Los Angeles, CA asked in Workers' Compensation and Legal Malpractice for California

Q: What does it mean: WCAB paperwork where "Proposed" order is hand-scratched out & "Joint" is written over it?

After seeing months & months of mounting mistakes happening by my WC lawyer, some of which I've come here to ask what is normal, I finally confronted them on the several things done - or rather they bazaarly mistakenly they didn't do--because my case was at a critical place & their newest mistakes were blatantly pretty bad & I was trying to understand what in the world happened to then get things back on track out for the to salvage things & get stuff that was somehow forgotten, submitted in time before too late. Then following week WC lawyer calls to say they want to dismiss me as client - of course after I've called them out for their egregious mistakes. Anyway, I was in the middle of attempting to find new attny, with the motion being filed last Tuesday. It has come back today as approved, but the WCAB scratched out "proposed" in intro & handwrote "joint" in its place, then scratched out my lawyer's name, but did approve. What does this mean exactly with all the handwritten adjusts?

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Legal Malpractice Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In the context of WCAB (Workers' Compensation Appeals Board) paperwork in California, changes made by handwriting indicate modifications to the original document. If "Proposed" has been scratched out and replaced with "Joint" in the order, this typically signifies a shift from a suggestion made by one party to an agreement reached by both parties involved in the case. This means that both you and the opposing side, likely the employer or their insurance company, are considered to have mutually agreed on the contents of the order.

The scratching out of your lawyer’s name could indicate a change in representation or an acknowledgment of the termination of their services in your case. Since the order was approved despite these alterations, the changes are legally recognized. However, the exact implications for your case depend on the specifics of the agreement labeled as "Joint" and the context in which your attorney's name was removed.

It's crucial at this juncture to secure new legal representation promptly, especially given the critical changes and recent approval of the motion. A new attorney can provide clarity on these modifications and help navigate the next steps in your workers' compensation claim. They can also ensure that your interests are properly represented and that any agreements made are in your best interest.

Ronald Mahurin agrees with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

Ronald Mahurin
Ronald Mahurin
  • Workers' Compensation Lawyer
  • Point Arena, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: When you write messages like this you are signaling to any future attorney that you are a difficult client, and perhaps why your prior attorney left. We don't need to know why you were unhappy, or how many mistakes your attorney made. You do not need to justify why you want another attorney. All we need to know is that you want new representation. I suggest when you look for new representation simply say there was a lack of communication. There are enough problems and complaints in WC without hearing about your interpretation of your attorney's mistakes and faulty legal analysis. You are shooting yourself in the foot. From what you say you are going to need a really good attorney to proceed, but you are closing the door by being so critical. I suggest someone with CAAA. Good luck.

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