Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Processes in Vacant Judicial Positions

Port St. Lucie Process Changes
Judge Robert McAliley has retired effective April 30, 2016. We thank him for years of service to this agency and the people of Florida. Effective May 1, 2016, Final Hearings, Evidentiary Hearings related to pre-trial issues and Attorney Fee Hearings for cases assigned to Judge McAliley’s division will be reassigned by Judge Langham. This will generally occur 14-21 days in advance of the hearing date to hopefully prevent moving cases that may yet resolve prior to trial. Mediations will continue as normal in PSL. Settlements and motions, stipulations and evidentiary hearings on motions for advance, motions to enforce settlement or motions to dismiss on cases that are not reassigned for trial will be considered and ruled upon by Judge Dietz. We will keep you posted on the appointment process and any decisions. 

Ft. Myers Process Changes
Judge Sturgis has retired. Effective April 1, 2016, Final Hearings, Evidentiary Hearings related to pre-trial issues and Attorney Fee Hearings for cases assigned to Judge Sturgis’ division will be reassigned by Judge Langham. This will generally occur 14-21 days in advance of the hearing date to hopefully prevent moving some cases that may yet resolve prior to trial. Mediations will continue as normal in FTM. Settlements and motions, stipulations and evidentiary hearings on motions for advance, motions to enforce settlement or motions to dismiss on cases that are not reassigned for trial will be considered and ruled upon by Judge Weiss. We will keep you posted on the appointment process and any decisions. 

Process Changes in JCC Punancy’s Division West Palm Beach 
Effective March 14, 2016, Final Hearings, Evidentiary Hearings related to pre-trial issues and Attorney Fee Hearings for cases assigned to Judge Punancy’s division will be reassigned by Judge Langham. This will generally occur 14-21 days in advance of the hearing date to hopefully prevent moving some cases that may yet resolve prior to trial. Mediations will continue to be conducted as normal in WPB. Settlements and motions, stipulations and evidentiary hearings on motions for advance, motions to enforce settlement or motions to dismiss on cases that are not reassigned for trial will be considered and ruled upon by Judge Anderson. Questions regarding order status, however, should still be directed to Judge Punancy’s staff. 

Retirement and Changes in JCC Basquill’s Division WPB
Effective May 12, 2016 Judge Basquill will retire after many years of dedicated service to Floridians and the workers’ compensation system. Effective that day, Final Hearings, Evidentiary Hearings related to pre-trial issues and Attorney Fee Hearings for cases assigned to Judge Basquill’s division will be reassigned by Judge Langham. This will generally occur 14-21 days in advance of the hearing date to hopefully prevent moving some cases that may yet resolve prior to trial. Mediations will continue to be conducted as normal in WPB. Settlements and motions, stipulations and evidentiary hearings on motions for advance, motions to enforce settlement or motions to dismiss on cases that are not reassigned for trial will be considered and ruled upon by Judge Rosen. Questions regarding order status, however, should still be directed to Judge Basquill’s staff. 

Reiterating Panama City Process Changes
Effective February 1, 2016, trials for cases assigned to Panama City will be reassigned by Judge Langham. This will generally occur 7-21 days in advance of the hearing date to hopefully prevent moving some cases that resolve prior to trial. Mr. Oramas remains in PMC and will be conducting mediations. Settlements and motions and stipulations on cases that are not reassigned for trial will be considered and ruled upon by Judge Winn in Pensacola. Questions regarding order status, however, should still be directed to the PMC staff.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Judge Akins Honored

The local bar, various judges, staff and even former staff, gathered in Gainesville District this week to honor Judge Elwin Akins. Judge Akins was inducted to the Florida Workers' Compensation Hall of Fame this year. His plaque was presented to the Gainesville District Office, where it will be maintained and displayed in his honor. It is great to be able to remember our past and those who did so much for Florida workers' compensation. 


More on Judge Akins here

Friday, October 30, 2015

SAWCA ACC 2015

2015 SAWCA All Committee Conference
Nov 17-20, 2015           The Greenbrier             White Sulphur Springs, WV


Tuesday, November 17
Executive Committee Meeting 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.                                                 Hayes Room

Executive Committee Reception & Dinner 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.             Crystal Room
(By Invitation Only)        Sponsored By NCCI

Wednesday, November 18
7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast                                                           Eisenhower Foyer     Sponsored By: ISO

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Registration                                                                               Eisenhower Foyer                                                      
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. General Session                                                                       Eisenhower AB
            How Long Does the Honeymoon Last?
A panel discussion of challenges that administrators face when new to leadership in state agencies regulating workers’ compensation.   
            Moderator: Abbie Hudgens, Tennessee
Panelists:
Beth Aldridge, Mississippi
Robert Gilliland, Oklahoma
Tom Hebson, Safety National           
Frank McKay, Georgia

10:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.          Morning Refreshment Break                                   Eisenhower Foyer
                                                Sponsored By: Concentra

10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. General Session - Special Committee Report From MIS     Eisenhower AB
The Technological “Re-Tooling” Of State Workers’ Compensation Systems
An in-depth discussion of real world issues that arise as state workers’ compensation systems initiate whole-system upgrades to meet the increasing demands of a growing system while striving to maintain acceptable levels of service for all stakeholders.
Moderator:      Larry White, Louisiana
Panelists:
Delece Brooks, Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation
Fran Davis, Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims
Roger Williams, Virginia WCC
Matt Bryant, WorkCompStrategies
Christine Dicken, Business Process Lead, SLI Global Solutions



12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.                       Lunch on Your Own


1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.               Committee Breakouts  
                                    (All Attendees Invited / Encouraged To Participate In The Committee Meetings)

Self Insurance & Insurance Committee                                                      Eisenhower B Public Entity Market Issues – Special Guest Scott Richbourg, Build America Mutual
A discussion highlighting the evaluation process for Public Entity financials along with guidelines on approaching incremental suggestions and solutions to current regulations. 

Securing Adequate Security Once The SI Employer Begins Experiencing Difficulties
The best time is during the “honeymoon”…when the employer first becomes self-insured…but often that is not possible…so by the time the need for full security arises the opportunity has disappeared…What is a regulator to do?

Adjudication Committee Combined With                                                  Eisenhower C
Administration & Procedure Committee
An interactive discussion of the interplay between stakeholders and the workers’ compensation system

To address that broad topic we will focus on the relationship between the agencies and the stakeholders from the prospective of the state agencies as well as from all of the stakeholders.            
Moderator:      C. Wade McGuffey, Jr., Esq.
                        Goodman McGuffey Lindsey & Johnson, LLP
Panelists:
Connie Chandler, UPS
Brandi Garrity, Summit Holdings
Roger Williams, Virginia
Elizabeth Gobeil, Georgia


2:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.             Afternoon Refreshment Break                                Eisenhower Foyer
                                                Sponsored By: Trean Corp.


5:00 p.m.        “Bunker” Tours, With The Greenbrier’s Historian Available For Questions
Departing From The Trellis Lobby / Ending at the Culinary Arts Center

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.     President’s Reception, in the “Bunker”              Culinary Arts Center
                Sponsored By:  HealthSmart Casualty Claims Solutions, American Mining Insurance Group
                WCI – Workers’ Compensation Institute, NeuroInternational, Equian, U.S. HealthWorks & CapTech

Thursday, November 19
7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast                                                           Eisenhower Foyer
                                    Sponsored By: ISO

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Registration                                                             Eisenhower Foyer

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. General Session                                                                    Eisenhower AB
                                    Hosted by the Claims Administration Committee
This will be a discussion of apportionment (and contribution), an issue that is arising in various states. The statutory parameters are defining what payments must be made to or for recovering workers. This leads to disagreements between multiple employer/carriers, and may impact the worker.

10:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.                      Morning Refreshment Break                       Eisenhower Foyer
                                                            Sponsored By: Concentra
               

12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.                       Convention Lunch                                        Cameo Room
Keynote Luncheon Speaker:           Mitch Barnhart, Athletics Director, University of Kentucky
                                                            Sponsored By: Helios


1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.                         General Session Panel Discussion:               Eisenhower AB        
            Paul Sighinolfi moderates a panel discussion focused on the recent Supreme Court decision from Pennsylvania… Protz v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Derry Area School District) regarding the constitutionality of the most recent AMA Guides with potential national implications for workers’ compensation.
            Panelists:
                        William Taylor, PA Compensation Rating Bureau
                        Vince Quatrini, Managing Partner, Quatrini Rafferty, P.C.
                        Ken Eichler, ODG WorkLossData Institute
                        Karl Aumann, Chair, Maryland WCC


2:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.             Afternoon Refreshment Break                                Eisenhower Foyer
                                                Sponsored By: Trean Corp.

2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.                         Keynote Presentation                                    Eisenhower AB
                                    Guest Speaker:  Albert J. Osbahr, III, MD
                        Albert J. Osbahr, III, MD, is a Member of the Board of Trustees with the American Medical Association and the current medical director of occupational health services at Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory, N.C., a position he has held since 2004. Previously he served as occupational health director for 14 years at Haywood Regional Medical Center in Clyde, N.C. He is a past president of the North Carolina Medical Society (2008–2009) and a past member of its Industrial Commission Liaison Committee and Hospital Medical Staff Committee.
(Presented by the Medical Rehabilitation Committee…Lucretia Johnson, Chair / Betty Reid, Vice-Chair)
3:45 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.             Medical Rehabilitation Committee              Eisenhower C       
A Continuation of the Medical Discussion From the Preceding General Session, including an open dialogue with experts Pat Merrill, Health Management Resources and Rosalie Faris, OMCA regarding the lack of qualified specialty physicians available and willing to evaluate injured workers and suggestions on how to recruit them.

8:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.           Coffee Cordials & Confections        Victorian Writing Room &                                      Sponsored By: UBS Financial Services                              Lobby Bar
                                                           

Friday, November 20
8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.              Friday’s “Farewell” Grits Breakfast           Eisenhower AB
                                                            Sponsored By: ISO

9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. General Session                                                         Eisenhower AB

Judicial Update… Robert L. Swisher, Chief Administrative Law Judge for Commonwealth of Kentucky will discuss a recent KY Supreme Court decision that has implications for a significant change / extension of the statute of limitations on both injuries and occupational diseases.


9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.            General Session                                             Eisenhower AB

Things that make me go Hmmm? With Bob Wilson, WorkersCompensation.com
Workers’ compensation corporate humorist Bob Wilson conducts his version of a “show cause hearing” when our panel of distinguished regulators and an industry professional takes the stand and responds to those subjects that have caused Bob to go “Hmmm.” This will be a free-flowing discussion with audience participation welcomed and expected.
            Panelists:
                        Frank McKay, Chairman, Georgia
            Dwight Lovan, Commissioner, Kentucky
            Rachel Bayless, General Counsel, New Mexico
            Tom Glasson, State Relations Officer, AIG



10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.          Final Wrap Up and Adjournment              Eisenhower AB

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

In March 2012, I began blogging on the subject of workers' compensation, specifically the Florida Office of Judges of Compensation Claims. I am interested in this topic from the variety of perspectives that make this such a richly diverse industry and practice. I welcome your suggestions of other blogs that provide perspectives on workers' compensation generally or some specific subject that impacts workers' compensation.  Send your suggestions for blogs I should follow to david.langham@doah.state.fl.us