Thursday, February 25, 2010

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE - HEARINGS

I notice this is on the Appeal Board website on their FAQ section regarding hearings:

"PROPER BEHAVIOR IS EXPECTED FROM EVERYONE WHO ATTENDS A HEARING. Violence, threats or insults will not be tolerated."

Even after consulting with Claimants as to the proper behavior at a hearing, at times, all is forgotten and some Claimants begin to act as "Claimants Gone Wild": they do not listen to the judge, they interrupt the judge, they shout at the other side, they make noises of disgust, etc.

Of course, this is wrong. As an attorney, we can lead the horse to water but not force it to drink. We will advise you as to how to behave at a hearing and prepare you but you will bear the ultimate responsibility for your own behavior and testimony. Although these are administrative hearings, the Administrative Law Judge should be treated with the same respect and courtesy as any other judge. I urge all Claimants, whether represented by counsel or not, to disregard what you see on TV and movies: that is fiction. A UI hearing should not be confused with an episode of Judge Judy.

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