B&B Speeds Up Litigation Process; Saves Clients Money!

B&B Speeds Up Litigation Process; Saves Clients Money!
by Mark Fletcher, LLP

Bradford & Barthel, LLP, is proud to announce yet another milestone in our quest for defense excellence.

Already a leader in client services and innovation, B&B is taking yet another giant leap forward in further defendng our clients' interests. On September 14, 2009, all 12 B&B offices "went live" with the e-filing program at every WCAB venue. This means B&B clients will have their matters heard more quickly, skipping ahead of firms using the slower, outdated Optical Character Recognition (OCR) format.

With e-filing, a party can file a DOR and get a date virtually immediately. A hearing notice may be obtained within 24 hours of filing the DOR. By contrast, OCR forms are filed manually, leading to delays lasting weeks and months as parties wait for a pleading to be scanned and acted on by a WCAB District Office.

B&B Scores "Split Decision" in Almaraz/Guzman

B&B Scores "Split Decision" in Almaraz/Guzman
by Don Barthel, Esq.

The defense, led by Bradford & Barthel's own Louis Larres, scored a number of "wins" in Round Two of Almaraz/Guzman:

"Not Fair" is "No Standard"
The WCAB has now jettisoned its original standard for determining whether an AMA Guides-based PD rating is rebutted. In AG I, the WCAB claimed an injured worker need only demonstrate the Guides-based rating is "inequitable, disproportionate, and not a fair and accurate measure of the employee's [PD]." The AG II majority acknowledged Mr. Larres' arguments that this standard "is subjective and may lead to inconsistent and non-uniform permanent disability ratings, i.e., what is inequitable, disproportionate, and not fair and accurate to one trier-of-fact may be equitable, proportionate, and fair and accurate to another." (AG II, p. 28) Indeed, "a 'fairness' standard is not a true standard at all." (AG II, p. 29, footnote 38)

Ogilvie I and II are "Dead on Arrival"

Ogilvie I and II are "Dead on Arrival"
by Don Barthel, Esq.

On 9/3/09, the WCAB revisited its earlier DFEC discussions with Ogilvie with yet another en banc decision: Ogilvie II.

Largely reiterating its earlier standard for rebutting the diminished future earnings capacity modified (DFEC) found in the 2005 Permanent Disability Rating Schedule, the majority gave employers much to cheer about. Indeed, given the language found on pages 30-32 of Ogilvie II, there is good reason to believe we will rarely see any serious attempt by an applicant's attorney to fight the DFEC front.

The reason?

It will take far too long!