Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Breakout on Longshore and Harbor Workers Act, Jones Act, and Defense Base Act (Day 2)

8:30 – 2:00 pm    
Grand Ballroom 8A                     
Convention Level
Program Moderator:
Robert L. Bamdas, Attorney
Schouest, Bamdas, Soshea & BenMaier, PLLC
Boca Raton, FL
8:30 – 9:00 am     
DOL and Industry Updates 

Douglas C. Fitzgerald
Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation
U.S. Department of Labor/OWCP
Washington, DC
Robert L. Bamdas, Attorney
Schouest, Bamdas, Soshea & BenMaier, PLLC 
Boca Raton, FL 

This panel will discuss the latest developments in the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) and Department of Labor (DOL), including new policies, procedures, tips, and practical advice for legal practitioners, employers, and claims specialists.
9:00 – 10:00 am     
Case Law Update 

John-Austin Diamond, Attorney
Diamond Law Practice, PLLC
New York, NY
Beth Bernstein, Attorney
Mouledoux, Bland, Legrand & Brackett, LLC 
New Orleans, LA 

This is a “must have, must watch” panel that will explore new case law developments affecting the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and its extensions. From the section 20(a) presumption to the zone of special danger, our panel will bring you up-to-date on all the “need to know” cases for the past year. 
10:00 – 11:00 am     
Medical Issues Under the Longshore and DBA Pain Management 

Heather Angelico, Attorney
Galloway, Johnson, Thompkins, Burr and Smith
New Orleans, LA 
Stephen P. Moschetta, Attorney 
Moschetta Law Firm, PC
Washington, PA

Dr. Benjamin Parish
Orthopaedic Center of South Florida
Plantation, FL

This panel will discuss an often-contested issue in Longshore and Defense Base Act (DBA) claims - pain management. Pain is subjective. We all know that. But reasonable and necessary medical care is still owed for pain treatment. Our practitioners will address the treatment of pain under the Acts, the physical and psychological nature of pain, and issues faced by both carriers and claimants during the administration and litigation of pain management claims. 
11:00 – 12:00 pm     
Average Weekly Wage: The Never-Ending Story 

Alexandra E. Grover, Attorney
Brown Sims, PC
Houston, TX

Sam Frankel, Attorney
Barnett, Lerner, Karsen & Frankel
Fort Lauderdale, FL 

This panel will address the calculation of an injured worker’s average weekly wage (AWW) in Defense Base Act (DBA) claims. Various AWW arguments take center stage in what may be the most heavily disputed DBA issue. When should practitioners use section 10(c)? How many years of earnings may be considered in an AWW calculation? When is it appropriate to use a blended wage? And, finally, when should practitioners use section 10(i) to calculate an injured worker’s time of injury — if at all? Our practitioners will discuss the merits of various AWW calculation methods from the perspective of the carrier and the claimant. 
12:00 – 1:00 pm    
Lunch (on your own)
1:00 – 2:00 pm     
Settlements, Stipulations and Obstacles to Resolution of Issues in Longshore and DBA Claims 

Honorable Paul Almanza 
Associate Chief Judge
U.S. Department of Labor
Washington, DC    

Jim McCready, Attorney 
Bowman and Brooke
Coral Gables, FL 

Cory Birnberg, Attorney
Birnberg & Associates
San Francisco, CA
Jeff Knipper
MSA Specialist
Contract Claims Services, Inc.
Irving, TX 

Most disputed Longshore and Defense Base Act cases ultimately end up with partial or complete issue resolution by agreement or even settlement via section 8(i) of the Act. However, many obstacles can arise during the issue mitigation process. This panel will address “Mitri phenomenon,” Medicare Set Aside complications and resolutions, as well as impediments to settlement and corresponding strategies to overcome them.