Youd have to know the theme song to really get it...
You'd have to know the theme song to really get it...

You’ll understand the title in just a moment…

For the last few months my laptop has been in bad shape.  Such bad shape I’ve been using a backup laptop. 1  Something on my laptop’s motherboard went bad and killed the battery. 23  I could still use it – but I had to keep it plugged in all the time.  If I needed to move it, I had to shut it down all the way, move it, then boot it up – since it had no battery life at all.

Well, Dell’s kick ass incredible customer service took care of me – once again.  I can’t thank these guys enough for going above and beyond.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my next laptop is going to be a Dell. Thanks to Lionel my laptop is sporting a totally brand-spanking new motherboard and power cord.  I’ve also just slapped in a totally new battery as well.

Anyhow, I’m beyond happy. 4

  1. Trust me, the back up laptop is nothing to brag about. []
  2. You see, the motherboard – it went bad.  It was one bad mother…  Oh, forget it. []
  3. The photo does not belong to me and is probably the property of MGM. []
  4. Yes, yes, I’m a nerd – whatever. []

Oh, if only rehab was this easy...
Oh, if only rehab was this easy…

Vocational experts seem to have gotten pretty well trampled by the recent Ogilvie I and Almaraz/Guzman I en banc decisions.  The Ogilvie II and Almaraz/Guzman II en banc decisions didn’t do them any favors either.

As far as I can tell, the WCAB1 in Ogilvie II basically flip flopped on the role of vocational experts.  Under Ogilvie I at least one very entrepreneurial vocational counselor was making money performing the Ogilvie I formula adjustments and offering to testify to support their findings.2

The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board in Ogilvie II has very explicitly stated that vocational experts are not necessary when it comes to performing the Ogilvie I formula adjustment – since it is an objective and retrospective calculation.

This leaves open the question of whether vocational expert testimony is only relevant when defending against an Ogilvie argument.

  1. Well, eight of the commissioners anyhow. []
  2. I received more than one letter demanding agreement to a vocational counselor under Ogilvie I. []

You have to love the ingenuity
You have to love the ingenuity

When I came home after work last Wednesday night I discovered a note taped to my front door.  I’ve scanned it in and posted it to the right.  Basically this guy is putting up notices that they’re going to be coming by the following day to repaint the numbers on the curb.  I LOVE this idea!

  • It’s easy. Just fill out the flyer and hang it outside – they take care of everything else.
  • No risk. If they are going to paint your address and then come around asking for payment, you can always refuse if you think they did a bad job.
  • It’s cheap. His flyer was printed up on half a sheet of paper, so it probably cost him no more than $0.10 for two flyers – plus the half-inch of masking tape.  The advertising costs are bare-bones.  The materials amount to a few stencils and some spray paint.
  • It’s quick. I’m guessing with a proper stencil and some paint, you could whip out a curb address number in about a minute or so.
  • It’s a cash business. I didn’t see anything there about their tax ID number.
  • Slick advertising. They appeal to your sense of safety and security (helping the police, fire department, et cetera find you quickly) and your sense of community (suggesting it is more effective when the whole neighborhood joins in).

But, why stop there?  I bet you could make even MORE money if you took this entire enterprise further:

  • Volume is key. Having as many houses on a single street is probably optimal.  So, putting a little extra polish on these flyers could probably help a lot.  Invest in better paper and use a paper cutter rather than scissors.  Anything to help score a few more houses per street.
  • Price is key. I have to wonder how many people are paying for this service.  What’s the optimal price point?  I’m guessing for $10.00 you might be able to capture a lot more homes on a given street than the $20.00 they’re suggesting.
  • Look important. I’m always getting official looking junk mail – sometimes I even open it.  I’d say use bond paper, a decent home printer or your local printer, print something up that implies you are affiliated with the city or county.  Have an address, phone number, and website ready.
  • Location, location, location. If I were running such a business I would do a little homework.  I would find a well kept neighborhood with a Home Owner’s Association – some area that probably has a vested interest in maintaining the upkeep around their homes.
  • Look really important. If I were doing this, my letterhead would say I was with the “Home Owner’s Association Maintenance Co-Operative of Contra Costa County.”  I’d send out letters a week ahead saying that a person’s street has been scheduled for yearly curbside maintenance, that the HOAMCOCCC was going to through the following week to paint the numbers on an entire street a uniform color and returning the following day to collect payment.

Why in the world did I go to law school?  What a colossal waste of time!  I could probably more per hour stenciling sidewalks than I do as an attorney.  I’m half tempted to give it a shot anyhow.  :)

Anyhow, this just goes to show no matter how bad things are, someone has thought of a way to make money.

Dont cry - you had a good run
Don't cry - you had a good run

You may not want to hear this, but Ogilvie II is probably worse for Defendants than Ogilvie I.  1  Check out page 32:

if within five years of the date of injury it later becomes clear that the employee’s individualized proportional earnings loss is significantly higher or lower than anticipated, a party may seek to reopen the issue of permanent disability by challenging the originally used DFEC adjustment factor.

I think we can expect to see a petition to reopen on any case that settled prior to 2/3/2009. 2

  1. Photo courtesy of Lawrence Whittmore []
  2. February 3, 2009 is the day Ogilvie I came out. []