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September 18, 2015

An individual is entitled to be represented by an attorney in an administrative hearing


An individual is entitled to be represented by an attorney in an administrative hearing
Matter of Odom (Commissioner of Labor), 2015 NY Slip Op 06861, Appellate Division, Third Department

Odom appealed a determination by the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board, ultimately ruled, among other things, that Odom was disqualified from receiving unemployment insurance benefits because she lost her employment due to misconduct.

The Appellate Division reversed the Board’s determination and remanded the matter to the Board for further proceedings.

The court said that the record demonstrated that at the commencement of the administrative hearing Odom informed the Administrative Law Judge that her attorney was unavailable, but that she "would like for him to come" to the hearing. 

Notwithstanding this statement by Odom, said the Appellate Division, “the Administrative Law Judge continued to question [Odom] until she agreed to proceed pro se.”*

The court found that Odom’s right to have counsel present to represent her a the administrative hearing was violated under these circumstances.

* By proceeding pro se, Odom would be serving as her own attorney in this quasi-judicial proceeding.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

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