Hillsborough County Bar Association

Workers’ Compensation Section

 

Mission Statement

The Workers’ Compensation Section of the Hillsborough County Bar Association has the goals of encouraging professionalism among practitioners in the field, analyzing developments in the law, bringing together ideas and methods that can improve the practice of our members, and educating practitioners outside of our section.
 
The HCBA has elected to re-establish the Workers’ Compensation Section. Litigation involving work injuries has changed drastically in the past few years and the activities and programs of this section will reflect those changes. However, the goals of encouraging professionalism among practitioners in the field, analyzing developments in the law, bringing together ideas and methods that can improve the practice of our members, and educating practitioners outside of our section, remain the same.
Legislation in 2003 made substantial changes to the Florida Workers’ Compensation Act. Interpretation of these changes are being made by the courts, including Murray v. Mariner Health, (SC07-244) which recognized the continuing right of an injured worker to have the Employer pay reasonable attorney’s fees for successful litigation. We are developing materials for our website and will hold a seminar to advise practitioners of these continuing changes.
We also have new rules and procedures from the state, including a paperless e-filing system which is open and accessible to practitioners (http://www.jcc.state.fl.us/jcc/). Fortunately, the Hillsborough County Judges of Compensation Claims, Judge Murphy, Judge Jenkins and Judge Lorenzen, have all indicated that they will support our section by attending certain events and speaking and answering questions on practice and procedure.
A major change in litigation of work injuries is the importance of other specialized areas of law. Social Security disability and Medicare Set-Asides have been very important areas for several years. Other related fields becoming more important include personal injury, disability insurance, child support, Longshore jurisdiction, the Defense Base Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Recent ADA amendments expand coverage of the act, effective January 1, 2009, which will directly impact workers’ compensation.
Our programs will address some of these developments, and, as we build a website for this section, we will compile articles and appropriate links. We invite submission of articles for the Journal or website to educate practitioners on workers’ compensation or related topics. Every practitioner in Hillsborough County in any related field should know that if an injured worker covered by the LHWCA signs a release of a personal injury claim without written permission from the Employer/Carrier, the injured worker will likely lose their right to receive further Longshore benefits, Cowart v. Nicklos Drilling Co., 505 U.S. 469 (1992). An article on this related topic, and others, will be available at the website
If you would like to join the section, tell the HCBA that you would like to join our section and to put you on our mailing list. We are also recruiting volunteers who want to be active in the section to work on particular programs. If you would like to take an active role please notify the HCBA.

Section Chairs 2013-2014:

Anthony Cortese
813-286-1557
avcortese@verizon.net

Irene Rodriguez
813-221-4111
imr@imrodriguezlaw.com