Workers Comp Zone


While attending a yearly meeting today in San Francisco for the Lexis Nexis California workers’ comp editorial board, I got into a discussion with several attorneys about dabblers.

Dabblers are attorneys who dabble in workers’ comp.

In the past, at the boards I’ve frequented (largely Oakland & San Francisco, and Sacramento earlier in my career) there were always a group of dabblers who came and went.

These were usually attorneys who did a handful of cases a year. Sometimes they were personal injury attorneys who handled an occasional comp case.

Sometimes they were general legal practitioners who decided to try their hand rather than refer out the comp case. Others were young attorneys who tried to get a foothold in comp but never attracted more than a smattering of cases. Some may have been induced to handle the comp case by their doctor or chiropractor friend who was treating the worker.

Some experienced attorneys tried to be welcoming of the dabblers. After all, everyone has to start somewhere.

But others winced as dabblers handled cases without even a patent understanding of comp terminology or case law. Any attorney who has sat as a judge pro tem, as I have, will understand.

Discussing the matter today during a java break, several of us noted that the dabblers are disappearing.

Comp has become too complicated for the dabblers. With UR deadlines and MPNs, Benson, Almaraz/Guzman, Ogilvie, lengthy EAMS forms, and AMA Guides that are so complicated, many of the dabblers are quickly flummoxed. Even top-shelf applicant attorneys feel challenged and stressed.

The day when young lawyers took a case or two and “fell into comp” is disappearing.

The dabblers need to dabble elsewhere.

Stay tuned.

Julius Young

Category: Understanding the CA WC system