Workers' Compensation

Voice from th­­e Chair

By John Parente
Chair of the California Lawyers Association, Workers’ Compensation Section
Executive Committee

It’s been a busy time for the members of the CLA Workers’ Compensation Executive Committee.  The Committee’s activities were highlighted by the quarterly meeting of the committee on the weekend of May 19, 2023 at the Renaissance Hotel in Newport Beach, CA.  The meeting was held in conjunction with our Committee’s Spring Education CLE Conference. 

During the quarterly Executive Committee meeting, members of the executive committee from across the State gathered to plan the Section’s near and long-term agenda.  The various subcommittee chairpersons provided a review of their subcommittee’s most recent activities and projects going forward.   The subcommittees include the Education, Publications, Awards & Recognition, Practice and Ethics, Unpublished Decisions, Legislation, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Community Outreach, Technology/Website/Social Media and Membership.

On Saturday, the Spring Education Conference drew practitioners from across the state to hear from an all-star group of presenters.   The conference began with Dr. Ronaldo Heredia presenting a lecture on understanding psych reports and tips for cross-examining psych doctors,  immigration law practitioners Faith Nouri and Ruben Espinoza, covered the subject of workers’ compensation claims and immigration exposures and consequences,  retired WCAB Judge and arbitrator Mark Kahn presented an outstanding overview of the top recent cases.   Presiding Judge Sharon Velzy and attorneys Kia Meyers Holsey and John Hernandez presented a comprehensive overview on the law regarding supplemental job displacement benefits.   This was followed by a fascinating look at the ongoing jurisdiction battle in the field of sports law presented by former NFL player and applicant’s attorney Orlando Ruff and Danny Benavides of Hanna Brophy.  The conference was closed with a most informative and entertaining lecture where Presiding Judge Robert Rassp and Judge Clint Feddersen joined forces to tackle the daunting subject of Panel Wars, reviewing the statutory and case law in the epic saga of Panel Qualified Medical Evaluations.  Attendees received six hours of Continuing Legal Education credits including for legal specialization. 

At the annual meeting being held in San Diego from September 21-23, 2023, the Executive Committee will hold its annual awards presentation.  Each year, the committee honors an applicant’s attorney, defense attorney, judge, young lawyer and presents a lifetime achievement award.  The Executive Committee is currently accepting nominations for consideration as this year’s award recipients. 

On July 29-30, we will be holding our Legal Specialization Boot Camp.  You won’t want to miss this opportunity to hear from veteran specialists in the field of workers’ compensation covering the fine nuances of our workers’ compensation system for those preparing for the specialization examination, maintaining their specialization status, as well as for all practitioners who will receive CLE credits during this always popular conference. 

I encourage you to participate in the many educational and social activities that the Executive Committee plans and offers to our community throughout the year.

I hope you enjoy this issue of the Enews which provides information and perspectives on cutting edge matters impacting our workers’ compensation field of law, including the unanimous En Banc decision in Nunes vs. State of California DMV. 

Finally, I want to wish everyone a very Happy 4th of July as we celebrate the anniversary of the independence of our great nation. 

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