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July 06, 2021 National Conference of the Administrative Law Judiciary

NCALJ Chair's Column

By Hon. H. Alexander Manuel, Arlington, VA

NCALJ is one of the six conferences that comprise the Judicial Division of the ABA. At our Annual Meeting, we have the pleasure of thanking our colleagues for their support of NCALJ members and leaders throughout the year. We also look forward to welcoming our new members and leaders.

I want to thank Judge Michelle Childs and all of the conference chairs, committee chairs, and liaisons of the JD, as well as the JD staff for their work in helping to build the ABA into the world-class organization it is. We recognize the hard work that is required to meet the needs of this vast and diverse association.

I especially want to recognize the NCALJ executive committee and leaders whose advice and assistance proved invaluable this past year. Judges John Allen, Pat Miles, Dave Welch, and Danette Mincey were with me every step of the way in helping to implement NCALJ resolutions and policies. Extraordinary effort was required in continuing the good work of Judge Jud Scott from 2019 to help reform the federal administrative judiciary. I am also indebted to Judges Judy Boggs, Mary Kelly, Ann Breen Greco, Ed Felter, and Ira Sandron for always being there to offer advice and support as past chairs. It is critical that we support our current elected leaders, and we appreciate the teamwork exhibited by all NCALJ members.

NCALJ achieved major accomplishments in 2021. Our extraordinary executive committee, for the first time, approved a resolution calling for the creation of a central federal agency responsible for adjudicating cases from other federal agencies in one centralized system of adjudication. This proposed system, known as a “federal central panel,” would be designed to preserve and strengthen the current system prescribed under the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946. In addition, NCALJ created the ad hoc Select Committee on Judicial Education to help develop consensus policies for the proposed federal central panel.

Another endeavor to help inform those policies is the proposed affiliation between NCALJ and the Association of European Administrative Judges. Board of Governors approval is still pending but we expect approval of the MOU for this collaboration drafted by Judge Mimi Tsankov, the incoming Secretary for NCALJ. An informal visit between our groups is planned for October 2021 in Vienna and Lyon, France. All judges interested in participating should contact me at [email protected].

I want to extend a hearty congratulations and sincere thanks to the entire NCALJ Executive Committee for all their hard work this year. Best wishes for continuing success in 2021-2022.

Hon. H. Alexander Manuel

Hon. H. Alexander Manuel

2020-2021 NCALJ Chair