U.S. Department of Labor Office of Administrative Law Judges
800 K Street, NW, Suite 400-N
Washington, DC 20001-8002
(202) 693-7300
(202) 693-7365 (FAX)

DATE: June 16, 2008

Chief Administrative Law Judge
Since March 9, 2005, the policy of the Office of Administrative Law Judges has been that
people hurt or killed in war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan would receive expeditious processing
of their cases to the extent possible, i.e., those cases would be set for hearing no later than 45-60
days from the time the notice of hearing was issued. Effective immediately, that policy has been
modified as follows:
Any party in a Defense Base Act case who desires expedited processing of their claim
by OALJ must now request such treatment in writing. They may do so in the LS-18 form filed
with the District Director when requesting a hearing before this office or by writing OALJ after
the case is docketed there. If a request for expedited consideration is made, the case will be
expeditiously assigned to an ALJ for adjudication. The assigned ALJ will thereafter issue a
notice scheduling the case for hearing within 60-90 days from the date of the notice.
If a written request for expedited processing in a Defense Base Act case is not made, the
case will be scheduled as though it were a typical Longshore claim, i.e., the hearing will be
scheduled to commence approximately 120 days from the date of the notice of hearing, and
discovery and pretrial exchanges and submissions will proceed as usual.
Notices of hearings in all Defense Base Act cases will now include the following
A. INITIAL CONFERENCE. Within fourteen (14) days from the date of this notice
and prehearing order, the parties shall meet and confer with each other regarding the
matters set forth in Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(f)(2). The requirement of Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(f)(2)
that attorneys and unrepresented parties submit a written report outlining an agreed upon
discovery plan is not applicable to this proceeding, and the filing of such a discovery plan
with the undersigned judge is not required. Rather, the initial disclosures described
below in paragraph B. are to be made within the prescribed period, and formal discovery
is to be conducted in this matter pursuant to 29 C.F.R. Part 18 unless otherwise provided
in this prehearing order.

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The Initial Conference described herein may be held in person or, if the
convenience of the parties dictates otherwise, via telephone or video conference. The
attorneys of record and any unrepresented parties that have appeared in the case are
jointly responsible for arranging the conference.
B. INITIAL DISCLOSURE. Within fourteen (14) days after the Initial Conference,
and without awaiting a formal discovery request, the parties shall provide to all other
parties the following documents and information to the extent that they have not
previously been exchanged:
(i) the name and, if known, the address and telephone number of each
individual likely to have discoverable information — along with the
subject(s) of that information — that the disclosing party may use to
support its claims or defenses, unless the use would be solely for
(ii) a copy — or a description by category and location — of all
documents, electronically stored information, and tangible things that the
disclosing party has in its possession, custody, or control and may use to
support its claims or defenses, unless the use would be solely for
(iii) a computation of each category of damages claimed by the disclosing
party — who must also make available for inspection and copying as
under 29 C.F.R. § 18.19 the documents or other evidentiary material,
unless privileged or protected from disclosure, on which each computation
is based, including materials bearing on the nature and extent of injuries
suffered; and
(iv) for inspection and copying as under 29 C.F.R. § 18.19, any insurance
agreement under which an insurance business may be liable to satisfy all
or part of a possible judgment in the action or to indemnify or reimburse
for payments made to satisfy the judgment.
Reference may be made to Fed. R. Civ. P. 26, where applicable, to address issues not
specifically covered by this Prehearing Order. See 29 C.F.R. §§ 18.1(a), 18.29(a)(8). All
disclosures must be made in writing, signed and served. The parties should be
particularly mindful of the provisions of Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(1)(E) with respect to
unacceptable excuses for failing to make disclosures governed by Fed. R. Civ. P.
As before, there is no minimum number of Defense Base Act cases required for an
itinerary. The number of cases in a hearing itinerary will depend on the circumstances of the
situation, and any decision regarding this matter will be made by the Chief Judge, the
AssociateChief Judge for Longshore, or the District Chief Judges consistent with the need to
expedite warzone cases.
The United States Department of Labor
Is yours working in your best interest?
DoL ALJ Paul C Johnson

CDR Paul C. Johnson, Jr., USN (Ret.), currently serves as a Federal Administrative Law Judge
with the U.S. Department of Labor.  Judge Johnson was appointed to this lifetime federal judge
position in 2008.   
Jobs for JAGS

ALJ Paul C Johnson is a real grim reaper who will side with the insurance company, their
attorneys, their doctors no matter what the Act provides for.

You can read case after case at the OALJ site where this Judge denies death benefits to widows
of men who worked in the coal mines for 30 years and died of Black Lung Disease.  Most of the
cases we read the widows had no attorneys and the Insurance company was
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