Need more time to think about Ogilvie, Almaraz, and Guzman?
Need more time to think about Ogilvie, Almaraz/Guzman?

Sometimes even the WCAB needs more time to think.1

On March 26, 2009, the director of the Department of Industrial Relations, John C. Duncan, issued a letter to the entire Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board asking them to vacate their own decisions and solicit argument and amicus briefs.  Here’s a copy, courtesy of, the Letter from Director of DIR to WCAB re: Ogilvie and Almaraz/Guzman (3/26/2009).

On Monday April 6, 2009 the WCAB issued three Orders Granting Reconsideration and Order Allowing Amicus Briefs (en banc) in Ogilvie and Almaraz/Guzman.  For your review:

What does the Order Granting Reconsideration of Ogilvie and Almaraz/Guzman mean for you?

    1. Ogilvie and Almaraz/Guzman are still the law.  Despite Commissioner Aghazarian’s two concurring opinions, the WCAB did not issue a stay of either Ogilvie or Almaraz/Guzman.
    2. The WCAB has granted SCIF’s petition for reconsideration in Almaraz, granting reconsideration on their own motion in Guzman, and the parties’ petitions for reconsideration in Ogilvie.  They have granted reconsideration on these cases to, “afford us a sufficient opporutnity to study the issues.”2
    3. Any interested party may file an amicus brief no later than May 1, 2009 at 5pm.
      1. Photo courtesy of radiospike photography []
      2. Hence, the “The Thinker” reference above… []

      Whats the WCAB doing NOW???
      What's the WCAB doing NOW???

      UPDATE 9/3/2009:  Download the new en banc Ogilvie II and Almaraz/Guzman II decisions here!

      Need a FREE sample Ogilvie analysis brief complete with citations?

      Some crazy stuff has happened in the last two days.  1 Two big en banc decisions were just handed down from the WCAB. Here they are, hot off the presses and ready for downloading:

      Of the two cases, I enjoyed Ogilvie v. City and County of San Francisco much more.  This case describes to what extent the 2005 Permanent Disability Rating Schedule may be rebutted2 and how one might go about doing this.

      Pages 22 through 32 are basically nothing but math. 3  These pages detail the information and methodology necessary to rebut the DFEC portion of the 2005 Schedule.

      Last night I wrote a prototype calculator which will allow you to determine whether you may or may not be able to rebut the DFEC portion of the 2005 Permanent Disability Rating Schedule.  This calculator would only perform the DFEC rebuttal calculations suggested in the majority opinion, since this is now the law of the land.  My plan is to test it this weekend and launch it Monday.

      However, if anyone is interested in helping me test it, I would appreciate the help.  Just drop me a line and I’ll give you the link as soon as its ready.

      In the meantime, if you want to crunch the numbers yourself (or follow along with the WCAB in Ogilvie), you will probably find Table A and Table B page 1-7 of the 2005 PDRS to be very helpful.

      FYI, there are a lot of “footnotes” in Ogilvie that reference various online documents or websites.  I’ve downloaded a copy or provided a screenshot of each of these pages for your reference:

      1. Photo courtesy of Kyle Kesselring []
      2. Basically just the DFEC portion. []
      3. Yay! []

      I received a few handouts regarding the new EAMS system while at the San Francisco WCAB yesterday. The WCAB SFO only had a limited number of these documents, so I’ve scanned my copy for everyone else’s benefit.

      I also learned some interesting things about EAMS:

      1. Everyone knows that EAMS and the WCAB will reject your filings if you’re not registered with EAMS. Did you know that the Judges aren’t sure if EAMS will reject your filings if the employer is not registered?
      2. If a party brings physical paper exhibits, Judges will only be accepting the most important documents for filing (since the WCAB will be doing the scanning)
        • The parties will be expected to bring any possibly relevant exhibits. Any documents not accepted will be returned to the parties or shredded.
        • Judges will mainly be accepting just permanent and stationary reports.
      3. A party bringing a CD burned with scanned exhibits, will need to submit all medical files and documents which are typically required to be filed with the WCAB.
        • They will will not have the option of only submitting the most relevant exhibits.
      4. For the time being, normal walk through procedures are gone. Any new case activation would not be assigned a Board number until approximately 3 am after the day of submission. Be ready to drop off your walk throughs the day before you want to obtain approval.
      5. The EAMS forms haven’t been approved by the Office of Administrative Law and won’t be mandatory until approved.
      6. For the time being, every Board will have a telephone conference each morning starting at 8 am with their “command center.”
      7. The decision to go ahead with EAMS starting August 25, 2008 was only made on August 22, 2008!