URGING A CHANGE IN THE METHOD OF SCHEDULING WORKERS' COMPENSATION HEARINGS IN PHILADELPHIA COUNTY
 
WHEREAS, the present method of scheduling workers' compensation hearings before Referees in Philadelphia County requires that every notice of a workers' compensation hearing be mailed individually to the claimant, the defendant/employer, claimant's counsel, defense counsel, and the applicable insurance company;

WHEREAS, the present method of scheduling workers' compensation hearings requires that each of the five (5) hearing notices be printed, copied, individually folded and stuffed into envelopes by each Referee's secretary;

WHEREAS, the vast majority of a Referee's secretary's job is spent preparing and forwarding hearing notices rather than doing other work, including the typing of Referee decisions on the merits of pending claims;

WHEREAS, the expense of mailing written notices for hearings exceeds Fifty Thousand ($50,000) Dollars per year -- with no guarantee that any of the approximately 200,000 notices sent annually actually reaches the intended parties;

WHEREAS, the lack of uniformity as to the notice period among Referees (some giving extensive notice while others giving fewer than ten (10) days notice) makes it difficult for lawyers to plan their calendars;

WHEREAS, a uniform method of notifying counsel of hearings is necessary to insure that counsel receive notice in a manner which will enable them to schedule and prepare for upcoming hearings;

WHEREAS, a uniform notice procedure will greatly facilitate the orderly conduct of business before the Referees by reducing the need for continuances based upon inadequate/untimely notice;

WHEREAS, the Workers' Compensation Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association has reviewed this proposal and unanimously supports a system by which notice of hearings are published in the Legal Intelligencer;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association endorses and supports the proposed change in the manner of notifying counsel of Workers' Compensation hearings;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association requests the Chancellor to take appropriate action to urge the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Labor and Industry, Bureau of Workers' Compensation to adopt a procedure in which all notices for hearings scheduled before Referees sitting in Philadelphia County be published on or about the first of the month preceding the hearing month in the Legal Intelligencer.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: May 20, 1993