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Message from the Chair

Dear Colleagues,

It is an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to serve as Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Florida Bar for 2016 to 2017.  I have been a member of the Executive Council for quite some time, and I have enjoyed my association with those many leaders and individuals who have done so much for the Workers’ Compensation Section for many years.  I will attempt to fill the large shoes of immediate past Chair Mike Winer who has done a stellar job at the helm of the Section over the last year, as have those who preceded him. I have acquired increased respect for Mike and the others that I have worked with over the years, and I appreciate the confidence and support that members of the Executive Council have demonstrated by allowing me to serve this brief season as Section Chair. I commit that I will do my best to continue the good work that has been done by so many others, and to expand on it to the extent that I am able.

My primary objectives are to increase professionalism amongst the members of the Section, and to address the issues that will confront the stakeholders in the Workers’ Compensation system regarding the recent cases that have been handed down by our First District Court of Appeal and Florida Supreme Court.  See Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg, SC13-1930 & SC13-1976 (Fla. Supreme Court 2016); Castellanos v. Next Door Co., SC13-2082 (Fla. Supreme Court 2016); and Miles v. City of Edgewater, 190 So. 3d 171 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016)

What a great time to be involved in Workers’ Compensation practice!  This next year will surely be an exciting one as we navigate through the recent rulings from our courts that have had significant impact on virtually every aspect of the workers’ compensation industry, and as we await the reaction by the legislature and other stakeholders who have varying interests.   

Our Section continues to offer informative Lunch and Learn webinars through the efforts of our CLE chair, Dawn Traverso.  We also continue to produce The Workers' Compensation Forum in collaboration with WCCP. This has become the premier workers' compensation educational conference which continues to grow in attendance and excellence. We have some ideas to expand upon the strong foundation that has been established by our Forum Committee Chair Leo Garcia, and Stacy Hosman of WCCP.  We will continue our publication of the News & 440 Report, which is undoubtedly the best publication put out by any Section of the Florida Bar.

I appreciate the continued efforts of Joanne Prescott as Section secretary and Philip Augustine as Section treasure. I will be working closely with Chair-Elect Paul Anderson, and we have already met to discuss the future direction of the Workers Compensation section. While we cannot predict what the courts or the legislature will do, I am confident that the future of Workers’ Compensation is in good hands with some of the brightest legal minds involved in the State of Florida. Join us for the ride. It is sure to be a good one!

Respectfully,

Alan D. Kalinoski, Chair

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