Former Administrative Law Judge Charles Schaefer has a really good article in the recent edition of the Wisconsin State Bar's publication, "Wisconsin Lawyer," titled, "Hearsay Problems at Unemployment Insurance Hearings."
I have handled hundreds of unemployment insurance appeals over my several years as an attorney and am all too familiar with this issue--and many of the other issues that plague the unemployment insurance appeal process in Wisconsin. Understanding that representation in unemployment insurance appeals is expensive--especially for people recently unemployed and unsure of their financial future--it is always best to have an experienced attorney for these matters as it could be the difference between collecting unemployment checks for the maximum period and receiving nothing.
Many people assume that they just show up and explain their side of the story, which is only partly true. Though highly relaxed, unemployment insurance appeal hearings still adhere to the rules of evidence, for the most part, and still require the parties to meet certain evidentiary burdens. Experienced counsel can help a claimant or respondent ensure they have all of the required evidence and witnesses and then competently represent the party at hearing as it is never known in advance who will appear as a witness for either side. An unemployment appeal hearing before an administrative law judge is also the best chance to get a decision reversed in a party's favor as each appeal thereafter gets more difficult with the issue(s) narrowing to near impossibility.
Thus, get an attorney for your unemployment appeal!