Attached is the latest edition of the News & 440 Report. The legislature is in full swing and you will want to read with interest the message from our Chair, Paul Anderson, who takes some of us old folks down "memory lane." This issue contains technical articles from members of the Zenith Staff Counsel team, which (hopefully) are even handed and unbiased summaries of where our ever changing law stands with respect to some highly litigated issues. Enjoy, and you might even learn something!
State Mediators New or Just New to You
It has been a spring of changes among the OJCC mediation professionals. It seems to have started with the retirement of John Brooks in Daytona. We will miss John, his insight, wit, and wisdom. We had no sooner announced his departure and Deborah Hart of Ft. Myers decided to transfer to Daytona. In the midst of that Governor Scott appointed Robert Arthur of Lakeland to be our new Lakeland judge. Shortly after that, Paul Harwood of Port St. Lucie decided to transfer to Lakeland to replace Paul as mediator. Tania Ogden was hired to replace Deborah in Ft. Myers, she started June 12, 2017. Today, A. Dawn Hayes from Tampa starts as our new mediator in Port St. Lucie. I am pleased to congratulate our new mediators, welcome two to new homes, and thank all of our mediators for the job they do with discussing and resolving issues. Their service has been invaluable to this agency and to the people of Florida.
The OJCC is advertising for new Judges of Compensation Claims. The notice is on the OJCC Website, and is attached to this newsletter also. The upcoming vacancies are in Gainesville and Tallahassee. These are both one-judge jurisdictions so the successful candidate will be both judge and manager. Applications and other details are here. If you have comments regarding either Judge Almeyda or Judge Pitts, they will also be interviewed in August for reappointment.
New Mediation Tool
We have made rescheduling mediations simpler for attorneys and parties. It is possible to view each individual mediator’s calendar, an aid to locating a vacancy of which you can make use. A blog post How to Reschedule Mediation describes it in more detail. The OJCC mediators work hard and some have minimal staff support. Using this tool will allow parties and attorneys to be effective and efficient with the task of rescheduling. Please use it!
Port Saint Lucie Temporary Process Ending
The Port St. Lucie district has been in a temporarily location for a few months. We look forward to moving back into the Port St. Lucie regular offices at the end of July. The premises have been improved and we look forward to this return to our normal operations. We remain proud of the PSL team and their perseverance over recent months adapting to this challenge. Their dedication and team attitude have overcome many obstacles!
The email address for our central e-filing assistance is email@example.com. Questions about using e-JCC, about e-filing, appellate records, etc. can be sent to this address. They are not able to give legal advice. They cannot help you with your computer issues or internet issues. But they are the experts on the e-filing process.
Follow the OJCC on the Internet
Visit the blog through the link on our website, www.fljcc.org. Follow us on Twitter, click on the link at www.fljcc.org or type in @fljcc and keep up with what is going on. Share your thoughts using #workerscomp or #fljcc. Recent blog posts featured Waiver and Estoppel, Pennsylvania High Court Magnifies Protz, The Opportunity to be Heard is Important, A Move Toward Federal Influence, A Button Labelled Codger Mode and more.
Please do not scream!
All capital letters is the equivalent of SCREAMING. There is no need or purpose for all caps in your docket remarks. Please stop.
Tools for the Effective Workers’ Compensation Litigator
E-JCC tools, tips and reminders of which to be aware.
- Attorneys represent clients. Law firms do not
- Retirement or death
- Pretrial compliance questionnaire tool?
- The tool for checking your calendar?
- Monitor your daily filings?
Thanks to our Judges and Mediators
Thanks to our OJCC Judges that participated in The Florida Bar’s Trial Advocacy Workshop in June: Eduardo Almeyda (MIA), Robert Dietz (MEL), Iliana Forte (FTL), Geraldine Hogan (FTL), William Holley (JAX), Sylvia Medina Shore (MIA), Stephen Rosen (SPT). The Florida Workers’ Advocates program was held in June, and Judges William Holley (JAX), Iliana Forte (FTL), and Robert Dietz (MEL) spoke, as did Mediator Stuart Suskin (GNS). The Florida Association of Self-Insureds this July will be addressed by Judge Iliana Forte (FTL). The WCI this August will feature Judges Clark (FTM), Hedler (WPB), Johnsen (WPB), Pitts (ORL), Sculco (ORL), Walker (PMC) and more.
Year-to-date Petition and New Case Volumes Published
The filing volumes for the first eleven months of fiscal 2017 are in. PFB volumes continue to demonstrate about 6% increase over last year, and new case volumes are unchanged to perhaps 1% over last year. See May 2017 Volumes.
Notice of Reappointment Hearing for
Judges of Compensation Claims
The Statewide Nominating Commission for Judges of Compensation Claims (SNCJCC) announces that it will meet on Monday, August 7, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. at the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort & Convention Center, 8701 World Center Drive Orlando, Florida 32821 (room to be announced), for the purpose of interviewing the following Judges of Compensation Claims (JCC’s) for reappointment; Honorable Eduardo Almeyda (MIA) and Honorable Neal Pitts (ORL). The Commission will also interview candidates for pending vacancies in District Gainesville (to replace Judge Renee Hill; appointment anticipated fall of 2017) and District Tallahassee (to replace Judge John Lazzara; appointment anticipated spring of 2018).
The Commission will also interview applicants for appointment to serve as a Commissioner. The appointee must reside in the Second District Court of Appeal jurisdictional area (Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, and Sarasota, counties).
Application forms for reappointment and appointment as judge and for Commission appointed Commissioner are on the OJCC website, www.fljcc.org, under the Statewide Judicial Nominating Commission tab.
Guidelines for the operation of the Commission are available at http://www.fljcc.org/JCC/snc.asp.
Applications (one original) shall be submitted to Lisa Mustain, The Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH), The DeSoto Building, 1230 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3060 or Lisa.Mustain@doah.state.fl.us, no later than Thursday, July 6, 2017 by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. This may be hard copy by mail or delivery, or electronic in PDF format by email. The DOAH will distribute the applications to each individual member of the SNCJCC. The application form is on the OJCC website, www.fljcc.org, under the Nominating Commission tab.
Any questions or comments relating to any of the above Judges of Compensation Claims should be addressed in writing to: Wogan "Wogie" Badcock, (SNCJCC Commission Chairman), P.O. Box 497, Mulberry, FL 33860.
Speakers in Opposition to Appointment or Reappointment:
The list of applicants will be published (http://e-jccupgrade.blogspot.com/) by Monday, July 10, 2017. If you wish to speak at the Commission meeting in opposition to the reappointment of any of the above Judges or the nomination of any applicant, written notice must be provided to the Commission Chairman and to Lisa Mustain, Division of Administrative Hearings no later than Monday, July 24, 2017, 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Your letter should include your intention to address the Commission and a brief explanation regarding your request. If you wish to present any documents in support of your appearance before the Commission, copies must be provided to the Commission Chairman and the Division of Administrative Hearings (Lisa.Mustain@doah.state.fl.us) by no later than Monday, July 24, 2017, 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The DOAH will distribute the requests to the individual members of the SNCJCC. Presentations in opposition to a candidate for appointment or reappointment will be limited to four minutes.
The Commission will not ordinarily grant any requests for personal appearances to speak in favor of any of the above sitting Judges. However, the Committee will accept letters in support of the current Judges and applicants as long as they are delivered to the Commission Chairman and to Lisa Mustain, Division of Administrative Hearings (Lisa.Mustain@doah.state.fl.us) by Monday, July 24, 2017, 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The DOAH will distribute the letters to the individual members of the SNCJCC. If opposition to reappointment of a sitting judge is appropriately filed, then the Commission may elect to allow personal appearance to speak in favor of the Judge, at the Commission’s discretion.
The Commission will meet telephonically on Monday, July 31, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time This meeting will be to discuss procedural issues of the Commission specifically for the August 7, 2017 meeting. This telephonic commission meeting will be open to the public by dialing 888.670.3525, and entering code number 249 217 2867# when prompted.
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