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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33385
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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3rd hearing and workers compensation Judge requests that the

Customer Question

3rd hearing and worker's compensation Judge requests that the attorney have my left knee evaluated and my attorney does not send me to a doctor for evaluation. What happens at the 4th hearing for my attorney not complying? I went to visit my mother and had a orthopedic doctor evaluate it for me and I have the report as I did want to be in order with the judge. My attorney does not call/write and the only correspondence is the notice of hearings. What is to happen? I am very disappointed with the representation I have not had since 4/2009. What is going to happen at my hearing on the 15th of July?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm very sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service.

I would be a very happy attorney if I were able to predict how a judge would respond to a given situation, and could tell you what will happen at your hearing. That said, the judge is likely to take one of the following actions:

1) Issue the attorney a warning that if he fails to comply with a future order he will be held in contempt and will be subject to a court imposed fine.

or

2) Will find the attorney in contempt and impose a fine on him or her.

You should not be punished for your attorney's failure to take the judge ordered actions. It appears that your attorney is not being responsive to your case and concerns, but you should try calling the attorney directly as well as sending a letter.

If the attorney refuses to respond, you can file a complaint against him with the state bar of California. He also may be liable for malpractice if his negligence screws up your case. However, it would be better to talk to the other attorney or consider hiring a new attorney (and firing your current one) if you no longer have confidence in him, and have apparently not had any for years.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Does the worker's compensation Judge make a decision or do I have to go through more hearings and will a new attorney take a case that happened in 2009? Or should I wait and see attitude. Do I give the evaluation of knee that my insurance paid for to the Judge as my attorney does not know that I did this and how do I approach this situation?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

Different contributor here. Please permit me to assist. You asked:

Does the worker's compensation Judge make a decision or do I have to go through more hearings?

A: First of all, your original statement was that the judge "requests" that your attorney have your knee evaluated. There is a very big difference between a judg making a request for additional evidence concerning your possibly deteriorating condition, and an order that you be re-evaluated. The latter can be grounds for a contempt order against the attorney, whereas the former cannot. So, if the court actually ordered your attorney obtain more evidence about your condition, then the court could issue a contempt order against the attorney at the next hearing -- but, you would still need to be evaluated, so at a minimum, two more hearings would be required -- regardless of whether the court made an informal request/suggestion, or an order.

and will a new attorney take a case that happened in 2009?

A: Depends on whether or not you can pay for a new attorney. I think that you could have a fair amount of difficulty hiring new legal representation, because the court cannot simply cancel your fee agreement with your first attorney. The court also cannot shift the costs of new legal representation onto your current lawyer, so as to pay for new legal representation. All the court can do is to order your lawyer to ensure that you are evaluated and the evidence provided to the court.

The botXXXXX XXXXXne here is that if your lawyer is being nonresponsive, then you may want to contact the State Bar and explain what's happening. The most frequently complaint that the State Bar investigators receive is, "My attorney isn't returning my phone calls." Usually a single phone call from the State Bar investigator is enough to get your attorney back in touch with you. Because if the attorney doesn't communicate, the next thing that will happen may be a formal disciplinary charge -- which carries with it a bill for about $22,000 in costs, even if the State Bar drops the charges.

Or should I wait and see attitude?

A: I wouldn't wait and see. You have a valid complaint, and you need immediatel help.

Do I give the evaluation of knee that my insurance paid for to the Judge as my attorney does not know that I did this and how do I approach this situation?


A: You could do this, but the judge may not accept this evidence, unless the employer's legal representation has had an opportunity to review the report, and your physician has been accepted by the court as your physician for this occupational injury case.

This could create a bit of difficulty for you, because if the report is used in court, your health care plan may decline payment to your physician -- and you could get stuck with the physician's bill. So, you may want to hold off on this evidence.

Hope this helps.
socrateaser, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 33385
Experience: Retired (mostly)
socrateaser and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you...I figured that this would happen. However, the doctor has been paid by my personal insurance and I will have to pay him for my share. He does want to help me with further therapy after reviewing the XRays of both knees. He did recognize problems caused by the fall. I want the worker's compensation insurance to continue the medical portion as I will be suffering as I get older. I shall see on the 15th of July.

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