About the Office of Administrative Hearings
In 2022, the Legislature passed House Bill 629, creating the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). The purpose of the legislation was to assure fair hearings without the perception of bias. 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, Mr. 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.
OAH’s Strategic Plan outlines the next several years of OAH’s goals, and can be found here:
Bryan Nickels – Chief Administrative Hearing Officer
Bryan Nickels was appointed by Governor Brad Little to be the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer for the newly-created OAH on September 6, 2022.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Nickels was a partner and founding member of Scanlan, Griffiths, Aldridge + Nickels, a civil trial and litigation law firm in Boise, and has more than 20 years of experience in administrative, civil, and criminal law. Mr. Nickels was also a registered civil mediator and civil litigation evaluator prior to joining OAH. His areas of practice included civil litigation, administrative law, criminal defense, medical indigency, 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 and Idaho State Bar Association. Mr. Nickels received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Idaho before receiving his Juris Doctorate at Boston College Law School. Mr. Nickels has also previously served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Idaho, teaching civil litigation, as well as Boise State University, teaching business law.
Mr. Nickels currently serves on the Selective Service System District Appeal Board for the State of Idaho, and also serves on the governing councils for the Appellate Practice Section and the Health Law Section of the Idaho State Bar. Mr. Nickels has also previously served on the 4th District Magistrates Commission, as well as the Ada County Historic Preservation Council. Mr. Nickels is admitted to all state courts in Idaho, the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho, the Ninth Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Leslie Hayes – Deputy Chief Administrative Hearing Officer
Leslie Hayes joined the OAH on November 15, 2022. Prior to coming to the OAH, she spent ten years with the Office of the Attorney General in the Civil Litigation Division. During her time with the Office, she has handled administrative appeals in front of the Idaho Personnel Commission, the Idaho Board of Veterinary Medicine, the Idaho Lottery Commission, the Idaho Charter Commission, and many more. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Ms. Hayes worked in private practice in insurance defense and clerked for the Idaho Supreme Court. Ms. Hayes has represented clients in all Idaho state courts, the United States District Court for the District of Idaho, the Western District of Washington, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.
Ms. Hayes attended the University of Portland and Gonzaga University School of Law, graduating cum laude. She is active in the bar, volunteering to grade bar exams and serving as a member of the Appellate and Litigation Section Governing Council. She also sits on the Board of Directors for Idaho Women Lawyers, currently serving as the President of the Board. Ms. Hayes is the recipient of the Idaho State Bar’s Service Award and Idaho Business Reviews Women of the Year and Leaders in the Law Award.
Scott Zanzig – Hearing Officer
Before joining OAH, Mr. Zanzig practiced law for more than 30 years as a civil litigator. Mr. Zanzig spent more than 20 years in private practice representing individuals and businesses in a wide variety of cases involving contracts, business torts, securities, real estate, lender liability, consumer protection, insurance coverage, and employment disputes. He also served for almost 10 years in the Idaho Attorney General’s Office handling a wide variety of civil cases, including numerous administrative hearings and appeals. Mr. Zanzig has tried cases in federal and state courts and in private arbitrations, and has handled numerous appeals before state and federal appellate courts. Before entering law practice, Mr. Zanzig served as a law clerk to a federal district judge.
Mr. Zanzig has been a member of the Idaho State Bar since 2013. He has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Idaho College of Law, teaching trial advocacy. He also has volunteered time as a moot court judge at the College of Law, and previously served as an instructor in the National Institute for Trial Advocacy’s Northwest Deposition Program.