Those of us on the outside learned recently about Social Security's secret repository of precedents used in deciding some cases. We only learned about this because it came up in the context of the agency's arcane policies on pooled trusts. I'm hearing that this repository covers more than pooled trusts. How much more I don't know, since Social Security employees aren't supposed to be telling anyone but I hear that the agency put out some instructions on the handling of the cases of the former clients of Eric Conn using this secret repository and that the agency made sure than at least some Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) were made aware of these instructions. I'm also hearing that the agency's Office of General Counsel was giving ALJs some suggestions on how to deal with objections that attorneys were filing in those cases -- specific language to use in decisions. I don't know how these recommendations were conveyed to the ALJs. This sounds a lot like ex parte contacts to me.