7th Annual Workers' Compensation Broward County Bar Seminar / Conference
On Friday, March 4, 2011, we attended the Broward County Bar Association's 7th Annual Seminar and Conference dedicated solely to the field of Florida Workers' Compensation Law. This was held at the Riverside Hotel on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The speakers included the three Broward County Judges of Compensation Claims: the Hon Daniel A. Lewis, the Hon. Kathryn S. Pecko, and the Hon. Geraldine B. Hogan. Attorneys, mediators, judges, and other professionals from all over the state attended this important educational program.
The Judges of Compensation Claims presented a very candid "View From The Bench" discussion as to how to best handle the difficult procedural steps in securing workers' compensation benefits through the claims process. Also speaking at the conference was the Chief Judge for the State of Florida for workers' compensation, the Hon. David W. Langham, who discussed how all of the judges are trying hard to handle the great volume of cases and how they are trying to effectively administer a justice system that is underfunded, underappreciated, and overworked.
The program was an excellent example of professionalism in that practitioners from all over the state; many of which regularly oppose each other in court; worked together, ate together, and shared a common concern that the system; however difficult it may be; work efficiently and fairly. There was an overall recognition that our state's legitimately injured workers deserve treatment and benefits without unnecessary delay or complications. Sadly, delays and complications do take place.
Some of the other topics that were discussed at length included appeals to the First District Court of Appeal, Medicare Set Asides and how State of Florida Workers' Compensation settlements and the United States Medicare system interact. The settlement of a workers' compensation case can be very tricky and complicated ordinarily, but on certain catastrophic cases and where the injured worker is a Medicare beneficiary, the procedure is particularly treacherous; unless, of course, you have a workers' compensation attorney well versed in the field.
Unfortunately, accidents do take place and should you or your loved ones get into an accident and get injured, you should quickly discuss your case and your needs with an experienced workers' compensation lawyer. We are looking forward to attending future conferences and seminars; especially ones so well prepared and presented.