Bulletin No. 53-06
October 5, 2006

Division of Workers' Compensation announces appointments to workers’ compensation ethics advisory committee

Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) acting Administrative Director Carrie Nevans has appointed five individuals to be members of the workers' compensation ethics advisory committee. The committee, established in 1995 by Title 8, California Code of Regulations, section 9722, reviews all complaints from the public alleging violations of the California Code of Judicial Ethics by workers' compensation administrative law judges. All five appointments will be effective Dec. 1, 2006, prior to the committee’s Dec. 4 meeting. These appointments fill all vacancies on the nine-member committee.

“This committee helps ensure public confidence in the ethical standards of California’s workers' compensation system,” said Nevans.

After its review of complaints, the committee makes recommendations to the administrative director and the DWC court administrator. The committee reviews all complaints anonymously and does not learn the names of either the complainant or the judge complained against. The committee meets quarterly and members serve four year terms without compensation.

The committee mix includes: a member of the public representing organized labor; a member of the public representing insurers; a member of the public representing self-insured employers; an attorney who formerly practiced before the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board and who usually represented insurers or employers; an attorney who formerly practiced before the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board and who usually represented applicants; a presiding judge; a workers’ compensation administrative law judge (WCALJ) or retired WCALJ; and two members of the public outside the workers' compensation community.

The Honorable Julie Conger, a superior court judge in Alameda County, and chair of the committee, has been reappointed to a position on the committee designated for a member of the public who is currently outside the workers' compensation community. She will continue to serve as chair.

Michael McClain, Esq., has been reappointed to a position on the committee designated for a member of the public representing insurers.

Robert R. Ruby, Esq., has been appointed to the position on the committee designated for an attorney who formerly practiced before the appeals board, usually representing employers or insurers.

Steven W. Siemers, Esq., has been appointed to the position on the committee designated for a member of the public representing organized labor.

Gordon R. Gaines, Esq., has been appointed to a position on the committee designated for a member of the public who is currently outside the workers' compensation community.

A judicial ethics complaint form and instructions can be found on the forms page of the DWC Web site at http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/forms.html.

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