Does No Physician Report Mean No Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit?

The following is a guest blog post by Michael W. Sullivan of Michael Sullivan & Associates LLP, an aggressive workers’ compensation defense firm with offices throughout California. Mr. Sullivan is a bar-certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law.

An employee who suffers residual effects from an injury and can’t return to work is entitled to a supplemental job displacement benefit. The benefit comes in the form of a nontransferable voucher, and often is simply referred to as the “voucher.” An employer’s duty to investigate liability for the voucher is triggered by a Physician’s Return to Work & Voucher report (RTW Report). If there’s no RTW Report, does that mean an employer can’t be liable for the voucher? Continue reading

Are There Consequences to Taking the Fifth in a Workers’ Comp Case?

The following is a guest blog post by Michael W. Sullivan of Michael Sullivan & Associates LLP, an aggressive workers’ compensation defense firm with offices throughout California. Mr. Sullivan is a bar-certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law.

The Fifth Amendment protects a person from answering “official questions in any other proceeding, civil or criminal, formal or informal, where he or she reasonably believes the answers might incriminate him or her in a criminal case.” Spielbauer v County of Santa Clara (2009) 45 C4th 704, 714. This includes workers’ compensation proceedings. But does invoking the Fifth Amendment have any consequences for an injured worker? Continue reading

When Must Employee Travel Time Be Paid?

The following is a guest blog post by Richard J. Simmons of Sheppard Mullin in Los Angeles. He represents employers in various labor and employment matters.

California law establishes unique rules governing when time spent is compensable “hours worked.” How these rules are applied to travel time is continuing to evolve. Continue reading

DOL’s Proposal for Exempt Employees Doesn’t Meet CA’s Standard

The following is a guest blog post by Richard J. Simmons of Sheppard Mullin in Los Angeles. He represents employers in various labor and employment matters.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed a new salary standard for exempt employees under the federal wage and hour law. But it falls below California’s standard. Continue reading

Remembering Public Defender Jeff Adachi

Like so many in the California legal community and beyond, we are stunned and saddened by the passing of Jeff Adachi, San Francisco’s Public Defender. Jeff was a tireless advocate for justice and for the right to a defense. Continue reading

Easy Tips for Lawyers to Improve Their Health

The following guest blog post is by Jonathan Jordan (“JJ”), an award-winning Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, Group Fitness Instructor and Fitness Blogger. He offers his clients personalized fitness programs and nutritional advice to coach them towards healthier, sustainable lifestyles. 

Many lawyers know they should be taking better care of themselves but don’t have enough time and aren’t sure where to start. Lawyers struggle with long hours spent in client meetings, in court, at computers, and hunched over mobile devices. This all takes a painful toll on their bodies. Here are some of my most impactful, realistic tips, which have helped hundreds of lawyers make small, manageable changes to improve their health. Continue reading

The One Thing to Do to Maximize Mediation Success

typing out deposition notice on laptopThe following is a guest blog post by Teddy (Theda) Snyder. Ms. Snyder is based in Los Angeles and conducts civil and workers compensation mediations throughout California.

Careful preparation of a mediation brief is the best way to achieve the optimal settlement result. The exercise forces you to organize your case and create guideposts for the settlement negotiation. Continue reading

4 Tips for Drafting an Effective Settlement Demand Letter

The following is a guest blog post by Anderson Franco, who practices landlord-tenant, personal injury, and general litigation throughout the Bay Area.

Before filing a lawsuit, a plaintiff should always consider whether to try for settlement. If settlement is the goal, then a settlement demand letter becomes a key negotiation tool. A settlement demand letter explains to the opposing party why they should pay money to settle the case immediately rather than litigating through the court system. Continue reading

The Do’s and Don’ts of Building Your Case with Social Media Info

The following is a guest blog post by Renee Galente Stackhouse. Renee is the founder and trial lawyer at Stackhouse, APC, where she focuses on plaintiff’s personal injury and military defense in San Diego. She is the immediate past President of California Women Lawyers, President of the CWL Foundation, Chair of the CLA SSF Section, and sits on the Board of the San Diego County Bar Association.

You would be surprised how easy it is to find public information on the Internet. Or maybe you wouldn’t, given the many stories of jobs lost and cases jeopardized by social media posts. Using Google and social media searches on parties and witnesses can be very helpful to your case, but make sure you don’t overstep. Continue reading

How the New Rules of Conduct Affect Your Social Media Use

lawyers using social media to advertiseThe following is a guest blog post by Renee Galente Stackhouse. Renee is the founder and trial lawyer at Stackhouse, APC, where she focuses on plaintiff’s personal injury and military defense in San Diego. She is the immediate past President of California Women Lawyers, President of the CWL Foundation, Chair of the CLA SSF Section, and sits on the Board of the San Diego County Bar Association.

Potential clients and referrals are out there on social media platforms and you can’t afford to ignore them. The new California Rules of Professional Conduct, effective November 1, 2018, take social media realities into account and require changes to the way lawyers use social media. Continue reading