Morgan’s Tip of the week-Missing a Mediation
Greetings, everyone makes mistakes, but they are always fixable (well almost always).
Occasionally I will have an adjuster reach out to me thinking that had previously assigned defense with a mediation set for that day. And without fail, our firm will be able to handle it or get it moved. But I know, for some inexplicable reason, some employers do not use our firm. If you are unable to assign defense, DOAH has made it much easier for you to figure out how to attend the mediation yourself.
All state mediations are now held by Zoom (unless the parties request live). However, the mediators are no longer tied to the venue, your case could be assigned to any one of the 50 or so state mediators.
So, go to DOAH and find out which mediator is assigned to your case on the docket: https://www.jcc.state.fl.us/JCC/searchJCC/searchCases.asp
Then, you can go to this page and find the Zoom info for each mediator to join the mediation at the assigned time: https://jcc.state.fl.us/JCC/mediators/
If no one attends the mediation on behalf of the Employer/Carrier, the Judge of Compensation claims will issue an Order to Show Cause. That means we need to explain why we missed the mediation. In most instances, this can be explained as inadvertent error and there are no repercussions. However, if we miss the Order to Show Cause hearing also, the JCC may strike defenses and/or award attorney’s fees to the claimant.
The same holds true for a Request to Produce. The E/C has 30 days to respond to an RTP, and after that, the claimant can file a Motion to Compel a response. At that point you need to ensure you have defense assigned so they can respond before a JCC compels a response as that may waive privileges and expose you to fees.
As always, we are here to help.
Morgan Indek | Managing Partner