In representing clients in OATH hearings, The Sanders Firm, P.C. must often deal with complex legal issues that involve your rights, civil service law, and the laws of the State of New York. These hearings, most of which are open to the public, follow traditional trial procedures. (Note, unlike most other courts, in OATH, which is an administrative court, an employee may elect to be represented by a non-lawyer or may even represent his/herself)
OATH hearings include opening statements, the laying out of each party’s direct case that includes a cross-examination by the other party, and closing arguments. The burden of proof is on the entity filing the action. They must prove their case with a preponderance of the evidence. This is the same standard used in civil court proceedings, which means that OATH hearings have less stringent rules of evidence than are used in criminal cases.
OATH hearings occur when the head of an agency wants to receive a recommended decision how to decide a case. The head of the agency has the power to make the final decision in the matter. Other cases that are heard by OATH are looked to as being the final decision before the next step, which may be an appeal.