Judges sometimes have their own procedures for conducting Social Security disability hearings. Typically, judges begin the hearing by making a record of who is in attendance and then reviewing the facts underlying your disability claim. The judge will then discuss ground rules for conducting the hearing, e.g., that only one person may speak at a time, testimony will be given under penalty of perjury, the strict rules of evidence of a court of law will not be applied, etc. The judge may also inform you of the material issues to be decided and what you will need to prove to be successful.
In all likelihood, by the time you are in front of the judge, your Springfield Social Security disability attorney will have already explained to you the nature of the proceedings and what you need to prove, but some claimants find it puts them at ease to hear the judge do most of the talking at the beginning of the hearing so that they have an opportunity to adjust to the setting.
After explaining the history of the case and applicable legal standards, the judge will probably review the proposed documentary exhibits and determine if there are any objections to their submission. While you should always be attentive during the hearing, and you should definitely note which exhibits are being entered into evidence, it will be your Springfield Social Security disability attorney’s role to raise any evidentiary objections to the proposed exhibits.
It is possible that the judge will request that your attorney waive reading of the procedural history and disputed issues. In most cases, there is no strategic reason for your attorney to object to that request, and the judge will then end his or her opening statement and begin the formal portions of the hearing.
For further information on what to expect at your hearing, please contact me today.