Electronic Adjudication Management System (EAMS) Insider

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Issue 13 March 30, 2009

Welcome to EAMS Insider, the newsletter about the Electronic Adjudication Management System (EAMS).

The Division of Workers’ Compensation fields many questions from injured workers, employers, attorneys, insurers, lien claimants, and others about the new system. This newsletter was created to answer those questions and share information. Every two weeks, EAMS Insider will provide information on new developments and what to expect during this transition. Bulletins will also be sent to subscribers for important announcements. (Sign up to be a subscriber at EAMS@dir.ca.gov.)

What you need to know

For a quick primer on EAMS, point your browser to www.dwc.ca.gov/eams. There, you will find a project overview, fact sheet, FAQs, OCR forms and sample filings, blogs from DWC Judges Colleen Casey and Bob Norton, application demos and a glossary. Even if you have visited the Web site before, be sure to check back often for updates, “how to” guides and other useful tools.

EAMS updates

One of the challenges with implementing EAMS is establishing its rules. Considerable time and effort went into the Court Administrator’s regulations, including public comment, before they became effective last November. But it’s difficult to anticipate every development that comes with making changes.
A case in point concerns proposed trial exhibits.
The regulations are quite clear that such exhibits submitted at the mandatory settlement conference and trial must have document cover sheets and document separator sheets. However, some of the district offices found that it saved time by putting colored sheets in between the exhibits to mark where they were in the stack of papers. This has lead filers to ask, do I need to submit my exhibits with these colored sheets?
EAMS Insider has attempted to clarify this procedure in that past, but let’s revisit it. Three points to remember:

1. All OCR forms must have document cover sheets and document separator sheets. This is required by the regulations.

2. A district office may ask filers to use colored papers between exhibits. However, not every office will ask for this.

3. The colored papers are not required by the regulations. It is a way to expedite the processing of exhibits and its use varies by district office.

Filers who visit more than one district office have found that the colored paper rule is not followed at every office. We understand that this can be confusing, and hope you understand that it is a way for our offices to deal with their workload.

If questions arise about practices that seem contrary to the regulations, email EAMS@dir.ca.gov and write “local rules” in the subject header. And thank you for your patience.

e-Forms update

The next webinar for e-form filers is scheduled for Friday, April 17. We’ll have some interesting topics for you, and will answer all of your questions.

E-form trial participants will get an email with the phone number and web link for the webinar.

We’d also like to thank one of our technical specialists, Walter Sensing, for fixing a problem with our online database for registered claims administrators’ offices and representatives’ offices. The database information is now corrected and current.

New FAQs: DWC is constantly making improvements to the EAMS Web site and is working to make the changes more apparent to frequent visitors. We are also compiling the new and updated FAQs and sending them out in this bi-weekly edition of the EAMS Insider. In this summary, updated questions have the Update image ”Update” icon next to them. The rest are new questions.

Here are the FAQ updates made between Feb. 5-25, 2009.

Topics covered in this FAQ update include:

Filing OCR forms
The OCR cover sheet
The OCR document separator sheet
Filing e-forms
Participating in an e-forms trial
Lien claimant-specific questions

About Filing OCR forms:

Update image Q: Can we develop our own versions of DWC's forms that work in case management systems to autopopulate the forms?

A: Yes. DWC designed its forms to be "autopopulate ready." That means that while the DWC OCR forms can't be plugged into the autopopulate feature of your case management software as is, the version of the forms on the Web site can be tweaked to do just that. Your forms developer must test the forms it creates to be sure they will function with EAMS in an equivalent manner as the division's forms (court administrator rule 10228).

Update image Q: I've heard that forms vendors have been working with DWC to make their forms EAMS-compatible. How can I get a list of approved software forms vendors?

A: While many forms developers worked with DWC to test their forms for EAMS compatibility, the DWC will not certify software vendors or forms developers. It is the vendor's responsibility to ensure compatibility of their forms with DWC scanners.

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About OCR cover sheet

Q: If I have filed case documents for a particular unit but now wish to file documents with another unit, would this be considered a new case when checking the boxes at the top of the cover sheet? For example, if I have filed an application and have an ADJ case number and now want to request a DEU rating, would this be a new case? Or would I use the existing case number preceded by DEU?

A: Even though they are assigned the same number, the ADJ and DEU product delivery cases are two separate cases. In your example, the DEU case would be a new case if no DEU documents have been previously filed with the district office. You would check the “Yes” box to indicate a new case and leave the case number field blank. EAMS would then assign the new corresponding DEU case number.

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About the OCR document separator sheet:

Update image Q: When submitting a deposition transcript as an exhibit, would the author on the separator sheet be our office or the court reporter's name?

A: Use the name of the deponent.

Q: I am submitting a Request for Dismissal of 132(a), but that title doesn’t appear in the document list for ADJ cases. What do I put on the separator sheet?

A: Use ADJ–MISC–TYPED OR WRITTEN LETTER. This title will generate a task at the district office so that appropriate action will be taken on your request.  If you were submitting an unlisted document that does not require action, you would use ADJ-MISC-CORRESPONDENCE-OTHER. 

Update image Q: When preparing trial exhibits, do we scan all of the exhibits together as one package, or does each exhibit need its own separator sheet?

A: The district offices may request that the proposed trial exhibits havecolored paper in between exhibits. The regulations require that exhibits be submitted at the MSC and/or trial with cover sheets and separator sheets. 

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About filing e-forms:

Update image Q: DOR: I am e-filing a DOR but when I try to search for a date I get a message that says, "No suitable slot availability could be determined."  I talked to the judge's secretary, who said they have already opened the calendar dates.  Can someone help?

A: There are number of reasons you may receive this message. The best approach is once you receive this message, you promptly email the EAMSHelpDesk@dir.ca.gov so they can research the cause and then advise you how to best proceed. Be sure to include all necessary information.

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About participating in an e-forms trial:

Q: Our firm has 3 offices participating in the e-forms trial, each with its own username and password. Since we sometimes cover for attorneys in our other offices, I was wondering if we are allowed to e-file for the other offices within our firm.

A: You cannot e-file for any of your firm’s other offices, as this would be a violation of your e-forms trial participant contract. Usernames and passwords are assigned for one office location only. This means you would not be able to process e-forms for any office other than your own location, even within the same firm.

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About lien claimant-specific questions:

Q: Is the injured worker’s signature required on the lien?

A: The EAMS forms do not contain a signature line for the injured worker. The appeals board had made a deliberate decision to take the injured worker signature line out, since the injured workers were not signing the liens in the past, and there was (and is) no requirement that a lien claimant sign the lien as consenting to the allowance of the lien against his/her compensation.

Update image Q:  We have a lien trial upcoming and have already filed the executed stipulations and issues and the proofs of service showing that the exhibits were filed on all the lien claimants. The exhibits are voluminous—more than 300 pages. Are the exhibits to be scanned individually, with a separator sheet for each?

A: You must bring copies of the original evidence you listed on the stipulations and issues with you to the MSC. You should have listed only evidence relevant to the issues to be submitted at trial. The copies must be brought to the MSC in proper format, including completed cover sheets and separator sheets.

Retain the originals of all evidence in your possession, as the copies submitted to the court will be destroyed after scanning. Oversized exhibits and tangible evidence should be brought to the MSC and presented to the judge who will assign a party to retain custody of the items and bring them to trial.

Q: What is the correct way to withdraw a DOR we recently filed on a lien?  We settled the lien and no longer require assistance from the WCAB.  Is there a specific form, or do we just write a letter?

A: There is no OCR form for withdrawing a DOR. You would type a letter requesting this as you did prior to EAMS. You will have to include a document cover sheet and separator sheet when you submit the letter to the WCAB. The letter would be filed under ADJ-MISC-TYPED OR WRITTEN LETTER. If the case is set for hearing, you may file your request to OTOC using ADJ-LEGAL-REQUEST FOR ORDER TAKING OFF CALENDAR.

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How you can help

When you have a question about filing, email EAMSHelpDesk@dir.ca.gov. Our experts will assist you.

When you have a concern or question related to EAMS, email EAMS@dir.ca.gov. We will make sure it gets to the right person.

EAMS Insider is published every two weeks by the DWC Communications Office. It can also be found on the division’s Web site at www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/EAMS. Questions? Comments? Story ideas? Email EAMS@dir.ca.gov

EAMS Public Information Officer Peter Melton