Alaska Department of Administration, Office of Administrative Hearings

Administration >  Office of Administrative Hearings

Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH)

Mission

To provide for the delivery of high-quality adjudication services that ensure fair hearings conducted in a timely, efficient, and cost-effective manner.

Administrative Law Judges

  • Kathleen A. Frederick, Chief (Anchorage)
    Kathleen Frederick is the Chief Administrative Law Judge, and manages OAH's Juneau office. Prior to joining OAH in 2014, Chief ALJ Frederick litigated cases statewide for Alaska's Office of Elder Fraud and Assistance, after spending 27 years in private practice. While in private practice, Chief ALJ Frederick focused on administrative law, real estate, business law, litigation, and employment law and was AV-rated by Martindale Hubbell. Chief ALJ Frederick is a Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude graduate of Gettysburg College, and has an M.S. cum laude from Drexel University, as well as a J.D. cum laude from Villanova University School of Law, where she served as Research/Projects Editor of the Villanova Law Review.
  • Cheryl Mandala, Deputy Chief (Anchorage)
    Cheryl Mandala is the Deputy Chief Administrative Law Judge, and manages OAH's Anchorage office. Prior to joining OAH in 2015, ALJ Mandala was an Assistant Attorney General in the Torts Section of the Department of Law. She also spent seven years in private law practice, where she handled a variety of employment, tort, and administrative matters at the trial and appellate level for clients throughout Alaska. ALJ Mandala graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Macalester College, holds a master's degree in Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota, and graduated Order of the Coif from Stanford Law School. She served as a law clerk for Alaska Supreme Court Justice Alexander O. Bryner.
  • Carmen E. Clark (Anchorage)
    ALJ Clark joined OAH's Anchorage office in 2019. Immediately prior to joining OAH, ALJ Clark practiced complex civil and criminal litigation at the law firm of Ingaldson Fitzgerald in Anchorage. She spent eight years as a Committing Magistrate for the State of Alaska before joining private practice. She is the former Chief Prosecutor for the Municipality of Anchorage with more than a decade of prosecutorial trial and appellate experience. She has been on the faculty of the United States Department of Justice National Advocacy Center, the National Institute of Trial Attorneys, and the University of Alaska Justice department. She is a graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Law at Fayetteville where she was chairwoman of the Moot Court and editor of the alternative newspaper.
  • Christopher M. Kennedy (Anchorage)
    ALJ Kennedy joined OAH in 2005 and was OAH's first Deputy Chief, a role he filled for fourteen years. He now serves as one of OAH's Tax-Qualified ALJs. Prior to joining OAH, ALJ Kennedy was a Senior Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Law. In his 11 years the Department of Law, ALJ Kennedy worked in the Environmental, Torts, and Oil, Gas & Mining Sections. He previously served as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge James A. von der Heydt, and spent five years in private practice, where he handled energy, procurement, and utilities litigation; corporate restructuring; and commercial transactions. ALJ Kennedy is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University and a graduate of Berkeley Law, where he was an S.K. Yee Scholar and served on the California Law Review.
  • Andrew M. Lebo (Anchorage)
    ALJ Lebo joined OAH's Anchorage office in 2014 with extensive prior experience as a private hearing officer for special education cases. His background includes 17 years as a solo practitioner, four years as an Assistant Ombudsman for the State of Alaska, four years as an associate focusing on business and employment litigation, and one year as a Superior Court law clerk. ALJ Lebo is a graduate of the University of California Santa Cruz, has an M.A. from University of California Davis, and has a J.D. from King Hall, University of California Davis.
  • Lawrence A. Pederson (Anchorage)
    Based in Anchorage, ALJ Pederson joined OAH in 2012 as part of a merger with the Office of Hearings and Appeals of Alaska's Department of Health and Social Services, where he had served as the senior hearing officer. Prior to that time, he was in private practice for 22 years, handling a wide range of civil and administrative law matters and appearing in state and federal trial and appellate courts. ALJ Pederson attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks and received his J.D. from Willamette University College of Law.
  • Hanna Sebold (Juneau)
    ALJ Sebold joined OAH's Juneau office in July of 2018 after fourteen years as an Assistant Attorney General, as well as four years in private law practice in California. ALJ Sebold was President of the Alaska Bar Association in 2012-2013, has served on the Bar Association's Board of Governors for eight years, and is also a past-president of the Juneau Bar Association. ALJ Sebold attended the University of Oregon and received her J.D. from California Western School of Law, where she was a member of the Advocacy Honors Board, was a founding member of the Public Interest Law Foundation and received the Academic Achievement award.
  • Danika B. Swanson (Anchorage)
    ALJ Swanson joined OAH's Anchorage office in 2019. She has previously represented public agencies, served as a public defender, and served as a Magistrate Judge. Judge Swanson was a law clerk for Superior Court Judge Michael Wolverton. She holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and earned her JD from the New England School of Law, where she held a merit scholarship, served as president of the Public Interest Law Association, and served as Executive Managing Literary Editor for the Journal of Criminal and Civil Confinement.

About OAH

Created by statute in 2004, the Office of Administrative Hearings is Alaska's independent hearing panel for executive branch agency administrative appeals, as well as appeals from other governmental bodies. OAH handles more than 85 different types of cases, with disputes ranging in value from $40 to $800 million, and with more than 1,500 new cases filed annually.

OAH's administrative law judges conduct prehearing and hearing proceedings to hear and resolve appeals. In most types of cases, the OAH judge prepares a proposed decision for the final executive branch decisionmaker, such as a commissioner, board, or commission. In some other cases, OAH functions as the final administrative decisionmaker. In either instance, the final product is a final agency decision that can be appealed to Superior Court.

Whether adjudicating public benefits disputes for self-represented litigants, or multimillion-dollar business disputes, OAH strives to deliver high-quality adjudication services that ensure fair hearings conducted in a timely, efficient, and cost-effective manner.

Introduction to the Hearing Process

Once an agency refers an appeal to OAH, the parties receive a Notice of Assignment, identifying the administrative law judge assigned to hear the case, as well as the specific statutes and/or regulations that govern the proceeding. OAH staff will send you a notice scheduling either the hearing itself, or a case planning conference, depending on the type of case.

Certain types of cases - generally, cases concerning Medicaid eligibility and benefits - may be eligible to participate in OAH's optional prehearing mediation process, to see whether the dispute can be resolved without a hearing. In those cases, the parties will also receive a notice of mediation session.

Parties with questions about procedures or scheduling can contact OAH staff at (907) 269-8170 or by email at doa.oah@alaska.gov.

 

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