Review of Workers’ Compensation Index, 10th Ed.

I have reviewed this newly published Workers’ Compensation Index, 10th Edition (2014) (LexisNexis) and am pleased to report Richard Montarbo has done an excellent job updating it with case law and of course the continuing SB-863 updates and other legislation since my earlier 9th edition.

I have known Richard for over 20 years and have found him to be very knowledgeable about workers' compensation claims in Calif., i.e., applicable case law, codes and regs, but also have found he understands the various "sides" of issues, rather than just the defense viewpoint. This makes him a more effective advocate, but also helps him fairly summarize case law and legislation.

In the new edition there were places where corrections and clarifications were needed from my earlier editions. This has been very well done. In short, "Richard, you did a great job!"

Bottom line: I would recommend his summary of new case law and legislation as being clear, succinct, and "fair" to all parties involved in workers' comp claims in California.

My original goal of producing an alphabetical index to all of workers' comp claims in California has been not only met, but substantially improved from my earlier editions through the 9th! The improvement is not limited to simply bringing it up-to-date (which has been very well done), but also by re-organizing the book to make it more user-friendly and useful.

Let's look at "his" book which you are holding. A number of changes have been made to make it even more helpful than before:

1. The QuickGuide located on the inside front cover contains 58 major topics and refers to page numbers labeled first by the letter A-Z of the section where the entry is found, and then to the page number within that section.

2. Pages are numbered only within a particular alphabetical section, not from the start to the end of the book. I found this system strange at first, but the more I look at it, the more I like it.

3. The book also has blackened page indicators or "page bleeds" for each separate letter at one of 6 places down the right side of the page. In order to see the effect of the "bleeds," turn the book to the left to view the edge of the right side of the book. You'll see many vertical black lines of varying thickness. The "A" entry is the thicker section which begins just below the middle of the left edge of the book. "B" of course follows, etc. This is a quick way to go to a particular section! It sure beats thumbing through the book!

For example, if you are in the "P" section and want to go to "R," look 2 black lines to the right of "P"! Very simple. If you want something in the middle or near the end of the "Rs" you can simply open the book to that part and begin visually scanning the page.

There is also a "Key Topic List" which is helpful to use when you are trying to find something which has managed to elude you or you are looking for a few "jumping off places" to go for more information. This section lists "Key Topics" first, then gives "Main Topic in Book" and last, "Sub Topic in Book."

A list like this, unlike a simple "Alphabetical-by-Subject-Index" is designed to refer the reader to something which might otherwise not appear obvious in the "Sub Topic" portion. Also, if you look up case names under "Key Topic" it is a quick reference to tell you the main subject a particular case deals with, e.g., "MESSELE" and under "Main Topic in Book," it lists "QME."

Personally, I am relieved to see my book has been greatly improved with Mr. Montarbo's revisions. I heartily recommend his Workers' Compensation Index, 10th ed. to anyone whose job involves workers' compensation claims in California and who doesn't have a "perfect" or eidetic memory.

James T. (Stew) Stewart
Author, Work Comp Index, 1st to 9th Editions