Home > Uncategorized, Venue > Is a Venue Fight Worth It? Part 1 of 2

Is a Venue Fight Worth It? Part 1 of 2

The venue of a workers’ compensation case might seem like a relatively unimportant issue for someone outside the workers’ compensation industry.  After all, the case-law, labor code and California Code of Regulations are all state-wide in application right?  Sadly, if the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and state-wide uniformity of workers’ compensation law were all helping you paint your house, you would be engaged in a solo project.  All three are, of course, figments of the imagination.

If you are not familiar with the sad reality of “local rules,” I am sorry to be the one to burst this proverbial bubble for you.  Each venue has its own rules as to procedure, filing deadlines, etc.  For example, the accepted custom at Fresno is to have all exhibits filed and served twenty days before the trial.  If there are more than twenty days left until trial, the other side does not want them, and neither does the Board.

On the other hand if you appear for a Mandatory Settlement Conference in Oakland without your exhibits (and an EAMS separator sheet for each one), with copies for the applicant, lien claimant, Board, and curious strangers passing by, you’re not going to have a lot of material to work with come trial.

Just about every administrative director, including the recently appointed Rosa Moran, has sworn to stamp out local rules for the various boards. Although the Workers’ Compensation Community is readily giving of its best wishes, its confidence in such a matter is considerably more shy and reserved.

Aside from local rules, issues such as cost of travel, reputation of judges (sadly, some Workers’ Compensation Judges are known to be more receptive to one side than the other), and availability of witnesses all play into the question of whether it is worthwhile for a party to fight for a change in venue.

So, now that you are thoroughly persuaded that venue does matter, come back tomorrow morning for the procedure and law behind it all.

Categories: Uncategorized, Venue
  1. Steve Cattolica
    November 30, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Greg,

    Your points are well taken and, I believe, they are directly applicable to the art and science of utilization review when comparing one vendor to another and/or one carrier/TPA to another. There are certainly UR standards and case law that apply throughout California, but how these standards are or are not applied from one employer’s program to another leaves much to be desired.

    Thanks for making the point so eloquently.

    Steve Cattolica

  1. December 2, 2011 at 8:03 am

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