Effective April 13, 2020, there are new procedures for hearings at the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB). Starting Monday, April, 13, 2020, the WCAB will utilize a toll-free conference call system, moving away from Court Call.
This will apply for all Expedited Hearings, Status Conferences, Mandatory Settlement Conferences, and Priority Conferences.
Trials and Lien Conferences/Trials will still be continued to another date.
ALL parties must call in to the judge’s conference call number. The conference call number and passwords for each judge are posted on the WCAB website at: www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/DWC_address/DWC-judge-conference-lines.xlsx
At the beginning of each hearing, the judge’s assistant will conduct a roll call to get the names of each party and their email addresses. Parties that agreed to go OTOC ahead of time can inform the assistant at this time.
[Note: OTOC – Acronym for ‘Ordered Taken Off Calendar’ – a disposition ordered by a workers’ compensation judge after a hearing where no further action is necessary on the part of the WCAB.]
The judge will process the OTOC requests and then deal with the remaining calendar appearances, emailing the parties to call in. Parties must call in within 5 minutes or the judge will move on to the next matter, pushing your hearing to the bottom of the list.
Filings with the WCAB will stay the same – all documents must be e-filed or mailed, e-signatures will be accepted on all documents, and there will be no walk-throughs or in-person filings/requests. We will advise if there are any extensions to filing deadlines.
The new conference call procedure will allow everyone to participate, free of charge, and removes any financial deterrence which may have kept some parties, especially in pro per applicants, out of the Court Call process.
With this new conference call procedure, it is imperative people remain flexible and attorneys contact, discuss, and attempt to resolve the dispute ahead of any hearing.
We at Adelson McLean have extensive contacts throughout the workers’ compensation community, gained through many years of experience. During this crisis, we are maintaining close contact with our clients, other employers and carriers, applicant’s and plaintiff’s counsels, lien claimants, and defense law firms. Using this, we have been able to resolve disputes ahead of time and also work towards moving our cases to resolution during this difficult time. We have arranged for video depositions and informal settlement conferences, resolving multiple claims in a day.
Please feel free to contact us if you should have any questions or comments.