I-4-2-15.Hearing Transcript

Last Update: 12/8/17 (Transmittal I-4-76)

A. General

The transcript of the hearing is a written record of the testimony given at the hearing before the administrative law judge (ALJ). The court records assistant (CRA) must review the transcript of the hearing for accuracy and completeness before placing it in the certified administrative record (CAR).

B. Obtaining Hearing Transcripts

To obtain a hearing transcript, the Court Case Preparation and Review Branch (CCPRB) staff will:

  • If the claim(s) file is paper, remove the hearing recording and its envelope from the file.

  • Complete a transcription request in the Appeals Review Processing System (ARPS).

  • Deliver the hearing recording and the request for a transcript to:

    OAO Contract Staff
    One Skyline Tower, Room 1407.
  • Diary the case for 20 calendar days.

  • Follow-up with the contract staff if the transcript is not received in 20 days.

  • Pick up returned transcripts daily from the contract staff office.

After receiving the hearing recording and transcript, CCPRB staff will:

  • If the claim(s) file is paper, place the envelope containing the hearing recording on the left side of the claim(s) file and the transcript on the right side of the claim(s) file.

  • If the claim(s) file is electronic, upload the transcript to the B section of the electronic file.

  • For sentence six cases that are not appealed, i.e., cases in which no exceptions are filed within 60 days, proceed with preparation of the CAR or supplemental CAR.

C. Determining Whether to Audit the Hearing

1. Determining Whether an Audit Is Necessary

The CRA will make a preliminary determination of whether he or she needs an audit of the recording. If an audit is not necessary, the CRA will continue preparing the CAR. If the transcript contains “inaudible” or “unintelligible” portions (in excess of three per page) or portions the contractor did not type due to equipment malfunction, the CRA will assign the case to an analyst to determine if it is necessary to obtain an audit of the recording. For analyst instructions about how to determine whether a hearing recording requires an audit, see Hearings, Appeal and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-4-1-15 B.

NOTE:

Vocational expert testimony and medical expert testimony are vital, and the transcription must be as complete and accurate as possible. Names of medications, dosage, description of medical treatment, and description of work activity are also important. Therefore, if these sections contain inaudible or unintelligible portions, an audit is necessary.

2. Actions When an Audit Is Necessary

When an analyst refers a case to a supervisory legal assistant (SLA) for a hearing audit, the SLA will prepare a memorandum to the contract staff, including a copy of the recording and a paper copy of the transcript. The SLA will deliver the package to the contract staff for an audit.

D. Reviewing the Hearing Transcript

1. Deficiencies

The CRA's review of the hearing transcript may reveal deficiencies. The CRA must be aware of the following deficiencies and make the corresponding changes.

a. Incorrect Placement of “Q and A” and Swearing in of Witnesses

The index page of the hearing transcript must list all persons who appeared at the hearing and indicate where each person's testimony begins. The transcriber must show each witness' testimony as commencing with an oath, even though the ALJ administered the oath at the start of the hearing. The CRA must discuss any irregularities with an SLA to determine whether a recording audit is necessary.

b. Spelling Errors (Paper Claim(s) File Only)

The CRA must correct any spelling errors, using caution with respect to medical terminology. The CRA must not alter the substance of any testimony.

c. Numbering Errors (Paper Claim(s) File Only)

If there are errors in the numbering of the pages, the CRA must line through the number shown and insert the correct number in pencil. If a page does not have a number, the CRA must make it an “A” page. For more information, see HALLEX I-4-2-25 A.

d. Missing Certifications

Each transcript of a hearing must include certifications of the transcriber and proofreader (with signature) at the end. If the contractor did not sign and certify the transcript, the CRA will refer it to an SLA. The SLA will consult with the contracts staff to arrange to have the contractor certify the transcript and return the transcript to the SLA. When the SLA requests a certification, he or she will enter the request and return dates in ARPS.

2. Notification of Deficiency of Hearing Transcript

When the Office of the General Counsel or a United States Attorney's Office contacts the CCRPB mailbox or branch chief regarding a deficiency in the hearing transcript, the SLA or branch chief will correct the deficiency and ensure that the CRA prepares a supplemental or modified transcript, as appropriate.

E. Placing the Hearing Transcript into the Record

The CRA will place the transcript into the CAR. When placing the transcript into the record, the CRA will ensure that:

  • If transcripts of two hearings are to be entered, the transcript of the earlier hearing is placed in the CAR immediately preceding the second hearing. In this instance, the index to the record (see HALLEX I-4-2-25 B) would show: Transcripts of Oral Hearings: January 24, 1999 and April 18, 2000.

  • If the ALJ did not hold an oral hearing, the index must note “Oral Hearing Waived” where the “Transcript of Oral Hearing” (date) would normally appear.

If the claimant did not designate on the request for hearing that he or she waived an oral hearing, there must be a correspondence or other evidence such as a report of telephone contact verifying the fact that the claimant waived an oral hearing.