Robert Rassp, the Los Angeles District Office Presiding Administrative Law Judge just made the following announcement to his staff:
Dear LAO Judges
I have some good news for all of us. Effective very soon, we will inaugurate a new program statewide to replace Court Call. I am calling the program for us “LAO LIVE.” First and foremost, this program will be free to parties who appear at the WCAB District Offices. This is how the program will work:
1. Each WCJ will get a new conference phone number issued by AT&T (there are 175 conference lines ordered)
2. Each WCJ will have a PIN to access the conference line
3. The parties will have a conference code that links to a WCJ’s phone conference line.
4. You will be able to conduct MSCs, STCs, PCs, EHs, and some trials on this conference call line.
5. You or your SLT can first obtain everyone’s names and email addresses for your docket. You can conduct hearings like in Superior Court or you can have your SLT obtain the names, email addresses of parties appearing in advance of the conference calendar so you can have your SLT email parties for each case and have them call in one at a time. Either way will work.
6. For your Conference calendars you conduct them the same way you have conducted hearings using Court Call so you can have everyone put their phones on mute while you call your calendar. Or you can conduct the hearings by having either you or your SLT telling people via email to call in one at a time. You can have meaningful discussions about cases like you would as if the parties were physically in your courtroom standing in line to speak to you.
7. You should be able to conduct EHs or simple trials (such as submissions on the record) on the phone with exhibits identified via the EAMS printout and the PTCS being completed before a hearing and at the time of the hearing to verify any changes in Stips and Issues per 8 CCR 10517 (formerly 10492)
8. You will be able to simplify issues for trials and eventually continue trials until you can do a face to face trial when the pandemic is under control.
9. Applicants who are not represented will have to mail their exhibits to the District Office for scanning and uploading into EAMS
The tentative launch date for this is in two weeks. So next week (April 6) we will continue to use Court Call. Hopefully we can roll out the program on April 13. If you have questions, please feel free to email me back even though today is a holiday. Or you can text me on our group text.
Very truly yours,
Robert G. Rassp
Presiding Administrative Law Judge
Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board Los Angeles