On December 6, 2010 Los Angeles WCAB Presiding Judge Jorja Frank, along with Associate Chief Judge Mark Kahn, presided over a further hearing in connection the notice of intent to consolidate liens filed by interpreters.
Goldman Magdalin & Krikes, LLP is currently representing clients in connection with interpreter lien consolidation petitions. The primary purpose of the further hearing was to provide guidance to and hearing dates for those parties who have filed petitions for consolidation.
Judge Frank and Judge Kahn reminded attendees at the hearing that there is no stay on interpreter liens for parties that have not undertaken the filing of a Petition for Consolidation. This is applicable not only in the Los Angeles District Office but elsewhere in California. For parties that have filed a Petition for Consolidation, any cases included in the Petition are necessarily stayed pending a decision on the request for consolidation. Hearing dates for such consolidated cases will be scheduled in February 2011. The responsibility to properly notice all parties for such consolidation hearings is on the moving/petitioning party.
Please note that the only matters that will be consolidated are those in which a Petition for Consolidation was filed by a party to the case.
Judge Kahn further explained that proposed rules to achieve consistency regarding interpreter reimbursements will be recommended to the new Brown Administration for approval. However, in the event that the Brown Administration does decide to seek implementation of new rules regarding these issues the time frame will likely be prolonged since new regulations and Labor Code revisions will have to go through standard legislative procedures for implementation of statutory revisions or new administrative regulations.
Refresher on Interpreter Liens
Interpreter liens consist of two types. The first, pursuant to Labor Code §5811, are so called "cost liens” including deposition preparation and deposition appearances, appearances at the Board, medical-legal evaluations and as otherwise specified in Board Rule §9795.3(a). The second are "treatment liens”, generally considered to be services rendered by interpreters in connection with medical treatment including, for example, physician office visits, physical therapy, chiropractic and acupuncture treatment, sleep studies, etc. Treatment liens are generally considered more difficult to deal with because of the lack of statutory or regulatory guidance and reasonableness and necessity standards relating to medical treatment in general.
Judge Frank has previously advised that interpreting liens are the second largest group of liens being filed at the Los Angeles Board and that with ongoing hiring freezes there is simply not enough staff or judges to handle the liens that are being filed.
What This Means for You
Goldman Magdalin & Krikes remains an active participant in interpreter lien consolidation proceedings. We can expect further developments regarding interpreting liens in February 2011 and will continue to provide information and recommendations on these issues as they develop.
In the meantime, the filing of petitions for consolidation of interpreter liens remains the responsibility of employers and insurance carriers. If your company is interested in actively participating in these consolidation proceedings, please contact senior partner, Paul Magdalin, for further information concerning the coordination and consolidation of these issues. Mr. Magdalin can be reached at our Woodland Hills office by telephone at (818) 755-0444 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Copyright 2010 Goldman, Magdalin & Krikes, LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.