Summary of Practice Tips from the 10/15/2011 Workers’ Compensation Seminar at WorkerCompCentral in Camarillo, California
1. When opening a case, assume it will go to trial. This will provide a better more organized
approach to asserting your client’s position even if it does not end up going to trial.
2. When considering denials, consider the following: If a defendant denies a case based upon a good
faith personnel action, in order to prevail at trial, defendants need to show BOTH:
a. Factual basis to deny
b. Medical basis to deny
c. Rolda v. Pitney Bowes 66 C.C.C. 241
3. A primary treating physician is considered the gatekeeper. Therefore, if Applicant is referred to a
secondary treater, the primary MUST incorporate the secondary’s report/findings into his report
or BOTH reports are considered to lack substantial medical evidence.
4. If a primary treating physician’s report does not comply with California Code of Regulation
9785, the report may be inadmissible.
5. Sandhagen v. WCAB , 77 C.C.C. mandates that everything MUST go through Utilization Review
whether the case is denied or admitted.
6. When evaluating the reasonableness of a requested attorney fee pursuant to Labor Code Section
5710, consider the following:
a. Is the attorney a certified specialist?
b. Was the attorney actually involved in the deposition or was he sleeping?
c. Consider the extensiveness and complexity of the case?
d. Was there an interpreter?
7. Blackledge v. Bank of America, 75 C.C.C. 613 provides a list of factors when considering
whether a physician’s report is substantial enough to be admitted into evidence. This should be
considered in conjunction with CA Code of Regulation 10606.
8. Labor Code Section 132(a) claims are very prevalent nowadays. However, remember that the
threshold to prove up this claim is extremely high. Additionally, a 132(a) Petition MUST be filed
within one year of the alleged discriminatory action. State of California v. WCAB (Lauher), 68
9. When considering whether medical treatment is reasonable, look to the American College of
Occupational and Environmental Evidence (ACOEM) for the answer.
10. Know the difference between a Petition for Removal and a Petition for Reconsideration. The
first is necessary to prevent an imminent harm and the second is a remedy when the case has
Preparing your case for the WCAB & Recons, Removals, & Writs, October 15, 2011.