Does Terminating an Employee "Terminate" Your TD Defenses?

by Don Barthel, Esq.
Familiarity Breeds Contempt
Does this story sound familiar?

The case is accepted, the injured worker (IW) has returned to a modified position and, thus, you have discontinued temporary disability. Life is great...that is, it seemed great until you receive the "nasty gram" from applicant's counsel advising that IW has been terminated and you owe temporary disability (TD) retroactively and continuing!

Do you?



Terminating an IW is just about the surest way of inspiring IW and applicant's counsel to push for the full 2-year TD cap. You can bet your bottom dollar that TD—retro and continuing—will quickly become an expensive, hard-fought issue. What do you need to know to avoid the TD trap?

How Much is a DFEC "Expert" Really Worth?

by Don Barthel, Esq.
We've all seen it... The PD in a case rates to something reasonable and all is well, until applicant's attorney begins to rattle the Ogilvie saber. Either expressly or implicitly, counsel makes known that—unless you concede to some ridiculous demand —AA will retain a "DFEC expert" and stick you with the bill.

Is it time to settle? Get the sword and split the baby?

Heck no!



Don't believe the baloney... you've got (very) little to worry about when it comes to "DFEC expert" bills and liens.

Really!

Flipping the Switch: Running B&B from the Cloud (from a KM Perspective)

 
At Bradford & Barthel (B&B), last year we chose to integrate our business model with Google, specifically the Google Apps collaborative cloud platform. A brave (and/or stupid) move, some have said.

Why?

Not 'just' because of the cloud security/functionality argument, but also because of Google's lack of experience in legal (at least on paper). We're told that in our industry, everything must be custom-made for lawyers given the way they work with legal taxonomies and so forth. Also, comparisons to other professional service organizations and how they are run are often few and far between.

Increasingly Cloudy Skies: A Founding Partner's Perspective

Our clients want/deserve/need/demand faster, better, and less expensive legal services. Acknowledgeing this, in 2010, Bradford & Barthel, with 200+ users and 12 offices throughout California began a multi-year implementation of taking the firm to the cloud. The senior management team led the charge leaping to a collaborative cloud computing model. Since that time, the firm has realized tremendous cost savings (via reduced software license agreements, and less required IT and technology infrastructure costs), forced its staff to collaborate on work product (which many now swear they can't live without), and extended the ability to review documents and expedite responses to client requests.

B&B APPOINTS 'CLIENT RELATIONS' GURU

by Mark Fletcher, Esq.
B&B's Managing Partner, Mark Fletcher, announced the promotion of Tahmeena I. Ahmed to "Managing Partner, Client Relations." Per Mr. Fletcher, Ms. Ahmed's experience as Managing Attorney of B&B's largest office, located in Tarzana, for the past decade has prepared Ms. Ahmed for her new role: "ensuring that client expectations are consistently met and exceeded on every file, furthering the development of attorney-client communication and rapport, and providing training and developmental opportunities to our clients."


In response, Ms. Ahmed issued the following open letter:

The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing But The Truth aka B&B Sends Applicant "Directly To Jail"!

by Jan Metheny, Esq.
The adjuster's call was exactly the kind of call that excites all defense attorneys who enjoy defeating fraud. Luckily, the call came to B&B and—with the excellent teamwork of the adjuster, carrier, SIU department, investigators, District Attorney and B&B—another "bad guy" got his comeuppance.

An accepted claim filed by a long-term employee, the matter was initially suspicious solely because of the timing; the claim was filed shortly prior to the employer, a car dealership, going out of business. As such, the adjuster kept her eyes and ears open for any other evidence of foul play...and that awareness soon proved invaluable. Research uncovered more red flags, including reports the applicant was a long-time motorcycle racer. Investigations confirmed he was continuing to race and we caught our first major break with film at the track.

Elayne Valdez v. Warehouse Demo Services

by Timothy Rose, Esq.
Elayne Valdez v. Warehouse Demo Services; Zurich North America, adjusted by ESIS, (2011 Cal. Wrk. Comp. LEXIS 55), April 20, 2011

Summary
After treating in an established MPN, applicant's counsel designated a non-MPN treating physician who began to actively treat the applicant. After an issue over temporary disability benefits surfaced, applicant's attorney demanded benefits be provided based on the non-MPN reporting. At trial, the WCJ deferred the non-MPN treatment issue listed by the defendants on the Minutes of Hearing, indicating it was not related to TTD.



After the defense lost the TD issue, they filed for Reconsideration, contending the non-MPN reports were inadmissible, and, therefore, there was no substantial evidence to support the temporary disability award. Reconsideration was granted.1