MEMORANDUM NO. 2022-05
Workers' Compensation Commission Guidelines for Mediation effective July 6, 2022
|TO:||WCC Administrative Law Judges, District Administrators, Advisory Board, Legal Advisory Panel and Attorneys|
|FROM:||Stephen M. Morelli, Chairman|
|DATE:||July 5, 2022|
|RE:||Workers' Compensation Commission Guidelines for Mediation effective July 6, 2022|
NOTE: This memo supersedes Memo No. 2020-15
Please be advised that the guidelines for the Workers' Compensation Mediation Services Program have been revised to reflect the Administrative Law Judge title change and current mediators.
Workers' Compensation Commission
Revised Guidelines for Mediation Services
Effective July 6, 2022
After a review of the Mediation Services Program, please be advised that the following changes will take place effective immediately. Parties in a litigated matter may request the services of an administrative law judge to help mediate a resolution prior to trial. Certain administrative law judges have agreed to serve in this capacity. The list of participating administrative law judges is at the end of this memorandum. Mediation services are limited to one of those administrative law judges.
The guidelines and requirements for utilization of this program are as follows:
- Mediation services are available only with the agreement of ALL parties to a claim. Parties should NOT request mediation until and unless the claim is ripe for settlement – both parties should be willing and able to move off of their starting number, any required MSAs should be procured, etc. If parties attend a mediation for a claim that is not ready for settlement, the claim will be taken off the mediation docket and will not be placed back on it.
- A request for mediation services is to be made in writing to the Chairman's office, Attn: Terri Miro at 21 Oak Street, 4th Floor, Hartford, CT 06106. Requests may also be faxed to Ms. Miro's attention at (860) 247-1361 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- A notice of receipt of all mediation requests will be sent to the parties by the Chairman's office within five (5) business days of the receipt of the request. The parties will be notified at that time which administrative law judge and district the request has been sent to for scheduling.
- The request for mediation MUST INCLUDE the following information:
- The Commission continues to strongly suggest that the parties agree to and submit the names of three (3) administrative law judges to mediate the claim, in order of preference, to facilitate quicker scheduling. Notwithstanding this suggestion, if the parties are only able to agree on one administrative law judge, the Commission will do its best to accommodate the request. The parties should NOT contact the administrative law judges directly. The Chairman's office will contact the administrative law judge(s) to determine their availability for scheduling based on the administrative law judge's workload.
- The request should advise whether the parties require a half day (three (3) hour) or full day (six (6) hour) mediation session.
- It is the responsibility of the parties to determine ALL claims and parties that must be noticed for the mediation. If a claimant has multiple open WC claims, the mediation request should identify which claims and which parties should be included in the scheduling. Commission staff is NOT responsible for determining whether additional claims and/or parties need to be noticed. Mediations will be assigned and scheduled based upon the information provided in the request. Late requests to add parties or claims to a request will be handled at the discretion of the administrative law judge.
- It is the responsibility of the parties to indicate whether the claim has an appeal pending before the Compensation Review Board. This information must be noted on the initial mediation request. If there is a pending appeal, parties must ensure proper action is taken regarding the appeal during the pendency of the mediation (Motions for Stay, requests for postponement of oral argument, etc.). Additionally, once the mediation is concluded, if the pending appeal is no longer to be pursued the appellant shall file a withdrawal of the appeal with the Compensation Review Board.
- Based upon a timeline to be determined by the administrative law judge to whom the mediation is assigned, the parties shall submit to the administrative law judge the following information:
- Identification of the issue(s) in dispute.
- Documents in support of the respective positions taken by each party (including the name of the person with authority, their title, and contact information to include a phone number for the day of the mediation). Instructions and timelines for submission of this information will be forwarded with the notice of the mediation session.
- At the time of the mediation, the claimant is expected to be in attendance unless it is physically or geographically impractical. The respondent is required to discuss the case prior to the mediation with someone who has authority. Said person MUST be available via telephone at the mediation session in order to help achieve settlement.
- All cancellation/continuance requests MUST be received by the district office a minimum of fourteen (14) days prior to the scheduled mediation. If a cancellation/continuance request is received less than fourteen (14) days prior to the scheduled mediation, the matter will NOT be eligible for a future mediation docket.
- Mediation requests that do not comply with these guidelines will not be assigned and/or scheduled until compliance is achieved. Continued incomplete requests may result in the claim(s) being removed from the mediation program.
The following administrative law judges have agreed to be mediators (District listed is the administrative law judge's assignment as of 7/6/2022 and is subject to change):
Scott A. Barton (District 5/Waterbury)
Carolyn M. Colangelo (District 3/New Haven)
Daniel E. Dilzer (District 6/New Britain)
Maureen E. Driscoll (District 3/New Haven)
Brenda D. Jannotta (District 4/Bridgeport)
Peter C. Mlynarczyk (District 8/Middletown)
Michelle D. Truglia (District 4/Bridgeport)
William J. Watson III (District 1/Hartford)