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Most Support Virtual Proceedings, but Some Question Efficiency in Comments on WCAB Rules

  • State: California
  • Topic: Top
  • - Popular with: Legal
Comments on rules that the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board proposed to facilitate remote h…

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One Comment (3 Replies)

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James Witkop Oct 13, 2021 a 7:16 am PDT

I don't see how electronic hearings cause delays unless everyone is not familiar with Lifesize before the trial begins. Personally I believe unpredictable traffic causes far more delays when attorneys are sometimes 15-45 minutes late for hearings which should never happen with remote hearings. No matter which system is used there will be some who are unhappy.

Kimberley J Pryor Oct 13, 2021 a 8:01 am PDT

I agree. Further, it has been my experience that most attorneys are better prepared for telephonic/video appearances. However, this " must have the PTCS in EAMS before an MSC: is NONSENSE. Last week a VNO WCJ would not allow a trial to be set on the TTD rate and service of medicals because the defense attorney had been out on BEREAVEMENT and did not have his part of the PTC ready. I had filed the applicant portion in EAMS, as a show of good faith. DA asked for a few days to file and was told NO. the WCJ, after essential insulting us as "you people" , did relent a tiny bit and added to add us to another MSC 3 WEEKS LATER. (after complaining about the already overbooked calendar) TWO MSCs and my clients benefits are delayed. Heartless. I think the WCJs feel more empowered to abuse and berate us because they do not have to look us in the eyes.

Kelly Hamilton Oct 13, 2021 a 12:24 pm PDT

I agree. I also disagree with the comment that you can only attend one hearing in the morning and one in the afternoon. I've been able to attend multiple hearings in one session and the judges understand this. It is no different than running between courtrooms to handle your multiple cases when hearings were in person. As long as the opposing counsel and the judges know, it has not been a problem. Also, I have never had a problem getting documents to a judge or the opposing counsel, even on the day of hearing.

Hal Simon Oct 13, 2021 a 12:25 pm PDT

If the WCAB decides to continue to conduct Trials virtually, a different application may need to be used other than Lifesize, as Lifesize has sent out emails advising that use of their app will no longer be free and users will have to pay for an account. Who will cover this cost? Injured workers? Attorneys? Insurance companies/TPAs? Employers? The State?

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