Message from Owner and President, Shuaib Ahmed, from ASA Law Group
We did it!! 2020 is in our rear view window! The journey was long, the climb was steep. The challenges were unprecedented. It is in the face of adversity where we find our greatest strengths. Through resilience and our shared values of commitment, dedication, hard work and care for our fellow persons, we made it. Along the way, there were moments of great reflection. At ASA, we truly are thankful and humbled to not only have the honor and privilege of servicing our clients but also getting to know our clients’ struggles both professionally and personally. We want to thank you for sharing your stories, your battles and fears. To say that those moments were inspirational for ASA is an understatement, so thank you!
As we have learned much about ourselves as a team in 2020, we couldn’t be more excited for 2021! In our continued efforts to better ourselves as individuals and a team, we are committed to raising our game! In that effort, we have rebranded and are committed in being the, “Golden Standard for Legal” each and every day (see our new website: asalawgroup.net.) To be our best version for our clients, partners, neighbors, family and friends. It is our promise to continue to go the extra mile for our clients, continue to zealously advocate in the courtroom, continue to be thankful for the opportunities to service all of our wonderful clients. Let’s make 2021 memorable and, together, continue to write this story. Thank you and let's get to work!

ASA Law Group's Quarterly Intention
Author: Jordan Ann Lejcar

We made it! 2020 is in the books. While I am not a big believer in resolutions or the notion that a new year means a new you or a new chance, I do believe in the power of the New Year’s symbolism. Whenever you decide to turn over a new leaf or start anew, the catalyst is actually YOU, not a day. Thus, ASA’s Final Quarterly Intention for 2020 (and to kick off 2021) is:

What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year. - Vernon McLellan

In 2020, we put our noses down, worked (what felt like) tirelessly, and proved to ourselves that we were malleable and could truly thrive in chaos. Now, for some, maintaining a status quo, just getting through, and bringing the same energy to 2021 will be enough. But, for ASA Law, that is never enough. We are committed to showing up every day with a renewed vivacity, passion and tweaking what we bring to the table not just today, but as needed throughout the year no matter what obstacles are thrown our way.

As you know, we pride ourselves in being able to move cases in an expeditious, but fair, fashion. We aggressively push cases to resolution. In other words, we don’t sit on cases which only increases costs. Despite the 2020 pandemic, wherein the Commission was very limited in its operations and resources were scarce, ASA finished with a case closure rate of 10.1 months/case. In other words, on average, a case remained open for 10 months from the date of case referral until the case was either tried at the Commission and/or settled, approved and closed at the Commission! Not bad for a pandemic year! That is a testament to our tireless efforts, approach and team work!

ASA Gives Back to the Communities we Live In and Work With
Author: Jordan Ann Lejcar
This was a tough year for the world, our country, our neighbors … the list could go on. For some of us, things were just slower, more challenging, and we faced frustrations we never knew possible. But, for others, jobs, homes, security, health, and even family were lost. As Mr. Rogers’ mother said, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” No matter the size of the “help,” now is the time to do it!
ASA continued in our role as a helper with our Covid-19 inspired monthly firm donations to:
· Chicago Food Panty – continued commitment to 750 meals per month;
· Illinois Million Mask Mayday – funding the creation of masks for Illinois distribution.
As always, the ASA families also strive to help others individually. This Quarter, our families provided:
· Financial donations to the Armenia Fund;
· Financial donations to the Armenian Wounded Heroes Fund;
· Participation in the American Cancer Society challenge (physical challenge in a fitness group that monetarily matches exercise efforts);
· Donations to a “Not So Secret Santa” group (a western suburbs group providing toys, clothes, and food to households that were unable to provide gifts for their children);
· Provided holiday meals to high-risk neighbors who were unable to spend the holiday with family or friends;
· Continued monetary donations to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
Having a hard time finding time or finances to give back? Here is something everyone can do that is free, quick, and as easy as clicking a button. Amazon Smile allows you to shop for your daily items while giving back .5% of your shipping total to the charity of your choice. We recommend one of our favorites, Kids’ Chance of Illinois, which was highlighted in our Q2 Newsletter. Here is how you can get started:
· Sign up at Amazon Smile (click link: http://ow.ly/mSE150CrsIm),
· Select the charity (Kids’ Chance of Illinois),
· Shop. 
#MoreThanLawyers #PeopleFirst!

End of Year Recognitions at ASA
Author: Alexa R. Venditti

At the end of each year, ASA reflects on the team’s performance of its’ year-end goals and recognizes individuals for their outstanding accomplishments. The following awards recognize both attorneys and staff for efforts made throughout the year that benefit and enhance our legal practice and work environment in both our Illinois and California offices!

Illinois Awards

Attorney Rookie of the Year: Adan Ramirez
Adan just completed his first full year as an attorney with ASA after joining the firm in late 2019. Ever since beginning at the Illinois Office, Adan has shown constant enthusiasm to grow in his abilities as a team member and a legal advocate for our clients. That enthusiasm has materialized into real results, earning him the Attorney Rookie of the Year Award for Illinois in 2020!

Staff Rookie of the Year: Maureen Kelly
Maureen, ASA’s billing coordinator, is also celebrating the completion of her first full year with ASA, having joined the team in late 2019. Ever since joining the firm, Maureen has shown selflessness and perseverance in her vital work behind the scenes. She is a key member of our firm and her excellent work has earned her the Staff Rookie of the Year Award in Illinois!

Ace Attorney: Katlyn Brasel
Katlyn is the recipient of this award for the third year in a row! She continues to exhibit leadership qualities at the firm both in title as a Team Lead and by example through her legal work for ASA clients and her contributions to the firm as a whole. These qualities resulted in Katlyn being named the Ace Attorney in Illinois once more!

Ace Staff: Idalis Flores
Idalis, who has been with the firm since 2018, has proven to be an invaluable member of the ASA Illinois Office. She is always willing to go above and beyond the call of duty for both the team and the clients we serve. Her obvious pride in her work led to her being named the Ace Staff Award Recipient of 2020 in Illinois!

Beast Mode: Jordan Lejcar
The Beast Mode Award is given to the attorney with the lowest case closure rate. At ASA, we pride ourselves in efficient case closure and Jordan excelled on giving those results to ASA clients, an especially impressive feat during a year with so many outside obstacles caused by a pandemic. Notably, Jordan’s case closure rate for 2020 was 6 months/case. Meaning, on average, a case remained open for 6 months from the time a case was referred to ASA until it was either tried at the Commission and/or settled and approved and closed. Not bad considering 2020 pandemic wherein the Commission was limited in operations! Her impressive case closure rate earned her the Beast Mode Award for 2020.

Most Valuable Closer: Rory McCann
The Most Valuable Closer Award is given to the attorney who closes the most total number of litigated cases in a year. Not only is ASA focused on the speed of case closure it can provide to its client but also the volume it can achieve in a year’s time. Rory was ahead of the pack this year in case closures, largely due to his ability to approach all of his cases dynamically and with amazing legal skill. He is Illinois’ Most Valuable Closer for 2020!

California Awards

Rookie of the Year: John Flynn
Ever since joining the ASA family in 2019, John has shown his talent, drive, and willingness to learn his craft in the field of California workers’ compensation practice. His honing of these skills and continuing growth towards excellence earned him 2020’s Rookie of the Year Award in California!

Attorney Ace: Arpie Baghdassarian
Arpie is new to the ASA Team in 2020, but she has wasted no time in making a big impact. She has shown in her first year with ASA’s California Office that she is willing to go the extra mile for her client as a fierce legal advocate and she has proven to be a team player adding to the success of the California office. These qualities and skills led to her being named the Ace Attorney of 2020 in California!

Staff Ace: Caitlin Murphy
Caitlin is the recipient of the Staff Ace Award in California for the second year running. She continues to embody ASA’s constant stride towards providing outstanding quality services to our clients. Our California Office is lucky to have her as its backbone team member!

Most Valuable Closer: Talin Maghakian
Again, the Most Valuable Closer Award is given to the attorney who closes the highest number of litigated cases in a year. Talin, who was 2019’s Rookie of the Year in California, is 2020’s Most Valuable Closer in her second year working with ASA. We can’t wait to see what she does next!

A special thanks to all the award winners for their work and dedication for ASA and the clients during 2020! Even though this year was challenging to navigate at times, these individuals and the ASA team have always kept our goal of providing excellent legal services to our clients and to each other at the forefront of everything we do. We look forward to 2021 and taking our accomplishments to the next level! 

Illinois Procedures and IWCC Updates
Author: Adan Ramirez

Although we have welcomed a new year, we continue to face public health concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, the IWCC has extended the special process procedures until January 31, 2021, and they will remain in effect until changed or discharged.

Here is a summary of the pertinent procedural rules currently in place:
· There will be NO in person Arbitration or Review hearings of any kind.
emergency locations with in-person hearing capabilities: Chicago, Rockford, Peoria, Springfield, and Collinsville.
  • To request an emergency in-person hearing, a Petition for Immediate Hearing pursuant to Section 19(b) of the Act must be served on all parties and e-mailed to the appropriate Emergency Arbitrator
  • Each request will be vetted by the Emergency Arbitrator and subjected to a virtual pre-trial conference at a time and day set by the Emergency Arbitrator.
  • If, after proper vetting, the Emergency Arbitrator determines that a matter is not an emergency, it will be returned to the assigned Arbitrator’s regular calendar call.
· Pro Se settlement hearings may be considered for approval via WebEx at the discretion of the assigned Arbitrator.
  • To request a virtual Pro Se settlement hearing, the proposed contract must first be filed and assigned a case number and arbitrator by the IWCC.
  • Then, a formal request must be made to the assigned Arbitrator consisting of a suitable affidavit and cover letter.
  • Upon the assigned Arbitrator’s discretion, a time and date will be set for a virtual settlement hearing in which all parties must appear via WebEx.
· Virtual Review Status Call Hearings and Virtual Oral Arguments will still be heard via WebEx, as scheduled.
· Virtual Arbitration Monthly Status Calls and Virtual Pre-Trial Conferences will still be heard via WebEx, as scheduled.
In addition to the above procedures, two big changes are also coming to the IWCC:
· First, the IWCC is moving! Don’t worry, it’s not moving far. In fact, it’s only crossing the street to the Richard J. Daley Center. More details are to come regarding the move; however, it’s anticipated that the IWCC will be fully relocated by the end of Spring 2021.
· Second, the IWCC is planning to transition to a complete e-filing system early in the year. Since July of 2020, ASA has been successful using the limited e-filing system for submission and approval of lump sum settlement contracts, and we’re very excited for all filing to be done electronically.

Lastly, on December 1, 2020, Gov. Pritzker appointed two additional arbitrators to the IWCC: Rachael J. Sinnen and Raychel Wesley.

Rachael J. Sinnen was an associate at Elfenbaum, Evers & Zielinska, P.C. for five years prior to her appointment. There, she represented the majority of the firm’s Spanish-speaking clients in their workers’ compensation claims. She has also served as an Adjunct Professor at her law school alma mater, Chicago Kent College of Law. In addition, Sinnen is the Vice Chairwoman of the Young Lawyers’ Section of the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Association.

Raychel Wesley served as the Domestic Violence Staff Attorney at Prairie State Legal Services, where she covered issues such as orders of protection and civil no-contacts. Wesley is a founding member of the Black Bar Association of Will County. She received her Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law.

If you have any questions regarding the above existing procedures in place at the IWCC, big changes, or updates, please reach out to any attorney at ASA Law Group for clarification!

Illinois Case Law and Rule Update
Author: Jennifer J. Maxwell

The Illinois Supreme Court Amends Rule 23
On November 20, 2020, the Illinois Supreme Court announced an amendment of Rule 23 allowing for unpublished Appellate Court rulings to be cited for persuasive purposes. The amended rule was effective as of January 1, 2021. After the amendment, Rule 23(e)(1) now states: 

“an order entered under subpart (b) or (c) of this rule is not precedential except to support contentions of double jeopardy, res judicata, collateral estoppel, or law of the case. However, a nonprecedential order entered under subpart (b) of this rule on or after January 1, 2021, may be cited for persuasive purposes. When cited, a copy of the order shall be furnished to all other counsel and the court.”

Prior to this amendment, Rule 23 cases could not be cited. In the Supreme Court’s press release dated November 20, 2020, it was noted that the Supreme Court Rules Committee recommended the amendment to Rule 23 after a June 2020 public hearing generated significant support for allowing citation of unpublished opinions for persuasive authority. Chief Justice Anne M. Burke explained, “changes to Rule 23 have been discussed and studied for a long time” and “this amendment is a welcome change and will improve the administration of justice in Illinois.”
There have been many favorable Rule 23 orders over the years that we look forward to citing in the future as persuasive authority to advance the positions of our clients before the IWCC and Illinois courts. ASA wholeheartedly agrees with the Chief Justice’s statement that the change to Rule 23 is a welcomed one!
A Recent Appellate Court Case Provides a Few Friendly Reminders to Litigants and Practitioners

In American Coal Company v. IWCC, 2020 IL App (5th)(2020), the Worker’s Compensation Commission Division of the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed a Commission decision finding the claimant sustained chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic bronchitis.

In American Coal, Claimant worked as a coal miner for 40 years, during which time he was regularly exposed to and breathed silica dust, roof bolting glue fumes, diesel fumes and “trowel on” (a glue used to put tiles up on the wall of the mine). Claimant’s last day of work was January 30, 2015. On March 27, 2015, Claimant filed an application for adjustment of claim alleging work injuries to his lungs, heart, pulmonary system and respiratory tracts.  Medical records indicate Claimant received treatment for various respiratory and other medical issues from 1999 through July 2013. At the request of his counsel, Claimant was seen by Drs. Paul and Smith in November 2015. He was diagnosed with coal miner’s pneumoconiosis (CWP), COPD and chronic bronchitis.

Claimant was examined by Drs. Meyer and Castle at the request of the employer. Both doctors determined the claimant did not suffer from any pulmonary disease resulting from exposure to coal mine dust. Dr. Castle determined the claimant’s pulmonary function study was normal and his chest x-ray showed no evidence of coal miner’s pneumoconiosis.

At trial, the arbitrator found that claimant failed to prove he sustained an occupational disease arising out of and in the course of his employment, that his current condition of ill-being was causally related to his employment, or that he suffered a timely disablement under section 1(f) of the Act. The arbitrator concluded the claimant did not have coal miner’s pneumoconiosis. The arbitrator also determined the claimant does not have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or chronic bronchitis. The arbitrator denied the claimant's claim for benefits. The claimant appealed the arbitrator’s decision to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, which affirmed the arbitrator’s finding that the claimant failed to prove that he suffered from CWP. However, the Commission found the claimant had proved that he developed COPD and chronic bronchitis arising out of and in course of his employment and both conditions were causally related to employment. The Commission also awarded PPD benefits in the amount of 10% person as a whole. The circuit confirmed the Commission decision and the employer appealed to the Appellate court.

The Appellate Court’s analysis addressed three issues: 
1. The Commission’s Finding of COPD and Chronic Bronchitis;
2. Whether the Claimant Established a Timely Disablement; and
3. PPD benefits.
For the first issue, the Appellate Court started its analysis by stating it is the function of the Commission to decide questions of fact, judge the credibility of witnesses, and resolve conflicting medical evidence. Further, the Commission’s determination on a question of fact will not be disturbed on review unless it is against the manifest weight of the evidence. The Appellate court will not overturn the Commission’s findings simply because a different inference could be drawn. Thus, the test before the Appellate Court was whether the evidence is sufficient to support the Commission’s finding, not whether the court might reach an opposite conclusion. 

The court noted that although Dr. Castle disagreed, the Commission was entitled to credit Dr. Paul’s opinions over those of Dr. Castle. The Commission found Dr. Paul to be “credible and most persuasive” with regard to these issues. The Commission noted that Dr. Paul is board certified in allergy, asthma and immunology. Although the Commission acknowledged that Dr. Paul is not a B-reader, it recognized Dr. Paul’s long history of treating coal miners for coal mine induced lung disease and his equally long history of interpreting chest x-rays of coal miners. The Commission found that Dr. Paul’s experience “makes his opinion as credible as one can be without the requisite training that a B-reader possesses.” The employer argued that Dr. Paul’s findings of chronic bronchitis and COPD were not credible and provided six different arguments against Dr. Paul’s credibility. However, the Appellate Court did not find the arguments persuasive. Summarily, the Appellate Court found Dr. Paul's diagnosis of chronic bronchitis and COPD were supported by the evidence, the treating medical records did not contradict Dr. Paul’s diagnosis of chronic bronchitis and COPD and during the arbitration hearing claimant testified he still suffered from disabling breathing problems—thus the Commission’s decision was not against the manifest weight of the evidence.

The second issue addressed by the appellate court was whether Claimant established a timely disablement. Pursuant to Section 1(f) of the Occupational Diseases Act the claimant is required to prove he suffered disablement within two years after his last day of exposure to the occupational disease. In this case the claimant proved a timely disablement under Sections 1(e) and (f) of the Occupational Diseases Act. The claimant was diagnosed with chronic bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease within two years of his last date of employment. Dr. Paul testified that these conditions prevented the claimant from returning to work as a coal miner. Further, while the employer contended that there was no evidence of disablement, it does not argue in the alternative that the claimant failed to prove that he suffered disablement within two years after the last day of the exposure to the hazards of the occupational disease. Thus, the Commission’s implicit finding of disablement was not against the manifest weight of the evidence.

The third and final issue addressed by the appellate court was whether the Commission erred by awarding benefits to the extent of 10% loss of use of person as a whole. Again, the Appellate Court noted that disability is a question of fact and the Commission’s decision will not be set aside unless it is against the manifest weight of the evidence. Section 8.1b(b) provides that PPD shall be established by 1. A physician’s written report establishing the claimant’s level of impairment and 2. Consideration of the five factors listed in section 8.1b(b)—noting no single enumerated factor shall be the sole determinant of disability. Because neither party submitted a physician’s impairment rating report or opinion into evidence under section 8.1b(b)(i), The commission gave no weight to that factor. However, for each of the remaining factor’s the Commission addressed each and noted its respective “weight” to each issue. The Appellate Court found that the employer’s argument that Dr. Castle presented an impairment opinion during his deposition fails. The statute requires a written report—not a statement made during a deposition. Further, Dr. Castle provided no evaluation or analysis of the factors discussed above. While the Commission erred in concluding that the employer did not submit a physician’s “opinion” as to impairment, the Appellate Court may affirm the Commission’s decision on any basis supported by the record regardless of the Commission’s findings or reasoning.” Notwithstanding the error, the dispositive question was whether there is sufficient evidence in the record to support the Commission’s judgment regarding impairment. The Appellate Court stated the Commission engaged in a thoughtful and thorough analysis of the four remaining factors and that it cannot conclude a different conclusion was clearly apparent.

This recent Appellate Case provides a few friendly reminders to litigants and practitioners alike. First, if you’re going to offer an impairment rating as evidence, be sure the impairment rating is in writing and the physician addresses all of the requirements set forth in Section 8.1b(a). Next, when addressing the second issue, the Appellate Court pointed out that the employer only contended that there was no evidence of disablement. The employer did not argue in the alternative that the claimant failed to prove that he suffered disablement within two years after the last day of the exposure to the hazards of the occupational disease. It is very important to not only frame your arguments correctly, but then actually make the arguments. Finally, as noted by the Appellate Court, it is the Commission’s function to judge the credibility of witnesses and to resolve conflicting medical evidence, particularly medical opinion testimony. Here, the Commission gave weight to the fact that Dr. Paul was not only board certified, but that he had a long history of treating coal miners for coal mine induced lung disease. As such, in cases where conflicting medical evidence is anticipated, it is very important to retain expert medical testimony from physicians who have not only expertise in a particular area of medicine, but that also have experience treating and examining claimants with the same medical conditions.

If you have any questions regarding the Rule 23 Amendment or the American Coal, please do not hesitate to ask any one of the ASA Law attorneys!

End of 2020 Roundup: Noteworthy California Legal Decisions in WC
Author: Talin Maghakian

Amid the rapid reconfiguration of the rules and procedures of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, including but not limited to the delay of trials, administrative backlogs and delays in issuing decisions, a number of noteworthy legal decisions emerged in 2020 that are sure to shape the ever-changing landscape of workers’ compensation in California. Although the cases discussed in this article by no means constitute a comprehensive list of every published opinion this year, I have curated those that I believe are highly relevant and address issues that are frequently encountered. 

County of Santa Clara v. W.C.A.B. (Justice) (2020) 49 Cal. App. 5th 605
The opinion published in Justice served as further elucidation on the often-dubious Hikida doctrine. In essence, Hikida held that the injured worker is entitled to the entirety of permanent disability, without apportionment, when the permanent disability is caused by medical treatment administered in response to the original industrial injury. This proved to be a very significant win for Applicants and their attorneys. In Justice, however, the 6th District Court of Appeal limited the latitude and applicability of the Hikida doctrine. In Justice, the injured worker underwent bilateral knee replacement surgery following an injury she sustained as the result of a fall at work. It was found that it was not the fall itself that necessitated the surgery, rather the injured worker’s underlying arthritis and degenerative conditions. The injured worker’s fall merely accelerated the need for surgery. The Court here made a significant distinction as to whether the disability resulting from medical treatment is merely the permanent disability resulting from the treatment/surgery or whether the medical treatment/surgery itself caused a new and distinctive injury. In Justice, there was no new and distinctive condition that emerged as a result of the injured worker’s knee surgery. Therefore, the Court found that the employer was entitled to apply non-industrial apportionment to the permanent disability, which in this case was the injured worker’s pre-existing arthritic condition. What ultimately distinguishes Hikida from Justice, is that in Hikida, the injured worker developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome – in essence a new injury – as a result of undergoing carpal tunnel surgery. Therefore, the employer was precluded from applying non-industrial apportionment to the permanent disability caused by the CRPS. 

These distinctions will prove to be impactful in claims where there is significant permanent disability resulting from treatment or surgical intervention, with the indication of non-industrial apportionment. 

Meadowbrook Ins. Co. v. W.C.A.B. (2019) 42 Cal. App. 5th 432 
This decision harkens back to an earlier newsletter article regarding what constitutes a medical-legal cost and methods of which to litigate some of these frequently appearing petitions for costs. 

In Meadowbrook, The Court of Appeals essentially reiterated the imperative for both medical-legal costs petitioners and employers to follow correct procedure and the ultimate fatality in not doing so. Here, DFS Interpreting issued invoices for interpretation services rendered on behalf of injured workers. Meadowbrook Insurance Company declined to issue payment and issued an Explanation of Review (EOR) outlining the reasons in doing so. DFS Interpreting timely objected to Meadowbrook’s EOR, however, did not request a second review in accordance with Labor Code §4603.2 (e) or California Code of Regulations, title 8, §9792.5.5. Thus, the Court of Appeals annulled the WCAB’s decision which held that DFS was not precluded from pursuing payment for their procedural error. The invoice of DFS Interpreting was therefore deemed satisfied and Meadowbrook was not liable for any further payment. 

Colamonico v. Secure Transportation (2019) 84 Cal. Comp. Cases 1059 (Appeals Board en banc)
Although issued at the tail end of 2019, this proved to be a significant decision in 2020 as it addressed what really seems to be the overuse and abuse of subpoenas by injured workers’ counsels. 
Colamonico essentially reminded cost petitioners and lien claimants as to what constitutes a medical – legal cost. Labor Code §4620 provides in pertinent part: 
(a) For purposes of this article, a medical-legal expense means any costs and expenses incurred by or on behalf of any party, the administrative director, or the board, which expenses may include X-rays, laboratory fees, other diagnostic tests, medical reports, medical records, medical testimony, and, as needed, interpreter’s fees by a certified interpreter pursuant to Article 8 (commencing with Section 11435.05) of Chapter 4.5 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of, or Section 68566 of, the Government Code, for the purpose of proving or disproving a contested claim.
In Colamonico, the Court held that the burden falls upon the lien claimant to demonstrate that there was a contested claim to begin with. Since Colamonico involved an admitted claim in which the injured worker was receiving benefits in the form of indemnity and medical treatment, the claim could not be said to be contested. Second, the lien claimant must demonstrate that the subpoenas in question will likely address the disputed claim. Lastly, the subpoenas are to be reasonably, actually, and necessarily incurred. Thus, before costs related to subpoenas can be paid, the claimant must be able to demonstrate each of these prongs. 

APPEALS BOARD en banc decision In re: COVID-19 State of Emergency – No. 6: MISC. NO. 265
As we all remember, much of the rules and procedures were ever changing in light of the Covid-19 pandemic in order to adapt to the countless and unforeseen administrative challenges faced by the WCAB as well as attorneys. This recent decision, however, affects all trials going forward on or after December 1, 2020. Rule 10620 is now effective once more and requires that the parties file and serve the trial exhibits at least twenty days before the date of trial unless otherwise ordered. This must be accomplished by way of e-filing, Jet Filing, or via USPS twenty days before trial. 
As always, we continue to do our part in staying informed and educated in developing case laws and rules. If you have any questions regarding these cases or even on any others you may have read or heard about, please feel free to reach out to any one of the attorneys here at ASA Law Group. We would love to chat with you!