Idaho – Bryan Nickels to lead new OAH

Bryan Nickels to lead new Office of Administrative Hearings

Boise, Idaho (STL.News) Governor Brad Little appointed Bryan Nickels as Chief Administrative Hearing Officer for the newly created Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH).

Nickels is a partner and founding member of Scanlan, Griffiths, Aldridge + Nickels, a civil trial and litigation law firm in Boise.  He is a practicing attorney with more than 20 years of experience in administrative, civil, and criminal law and is a registered civil mediator.  His areas of practice include civil litigation, criminal defense, mediation, medical indigency, judicial review actions in state district court, and appellate litigation.  He is a member of the Richard C. Fields American Inn of Court No. 130, and a member of the Idaho Mediation Association, American Bar Association, and Idaho State Bar Association.  Nickels received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Idaho before receiving his Juris Doctorate at Boston College Law School.  Nickels also recently served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Idaho teaching civil litigation.

In 2022, the Legislature passed House Bill 629 creating the OAH.  The purpose of the legislation was to assure fair hearings without actual or perceived bias on the part administrative hearing officers.  The OAH will conduct contested case proceedings from most Idaho state agencies and is also allowed to conduct adjudicatory hearings, mediations, and arbitrations requested by state agencies.

As Chief Administrative Hearing Officer, Nickels will supervise other OAH hearing officers, implement a system to monitor the quality of contested case proceedings, and develop a code of conduct for hearing officers within OAH’s purview.

“I am deeply appreciative of Governor Little providing me with the opportunity to help build the new Office of Administrative Hearings, and I look forward to working with all interested stakeholders to develop an independent and impartial office that serves Idaho’s agencies and citizens,” Nickels said.

The appointment is in effect today.

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