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About the Office of Administrative Law Judges



Staff of the Office of Administrative Law Judges

                                                   Telephone:
Office of Administrative Law Judges................(202) 564-6255
Facsimile .........................................(202) 565-0044


Chief Judge Susan L. Biro
    Legal Staff Assistant Maria Whiting-Beale......(202) 564-6259
    
Judge Barbara A. Gunning
    Legal Staff Assistant Mary Angeles.............(202) 564-6281
    
Judge M. Lisa Buschmann		
    Legal Staff Assistant Knolyn Jones.............(202) 564-6262 

Judge Christine Coughlin
    Legal Staff Assistant Mary Angeles.............(202) 564-6281
    
Senior Staff Attorney Roy Seidenstein..............(202) 564-9274
Staff Attorney Adrienne Fortin.....................(202) 564-7862
Staff Attorney Jennifer Almase.....................(202) 564-1170
Staff Attorney Michael Wright......................(202) 564-3247
Staff Attorney Edward Kulschinsky..................(202) 564-4133

Office Director Bruce Franklin.....................(202) 564-6214
Information Management Specialist Mary Keemer......(202) 564-6256
    
Office of the Hearing Clerk
    Facsimile......................................(202) 564-1206
    Hearing Clerk Sybil Anderson...................(202) 564-6261
    Backup Hearing Clerk Knolyn Jones..............(202) 564-6262

Hearing Clerk Addresses

For filings in cases in which OALJ maintains the official record (as specified by order or pursuant to the Hearing Clerk Pilot Program currently in effect for all EPA Regions in cases in which an answer was filed after 5/1/12).

If using the US Postal Service:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Administrative Law Judges
Mailcode 1900R
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20460

If using UPS/FedEx/DHL:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Administrative Law Judges
Ronald Reagan Building, Room M1200
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20460




Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Office of Administrative Law Judges

In nearly all environmental cases filed with it, the Office of Administrative Law Judges offers the parties ADR in the form of mediation. The mediation process is initiated only if it is accepted by all parties; the neutral mediator is one of the Office's judges, all of whom have had mediation training. There is no charge to either side in connection with the mediation.

This mediation is offered to the parties immediately upon arrival of the case in the Office, before the case is assigned to a judge for litigation. Mediation is allowed to continue for 60 days, and, in the discretion of the neutral, may be extended up to an additional 60 days. Thus, if a case does not settle, it can still be concluded through litigation within a reasonable time of the case's arrival in the Office.

When a case does not settle during mediation with the neutral judge, it is then handled by one of the Office's other judges who presides over the litigation leading to a decision resolving the case. Confidentiality is strictly observed during and after the mediation process. There is no communication on the substance of the case between the judge who served as mediator and the judge who presides over the litigation; the notes and written records of the mediator are destroyed.

Environmental cases coming before the Office of Administrative Law Judges involve one or more of the major environmental statutes. The procedure in most of these cases is governed by the EPA regulations at 40 CFR Part 22. Section 18 of this part was amended in 1999 to facilitate the use of ADR (40 Fed. Reg. 40,176, 40,182 (1999)). Depending on the docket of the ADR judge, ADR can sometimes be made available to parties in non-EPA cases assigned to the Office under an active interagency agreement.




Cases Concerning Nondiscrimination in Programs and Activities Receiving Federal Assistance from EPA

The Administrative Law Judges also conduct hearings and render decisions in appeals from determinations of the EPA's Office of Civil Rights in complaints of violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and of the EPA's implementing regulations at 40 C.F.R. Part 7. For further information regarding OCR and the Title VI complaint process, click on the following link to the OCR web site, where the Part 7 procedures also are posted.




Videoconferencing Technology Available

EPA's Office of Administrative Law Judges uses a courtroom equipped with real-time videoconferencing equipment. In the Office of Administrative Law Judges' ADR proceedings, the neutral judge may employ such equipment in the ADR process, with the consent of the parties, where the neutral deems it appropriate. For proceedings in litigation before an administrative law judge, videoconferencing equipment may be used for oral arguments, prehearing conferences, and hearings, upon the parties' consent and the presiding judge's approval.

The videoconferencing equipment is available in EPA's Administrative Courtroom, located in Room 1152 of the EPA East Building, 1201 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.




Employment Opportunities

Legal Internships for Spring 2014
Applications for our spring 2014 program are no longer being accepted.

Summer Honors Clerkship Program 2014
Each year the U.S. EPA's Office of Administrative Law Judges ("OALJ") hosts two to three law students who have completed their second year (or the equivalent for part-time students) at an ABA-accredited law school for an eight to ten-week Summer Honors Clerkship Program. Summer clerks assist the Administrative Law Judges, the OALJ Administrator, and the staff attorneys by conducting legal research and drafting legal memoranda for environmental and other litigation, facilitating Alternative Dispute Resolution teleconferences, and using multi-disciplinary skills to support OALJ.

Applications for our 2014 Summer Honors Clerkship Program are no longer being accepted.

Legal Internships for Fall 2014
Law students interested in obtaining an unpaid internship during the fall semester of their second or third years of law school are encouraged to submit their application materials for consideration. Applications for the fall 2014 program are no longer being accepted.

How to Apply
Interested individuals should e-mail a cover letter, resume, unofficial transcript, and a brief (5-10 pages) writing sample to our office director, Bruce Franklin, at oaljrecruitment@epa.gov. Paper applications are discouraged. PDF or Word attachments are preferred. Please include your name in the file name of all attachments.

Post-Graduate Clerkships
OALJ does not have any current openings for post-graduate clerks. However, due to the rotational nature of our attorney positions, openings can occur at any time. Interested applicants are encouraged to submit their application materials in the manner described above, to be archived for review at such time as an opening occurs.


Biographical Sketches of EPA Administrative Law Judges


THE HONORABLE SUSAN L. BIRO

Chief Judge Biro joined the Environmental Protection Agency as an Administrative Law Judge in November 1996 and was appointed as the Chief Administrative Law Judge in May 1997. From 1994 until 1996, she served as an Administrative Law Judge with the Social Security Administration in New York City and prior thereto was a litigation partner in law firms in the Washington metropolitan area. She received her law degree from Washington College of Law.

THE HONORABLE BARBARA A. GUNNING

Judge Gunning has been serving as an Administrative Law Judge with the Environmental Protection Agency since January 1997. From 1995 through 1996, she served as an Administrative Law Judge for the Social Security Administration in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From 1984 until 1995 Judge Gunning was a senior attorney at the Board of Immigration Appeals, Department of Justice, and from 1977 to 1984, she served as an acting Board Member and senior attorney at the Board of Veterans Appeals.

THE HONORABLE M. LISA BUSCHMANN

Judge Buschmann joined the Environmental Protection Agency in January 1989 as a staff attorney in the Office of Administrative Law Judges. She later served the Office as a senior staff attorney and supervisory attorney. From July 2011 to January 2012 she served as an Administrative Law Judge with the Social Security Administration in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. In January 2012 she rejoined the Environmental Protection Agency as an Administrative Law Judge. She received her law degree from Emory University.

THE HONORABLE CHRISTINE D. COUGHLIN

Judge Coughlin began serving as an Administrative Law Judge with the Environmental Protection Agency in August 2013. From 2011 to 2013, she served as an Administrative Law Judge for the Social Security Administration. Previously, she worked for the National Appeals Division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture conducting administrative reviews of hearing level decisions. Prior to federal service, she worked as a hearing officer for the State of Florida. She received her law degree from the University of Miami School of Law.




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