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Chapter 4.5. Division of Workers' Compensation
Subchapter 2. Workers' Compensation Appeals Board--Rules and Practice Procedure
Article 8. Hearings

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§10593. Testimony of Judicial or Quasi-Judicial Officers of the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board or of the Division of Workers' Compensation.

(a) No judicial or quasi-judicial officer of the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board or of the Division of Workers' Compensation may be subpoenaed or ordered to testify regarding either (1) the reasons for or basis of any decision or ruling he or she has made or (2) his or her opinion regarding any statements, conduct, or events occurring in proceedings before him or her, except as follows:

  (A) The judicial or quasi-judicial officer may be ordered to testify where his or her testimony is necessary on an issue of disqualification under Labor Code section 5311 and Code of Civil Procedure section 641.  


  (B) The judicial or quasi-judicial officer may be ordered to testify where his or her testimony is necessary on an issue of an alleged ex parte communication.  


  The judicial or quasi-judicial officer may be subpoenaed or ordered to testify as a percipient witness to statements, conduct, or events that occurred in the proceedings before him or her, to the same extent as any other percipient witness.  


(b) The testimony of a judicial or quasi-judicial offer shall be given only on the terms and conditions ordered by the presiding workers' compensation judge of the district office having venue, or by the Appeals Board, after the filing of a "Petition to Compel the Testimony of a Judicial or Quasi-Judicial Officer."

  (1) The petition to compel shall set forth with specificity the facts (or alleged facts) and law that support the petition.  


  (2) The petition to compel shall be verified under penalty of perjury.  


  (3) The petition to compel shall be served on all other parties, on all lien claimants whose liens are presently pending in issue in the underlying claim to which the petition relates, and on the Legal Unit of the Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC-Legal Unit), together with a proof of service. [As of the effective date of this rule, the street address of the DWC-Legal Unit is 1515 Clay Street, 18th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612-1402 and the Post Office Box of the DWC-Legal Unit is P.O. Box 420603, San Francisco, CA 94142. However, current information regarding the street address and Post Office Box of the DWC-Legal Unit may be obtained by calling the Headquarters of the Division of Workers' Compensation, whose number, as of the effective date of this rule, is (510) 286-7100.]  


  (4) A petition to compel that does not meet all of the foregoing requirements may be summarily dismissed or denied.  


(c) The other parties, lien claimants, and the DWC-Legal Unit shall have 15 days within which to file any objection to the petition to compel.

(d) The petition to compel shall be determined: (1) by the presiding workers' compensation judge of the district office having venue; (2) by a Deputy Commissioner of the Appeals Board, if the petition to compel relates to the presiding workers' compensation judge of the district office having venue; or (3) by the Appeals Board, if the petition to compel relates to a pending or impending petition for reconsideration, removal or disqualification,. The petition may be determined on the pleadings submitted or, in the discretion of the presiding workers' compensation judge or the Appeals Board, the petition may be set for a hearing.

(e) In determining whether to grant the petition to compel (and, if granted, in determining the terms and conditions upon which the testimony of the judicial or quasi-judicial officer may be given), the presiding workers' compensation judge or the Appeals Board may consider, among other things:

  (1) Whether the testimony of the judicial or quasi-judicial officer is reasonably necessary, taking into consideration (A) whether statements in the judicial or quasi-judicial officer's opinion on decision, report on reconsideration, removal, or disqualification, or other similar statements are sufficient to resolve any allegation by a party or lien claimant; and (B) if not, whether the judicial or quasi-judicial officer's factual statements may be fairly provided by an affidavit or declaration under penalty of perjury.  


  (2) Whether the testimony of the judicial or quasi-judicial officer under the "percipient witness" exception would be cumulative to the testimony of other percipient witnesses.  


(f) For purposes of this section, the term "judicial or quasi-judicial officer of the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board or of the Division of Workers' Compensation" shall include, but shall not be limited to: (1) any Commissioner; (2) any Deputy Commissioner; (3) any presiding workers' compensation judge or workers' compensation judge; (4) any pro tempore workers' compensation judge; (5) any special master appointed by the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board; (6) the Administrative Director and his or her designee; (7) the Court Administrator and his or her designee; (8) any workers' compensation consultant of the Rehabilitation Unit or of the Retraining and Return to Work Unit; and (9) any arbitrator or mediator.

(g) For purposes of this section, the term "testify" shall include testimony in either oral or written form (e.g., affidavits, declarations, interrogatories) and shall include all testimony, whether given at a deposition or a hearing.

(h) This section shall apply solely to testimony sought in connection with a matter within the jurisdiction of the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board, and it shall not apply to testimony sought pursuant to the authority of any other forum.


     Note: Authority cited: Sections 133, 5307, 5309 and 5708, Labor Code. Reference: Sections 5300, 5301, 5309, 5700, 5701 and 5708, Labor Code; and Section 703.5, Evidence Code.  


 HISTORY 
   
1. New section filed 11-17-2008; operative 11-17-2008. Submitted to OAL for
printing only (Register 2008, No. 47).



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