Workers' Compensation

A Passing of the Torch from the Outgoing Chair

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By: Jack Goodchild, Immediate Past Chair of the California Lawyers Association, Workers’ Compensation Executive Committee

It is hard for me to believe but after many years on the Workers’ Compensation Executive Committee, my term as Chair came to an end when the executive committee last met recently. Tiffany Boyland, Esq., is our new Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Executive Committee. I will remain a member of the committee for a year in my role as immediate past Chair to assist our new leadership and the committee.

I have been a part of the workers’ compensation community since my first legal job in August of 1976. For 45 years, I have had the privilege of representing injured workers in our state. I have seen our system go through many reforms and changes. I have known many of the best practitioners and Judges and Commissioners and have grown to respect the level of professionalism and diligence that these people exude. I have strived to emulate the best and to learn from my mistakes.  I am deeply appreciative of the heart and passion that most of us bring to our careers.

Unfortunately, even a good system attracts “bad apples” and I have worked to address fraud in our system and intend to continue doing so. I also intend to continue contributing to the work of our committee, just as most, if not all, of our past leaders have done.

I am also cognizant of the fact that I leave my position at a time in which things are still very much in flux due to the effects of the pandemic. However, as I entreated and predicted our legal world, and our global world is moving forward fully aware of the tenuousness of our present situation and the need to ensure flexibility to deal with this and other problems in the future. We have learned from our experiences and adapted to work in the pandemic era. “Hybrid” is the theme most clearly relevant and appropriate when dealing with our continuing uncertain circumstances.

As I have stated before, the leaders of our system have risen to the situation and is apparently now planning to keep the best of what we have learned while ensuring flexibility where it is needed. I applaud them!

We will see this period through and will like a phoenix rise stronger and brighter than before.

I am proud to have been part of our committee for the last many years. I look forward to watching it grow its efforts and programs as it has always done. We have an extraordinary group of people on our committee as well as a number of new members who have joined us.

As always, I remind the entire community that this is YOUR COMMITTEE!

Please reach out to us. We are always looking for more and new speakers and volunteers to write articles, do community outreach, etc.

I wish everyone a safe and happy fall and holiday season!

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