Comp Seminars Coming February 28, 2014

February 28, 2014 will feature educational seminars at the northern and southern ends of the state. The Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims (OJCC) will team-up with the Workers’ Compensation Institute (WCI) to sponsor another free educational seminar in Tallahassee. Coincidentally, the Palm Beach County Bar Association will present “Not Just Comp” on the same date, at the Bar offices in West Palm Beach.

The Mid-Winter Workers’ Compensation Updates program is presented at the First District Court of Appeal (First DCA). This year the program features a variety of speakers from the OJCC, the legal community, the medical community, and the Court. The program features Judges Renee Hill (GNS), Ralph Humphries (JAX), John Lazzara (TLH), Laura Roesch (PMC), and Nolan Winn (PNS) presenting today’s hot topics in workers’ compensation adjudication. Jon Wheeler, clerk of the First DCA will provide an overview of the Court and its role in the workers’ compensation litigation process. This will include statistical measures that clarify the volume of workers’ compensation appeals and the path they follow to ultimate resolution by the Court.  Judge Wetherell of the First DCA will team with Paul Anderson and Wendy Loquasto for a panel discussion of today’s appellate hot topics.

Tod Stupski is involved in managing workers’ compensation claims against state agencies and will provide an overview of the unique challenges those present. John Bailey is with the Division of Workers’ Compensation Ombudsman’s Office (employee assistance) and will bring clarity to their role in assisting injured workers through the process. The OJCC clerk’s office, through manager Julie Hunsaker and OJCC Counsel Kathleen Hagan, will present an overview and update of the child support information process that is critical to today’s settlement process.

Finally, a medical panel representing neurology, physiatry and orthopedics will address a variety of hypothetical situations and describe the approach their respective practices would bring to bear on them. Doctors Gregg Alexander, Kirk Mauro, and Winston Ortiz bring a spectrum of experiences and specialties to the table for a better understanding of what is and is not within their particular expertise.

Special recognition is due Judge Lazzara for organizing this program, and to the WCI and First DCA for providing the support that makes the program possible.

Meanwhile in West Palm Beach, the Second Annual Palm Beach County Bar Association Workers’ Compensation Seminar “Not Just Comp” will be presenting a similarly auspicious program. The West Palm program features Judges Mary D’Ambrosio (WPB), Timothy Basquill(WPB), Shelley Punancy (WPB) and Robert McAliley (PSL). The Judges will present an interactive view from the bench featuring question and answer with attorneys and attorney staff.

Dr. Lawrence Gorfine will present on administration of PRP injections. Dr. Bruce Rodan will present magnetic resonance images (MRI) and discuss how images are interpreted. David Prather, Esq. and David Tadros, Esq. will present the tribulations of workers’ compensation WC immunity, spoliation of evidence and election of remedies. Jeffrey Friedman, Esq. and Joy Greyer, Esq. will discuss the interactions and complications between Social Security and workers’ compensation. And, Louis Pfeffer, Esq. and Christopher Copeland, Esq. will present on the Employment Issues in Workers’ Compensation and dealing with the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Special recognition for this West Palm program goes to Section Chair Kurt Wyland. I am certain that there are also a variety of hard-working committee members that have contributed many hours to making this program a reality. I thank and congratulate them also.

It is interesting that these two programs would occur coincidentally. It is encouraging to see people gathering to expand their knowledge, build relationships, mend bridges, and come together as a more cohesive, effective, and professional workers’ compensation practice at both ends of the state.

Congratulations to all that played a role in planning either program!

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