Workers' Compensation

Spotlight on CLA WC Section Subcommittees: Awards and Recognition and Community Outreach

Awards and Recognition Subcommittee by Erin Wintersteen, Esq.,Chair Awards and Recognition subcommittee

Hello, my name is Erin Wintersteen and I am the Chair of the Awards and Recognition subcommittee. This is my third year on the Executive Committee and my second year serving as the Chair of the Awards subcommittee. It has truly been a pleasure to serve my community in this manner.

This subcommittee is pleased to honor the outstanding legal professionals who have exceeded expectations in the practice of workers’ compensation law. To accomplish this goal, we- the honored subcommittee- facilitate the newly minted 2020 Special Recognition Awards.

First, we reach out to all of you to solicit nominations for award recipients for five separate award categories. These include: Lifetime Achievement; Judge of the Year; Applicant Attorney of the Year; Defense Attorney of the Year and Young Attorney of the Year.

You may have seen our call for votes in the last issue of the Workers’ Compensation Quarterly, on our Facebook page, and/or on our Linkedin page. If not, please like the social media pages so you can stay in the loop while on the go! You can also vote online at https://calawyers.org/section/workers-compensation/special-recognition-awards/

On April 30, 2020, the executive committee will vote on who the lucky recipients of the awards will be! Factors we look at for attorneys include: knowledge of the law, professional courtesy, community service, professionalism, recent contributions to the practice of workers’ compensation, service to client, advocacy skills; for Judges: temperament, courtesy, timeliness of decisions, judicial integrity, clarity of decisions, community service, professionalism, contribution to the practice of workers’ compensation, and availability to the parties.

Needless to say, the best part of the subcommittee’s role is when we get to celebrate these wonderful members of our community on the evening of the special reception on Friday, September 25, 2020 at the California Lawyers Association Annual Meeting in San Diego. We will organize a lovely reception and encourage the recipient’s family and colleagues, as well as other members of the section, to attend and celebrate their special achievement.

We look forward to seeing you in September! Until then, stay safe and happy out there!

The Community Outreach Subcommittee by Tiffany Boyland, Esq., Chair Community Outreach subcommittee

As chair of the Community Outreach subcommittee, I wanted to provide an outlook for 2020.

The function of the Community Outreach subcommittee is to educate the public at large about the workers’ compensation system; many people do not know how the system works at all or how to navigate it and we’re hoping to change that for the better.  Looking back at 2019, we also diverted some of our focus to reaching out to youth not just about the workers’ compensation system but about being an attorney and how to reach your goals.  That initiative began at the hands of Maria Sager, past Community Outreach chair and past Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Executive Committee itself.  Our initial foray consisted of a really wonderful “field trip” with high school and college students to the Oakland WCAB followed by an interactive lunch with a panel of defense attorneys, applicant’s attorneys and Judges. 

The goal for 2020 is simple.  We want to expand on the “field trip” ideas and maintain ongoing access to any county bar associations, chambers of commerce, campuses or other similar such entities with our comprehensive Workers’ Compensation 101 presentation.  While some specifics were in place, it is difficult to foresee exactly what will go forward with the advent of COVID-19, but I will keep you all posted!  The Executive Committee is adept at webinars so perhaps this is an avenue to explore. We are not giving up on 2020. 

Given our current situation, I am also exploring another goal I have for the Community Outreach subcommittee for 2020-2021 which is to potentially create an educational fellowship or scholarship of some kind to support the Latinx community.  This goal is in its infancy but I am passionate about it and will also keep you posted on how that goal develops!  I’d like to thank Ellen Miller of CLA for inspiring that idea as well as, of course, Maria Sager as this subcommittee would not exist without her efforts.

Thank you.

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