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Director Duncan Congratulates New Appointees

January 15, 2008

I am pleased to announce the appointments by Governor Schwarzenegger of Deidre Lowe, Frank Brass and James Cuneo as commissioners of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB).

The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board reviews petitions for reconsideration from decisions issued by workers’ compensation administrative law judges; participates in appellate proceedings before the courts of appeal and the state Supreme Court; and regulates the adjudication process by adopting rules of practice and procedure.

Before her appointment, Ms. Lowe worked as an associate attorney with Hanna, Brophy, MacLean, McAleer & Jensen firm specializing in workers' compensation. She has over 27 years of experience in workers’ compensation including work representing applicants early in her career. She is a member of the Workers' Compensation Section of the State Bar of California and the Northern California Defense Attorneys Association.

Lowe earned a Juris Doctor degree from McGeorge School of Law and Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Davis.

Reappointed for a second term, Brass has served as a commissioner of the WCAB since 2001. He has over 40 years of experience as an attorney specializing in workers' compensation. Brass began practice under the tutelage of Lowell A. Airola, a founding member of the California Applicant's Attorneys' Association (CAAA). He worked in distinguished law firms including Parente & Christopher and Brass & Zuckerman/Fremont Indemnity.

He attended St. Ignatius High School and eventually earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of San Francisco.

Cuneo, also appointed to a second term, has served as a WCAB commissioner since 2001. A practitioner of workers’ compensation defense for over 30 years and a 1975 Certified Specialist in workers’ compensation, he founded the workers’ compensation defense firm of Cuneo Black Ward & Missler, where he served as president from 1984-2001. Before forming his own practice, Cuneo was a successful partner with Hanna & Brophy and a staff tax counsel for the California State Department of Employment, now the Employment Development Department.

Cuneo earned a Juris Doctor degree from Golden Gate University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame.

All three positions require Senate confirmation.

Please join me in congratulating Deidre, Frank and James on their appointments and wishing them all the best.