Home > Sanctions, Tactics and Strategy > Reconsideration or Removal? Part 2 of 3

Reconsideration or Removal? Part 2 of 3

Yesterday we covered the appeal of a final order through the procedure of a Petition for Reconsideration.  Today’s topic is the alternative, a Petition for Removal.

A removal action, much like a recon, must be filed within 20 days of service of the aggrieving order.  [Don’t forget the additional days for mailing!] However, the standard to proceed on removal is very different.

The appealing party must show (1) the WCJ’s order will result in prejudice; (2) the WCJ’s order will result in irreparable harm; and (3) reconsideration after a final order is made does not provide an adequate remedy. (8 CCR § 10843.)

So if an applicant’s attorney or a lien claimant files a petition for removal, there’s really no frustration involved for the defense – either there is a valid point being made, in which case defeating the petition is just part of the job, or there isn’t, in which case the high barrier set by § 10843 should do most of the work.

But if an applicant’s attorney files a petition for reconsideration, or, as appears to be the common practice, a “petition for reconsideration, or, in the alternative, petition for removal,” frustration is warranted.

Now, the case is ground to a halt, as per LC § 5910 and CCR § 10859, and the defendant has to watch the good Panel Qualified Medical Evaluator fill up his appointment book, the best witnesses move away or get forgetful, and medical bills grow and grow like the pile of abandoned food in the back of the office break-room fridge.

When the applicant’s attorney files a petition for reconsideration, alone or with the petition for removal, either because he or she didn’t bother to read the file and do the research, or with the sole purpose of delaying the proceedings, what can the defense do?

Well, the common response is to fight the petitions with an answer or two, and hope the WCAB denies the petitions.

But if you’re brave and would like to take a gamble, I’ve got a “crackpot” maneuver for you to try that I will eagerly reveal in tomorrow’s post.

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