|This information is provided free of charge by the Department of Industrial Relations from its web site at www.dir.ca.gov. These regulations are for the convenience of the user and no representation or warranty is made that the information is current or accurate. See full disclaimer at http://www.dir.ca.gov/od_pub/disclaimer.html.
Chapter 4.5. Division of Workers' Compensation
Subchapter 2. Workers' Compensation Appeals Board--Rules and Practice Procedure
Article 13. Liens
§10770.1. Lien Conferences and Lien Trials.
(a) A lien conference shall be set (1) when any party, including a lien claimant who is a “party” as defined by section 10301(x)(3), files a declaration of readiness on any issue(s) directly relating to any lien claim(s); or (2) by the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board on its own motion at any time.
Unless otherwise expressly stated in the notice of hearing, all unresolved lien claims and lien issues shall be heard at the lien conference, whether or not listed in any declaration of readiness. An agreement to “pay, adjust or litigate” a lien claim or its equivalent, or an award leaving a lien claim to be adjusted, is not a resolution of the lien claim or lien issue.
To the extent feasible, the date of the lien conference shall be no sooner than 60 days after the date the notice of hearing for it is served.
(b) Nothing in this section shall preclude the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board, in its discretion, from: (1) setting a type of hearing other than that requested in the declaration of readiness, in accordance with section 10420; (2) issuing a ten-day notice of intention to order payment of the lien claim, in full or in part, in accordance with section 10888; or (3) issuing a ten-day notice of intention to disallow the lien claim, in accordance with section 10888.
(c) When a party, including a lien claimant who is a “party” as defined by section 10301(x)(3), files a declaration of readiness on an issue directly relating to a lien claim, including any preliminary or intermediate procedural or evidentiary issue, the party shall designate on the declaration of readiness form that it is requesting a “lien conference” and shall not designate any other kind of conference or hearing. If a status conference or any other type of hearing is requested or is set on the calendar, that status conference or other type of hearing shall be deemed a “lien conference” and shall be governed by any and all rules applying to a “lien conference.”
(d) Notwithstanding section 10240, all defendants and lien claimants shall appear at all lien conferences and lien trials, either in person or by attorney or representative. Each defendant, lien claimant, attorney, and hearing representative appearing at any lien conference or lien trial: (1) shall have sufficient knowledge of the lien dispute(s) to inform the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board as to all relevant factual and/or legal issues in dispute; (2) shall have authority to enter into binding factual stipulations; and (3) shall either have full settlement authority or have full settlement authority immediately available by telephone.
(e) For any lien claim(s) or lien issue(s) not fully resolved at the lien conference by an order signed by a workers' compensation judge, the defendant(s) and lien claimant(s) shall prepare, sign, and file with the workers' compensation judge a pretrial conference statement, which shall include: (1) all stipulations; (2) the specific issues in dispute; (3) all documentary evidence that might be offered at the lien trial; and (4) all witnesses who might testify at the lien trial. The right to present any issue, documentary evidence, or witness not listed in the pretrial conference statement shall be deemed waived, absent a showing of good cause. This subdivision shall apply regardless of which action the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board takes under subdivision (f).
(f) If any lien claim(s) or lien issue(s) cannot be fully resolved at the lien conference, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board shall take one of the following actions:
(1) set a lien trial;
(2) upon a showing of good cause, allow a one-time continuance of the lien conference to another lien conference, after which a lien trial shall be set; or
(3) upon a showing of good cause, order the lien conference off calendar.
The action taken shall apply to all unresolved lien claim(s) or lien issue(s).
(g) Discovery shall close on the date of the lien conference. Evidence not disclosed or obtained thereafter shall not be admissible unless the proponent of the evidence can demonstrate that it was not available or could not have been discovered by the exercise of due diligence prior to the lien conference.
(h) If a lien claimant fails to appear at a lien conference, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board may issue a notice of intention to dismiss the lien claim with or without prejudice in accordance with section 10562(d)(1) and/or section 10241(b)(2).
If a defendant is designated to serve the notice of intention to dismiss under section 10500(a), the defendant shall serve the notice of intention within 10 business days. If the defendant does not receive a timely objection (taking into consideration the time extension provisions of sections 10507 and 10508), the defendant shall file and serve a proposed order dismissing the lien and copies of the notice of intention and the notice's proof of service.
An order dismissing a lien claim for failure to appear shall be served only by the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board and not by designated service.
(i) The Workers' Compensation Appeals Board may order that any unresolved lien claim(s) or lien issue(s) be submitted for decision solely on the exhibits listed in the pretrial conference statement if: (1) no witnesses are listed in the pretrial conference statement; or (2) witnesses are listed but no good cause is shown for any witness to testify at trial. Good cause may be established by offers of proof made at the lien conference.
If the disputed lien claim(s) or lien issue(s) are submitted for decision at the lien conference, the workers' compensation judge shall prepare minutes of hearing and a summary of evidence listing: (1) all exhibits offered in evidence; (2) the identity of the party or lien claimant offering each exhibit; and (3) whether or not each exhibit is admitted in evidence. This descriptive listing shall be filed and served no later than the date of the decision on the submitted issues.
(j) After a lien conference or lien trial has been ordered off calendar, no party or lien claimant shall file a new declaration of readiness for at least 90 days. The declaration of readiness shall designate that a “lien conference” is requested and shall state under penalty of perjury that there has been no hearing on the lien claim(s) or lien issue(s) within the preceding 90 calendar days.
Nothing in this subdivision shall preclude the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board from (1) restoring the lien claim(s) or lien issue(s) to the lien conference or lien trial calendar on its own motion or (2) restoring the lien claim(s) or lien issue(s) to the lien conference or lien trial calendar less than 90 calendar days after the most recent hearing.
(k) If a defendant was designated to serve a lien claimant with notice of a lien conference or lien trial under sections 10500(a) and 10544, the defendant shall bring a copy of its proof of service to the lien conference or lien trial and, if the lien claimant fails to appear, the defendant shall file that proof of service with the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board.
(l) Any violation of the provisions of this section may give rise to monetary sanctions, attorney's fees, and costs under Labor Code section 5813 and Rule 10561.
(m) The provisions of subdivisions (e), (g), and (h) shall not apply to the lien claim(s) of any of the following: (1) the Employment Development Department; (2) the California Victims of Crime Program; (3) any lien claimant listed as being excepted under section 10228(c)(5); and (4) any governmental entity pursuing a lien claim for child support or spousal support.
Note: Authority cited: Sections 133, 5307, 5309 and 5708, Labor Code. Reference: Sections 4903, 4903.1, 4903.4, 4903.5, 4903.6, 4904, 5502 and 5502.5, Labor Code; Sections 351 and 352, Evidence Code; and Sections 10250, 10250.1, 10301(u), 10364(a), 10561, 10629 and 10770-10772, title 8, California Code of Regulations.
1. New section filed 5-21-2012; operative 5-21-2012 pursuant to Government Code section 11343.4. Submitted to OAL for printing only pursuant to Government Code 11351 (Register 2012, No. 21).
Go Back to Article 13 Table of Contents