Bradford & Barthel, LLP, is proud to announce yet another milestone in our quest for defense excellence.
Already a leader in client services and innovation, B&B is taking yet another giant leap forward in further defendng our clients’ interests. On September 14, 2009, all 12 B&B offices “went live” with the e-filing program at every WCAB venue. This means B&B clients will have their matters heard more quickly, skipping ahead of firms using the slower, outdated Optical Character Recognition (OCR) format.
With e-filing, a party can file a DOR and get a date virtually immediately. A hearing notice may be obtained within 24 hours of filing the DOR. By contrast, OCR forms are filed manually, leading to delays lasting weeks and months as parties wait for a pleading to be scanned and acted on by a WCAB District Office.
Litigation delays are costly, both in terms of time and money. Quickly getting matters to the WCAB will translate to real savings enjoyed by B&B clients. The speed and efficiency of e-filing benefits all defense stakeholders. Employers and carriers can get matters resolved more quickly with big dollar savings. Injured workers have their cases resolved faster, leaving them happier, less likely to retain counsel, and returning them to work more quickly. Defense attorneys can more efficiently litigate issues, thereby driving down litigation costs even further.
The WCAB began the Electronic Adjudication Management System (EAMS) in August of 2008. Most stakeholders started using OCR forms. These documents need to be filled out, sent to the WCAB, scanned in by the local board employees, and then acted upon. Almost immediately the process began to slow to a near halt. Horror stories abound about documents taking up to six months to be scanned and ruled on. “Filings seemed to fall into a black hole and often didn’t make it out,” complained one industry insider. “Lost documents” that disappeared without a trace led to further frustrations, delays, and costs.
Electronic filing, or e-filing, was also initiated in 2008, but only on a trial basis with a select few participants. B&B was actively involved in this trial from the very beginning, thereby placing B&B in a position to compare and contrast e-filing and OCR. The time savings achieved via e-filing was immediate and huge.
Bradford & Barthel is proud to now have all of its 12 offices participating in this trial program, thereby allowing all B&B clients to reap the savings.
Mark Fletcher is the Managing Attorney of Bradford & Barthel, LLP.
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