New administrative hearing rules to be implemented in February 2015 and important time limits that you should know about.
One of the most frequent complaints about workers’ compensation is that it takes too long for a case to be resolved. New administrative hearing rules have been adopted to combat this problem and will be implemented in the coming weeks.
Within 90 days of the pretrial conference the magistrate shall set a scheduling conference that must be attended by all parties or their attorneys. At the scheduling conference the magistrate shall determine, in consultation with the parties, appropriate deadlines for completion of activities to further the progression of the claim to hearing or other resolution. We assume this will include deposition dates and a cut-off for discovery.
Within 180 days of the scheduling conference the magistrate will schedule a status conference, at which time the parties will advise the magistrate as to the status of the claim. A facilitation date and hearing date may be assigned at the status conference. To the extent he or she deems necessary to the orderly processing of the claim, a magistrate may issue a scheduling order. A firm trial date will likely be given.
Rumblings around the Agency are that control dates will continue to be scheduled. These are informal hearings that give both sides an opportunity to meet and discuss the issues. We don’t think much will change procedurally but are hopefully the entire process will be speeded up.
We think facilitation is still the best way to settle a tough case. It gives both sides a chance to test their proofs without risking the uncertainties of trial. A neutral magistrate will listen to the evidence and come up with a settlement amount. Neither side must accept the facilitation but it helps get people closer together.
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.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by DafneCholet.