Workers' Compensation

View from the Chair – by Maria Sager

This month we are highlighting the Membership Subcommittee of the Executive Committee of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the California Lawyers Association (CLA).  This subcommittee attempts to recruit new members throughout the year to add to our around 3,000 members.  The Chair of this subcommittee is Hon. William Carero.  Below please find what he had to say about his subcommittee:

“The goal of this subcommittee is to promote and encourage a sense of community among practitioners serving California’s backbone: the worker.  The question comes to mind: What is a “member?”   The obvious answer is someone who has joined a group.  But in a broader sense, an alternative definition better explains your relationship to the Workers’ Compensation Section of the CLA.  You are a constituent piece of a complex structure.   Being a constituent piece means that you are supported by the overall structure, and that you help support the structure.

To broaden the constituency, we are focusing on attorneys in this field who are not Section members.  We are targeting those who are part of large and small workers’ compensation firms as well as solo practitioners.  By cross-referencing firm websites and third-party consumer sites (such as Yelp) with the State Bar Attorney Search we are compiling a list of attorneys practicing workers’ compensation law but are not in our Section.  The list is both long (some 500 names so far) and surprising.  A large number of very prominent lawyers  — including  many certified specialists — have not joined the section. 

Rather than issue a general invitation, the plan is to reach out to non-members individually and personally to create awareness of the benefit of joining forces with practitioners statewide.” 

Thank you Judge Carero for the above overview of the Membership Subcommittee and for promoting a sense of community for all practicing workers’ compensation.    

If you learn someone from the workers’ compensation community is not a member of our Section please encourage them to join.   For only $95 per year, and free if you are a student, one gets the following: (1) 6 free hours of Self-Study MCLE, including Ethics, Substance Abuse, and Elimination of Bias programs; (2) targeted MCLE programs in the Spring, Summer, Fall, and CLA Annual Meetings focusing on statutes, regulations, AMA Guides, ratings, and case law; (3) educational programs taught by  leaders in the workers’ compensation community; (4) automatic subscription to the Workers’ Compensation Quarterly newsletter; (5) monthly E-news with a wealth of information; (6) one hour live Webinars during the lunch hour; (7) networking opportunities with your colleagues; (8) leadership by an Executive Committee balanced between applicant, defense, and judges; and (9) WCJ feedback on practice and procedures.    If you wish to help with any of the above, I strongly encourage you to apply to join the Executive Committee of the Workers’ Compensation Section in 2020.  Applying to, and then joining the Executive Committee of the Workers’ Compensation Section was one of the best decisions I have made in my life right after becoming a lawyer, marrying my husband, and joining Boxer & Gerson.      

Finally, on behalf of the Workers’ Compensation Section, it is with great honor to congratulate the following winners of the 2019 Steve Jimenez Memorial Special Recognition Awards:  

Lifetime Achievement: Hon. Joseph Samuel
Judge of the Year: Hon. Pamela Pulley
Applicant Attorney of the Year: Vincent J. Scotto III
Defense Attorney of the Year: William E. Davis
Young Attorney of the Year: Megan Ruble

Each of you have demonstrated an incredible dedication to the practice of workers’ compensation by your service to our community, knowledge of the law, and professionalism.  We look forward to celebrating you at our reception being held in your honor on Friday, October 11 at 5:30 p.m. at the Portola Hotel and Spa.  Everyone from the workers’ compensation community is invited to the reception free of charge.   Please join us.      

If you have any questions about any of the above, please do not hesitate to email me at

Until next month when the Technology/Website/Social Media subcommittee will be highlighted.

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CLA Membership is $99 and includes one section. Additional sections are $99 each.