Monday, June 16, 2008

What happens at Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation hearings?

Many clients often ask and wonder what a Pennsylvania workers' compensation hearing is like...what happens, etc. There are general rules the Judges must follow, but those rules are non-specific. Each Judge can handle their hearings a little differently.

To help claimants and attorneys, the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Bureau has compiled a resource that details what each Judge expects at hearings, what rules attorneys should follow, etc. The resource is set up by answering a list of questions that are provided below:

1. What will occur at the first meeting with the judge?
2. Is a pre-hearing memorandum required at the first meeting with the judge?
3. Is a pre-hearing stipulation required at the first meeting with the judge?
4. Do you require counsel to provide bureau documents relating to the claim?
5. Do you use a one-day/one-hearing format or a serial hearing?
6. What are your rules regarding the taking of testimony?
7. What procedure do you follow if a party fails to appear at the first hearing?
8. What are your procedures for supersedeas hearings?
9. What is your procedure regarding the order of testimony with respect to submission of medical evidence, particularly when cross petitions are filed?
10. What is your procedure regarding continuances, changes in hearing times and extensions?
11. To what extent do you follow the time limits in the special rules?
12. What is your procedure for handling discovery disputes, e.g., do you employ telephone conferences, do you prefer to attend certain depositions, etc.?
13. Under what circumstances will you permit a party or witness (including an expert witness) to testify by deposition or by phone, rather than appear at the
14. Are you willing to allow counsel to participate in hearings by telephone?
15. Do you require that counsel pre-mark or provide lists of exhibits?
16. Must counsel bring copies to the hearing or may they be made at the judge's office?
17. Are you willing to close a case by mail or is a final hearing required?
18. Do you accept faxes and e-mails from the parties?
19. What are your procedural rules regarding the review of Compromise and Release Agreements?
20. Do you have any special procedures for trial of psychological injury cases?
21. What procedures should the parties follow regarding motions for recusal?
22. What is the latest date as of which the parties may file written preservations of deposition objections?
23. What are the time requirements for the submission of briefs and other post-hearing submissions?
24. Please describe your preferences for the format and content of post-trial submissions.

Each Judge's answer to these questions can be found here. All you need to do is search by the Judge's individual name. This is an excellent resource for attorneys who handle Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation cases as well as injured workers who want to educate themselves on what actually happens at a workers' compensation hearing.


Uc1l3l3k said...

Thanks for sharing...
I have enjoyed reading in here.
I will try to visiting this blog very often

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Allan Reich said...

I was looking for some article on Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation hearings. Thanks for sharing this information.
New York Workers Compensation