Opposing viewpoints

No case is black or white and why the magistrate assigned to your case matters.

5621821439_ee898c76ba_mOur attorneys spend most of their mornings in court. Each day is a new scheduling conference, facilitation, redemption, or trial. We have over 100 years in combined legal experience.

My personal favorite type of hearing is a facilitation. This gives both sides an opportunity to test their case without risking a formal trial. A neutral magistrate will hear arguments from both sides and come up with a dollar amount to resolve the case. Neither party must accept but it gets both sides thinking about settlement.

I had the pleasure of facilitating a case before two magistrates last week. It was fascinating because each had a different opinion about how Michigan law applied to a particular set of facts. The issue was ultimately decided in my client’s favor and this will have a positive impact on settlement.

Each magistrate brings his or her own personal biases to the job. Some have defense backgrounds while others have spent their careers representing injured workers. This worldview can affect how a case is decided. It is not intentional but it does happen.

A magistrate has the authority to order continuing benefits under an open award. He or she can order payment of benefits for a closed period. The magistrate can also deny benefits outright.

Knowing how a particular magistrate views certain issues can make a big difference at facilitation or trial. Some magistrates require an extensive job search before giving an open award. Other magistrates are more likely to accept defense medical examinations. Having an experienced lawyer on your side will ensure that you get a fair result.

Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation today.

Related information:

Magistrate disposition statistics for 2014

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Vectorportal.

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