Ongoing Projects

This project identifies best practices for agencies to use when implementing automated tools—like interactive chatbots and virtual assistants—to provide legal guidance to members of the public. Among other topics, it explores the types of automated legal guidance agencies issue and the circumstances in which different types of automated legal guidance are most effective; how agencies oversee the programs providing such guidance to ensure that...

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This project considers whether Congress should enact a cross-cutting statute that addresses certain recurring technical problems in statutory provisions governing judicial review of agency action that may cause unfairness, inefficiency, or unnecessary litigation. It will also consider how any such statute should be drafted.

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This project addresses whether, when, and how, before issuing notices of proposed rulemaking, agencies should solicit public input on alternatives to rules under consideration. It seeks to identify targeted measures for obtaining public input, such as small meetings with groups of experts or regulated parties, that provide valuable information to agencies as they weigh alternatives, while minimizing the associated procedural burden.

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This project seeks to identify agency best practices for handling mass, computer-generated, and fraudulent comments in rulemakings. Treating each type of comment separately, it examines both the legal and practical issues associated with processing and responding to such comments.

This project seeks to identify best practices for agencies in undertaking periodic review of their existing regulations. Whereas past Conference studies on retrospective review have addressed the topic in the broad sense, this project focuses on the special hurdles agencies confront when they attempt to implement regulatory review on a periodic and more regularized basis.

This project identifies for agencies best practices for maintaining public access to agency guidance documents that are no longer in effect, which the project refers to as inoperative guidance documents. It addresses factors agencies should consider in deciding whether to include certain types of inoperative guidance documents on their websites; steps agencies can take to make it easier for people to find the inoperative guidance documents in...

This project identifies best practices for agencies when devising and implementing systems to assess and improve the quality of decisions in high-volume adjudicative programs.

This project explores how agencies regulate the conduct of attorneys and non-attorneys who represent parties and other interested persons in administrative proceedings.

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This project explores the use of virtual hearings, in which one or more participants attend remotely using a personal computer or mobile device, in agency adjudications. Virtual hearings have become increasingly common in agency adjudications, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they can pose unique logistical challenges and raise questions of accessibility, transparency, privacy, and data security.