Guzman & 6th DCA: WCAB Rubberstamp or Limitations on Misapplying the Guides?

Last month the 6th DCA handed down the latest—and most authoritative—word on rebutting the AMA Guides. While the Court of Appeal agreed with the WCAB's Almaraz/Guzman II determination that (a) the AMA Guides is rebuttable, and (b) physicians may, in certain circumstances, apply alternative chapters, methods and tables, the DCA signaled that such an approach should be the exception rather than the rule.

"Give Me a [Conservative] Sign"
During the past year and a half in the post-Almaraz/Guzman world, we've seen attempts to apply alternative chapters, tables and methods in even the most mundane cases. Indeed, the more "vanilla" the case (back strain, for example), the lower the WPI produced by a strict application of the Guides...and, of course, the greater the incentive for physicians to creatively apply alternative chapters and methods.

No longer!

Intl Awards Salute B&B's Tech Savvy

The Envelope Please.

The red carpet was rolled out and leaders in legal technology from around the world came to Las Vegas last week to participate in the International Legal Technology Association's (ILTA)1 2010 "Strategic Unity" conference and to learn who would receive the industry's highest honors and accolades. When the envelopes were opened and the winners announced, Bradford & Barthel, LLP (B&B) had won...TWICE!

ILTA presented both B&B and the firm's Director of Knowledge Management, Eric Hunter, with ILTA's 2010 Distinguished Peer Awards. Competing with huge international firms employing hundreds—and even thousands —of employees, B&B and Eric Hunter managed to edge out the competition to receive the "Innovative Member of the Year" prize and the "Knowledge Management Champion of the Year" title.

To Answer or not to Answer...

An Application for Adjudication (Application) is part and parcel of workers' compensation litigation. In a nutshell, it is the opening document filed to establish the WCAB's jurisdiction and to get the matter moving along.

The vast majority of Applications are filed by the injured worker (IW), but may also be filed by a defendant or lien claimant. The Application sets forth the issues for which the filing party seeks relief, such as TTD, PD, medical treatment, voucher, etc. Typically the applicant's attorney files the Application, works up the case and —upon completion of discovery—the case is settled or goes to trial.

Patricia Carlos, Esq. Named Asst Mng Atty in Tarzana

It is my pleasure to announce that Patricia Carlos will be our new Assistant Managing Attorney for the Tarzana office. Pati recently began her fifth successful year with the firm. She brings with her a multitude of skills, including her administrative strategies, shrewd negotiation talents, and an undying commitment to B&B's clients.

Tahmeena Ahmed
Managing Attorney, B&B's Tarzana Office