The Legislature established the Division of Administrative Law Appeals, or DALA for short, as a neutral forum for hearing any case in which one has the right to appeal the decision of another state agency.
DALA has two core objectives: to provide impartial, timely, legally sound decisions, and to establish policies that will encourage parties to limit and consolidate issues. The goals are to issue fair, correct decisions; to streamline the process; and to minimize the need for appeals to the courts and the amount of resources such appeals consume.
All parties to a case have an interest in streamlining the proceedings, a process which ideally begins long before the hearing date. If everyone - the parties, their attorneys and the magistrate - can remain focused on what really matters - i.e. the legally significant issues - the result should be a better decision rendered more quickly. If the process works, critical resources can be preserved, including the often significant financial, emotional and other investments litigants have in their cases, and staff time and administrative resources agencies commit to these proceedings.