An independent hearing examiner who presides at an administrative hearing. An ALJ has the power to administer oaths, receive evidence, take testimony, and make initial findings of fact or law. An ALJ’s findings are subject to review and modification by agency heads. Also termed hearing examiner; hearing officer; and trial examiner.
Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
A professional hearing officer who works for the government to preside over hearings and appeals involving governmental agencies. ALJs are generally experienced in the particular subject matter of the agency involved. Formerly called hearing officers.
Carl believed he was fired from his job because of his union activities, so he sought an informal hearing before an administrative law judge for a determination of whether the termination of his employment was impermissible.
“[U]nlike members of the Board, many administrative law judges of course perform adjudicative rather than enforcement or policymaking functions . . . or possess purely recommendatory powers.” C.J. Roberts, Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, 130 S.Ct. 3138, 3160 fn.10 (2010).