On The Lien Front

by David F. Mahjoubi (September 26, 2014)

I recently had two interesting situations come up: the first I found one to be a little disturbing…the other provided a way to circumvent a WCJ who refuses to issue a “Notice of Intent to Dismiss” without first contacting the lien claimant to confirm whether they are still pursuing their balance. 


I recently appeared at a lien conference. As I am collecting bills and demands from the various representatives, one representative handed me a bill for a provider who seemingly was not of record. She asked if I could resolve them “informally”. Interesting…

Interpreting Liens

by Augustine K. Oh (September 15, 2014)

Whether you’re dealing with Igrod the Dependent Interpreter or with Ian from the Domestic Misinterpreting Institute, interpreting liens often cause headaches for claims examiners and defense attorneys alike. Hopefully, this BLOG will help you navigate through the muddy swamp of interpreting liens.

One of our newest Equity Partners, Alec Bradford, authored an in-depth analysis of the lien claimant’s burden of proof under Guitron v. Santa Fe Extruders (2011) 76 CCC 228. In case you missed it, you can read it here:  http://bradfordbarthel.blogspot.com/2012/03/effectively-defending-against.html.

So every time we receive an interpreting bill, two questions inevitably arise: (1) Should we pay? (2) If so, how much? These questions are answered below, in addition to a recently recurring issue: Is the applicant or the defendant entitled to select the interpreter?


by Louis A. Larres (September 13, 2014)

Don't you just love it when, after waiting many months to get in to see a QME or AME (and after a review of all of the medical records and a thorough physical exam) the doctor states, "Oh, this person was P&S 8 months ago," creating a significant TTD overpayment.  The first question you likely find yourself asking is "Can I assert credit against PD?"  Well, like most questions in workers' compensation, the answer is "it depends."

Whether an employer is to allowed a credit for over-payment of benefits is typically decided on a case-by-case basis. Labor Code §4909 provides that payments received which were "not then due and payable . . . may be taken into account by the appeals board in fixing the amount of the compensation to be paid." 

PREDATOR OR PREY - The Employer in California Workers’ Compensation Subrogation

by Kermit N. Sprang (September 1, 2014)

California subrogation law can be a rude surprise for those not familiar with its procedures.  Out here, it’s “the law of the jungle” –you get only what you fight for.  An employer[1] who does not actively investigate and participate in an employee’s third party action can expect one of three results, all of them bad. 

First, the employer may not learn of the employee’s action at all.  Although the employee is required to notify the employer when he files his action, his failure to do so will not adequately protect the employer’s rights.  If the defendant is not aware of the employer’s subrogation claim when it settles with the employee, the employer is barred from suing the defendant.  The employer is relegated to an action against the employee, who is most likely judgment-proof.