Photocopy services are required to be registered and bonded under Business and Professions Code sections 22450 and 22455. However section 22451(b) exempts “[a]member of the State Bar or his or her employees, agents, or independent contractors” from the registration requirements. This WCAB en banc case considered a photocopy lien claimant’s contention that it was exempt from being registered and bonded.
Rogelio Cornejo through his attorney Jonathan C. Rosen, Esq., of the JCR Law Group, Inc., filed two Applications for Adjudication of Claim. Both were jointly settled by a compromise and release agreement. As part of the agreement, defendant agreed to “pay, adjust or litigate any and all liens filed according to Labor Code § 4903.5, reserving any and all-defenses, with the WCAB retaining jurisdiction in the event of a dispute.”
Western Imaging Services (WIS) filed a lien claim for “copy service” in one of the cases in the amount of $1,585.56. At the time WIS was not registered and bonded, but was by the time the case was decided. The WCJ disallowed the lien claim of WIS based upon his finding that “Business and Professions Code Section 22451 did not exempt lien claimant Western Imaging Services from registration and bonding pursuant to Sections 22450 and 22455.”
The WCAB reversed in the December 22, 2015 en banc decision of Cornejo v. Younique Cafe, Inc., Zenith Insurance.
The WCAB held that the Business and Professions Code requirements by its own terms does not apply to a lien claimant seeking to recover copy service fees that are medical-legal expenses under Labor Code section 4620(a) when the lien claimant is an agent and/or independent contractor of a member of the State Bar at the time the documents are photocopied.
When a lien claimant makes an unrebutted prima facie showing that it is an agent and/or independent contractor of a member of the State Bar at the time the documents are photocopied, proof of compliance with the registration and bonding provisions of Business and Professions Code sections 22450 and 22455 is not required.
As an “aggrieved party for the first time” the defendant filed a Petition for Reconsideration of the December 22, decision. The defendant’s petition was granted “in order to further study the record and issues.” A number of additional arguments were presented hoping to convince the WCAB to change its opinion. All of the arguments were discussed in the second en banc opinion, however the WCAB affirmed its prior December decision.