Monday, August 7, 2017

National Workers’ Compensation Judiciary College (Day 1)

Presented by The National Association of Workers’ Compensation Judiciary, Inc. (NAWCJ)
 

Registration Is Required To Attend The National Workers’ Compensation Judiciary College. You Must Be An Adjudicator or Regulator To Attend.

Visit the National Association of Workers' Compensation Judiciary, Inc. website for more information.

 

8:00 – 6:00 pm    
Grand Ballrooms 4 - 6
Convention Level

(Day 2 of this program is on Tuesday, August 8, 2017 beginning at 9:55 am in Grand Ballrooms 4 - 6. Day 3 of this program is on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 beginning at 8:50 am in Hall of Cities - New York & New Orleans.)
    
8:00 – 8:30 am     
Registration and Information
    
8:30 – 9:00 am    
Welcome 

    
Honorable Jennifer Hopens
NAWCJ President
Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation
Austin, TX
    
9:00 – 10:50 am    
Evidence for Adjudicators

    
Introduction of Speaker:
Honorable T. Scott Beck
South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission
Columbia, SC
    
Speaker:
Professor Charles W. Ehrhardt    
Florida State University School of Law
Tallahassee, FL

This will be an interactive program in which various scenarios will be addressed. These will include: the role of workers’ compensation adjudicators in weighing evidence, distinctions between competent and substantial evidence versus clear and convincing evidence, the concept of “presumption” standards in first responder injuries, and the admissibility of social media evidence. Professor Ehrhardt will also address perceptions of differences between legal causation and medical causation, between medical probability or possibility and medical certainty, and the evidentiary gaps between standards like “more probable than not” and “major contributing cause.” 
    
10:50 – 11:00 am    
Break
    
11:00 – 11:50 am     
Mindfulness: Stress and Judging

Introduction of Speaker:
Honorable LuAnn Haley
Industrial Commission of Arizona
Tucson, AZ

Speaker:
Debi Galler, Attorney
General Counsel, Green Street Solar Power
Tallahassee, FL

Case load, fatigue, multitasking and burnout are daily conditions many workers’ compensation judges face as they deal with case management and decision–making. Mindfulness is the practice of focusing attention to one’s thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations in an effort for judges to give sufficient attention to each case in order to arrive at fair and just decisions and avoid reliance on stereotypes about class, gender, and race. 

12:00 – 12:30 pm    
Lunch (provided)

Grand Ballrooms 1 & 2
Convention Level
    
12:30 – 1:50 pm    
Comparative Workers’ Compensation Law Panel

Introduction of Moderator and Panel:
Honorable Jim Szablewicz
Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission
Richmond, VA
    
Moderator:
Honorable Suzette Carlisle
State of Missouri, Office of Administration
St. Louis, MO
    
Panel:
Honorable LuAnn Haley 
Industrial Commission of Arizona
Tucson, AZ
    
Honorable Jennifer Hopens
Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation
Austin, TX

Honorable Neal Pitts 
Office of Judges of Compensation Claims
Orlando, FL
    
Honorable Michael J. Feeney
Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training
Cranston, RI

This panel discussion will bring perspective on how our statutes are different, and how they are similar. Dealing with statutory interpretation is part of our daily routine. Despite the diversity of our particular statutes, we share a multitude of concordant issues and challenges, which this program illuminates. Each year brings different states to the panel, and therefore differing viewpoints to the conversation. This program is consistently among the highest rated of the judiciary college.

1:50 – 2:00 pm    
Break
    
2:00 – 5:00 pm     
The Afternoon is divided into two Tracks, one for the newer adjudicator and one for the more seasoned adjudicator

Track One - 
The NAWCJ New Judge Program
    
2:00 – 5:00 pm    

Grand Ballrooms 4 - 6
Convention Level

Back by popular demand, the NAWCJ presents education specifically for the new adjudicator. Transitioning to the bench from private practice can involve various challenges. Much of the three hour program Monday afternoon is intended to foster frank discussions in small groups. This series of discussions is focused on those who have been on the bench for two years or less, but all adjudicators are encouraged to attend.
    
2:00 – 2:10 pm    
Announcements and Business

Honorable Michael Alvey
NAWCJ Immediate Past-President
Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Board
Owensboro, KY
    
2:10 – 3:00 pm    
Transitioning to the Bench and Writing the Order 

Introduction of Panel:
Honorable Robert Cohen
Florida Division of Administrative Hearings
Tallahassee, FL

Panel:
Honorable Michael Alvey
Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Board
Owensboro, KY

Honorable David Imahara    
Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation 
Atlanta, GA 

Honorable Wesley Marshall        
Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission
Richmond, VA

The journey to the bench is long and difficult. Having achieved it, the new judge faces a variety of new challenges, questions and trials. This panel will work through some common issues for those new to the bench, and with the help of the Judiciary College audience, provide wisdom and suggestions. 
    
3:00 – 3:10 pm    
Break
    
3:10 – 4:00 pm    
Dealing with Difficult Litigants 

Introduction of Panel: 
Honorable John Lazzara
Office of Judges of Compensation Claims
Tallahassee, FL

Panel:
Honorable Robert Himmel 
Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission        
Richmond, VA

Honorable Sylvia Medina-Shore
Office of Judges of Compensation Claims
Miami, FL

Honorable Douglas Gott
Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims
Frankfort, KY

Honorable Robert Swisher
Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims
Frankfort, KY

The challenges for adjudicators are many, even when everything goes well. When difficulties complicate the process, the adjudicator must be prepared to manage situations and personalities to keep the proceedings on track and efficient, and to afford everyone due process. The challenges of the difficult litigant will be explored in-depth by this all-star panel of seasoned experts. 
    
4:00 – 4:10 pm    
Break
    
4:10 – 5:00 pm     
Judicial Ethics Conundrums and Humdrums 

Moderator: 
Honorable Jane Rice Williams 
Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims
London, KY

Panel:
Honorable Michael Alvey
Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Board
Owensboro, KY

Honorable Shannon Bruno-Bishop
Office of Workers’ Compensation
New Orleans, LA

Honorable Bruce Moore
Kansas Department of Labor, Division of Workers’ Compensation
Salina, KS

The new judge takes the bench with a volume of experience and knowledge. As good as that foundation may be, there are new rules and processes that must now be mastered. The Code of Judicial Conduct, state policies, and executive orders confront the new workers’ compensation adjudicator. Moderator Jane Williams and our panel of adjudicators will guide a discussion of some of the common ethical concerns of new judges. Attendees will gain knowledge and confidence in the interpretation of judicial ethical requirements. 

Track Two - 
SAWCA Regulator Roundtable

2:00 – 4:30 pm    
Crystal Ballroom G1    
Convention Level

For the more seasoned adjudicators, Monday afternoon offers the opportunity for a doctorate-level exposure to comparative law in workers’ compensation. The Southern Association of Workers’ Compensation Administrators (SAWCA) will present its 7th Annual Regulator Roundtable. Regulators and Administrators from across the country will discuss hot topics challenging workers’ compensation systems. Attendees will hear perspectives, initiatives, problems and solutions. 

Welcome:
Gary Davis
Secretary/Treasurer
SAWCA
Lexington, KY

Moderator:
Honorable Melodie L. Belcher
SAWCA Past President
Administrative Law Judge
Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation
Columbus, GA

Panel Participants:
Honorable LuAnn Haley
Judge
Industrial Commission of Arizona
Tucson, AZ

Paul Tauriello
Director
Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation
Denver, CO

Tanner Holloman
Director
Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation
Tallahassee, FL

Andrew Sabolic
Deputy Director
Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation
Tallahassee, FL

Honorable Frank McKay
Chair
Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation
Atlanta, GA

Honorable Robert Swisher
Commissioner
Department of Workers’ Claims
Frankfort, KY 

Honorable Sheral Kellar
Director
Louisiana Office of Workers’ Compensation
Baton Rouge, LA

Honorable Paul H. Sighinolfi
Executive Director / Chair
Maine Workers’ Compensation Board
Augusta, ME

Honorable R. Karl Aumann
Chair
Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission
Baltimore, MD

Scott Curtis
Assistant Attorney General
Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission
Baltimore, MD

Honorable Mark S. Formby
Chair
Mississippi Worker’s Compensation Commission
Jackson, MS 

Honorable Deneise Lott
Sr. Administrative Law Judge
Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission
Jackson, MS 

Honorable Tom Stine
Judge
Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court
Lincoln, NE 

Darin A. Childers (Invited)
Director
New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration
Albuquerque, NM 

Honorable Mark Liotta
Commissioner
Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Commission
Oklahoma, OK

Honorable Elizabeth Crum (Invited)
Director of Adjudication
Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry
Workers’ Compensation Office of Adjudication
Harrisburg, PA 

Honorable T. Scott Beck
Chair
South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission
Columbia, SC 

Gary M. Cannon
Executive Director
South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission
Columbia, SC 

Abbie Hudgens
Administrator
Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation    
Nashville, TN 

Honorable Jennifer Hopens
Judge
Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation
Austin, TX 

Honorable Dan Paschal
Deputy Commissioner
Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation
Austin, TX 

Wesley Marshall
Chair
Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission    
Richmond, VA 

Frank E. Fennerty
Board Member
Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals
Olympia, WA
    
5:00 – 6:00 pm    
NAWCJ and SAWCA Reception 

Grand Ballrooms 1 & 2
Convention Level

The perfect closure for the first day of our NAWCJ program is the official welcoming reception for adjudicator attendees, regulators and associate members. Following a full day of edification and instruction, this is the chance to mingle and unwind with old friends and new acquaintances from across the continent.

 

 

Registration Is Required To Attend The National Workers’ Compensation Judiciary College. You Must Be An Adjudicator or Regulator To Attend.

Visit the National Association of Workers' Compensation Judiciary, Inc. website for more information.