Workers' Compensation

Voice from th­­e Chair

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

September 2023

I hope you are enjoying a wonderful summer of 2023.  I cannot believe the year as Chair of the Executive Committee is coming to an end. I want to thank each and every member of the Executive Committee for assisting me in accomplishing our goals. I specifically want to thank the Honorable Sharon Velzy for the excellent job of directing our educational programs. The educational programs are our life blood and they keep us going. Please utilize the great opportunities offered in those programs to improve your skills and make you a better attorney. Thank you Saro Kerkonian for providing our members with insightful information with the Enews each month.

 As we look forward to September, the CLA Workers’ Compensation Executive Committee is planning an amazing annual meeting which will take place in beautiful San Diego the weekend of September 21-23.  The highlight of the festivities for our section will be our annual awards dinner which will take place on Friday evening at the elegant San Diego Bayfront Hilton Hotel.   You will not want to miss it as we celebrate the careers of the very best in our field of California Workers’ Compensation Law. 

Our distinguished honorees for 2023 include Judge of the Year, Robert T. Hjelle, Presiding Judge of the Oxnard District Office of the WCAB.  Recognizing him for his remarkable legal career, the recipient of our Committee’s Lifetime Achievement Award will be William A. Herreras.   Renowned Bay area attorney Raymond Frost will receive the Applicant’s Attorney of the Year award for his tremendous contributions representing our state’s injured workers.   While Defense Counsel of the Year will be bestowed on Yvonne E. Lang who has had an exceptional career as both a litigator and an educator of the Bar through her tireless appearances as a lecturer in workers’ compensation law throughout the State of California.   Be sure to join us for this incredible evening which will be topped by an always rocking performance of the ever-popular band CC&R. 

This issue of our Enews highlights the extraordinary careers of our very special guests. 

In addition, this issue of the Enews features articles on some of the significant recent developments in our field of law, such as an article by James Kamin and Louis Larres of Bradford & Barthel on the recent California Court of Appeal ruling striking down the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board’s long-used “Grant and Study” procedure.  Tom Richard of RTGR Law reviews the recent California Supreme Court ruling in the See’s Candies cases wherein the Court bars civil claims by family members who developed Covid-19 by exposure from a family member who was exposed to the condition at work.  Then, we are fortunate to have Julius Young provide us with a review of the top ten developments in California worker’s comp practice.

Your Executive Committee members have also undertaken to reinstate and permanently formalize the ability to have settlement documents signed electronically as was the case temporarily during the pandemic, rather than with a “wet” signature as is currently the requirement. 

 I hope to see all of you during the annual meeting on September 21-23.  Wishing everyone much success during September, 2023.

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