Proceedings Of The Marine

WIN 2015

Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.

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40 Proceedings Winter 2015–2016 services. Respondents are now advised that volunteer attor- neys might be able to assist them and are referred to the ALJ program to contact a volunteer attorney in their state. With few exceptions, most respondents are now represented by counsel at S&R hearings. The S&R NCOE also benefits the Coast Guard by supporting a legal representation program for mari- ners of limited financial means. In sum, the Suspension and Revocation National Center of Expertise has raised the quality of preparation and presen- tation to a level appropriate for formal proceedings, con- sidering the mariner's due process rights are paramount in these cases. The S&R NCOE has also promoted fairness in the process by supporting efforts for both parties to be rep- resented by professional counsel. Finally, the S&R NCOE's efforts provide greater transparency, which enhances the public's understanding of maritime safety and security. Most importantly, it leads to greater public confdence in the fairness of the process. About the author: Chief Judge Brudzinski has published several articles concerning suspension and revocation. A former career prosecutor who was originally appointed administrative law judge in 1996, he holds a B.A. from the University of Maryland, a J.D. from George Mason University (with distinction), and a master's and Ph.D. in judicial studies from the University of Nevada. Endnotes: 1. 33 CFR §20.103(a) (2014). 2. 33 CFR §§20.701 and 20.702 (2014). 3. See 5 USC §§554 and 556 (2012). 4. See 5 CFR §930.206 (2014). 5. 5 USC §3344 (2012) and 5 CFR §930.208 (2014). evidence at a suspension and revocation hearing before an administrative law judge. Fortunately, S&R NCOE attorneys have experience in sus- pension and revocation litigation. Having experienced attor- neys serve as the Coast Guard's representative at S&R hear- ings has greatly improved the process. How the S&R NCOE Advances the Process The S&R NCOE has been instrumental in assisting the Coast Guard throughout the entire suspension and revocation process. For example, after completing the investigating off- cer's course, IOs engage in periodic conference calls with the Suspension and Revocation National Center of Expertise, during which they're briefed on the latest developments in ALJ decisions, Commandant decisions on appeal, and NTSB decisions, as well as other developments. As a result, Coast Guard representatives are better prepared for S&R litigation by being up to date with the latest case law. The Suspension and Revocation National Center of Exper- tise also benefts the Coast Guard by supporting a legal representation program for mariners of limited fnancial means. The Offce of the Chief Administrative Law Judge implemented this program to provide mariners with con- tact information of attorneys willing to provide no-cost or reduced-cost legal representation. At a recent Maritime Law Association (MLA) conference, member attorneys presented a mock S&R scenario in which S&R NCOE personnel rep- resented the Coast Guard, the MLA attorneys represented the mariner, and Coast Guard judges presented the view from the bench. The MLA member attorneys helped initiate this program to encourage other member attorneys to learn more about suspension and revocation and perhaps volunteer their

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