Home > Liens, Tactics and Strategy, Uncategorized > On Demanding a Lien Representative’s I.D.

On Demanding a Lien Representative’s I.D.

On a regular basis, liens I encounter are filed by lien representatives.  Rather than prosecuting the lien itself, the lien claimant assigns the task to one office or another, generally for a percentage of the recovery.  In fact, a regular part of practicing California Workers’ Compensation defense is fighting off unwarranted and baseless liens.

Some cases go on for years, however, and a lien-claimant’s representative might change with the seasons – different person, different office or even a different firm/company.  How do you know if the “new” lien representative actually has the power to negotiate and settle a lien, and the old one no longer does?

For swapping attorneys in the case-in-chief, there is a process to substitute attorneys, as per the Code of Civil Procedure § 284. It appears that no such procedure is followed for lien representatives.

With that in mind, I have a suggestion:  When a lien representative sends that initial demand letter, a proper response includes some demand for documentation that the lien representative actually represents the lien claimant.  That includes authority to negotiate and settle the lien.

In a recent case, Green v. State Roofing systems, Inc., the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board reviewed a Workers’ Compensation Judge’s granting of a Petition to Quash a Subpoena Duces Tecum, which, among other items, demanded documentation of the agreement and arrangement between the lien claimant and the lien representative.

The case was remanded to work out a discovery plan, but the point is a valid one – defendants must be able to know who the lien claimant is and who its representative is before the lien can be paid, adjusted or litigated.

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