Administrative law relates to the work of government agencies. Those government agencies, whether they are a board, commission, department, or division, are granted their powers through the U.S. Constitution, state constitutions, and federal and state statutes. Government agencies promulgate complex rules and regulations in order to execute their delegated authority. These rules and regulations generally set forth stringent procedures individuals must follow to obtain assistance from the agency and to file claims, grievances and appeals. In addition to the complex and stringent rules promulgated by a government agency, rulings by Administrative Law Judges (“ALJ”) have the same precedent value as most case law. As a result, an administrative law attorney must be familiar with the various government agencies and their own rules, as well as the ALJ decisions that further shape the legal issues regarding the authority of the government agencies.
The Administrative Procedure Act is the governing law for federal administrative agencies. Most states, including Utah (Utah Administrative Procedure Act), also have their own governing law for their state administrative agencies. Both federal and state administrative laws allow for the creation of rules and regulations related to the various government agencies, as well as the procedures necessary for those unhappy with the agencies or their decisions to seek remedies via appeal or complaint.
Specifically, the Utah Administrative Procedure Act applies to state agency action that determines the legal rights, duties, privileges, immunities, or other legal interests of an identifiable person. The provisions of Administrative Procedure Act also includes agency action to grant, deny, revoke, suspend, modify, annul, withdraw, or amend an authority, right, or license. The Administrative Procedure Act governs the judicial review of an administrative action. However, the Act does not govern the procedure for making agency rules, or judicial review of the procedure or rules.
Administrative law attorneys can assist individuals in their dealings with government agencies in relation to public benefits and/or other aid awarded by various government agencies. Perhaps most importantly, an administrative law attorney may be called upon to assist an individual when a certain government benefit may or has been terminated, limited, or outright denied. Examples of common administrative agencies include: Social Security Administrations; Employment/Labor Boards; Unemployment Insurance Agencies; Workers’ Compensation Boards; Licensing Agencies; Equal Opportunity Commissions (“EEOC”); and Zoning Boards.
Once a government agency has made a determination, an individual may seek to appeal that ruling. However, before the individual may seek judicial review of the government agency’s action, he or she must exhaust all of the options provided by the agency first, before he or she may proceed to a non-administrative court. For example, an individual would usually need to file an appeal and participate in an administrative hearing presided over by an ALJ as a prerequisite to seeking judicial review. Generally, once an order is issued by an ALJ, either side may appeal the order if they are unhappy with the outcome. However, some government agencies provide for another level of review before judicial review may be obtained.
Christensen & Jensen’s administrative law attorneys have significant experience working with a number of different government agencies, and have assisted and/or represented individuals, whether professional or otherwise, in front of these varying government agencies. Our administrative law attorneys have an intimate – and comprehensive – knowledge of the workings of state and federal governmental agencies, which they offer to their clients in order to navigate the complex and multi-level statutory and procedural framework of the applicable government agency, Our administrative law attorneys have dealt with most any administrative law issue you can imagine; whether you face an enforcement matter or dispute surrounding government regulations or have a matter before a government agency – or just want to get ahead of the curve with smart business and preparation.
Administrative law services provided by Christensen & Jensen include:
Administrative hearings and agency proceedings
Judicial review of administrative and agency action