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Utah: High Court Says Labor Commission’s Fee Schedule I Unconstitutional

May 27, 2016 (1 min read)







The Supreme Court of Utah held (a) that the statute delegating authority to the Labor Commission to regulate fees for attorneys representing claimants [Utah Code § 34A–1–309] and (b) the sliding-scale fee schedule (and cap on fees) crafted by the Commission and contained in Utah Admin. Code R602–2–4(C)(3) were both unconstitutional. The Court observed that under the Utah Constitution, the Supreme Court of Utah was vested with exclusive authority to govern the practice of law within the state. The Court indicated that it was persuaded that the regulation of attorney fees was part of the authority held by the Court and not the state legislature. The latter, therefore, did not have the power to delegate the regulation of attorney’s fees in workers’ compensation cases to the Labor Commission and the Commission itself had no power to establish the fee schedule. The Court said fears of unscrupulous attorneys preying upon injured workers had been exaggerated and, in any event, attorneys were subject to the constraints described in the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Injured Workers Ass’n v. State of Utah, 2016 UT 21, 2016 Utah LEXIS 64 (May 18, 2016).

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 133.03.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.









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