Model Adjudication Rules (2018 Revisions)

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The Model Adjudication Rules are designed for use by federal agencies to amend or develop their procedural rules for all stages of administrative adjudication. Numerous agencies have relied on the Model Rules to improve existing adjudicative schemes, and new agencies, like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, have relied on them to design their procedures. The Model Adjudication Rules are available below and through the ACUS website.

In 2018, a working group of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) released substantial revisions to the Model Adjudication Rules, which were first released by a similar working group in 1993. Significant changes in adjudicative practices and procedures in the past 25 years, including the use of electronic case management and video hearings, necessitated a careful review and revision of the Model Rules. In reviewing and revising the Model Rules, the Working Group relied on the Conference’s extensive empirical research of adjudicative practices in the Federal Administrative Adjudication Database; amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; and input from agency officials, academics, practitioners, and other stakeholders.

Most significantly, the 2018 revisions to the Model Rules:

  • are applicable to most trial-type proceedings that offer an opportunity for fact-finding before an adjudicator, whether conducted pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act or other authority;

  • are more consistent with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as to the filing and service of records and discovery protective orders;

  • include new rules on foreign-language interpretations and translations and sequestration of witnesses;

  • recognize advances in technology in matters such as hearings and discovery;

  • provide significant revisions to the rules on closing and reopening of the record; and

  • incorporate certain revisions to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.

Suggested citation format: Admin. Conf. of the U.S., Model Adjudication Rules § 102 (2018).

Working Group Members and Associated Individuals

Reporter: Kent H. Barnett, Associate Professor of Law, University of Georgia School of Law

Staff Counsel: Daniel J. Sheffner, Attorney Advisor, Administrative Conference of the United States


  • Thomas P. McCarthy (Chair), Administrative Law Judge, Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission

  • Reeve T. Bull, Research Director, Administrative Conference of the United States

  • John R. Coleman, Deputy General Counsel for Litigation and Oversight, Legal Division, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Alternate: Jack Barrett, Senior Litigation Counsel)

  • David F. Engstrom, Professor of Law, Stanford Law School

  • Jeffrey R. Freund, Senior Counsel, Bredhoff & Kaiser, PLLC

  • Nancy J. Griswold, Chief Administrative Law Judge, Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals, Department of Health and Human Services (Alternate: Brian J. Haring, Deputy Chief Administrative Law Judge)

  • John S. Irving, Of Counsel, Kirkland & Ellis

  • Emery G. Lee, Senior Research Associate, Federal Judicial Center

  • Thomasina V. Rogers, Chairman (Retired), Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission

  • Jean C. King, General Counsel, Executive Office for Immigration Review, Department of Justice (Alternate: Patricia M. Allen, Associate General Counsel)

  • David C. Shonka, Principal Deputy General Counsel (Retired), Federal Trade Commission (Alternate: Kenny A. Wright, Attorney)

  • Matthew L. Wiener, Vice Chair and Executive Director, Administrative Conference of the United States