Boxer & Gerson, LLP Partner and Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist Maria Grasso will be returning to her law school alma mater on March 22 when she joins two other legal professionals on a panel presentation discussing workers’ compensation law for Golden Gate University School of Law students. The two-and-a-half-hour morning discussion will also include San Francisco-based Defense Attorney Elizabeth Furlow and Judge Sharon Velzy from the Van Nuys District Office of the California State Department of Industrial Relations.
The panelists’ pro bono appearance is part of a long-running program of the State Bar Workers’ Compensation Executive Committee and its Community Outreach Subcommittee. One of the committee’s goals is to engage in educational activities that enhance the knowledge of workers’ comp law among all its stakeholders: employers, businesses, workers, the legal profession and the wider public. Sager served as past chair of the subcommittee, currently serves as a member, and has been instrumental in helping to stage and participate in these panel discussion events in various venues around the state.
The panelists will provide interested law students from Golden Gate and neighboring law schools with a wide-ranging overview of workers’ compensation law. Topics will include the law’s historical roots, its application, insurance requirements, types of injuries it covers, and issues such as distinguishing independent contractors from employees, and how workers’ comp law applies or does not to both groups.
Judge Sharon Velzy began her legal career as a criminal defense attorney for the indigent before becoming a workers’ compensation attorney for the State of California. She has been a sitting judge at the Van Nuys District Office since 2012, engages in regular guest lecturing and currently is on the board for the Workers’ Compensation Section of the State Bar Executive Committee. She is also the past recipient of the Wiley M. Manuel Award honoring her pro bono work on behalf of the poor.
Elizabeth Furlow is a workers’ compensation defense attorney in the San Francisco office of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP. She is a graduate of San Francisco School of Law and San Francisco State University.
Maria Grasso graduated from Golden Gate University School of Law in 1998 and joined Boxer & Gerson in 2003. She was named a partner in 2011. Sager is among the bilingual attorneys and other staff members who serve Spanish-speaking clientele for the firm.
In addition to her statewide presentations, Sager also participates in monthly radio interviews in Spanish on San Francisco radio station KIQI, where she discusses workers’ compensation law, immigrant rights, and related topics while also responding to live phone calls in the latter part of the show.