Monday, February 06, 2006

Commonwealth Court W.C. Filings Down; Court Credits Workers' Compensation Mediation

In an article in the Legal Intelligencer, President Judge James Gardner Colins and G. Ronald Darlington, the Executive Administrator of the Commonwealth Court, identified compromise and release and its progenitor, workers' compensation mediation, as factors in the fourteen per cent (14%) decline of workers' compensation filings in the Commonwealth Court.

In mediations I conducted last week I settled two out of two, and achieved very fair results for parties that were situated to enter into a compromise and release. The expertise of the Workers' Compensation Judges who mediate as well as the Mediating Commissioners of the WCAB and the Mediating Judges of the Commonwealth Court is directly responsible for the reduced filing numbers and the resulting improvement in disposition time.

Judge Colins also acknowledged the requirement of Harkness v. UCBR that Employers be represented by attorneys in unemployment compensation cases was a factor in an 18% drop in appeals from the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review to the Commonwealth Court.