Newsline No. 68-10 printer image Printer friendly
December 8, 2010  

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

Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) acting Administrative Director Carrie Nevans has appointed the Hon. Alice Vilardi as chair of the workers' compensation ethics advisory committee, and re-appointed Michael McClain, Steve Siemers, and  Robert Ruby to membership positions on the committee. Chair Alice Vilardi is a judge of the superior court of Alameda County. She serves on the California Judicial Council’s Ethics and Fairness Curriculum Committee, has taught ethics to new judicial officers though the Judicial Council's new judicial officer training program, and has worked on the development of curricula and faculty materials and taught programs for the Judicial Council’s Center for Judicial Education and Research.

"This state committee, independent of the division, reviews confidential complaints filed against workers' compensation administrative law judges," said Nevans. "It helps ensure public confidence in the ethical standards of California’s workers' compensation judges."

The ethics advisory committee, established in 1995 by Title 8, California Code of Regulations, section 9722, reviews all complaints from the public which allege that workers' compensation administrative law judges have violated provisions of the California Code of Judicial Ethics. The appointments were effective Dec. 1, 2010. 

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 regulation provides that the committee mix include: 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.

Steve Siemers was re-appointed to the position for a member of the public representing organized labor; Michael McClain was re-appointed to the position for a member of the public representing insurers; and Robert Ruby was re-appointed to the position for an attorney who formerly practiced before the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board and who usually represented insurers or employers.

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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