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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    12

    Default How to Represent Myself at a WC Hearing

    Aloha,

    Is it possible to represent myself in WC hearing? Anyone had success doing this?

    I had a horrible atty for one year from who did nothing! Then when IME challenged my injury, he bailed. Now he states that if I pursue and win case he will submit for payment from DL& I. He did nothing. He sent me my file and everything in it was the paperwork that I sent him. Now I have gone on my own to prove the injury and case. My doctors feel that I have a very strong case and should pursue since I am now perm disabled and unable to work. Actually i have an additional new diagnosis to add to my misery. I am considering scheduling a hearing but need advice. thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,080

    Default Re: Represent Myself at Hawaii WC Hearing?

    yes you can. There is no requirement that you get an atty.
    http://hawaii.gov/labor/hlirab/lirab...ed%20Questions

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Represent Myself at Hawaii WC Hearing?

    remember all work comp attorneys are friends, submit all supporting documents to Disability Compensation Division. and review yor file at DCD to see what has been submitteds aloha.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    831 East Morehead St., Ste 355, Charlotte, NC 28202
    Posts
    3,744

    Default Re: Represent Myself at Hawaii WC Hearing?

    Going to court without a lawyer is not a real clever thing to do if you are not trained as a lawyer and do not know how to try cases in court. Even inexperienced licensed lawyers can look like fools in court. I tried a comp case recently against a lawyer who has been practicing for less than 3 years and that lawyer did not know what he was doing in court. The judge was getting more and more irritated with that lawyer as the trial went on and the young lawyer kept screwing up.

    At the end of the trial, the judge announced how he was thinking about the issues in the case. The judge revealed that the inexperienced lawyer was basically getting nothing good from the judge for his client. Why? Because the inexperienced lawyer had done a poor job of presenting the evidence on behalf of his client. His client is therefore going to lose.

    If you can do better than an inexperienced lawyer, then you may win. It is not impossible. But don't count on it. If you have a decent case don't screw it up by representing yourself. If you have a decent case, then you have something to lose. Your best bet is to hire the best work comp lawyer you can. There is a guy in Hawaii who is active in WILG who may be willing to help you if you will get in touch with him soon. His initials are D.M. You can look him up here: www.WILG.org Use the "Find an Attorney" button at the top of the home page, and tell him I sent you. Good luck.
    The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held that "In contested Workers' Compensation cases today, access to competent legal counsel is a virtual necessity." Church v. Baxter Travenol Labs, Inc., and American Motorists Insurance Company, 104 N.C. App. 411, 416 (1991).

    Bob Bollinger, Attorney and Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Represent Myself at Hawaii WC Hearing?

    remember to ask for a copy of the notes that are taken at the hearing, because they do not record the hearing there is no documented proof from the hearings officer exactly what notes he took. I know from experience beleive it or not the Disability Compensation Division DESTROYS THE NOTES AFTER A DECISION AND ORDER HAS BEEN DETERMINED. Even if you filed for an Appeal they destroy the notes. ask for a copy and if denied ask why in writing before youi leave the hearing and bring a friend as a witness. aloha

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Represent Myself at a WC Hearing

    you go gettim, I wish I was representing myself, I hardly got to talk at all just answer direct questions and I think I could have done a better job than my atty

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    831 East Morehead St., Ste 355, Charlotte, NC 28202
    Posts
    3,744

    Default Re: Represent Myself at a WC Hearing

    Up2God-- in what state do they not record the hearings? Anytime a hearing is held there should be a verbatim transcript. That is very basic procedural due process. How would a person appeal the decision if there is no transcript of the hearing testimony and evidentiary rulings?
    The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held that "In contested Workers' Compensation cases today, access to competent legal counsel is a virtual necessity." Church v. Baxter Travenol Labs, Inc., and American Motorists Insurance Company, 104 N.C. App. 411, 416 (1991).

    Bob Bollinger, Attorney and Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Represent Myself at a WC Hearing

    Absolutely you may represent yourself. Get on the hawaiigov.com website under the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, DCD and download the necessary forms to apply for a Hearing. List the issues you would like to be determined at the hearing. Also, be sure to apply for the benefits you are seeking such as temporary total disability, permanent partial disability or total disability whether it is permanent or temporary. Then prepare your case for a hearing. Remember the most important evidence at the hearing will be the medical evidence, such as MRI, CT scan, X-rays and nerve conduction tests.

    - - - Updated - - -

    You guys are all missing the point. Notes or no notes, The DLIR can not be held responsible for the decisions they make. All you can do if you receive an unfavorable decision or part of a decision is Appeal it. Then, on appeal you must show why the DLIR decision was incorrect based on facts of the case such as the medical evidence or previous case law.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    831 East Morehead St., Ste 355, Charlotte, NC 28202
    Posts
    3,744

    Default Re: Represent Myself at a WC Hearing

    I have been trying cases in court for 25 years. I have handled many appeals as well, including the one I argued about 11 hours ago at our Full Commission. I can assure you that I am not missing the point. I cannot imagine that in Hawaii they conduct an evidentiary hearing that has an appeal process, and they don't make a record of the evidence presented during the hearing. The notes made by the hearing officer would not be the "record" because those notes are not "evidence." Because of that, the notes probably do not really matter. But a "record" does matter, or at least it should. An appeal is not about holding the original hearing officer "responsible" but rather about giving the parties procedural due process, as required by the Constitution, and trying to provide justice. How do you appeal if there is no record made? Even 17th century courts made records.
    The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held that "In contested Workers' Compensation cases today, access to competent legal counsel is a virtual necessity." Church v. Baxter Travenol Labs, Inc., and American Motorists Insurance Company, 104 N.C. App. 411, 416 (1991).

    Bob Bollinger, Attorney and Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Represent Myself at a WC Hearing

    I would agree, the appeals is the only place where justice is going to play out. The hearing process here in Hawaii is very informal. It is true there is no recordings allowed and no stenographers allowed. You are sent a letter with the ruling, very detailed that covers the claimants charges of the case , the information the hearing officer used to make his decision, where that is right or wrong information, and then the decision . You have 20 days to appeal from that date. The Department of Industrial of Labor Relations strongly advises one to get an attorney for appeals. The rules are complicated . It is not easy to find a good appeals attorney for WC in Honolulu though, and why more and more people just give up and represent themselves. I hope to find someone who will not be intimidated by this case, and where truth is important to them .

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