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Lights, Camera, Action...At Studio OAH

By Wendy S. Morton
Vol. 33 October 2004

The Office of Administrative Hearings (“OAH”) is proud to announce the blockbuster hit video “Preparing for Hearing”, a critically acclaimed, star-studded…CUT!

Not to worry, “Hollywood” has not gone to our heads.

At OAH, our mission has always been to provide fair and impartial hearings to parties in an atmosphere where everyone is treated with respect. Now, with a little “Hollywood” and a touch of technology, we are even better able to help serve those who appear before us. Unsure what to expect from your administrative hearing? Log on to our website ( and access our new video, "Preparing for Hearing."

"Preparing for Hearing" introduces you to real-life scenarios from administrative hearings. “Ripped from the headlines” of our newsletter, you will have an opportunity to hear the answers to the most commonly asked questions about appearing at OAH. You will get a chance to experience what an administrative hearing is like from the comfort of your own home.

"Preparing for Hearing" is an in-house production that was created using our local (and often hidden) talents. We shot “on-location,” without a set dresser or any special effects. The scenes you will see take place in an actual OAH hearing room, so you will have a chance to sit in the seat you may sit in during your hearing. The parties and Administrative Law Judges you will see are not stunt doubles. They are the people that you may actually meet at OAH; in some cases, you may see the very judge you will appear before in your case. While all Judges have different personalities, you will get a feel for what it is like to appear before a Judge at hearing.

The video tracks the hearing process itself; from your initial preparation (writing direct and cross examination questions, and deciding what to bring to your hearing) to what to expect on the day of your hearing. Learn how to present opening statements and closing arguments by watching “parties” demonstrate what to do (and what not to do). Watch direct and cross examinations and making objections “risk free” and see if you can spot the most effective and least effective techniques.

Unsure about how to get a piece of evidence admitted? Observe the hearing process in a simplified, step-by-step demonstration and learn what pitfalls to avoid in your own hearing.

"Preparing for Hearing" can be viewed in its entirety (39:01 minutes) or in 10 different individual segments. They include Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Opening Statements, Closing Arguments, Exhibits, Objections, The Record, and Your Experience at OAH. We had so much fun “movie-making” that we also created a humorous review in a separate segment entitled "Don't Do What Denise Don't Does" (1:49).

For computer viewing, various formats (from broadband and cable to DSL to dialup) are available. You may also obtain a free DVD of “Preparing for Hearing” by contacting the OAH. Coming soon to our lobby, "Preparing for Hearing" will be played in an interactive kiosk so that you can select and review segments of interest as you await the start of your hearing.

The OAH staff and Judges enjoyed the creative process in bringing “Preparing for Hearing” to you. The process challenged us to think about each important segment of the hearing, and to explain and demonstrate each segment in a simple and entertaining way so that, by watching, parties can become more informed and more comfortable with the hearing process. We want everyone who appears before us to understand what to expect and what will be expected of them. We believe that nothing ensures success like preparation. We hope that "Preparing for Hearing" assists you and that your hearing at OAH is a pleasant experience.

“Just know your lines and don’t bump into the furniture.” - Spencer Tracy

“Acting is the most minor of gifts. After all, Shirley Temple could do it when she was four.” - Katherine Hepburn