Home > Uncategorized > Why Wait to Strike? No More 10-day Conferral Period on Panel QMEs

Why Wait to Strike? No More 10-day Conferral Period on Panel QMEs

December 26th, 2012

Some of my readers may recall an earlier post in the matter of Yesenia Guillen v. Adrid International, LLC, in which a panel of WCAB commissioners ruled that the 10-day waiting period to meet and confer is not mandatory, and that a party may immediately strike a name from a Qualified Medical Evaluator panel without “conferring.”  It looks like the Court of Appeal has denied review of this case (see 2012 Cal. Wrk. Comp. Lexis 154).  But, interestingly enough, this issue may be made entirely moot by SB-863.

The new Labor Code section 4062.2 is amended to read, in pertinent part, as follows:  “Within 10 days of assignment of the panel by the administrative director, each party may strike one name from the panel.”  (See section 29 of SB 863.)

And, as we know from section 84 of the same, this new procedure is effective immediately.

Say what you will about other parts of SB-863, but your humble blogger likes this very much – we all know the doctors and the quacks, the healers and the hacks, who has and who lacks… and we don’t need 10 days to “confer.”  In fact, if the parties want to go to an Agreed Medical Evaluator, they can do so even after the 10-day conferral period.

The 10-day delay in striking a name from the panel only served to create more litigation, with parties like the defendant in the Guillen case and applicants’ attorneys in other matters using it to twist the panel process based on technicalities.  It also lead to others in the practice putting in needless filler language such as “we strike the name of Dr. Quack effective on the first day the party has the right to do so as per Labor Code section 4062.2…”

Ho… Ho… Ho…


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