Audio CD + Course Book

Workers' Compensation: Critical Essentials from Both Sides of the Aisle

Audio CD + Course Book

Copyright Date:

April, 2018

Product ID#:

78795CDRA

Audio + Course Book

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From Event: Workers' Compensation: Critical Essentials from Both Sides of the Aisle, held April 2018.

Program Description

Successfully handling a workers' compensation claim requires you to understand and evaluate the issues from both sides. From initiating claims to negotiating settlements, anticipating the actions of the other side increases your chances for success. This strategic overview will provide you with claimant and respondent best practices for building a strong case and obtaining favorable results. Broaden your knowledge of workers' compensation claims and provide your clients with top-notch representation - order today!

Course Content

  1. Essential Workers' Compensation Laws, Concepts and Legal Updates
  2. Navigating Workers' Compensation Processes, Procedures and Forms
  3. How to Evaluate Workers' Compensation Medical Issues
  4. Proving - or Disproving - the Validity of Denied Claims
  5. Using Evidence to Your Client's Advantage: Claimant and Respondent Strategies
  6. Mastering the Art of Settlement Negotiation
  7. Essential Workers' Compensation Hearing and Appeal Tactics: Perspectives From Both Sides of the Aisle
  8. Ethical Considerations

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing Legal Education

Credit Hrs State Credit Approval Expiration
CLE 7.20 NJ * 12/13/2018
CLE 7.00 NY * 04/16/2020
CLE 6.00 PA * 04/16/2020

* denotes specialty credits

Agenda / Content Covered

  1. Essential Workers' Compensation Laws, Concepts and Legal Updates
    9:00 - 9:45, Written and presented by Matthew Donnelly in Erie. Written and presented by Frank J. Grzywinski in Pittsburgh.
    1. State Workers' Compensation Laws and Guidelines
      1. Who is Eligible
      2. Covered Injuries
      3. Available Benefits
      4. Workers' Compensation Insurance Basics
    2. Key Terms and Concepts
      1. Disability: Permanent, Temporary, Partial and Total
      2. Impairment Ratings
      3. Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)
      4. Vocational Rehabilitation
    3. Legal Updates
  2. Navigating Workers' Compensation Processes, Procedures and Forms
    9:45 - 10:30, Written and presented by Stephen S. Bloomburg in Erie and Pittsburgh.
    1. Determining the Value of a Claim
    2. Claim Filing Procedures and Time Limits
    3. The Medical Evaluation Process
    4. How Insurers Evaluate Claims
    5. The Vocational Process: Common Mistakes Attorneys Make
    6. Key Forms: Avoiding Critical Mistakes
  3. How to Evaluate Workers' Compensation Medical Issues
    10:45 - 11:30, Written by Dr. Mohannad Kusti. Presented by Michael A. Joanow in Erie and Dr. Mohannad Kusti in Erie and Pittsburgh.
    1. Legal Responsibilities of Physicians
    2. Impairment Rating Guidelines
    3. Functional Capacity Evaluations
    4. Independent Medical Examinations
    5. Injury Causation
    6. How MMI is Determined
  4. Proving - or Disproving - the Validity of Denied Claims
    11:30 - 12:15, Written and presented by Stephen S. Bloomburg in Erie and Pittsburgh.
    1. Key Causal Connections That Make or Break Claims
    2. Is There an Employment Relationship?
    3. Willful Misconduct
    4. Preexisting Conditions
    5. Occupational Diseases
    6. Mental and Stress-Related Claims
    7. Horseplay Claims
    8. Travelling Employees
    9. Off-the-Clock Claims
  5. Using Evidence to Your Client's Advantage: Claimant and Respondent Strategies
    1:15 - 2:00, Written and presented by Heather Zambelli in Erie and Pittsburgh.
    1. Official Medical Records
    2. Second Medical Opinions
    3. Documentation of the Recovery Process
    4. Pre and Post-MMI Jobs Created
    5. Accident Reports
    6. Employment Records
    7. Witness Statements
    8. Insurance Carrier Doctor Background and Competency
    9. Use of Expert Witnesses
    10. Social Media Landmines
  6. Mastering the Art of Settlement Negotiation
    2:00 - 2:45, Written and presented by Matthew Donnelly in Erie. Written and presented by John W. Zatkos Jr. in Pittsburgh.
    1. Determining the Right Time to Settle
    2. Lump Sum vs. Structured Settlements
    3. Negotiating Payment for Disputed Treatment Costs
    4. Future Medical Expenses
    5. Lost Wages and Lost Earning Capacity
    6. Factoring in Liens
    7. Minimizing Social Security Offsets
    8. Medicare - and Medicaid - Set-Aside Considerations
  7. Essential Workers' Compensation Hearing and Appeal Tactics: Perspectives From Both Sides of the Aisle
    3:00 - 3:30, Written and presented by Heather Zambelli in Erie and Pittsburgh.
  8. Ethical Considerations
    3:30 - 4:30, Written by Francis E. Pipak Jr. Presented by John W. Draskovic in Erie and Francis E. Pipak Jr. in Pittsburgh.
    1. Rules of Professional Conduct
    2. Communication With Other Parties
    3. Attorneys' Fees
    4. Lawyer Liability

STEPHEN S. BLOOMBURG is a principal in Post & Schell, P.C.’s Workers' Compensation Department. In his practice, he represents a wide array of clients, from national corporations to small, locally-owned businesses. Prior to joining Post & Schell, P.C., Mr. Bloomburg worked for a Pittsburgh-based plaintiff's firm, where he represented the interests of individuals and corporations throughout the state and federal courts of Pennsylvania. Mr. Bloomburg also specializes in representing the airline industry, including the representation of national and regional airline carriers, aircraft and avionics manufacturers, and businesses servicing the in-flight and ground operations of the airline industry. He holds an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Pittsburgh and earned his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. (Erie and Pittsburgh locations)

MATTHEW DONNELLY is an attorney at Dallas W. Hartman P.C., located in New Castle, Pennsylvania. Mr. Donnelly dedicates his practice exclusively to Pennsylvania workers' compensation representation. He has perspective from both sides of the aisle, having previously worked for a major workers' compensation insurance defense firm. Currently, Mr. Donnelly represents injured workers seeking to obtain or defend their workers' compensation benefits in all stages of case handling, from initial client intake through appellate practice. He has previously lectured as a panel member for pre-law students and Grove City College. Mr. Donnelly graduated with his B.A. degree from Grove City College and earned his J.D. degree from Duquesne University. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Mercer County Bar Association. (Erie location)

JOHN W. DRASKOVIC is a senior partner with the law firm of MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton LLP, a member of the firm's Litigation and Labor Departments, and chairman of the firm's workers' compensation group. Mr. Draskovic practices exclusively in the areas of civil litigation and workers' compensation. His litigation practice consists primarily of defending insurance carriers and businesses from all variety of claims. He has tried cases in both the state and federal courts. His employment practice includes representing carriers and self-insured employers in workers' compensation and other employment related claims, including claims before the EEOC and PHRC. He graduated with his B.S. degree from Youngstown State University and earned his J.D. degree from Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law. Mr. Draskovic is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Defense Institute and the Erie Claims Association. He is a past member of the Board of Directors for the Erie County Bar Association and the past chairman of the Erie County Bar Association Workers' Compensation Section. (Erie location)

FRANK J. GRZYWINSKI began practicing workers' compensation law for a small defense firm in 1985, following a clerkship in the U.S. District for the Western District of Pennsylvania. In 1988, he was appointed a deputy attorney general for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. While serving with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the Criminal Prosecution Division from 1988 through 1997, he also was appointed to serve as a special assistant United States attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania. In 1998, Mr. Grzywinski resumed his workers' compensation practice when he became an associate in the law firm of S. James Goldman, P.C. He eventually became a partner in the law firm of Weisman Goldman Bowen & Grzywinski. During his tenure with Weisman Goldman Bowan & Grzywinski, he concentrated in the area of workers' compensation and Social Security law. Mr. Grzywinski has argued cases before the Commonwealth Court and Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Upon the retirement of his partners in 2014, he has continued to practice in the areas of workers' compensation, Social Security and personal injury law as Frank J. Grzywinski PC. Mr. Grzywinski maintains offices in the Grant Building in Pittsburgh and in Natrona Heights. He has the unique perspective of practicing from the claimants and defense bar. The cumulative experience in handling personal injury, workers' compensation and Social Security cases allows him to obtain the maximum recovery for his clients. Mr. Grzywinski earned his J.D. degree from Duquesne University. (Pittsburgh location)

MICHAEL A. JOANOW is president of the Joanow Legal Group in Hermitage, Pennsylvania. Mr. Joanow was previously a partner in the Douglas & Joseph law firm and an associate in the former Routman, Moore, Goldstone & Valentino firm in Sharon, Pennsylvania. Mr. Joanow began his career as a law clerk for Hon. Francis J. Fornelli of the Mercer County Court of Common Pleas. Throughout his career, he has maintained a personal injury practice with an emphasis on representing injured or disabled clients in worker's compensation, personal injury and Social Security disability matters. He has served as a zone-chair for the Young Lawyers Division; as an officer for the Mercer County Bar Association; and on several boards in his local community, including for the City of Hermitage, the American Cancer Society, and the Community Food Warehouse. Mr. Joanow graduated with his B.S. degree from the University of Pittsburgh and earned his J.D. degree from the Ohio Northern University Claude W. Petit College of Law. He is admitted to practice law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of Ohio. (Erie location)

MOHANNAD KUSTI is the corporate medical director for the United States Steel Corporation located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Kusti is a certified medical examiner and has been certified by the Occupational and Preventative Medicine Board. He graduated with his MBBS degree from King AbdulAziz University. Dr. Kusti completed his residency at West Virginia University School of Medicine and earned his MPH from West Virginia School of Public Health. Dr. Kusti was a resident physician at WVUH-Ruby Memorial Hospital and was an associate service fellow at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Medical Society - Allegheny County Medical Society, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and the Leadership Council for WVU School of Public Health. (Erie and Pittsburgh locations)

FRANCIS E. PIPAK JR. is a partner with Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti LLP, and chair of the firm’s risk management and workers' compensation practice group, with expertise in the areas of employer liability and risk management issues. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America. Mr. Pipak's practice focuses on state workers’ compensation, state occupational disease, federal black lung, and Longshoremen and Harborworkers’ Compensation Act claims. His experience includes representation of employers of all types, including municipalities and public entities, private employers, publicly held companies, and various self-insured employers in a variety of business areas. Mr. Pipak also routinely represents insurance carriers and third-party administrators for workers’ compensation issues in the Federal Court of the Western District of Pennsylvania and through all levels of the state courts, through and including the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the American Bar Association (Tort and Insurance Practice Section) and the Pennsylvania Bar Association (Workers’ Compensation Section). Mr. Pipak is a past member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Workers’ Compensation Section Council and past member of the Legislative Sub-Committee of that council during a time when Act 57 was in the process of being drafted. Mr. Pipak also is a member of the Allegheny County Bar Association, where he is a past chair of the Workers’ Compensation Section. He speaks regularly to various professional groups on employer liability and workers’ compensation-related topics. Mr. Pipak earned his B.A. degree, with honors, from Saint Vincent College and his J.D. degree from Duquesne University School of Law. (Pittsburgh location)

HEATHER ZAMBELLI is an attorney in the Workers' Compensation Department of Post & Schell, P.C., located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Ms. Zambelli dedicates her practice to defending employers, insurance carriers, and third party administrators in all workers' compensation matters. She has significant experience litigating cases before judges throughout the state of Pennsylvania and before the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board. Ms. Zambelli also represents employers and insurance carriers in workers' compensation matters pending in the state of West Virginia. She serves as a member of the membership committee for the Workers' Compensation Section of the Allegheny County Bar Association. Ms. Zambelli regularly presents seminars to clients and prospective clients regarding the most effective and cost conscious way to adjust and litigate workers' compensation claims pending in both Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Prior to joining Post & Schell, P.C., Ms. Zambelli worked for a large insurance company representing employers in workers' compensation cases in Pennsylvania and defending general insurance coverage cases in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Ms. Zambelli graduated with her B.A degree from the University of Pittsburgh and she earned her J.D. degree from Duquesne University School of Law. (Erie and Pittsburgh locations)

JOHN W. ZATKOS JR. is a partner in the Workers' Compensation/Social Security Disability Department of Rothman Gordon, PC. He works exclusively with workers' compensation clients in handling the many aspects of litigation and settlement. Mr. Zatkos has built a reputation on serving employees seeking workers' compensation benefits and has extensive experience in obtaining settlements for those injured employees on Social Security disability and Medicare. He authors Rothman Gordon's quarterly workers' compensation newsletter and regularly presents on workers' compensation issues to unions and professional organizations, such as the Pennsylvania Association for Justice (formerly PaTLA). Mr. Zatkos also served as an instructor at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)'s Center for Professional Development regarding Pennsylvania workers' compensation laws and regulations. He earned his B.A. degree from Rutgers University and his J.D. degree from Duquesne University. Mr. Zatkos is a member of the Allegheny County Bar Association, the Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, and the Pennsylvania Association for Justice. (Pittsburgh location)

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Accreditation Details:

Continuing Legal Education

NJ CLE: 7.20 Credit Approval Exp
12/13/2018
Includes - Ethics: 1.20
This program has been approved by the Board on Continuing Legal Education of the Supreme Court of New Jersey for 7.2 hours of alternative format CLE credit. Of these, 1.2 qualify as hours of alternative learning format credit for ethics/professionalism. No more than 12.0 hours of alternative learning format CLE credit may be earned during a reporting period.


NY CLE: 7.00 Credit Approval Exp
04/16/2020
Includes - Areas of Professional Practice: 6.00, Ethics: 1.00
This nontraditional format course has been approved in accordance with the requirements of the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board for up to 7.0 credit hours. 7.0 hours can be applied to the Areas of Professional Practice requirement and is approved for newly admitted and experienced attorneys. 1.0 hour can be applied toward the ethics and professionalism requirement and is approved for experienced attorneys.


PA CLE: 6.00 Credit Approval Exp
04/16/2020
Includes - Ethics: 1.00
This program has been approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board. This program may qualify for up to 6.0 hours of distance learning credit, including 5.0 hours of substantive law, practice and procedure CLE credit and 1.0 hour of ethics, professionalism or substance abuse distance learning CLE credit. No more than 6.0 hours of distance learning CLE credit may be earned during a reporting period.


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