I urge California Lawyer to enhance its annual Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) Awards by adding a Workers’ Compensation category. Workers’ Compensation is quite different from the employment law category already offered.
Worker’s Compensation cases are initially adjudicated before the Worker’s Compensation Appeal Board, a separate court system with unique procedural rules and substantive laws. Workers’ Compensation lawyers generally do not practice Employment Law and Employment Lawyers generally do not practice Workers’ Compensation Law.
Workers’ Compensation is relevant to your readers and to all business owners and workers in California. Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye stressed this point when she addressed a statewide conference of Workers’ Compensation attorneys shortly after beginning her work on the Court. She recognized that Workers’ Compensation Law has a broad public purpose of protecting injured workers while creating a positive business climate for the state.
Every year significant cases in the field are taken up by the Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court, and there are also frequent, substantial legislative changes. The nearly one-thousand Workers’ Compensation Certified Specialists and other seasoned Workers’ Compensation attorneys, both individually and through practice groups, regularly change the law through legislative advocacy and zealous appellate work.
There is an abundance of qualified CLAY candidates in our field. I see this daily not only in my practice, but also in my volunteer service as the Vice-Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Law Advisory Commission (WCLAC) to the California Board of Legal Specialization at the State Bar.
With the deadline looming for the publication of this year’s CLAY nominations, I urge you to act now to add the Workers’ Compensation category to the nominations list for the CLAY Awards in order to enhance an already strong program. Thank you.