New Exam, hiring and transfers Feb 3, 2013 13:37:05 GMT -5
Post by decadealj on Feb 3, 2013 13:37:05 GMT -5
My dog doesn't hunt anymore. He just wasn't fast enough. Of course the body count moved from 30 a month to 50. When I was appointed, the average age of my class of 50 ALJs was about 58 and 60% of us were formerly state or federal judges or hearing officers. You needed 7 years of trial experience in courts of record, not administrative tribunals and you had to list the judges and opposing counsel in your top ten cases. Was that better than now? Probably not but it was certainly open. You were given a written summary of each of your scores and how you compared numerically and percentage level with every other of the 500 applicants you were in competition with plus any adjusted factors in the scoring and vet preference. My score was 91.3 and it put me in the 96th percentile (the max score was 100 with your qualifications the biggest percent of your score). I think there were 14 candidates who scored higher. OPM was then qualifying entirely different people for the register. What was not good about the process? It is difficult to teach an old dog new tricks and we were not comfortable with computers. During training we went on a tour of the Alexandria SSA office and they had a WANG computer for the whole office. The staff were still using IBM selectric typewriters and carbon manifolds. Times have changed and now you have to take the written exam on a computer rather than a blue book and people like me probably couldn't even make the register. Like most old dogs, I knew I couldn't hunt any more and went to pasture. Is todays hearing process better? I don't know- before I left 30% of my records included medical records from multiple claimants and extensive records the day of and after the hearing. For the first 15 years, I read every page of every record and reps learned fast that they had better be prepared. After that I tried to ensure I at least got through the medical recrod and relied on the DDS vocational summary and activities of daily living and just told the rep if it needed correction or updating he was invited to do so. At the end, it was nothing but boiler plate garbage and certainly not a decision of which I was proud. I actually apologized to two friends who were magistrate judges for the decline in decsion quality over time. It is a different time and place but IMHO it is much harder today to get it right. Peace to all.