Sorry for the absence, loyal readers.  The holiday season, more appellate work, and the entrance of my first child into the world kept me away.  But, I am back with a brand new First DCA case summary.  Once again, we return to a medical vendor dispute and whether a Claimant even has the right to file a Petition for unpaid authorized medical bills. 

I think we know where this is going. . . (more…)

I just came back from an informative Hillsborough County Bar Association, Workers’ Comp Section luncheon.  We had two of Tampa’s finest judges attend and speak to us about the Rules of Procedure (so affectionately referred to as the 60Q rules, for their prefix title).  You can review all of the 60Q Rules here.

In particular, the Judges talked about Rule 60Q-6.108 which deals with filing and service of petitions, response to petitions, and pleadings.  The Division of Administration Hearings (DOAH), which is the statewide agency governing the Judges of Compensation Claims, encourages Claimants and Employer/Carriers to electronically file petitions and pleadings which can ultimately be viewed online at the DOAH website.

Anyway, Rule 60Q-6.108 dictates that any document filed on the DOAH website or the JCC after 5 pm shall be deemed filed as of 8 am the following business day.  And, if you e-file on the DOAH website, you are responsible for any delay or disruption of web service. 

In other words, if you are an Employer Carrier and have to file a Response to a Petition for Benefits, a Response to a Fee Petition, or a Notice of Appeal and they file at the end of the day, the fact that the DOAH website is down is NOT an excuse.   Do not wait to file late in the day, at 4:55, and expect an instantaneous response.  Odds are you are going to miss the deadline because the website traffic is so high at the end of each day.  Keep in mind, not just other attorneys’ offices are e-filing at the end of the day, but every district office is e-filing their orders as well. 

The 60Q Rules are basic and easy to apply.  I encourage all Employer/Carriers to print a copy for their use.  Knowing these rules can make or break your claim.