The Administrative Law Judge assigned to your case is impartial and not an employee of the EDD.
Plan on arriving at your hearing at least 15 minutes early to review your file.
When you know what issues will be decided at your hearing, you will be better prepared to respond to the questions of the Judge.
Get a copy of your file ahead of time. Reviewing your file is an excellent way to prepare for your case.
As soon as you receive your Notice of Hearing from the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, get it out and read it. It contains valuable information regarding your hearing. Your Notice of Hearing will look like this and it usually comes on mustard-colored paper.
At the very top of the page it will say "California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board." This is important. The California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board ("CUIAB") is not the EDD. It is a separate state agency that hears disputes between claimants like you, and the EDD. The administrative law judges employed by the CUIAB do not work for the EDD and they are not paid by the EDD. They are independent and impartial. They are charged with the responsibility of giving you a fair hearing in your case. They are like judges in a courtroom.
In the upper right hand corner you will see the name of the Administrative Law Judge assigned to your case. Administrative Law Judges are trained and experienced in deciding these cases. They will give you more opportunity to tell your story than the EDD did.
Below the name of the Administrative Law Judge will be the Hearing Date, Time and Place. Your hearing should be held in a location of the CUIAB that is nearest to your place of residence. Here is a list of CUIAB offices. Some main offices have branch offices in their district, and your case may have been assigned to a branch office that is even closer to you. Google Map the location and figure out the parking. In the rare case that your case has been assigned as a telephonic hearing, your hearing may be held in a different location.
If you need an interpreter call the office and request one. Their telephone number and fax number is located in the bottom left-hand corner of the Notice of Hearing.
Bring with you to the hearing any documents you want the Judge to look at, and any witnesses you want the Judge to hear. When the Notice of Hearing says that "Evidence is rarely accepted after the hearing" they mean what they say, so have all of your evidence with you when you arrive and make sure all of your witnesses are there early. If you want to know more about how to present your evidence in your case, click here.
There is a section on the Notice of Hearing indicating what issues the judge will be deciding at the hearing. Read it. It has a little legal language in it, but if you take the time to read it you will be 100% more prepared for your hearing. If you want to know more about each of your specific issues, and how to prepare for them, click here.
You may have received more than one Notice of Hearing in the mail. That is because there may be several issues for the judge to consider in your case, and they have been broken out in separate Notices of Hearing. Each issue is important, so look carefully at each Notice of Hearing you received. You may have to present evidence on several different issues at the hearing.
On the last page of the Notice of Hearing is a list of individuals and addresses to whom the Notice of Hearing was sent. You will see your own name and address there. If you also see the name and address of your employer, or your employer's representative, that means your employer has a right to be present at the hearing. Whether or not they will actually show up is anybody's guess. However, if your employer has been notified of the hearing, you should probably plan as if they will be there.
Once the CUIAB has sent you the Notice of Hearing, they will have prepared a file in their office for your specific case. You are entitled to a copy of that file, at no charge to you. Get a copy of your file as soon as possible. This will be of invaluable help to you in preparing for the hearing. To get your copy of the file, you can go down to the office and pick it up. However, I would first call the office at the number located in the bottom left-hand corner of the Notice of Hearing to let them know you are coming so that it will be ready for you when you arrive. That way you may avoid having to wait for it. If you cannot go to the office, they will mail it to you, but be sure to tell them to mail it so that it gets to you before the hearing. You will notice that by the time you receive your Notice of Hearing, there is not much time to prepare for the hearing itself. Go here to learn what the contents of your CUIAB file mean.
In the bottom left-hand corner of the Notice of Hearing is the telephone number and fax number where you can contact your office of the CUIAB. Don't be afraid to contact them. They can be very helpful.
Need more information? Send your Notice of Hearing as a pdf attachment to attorney Brian E. Hawes at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will endeavor to get back to you as soon as possible. Try to be as specific as possible with your question.