Public Service Announcement: the Office of Administrative Law Judges (“OALJ”) recently implemented a new and improved search engine for its website. It is very helpful. The search engine allows users to narrow down search results based on a number of different filters. For example, the Keyword Search option has the following filters:
- Agencies and Courts.
- Document Category, including “Decision-related documents.”
- Program Area. Select Longshore for claims falling under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and the Defense Base Act. Although there is a filter called, “DBA, SCA, and Related,” the DBA referred to in that quotation is the Davis Bacon Act, not the Defense Base Act.
- Case Type. Select “LHC” for Longshore claims and “LDA” for Defense Base Act claims.
- OALJ Document Type. This is an interesting filter because of the number of sub-filters that a searcher may select. There are Orders, Attorney Fee Decisions, Motions for Reconsideration/Modification Dispositions, and more. Off the top of my head, the only additional filter that I would like to see would be discovery orders, such as orders on motions to compel.
- Format, which allows the searcher to select between PDF or HTML results.
- OALJ Date Range, which allows the searcher to narrow the search results based on a particular date range.
The original search engine is available, too. Select “DMS Search” from the main OALJ page to search for a particular claimant, employer, or decision date. (If I could add one additional search category, it would be a search for a particular carrier.)
Here is a link to the OALJ’s main page: https://www.oalj.dol.gov. Links to the various search tools are on the right side of the page.