and orders for all cases assigned.  Most Examiners 2 are assigned 10 to 20 new cases a month and are expected to publish findings within two to five months of the assignment.

Typical Work

Hears requests for extensions of motor transport route permits; holds show-cause hearings to determine whether present permits are being fully utilized; evaluates exhibits indicating public convenience and necessity; receives controverting testimony and exhibits from other carriers, shippers, and the department's representatives; sometimes sits as sole examiner or board member for hearing Interstate Commerce Commission issues similar to those above; notifies I.C.C. of his/her conclusions for their use in writing orders; hears rail and trucking cases involving conflict with the public or other state department over use of highways, use of certain types of equipment, additions of crossings, failure to provide service, and similar issues; hears small trucking rate cases (usually not over seven or eight witnesses) ordinarily in the presence of at least one commissioner; hears service-complaint cases involving public utilities such as gas, water, electric power and telephone companies; 

Hears requests for increased indemnity or for reopening of industrial accident insurance cases; conducts pre-hearing conferences to clarify issues, establish jurisdiction, identify witnesses, and encourage pre-hearing settlement among the parties; weighs conflicting testimony from physicians in several fields of medical specialty; publishes conclusions and proposed orders; 

Hears contested requests for increase or restoration of benefits under welfare or unemployment insurance programs, having responsibility for own conclusions and orders and for any necessary study of laws, regulations, and related court decisions; hears individual cases and multiple-party labor dispute issues, and employer protests of tax or premium assessments; 

Hears liquor violation cases, often involving several attorneys for the licensee, inspectors and counsel for the department, and numerous other witnesses; evaluates testimony and evidence much of which must be carefully weighed for credibility; summarizes facts and conclusions of law for final action by Liquor Control Board; occasionally reviews excepted cases or hears cases typically assigned to Hearings Examiners 3; 

Performs other work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of:  administrative, procedural, tort, and common law; rules of evidence. 

Ability to:  conduct fair hearings; make rulings on points of law and admissibility of evidence; determine credibility of witnesses; learn the specific body of law applicable to his/her field of assignment to include federal and state statutes, court decisions, and agency regulations; deal tactfully with people to gain their respect and confidence; exercise judgment in evaluating evidence presented by expert witnesses and in formulating decisions based on findings of fact, conclusions of law; write concisely and accurately; supervise clerical assistants and court reporters; travel regularly within the state.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position. 

Desirable Qualifications

Admission to practice law in the state of Washington; or graduation from an accredited school of law and current admission to practice before the highest court of a state.

AND 

One year of experience as hearings examiner in governmental agency; or two years of experience as an assistant attorney general; or two years' trial practice. 

Note:  Only attorneys who are active members of the Washington State Bar Association will be certified to the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals or other departments where statutes so specify.

Class Specification History

New class adopted May 1, 1963.
Revise class; adopted June 12, 1964.
Revise class. Revised minimum qualifications; adopted June 1, 1965.
Revise class. General revision; adopted January 1, 1969.
Revise class. Revises class code (formerly 47220), general revision; adopted May 10, 2007, effective July 1, 2007.

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