How to Handle a Georgia Workers’ Compensation Case from Beginning to End – Including Practice Tips

Thomas L. Holder
Eric S. Proser Esq.
Natalie Elkins
Joanna S. Jang
Karen G. Lowell
Tara Schlairet
Stephanie S. Martin MD
Christopher K Gifford
Thomas Cauthen
Benjamin Gerber
Jennifer Smith
Thomas L. Holder | Gerber & Holder
Eric S. Proser Esq. | Workers’ Compensation Practice Group Chair
Natalie Elkins | Gerber & Holder Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Joanna S. Jang | Swift/Currie
Karen G. Lowell | Gerber & Holder Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Tara Schlairet | Swift/Curie
Stephanie S. Martin MD | Law Offices of Ms. Stephanie S. Martin MD
Christopher K Gifford | Gerber & Holder Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Thomas Cauthen | Drew Eckl & Farnham, LLP
Benjamin Gerber | Gerber & Holder Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Jennifer Smith | Atkins David LLC

On-Demand: April 13, 2022

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Program Summary

Session I – Case Intake Determinations 101 – Natalie Elkins and Joanna Jang

Form our opposing perspectives as claimant Vs. insurance defense attorneys.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Claimant
  • Insurance defense attorneys

Session II - Pretrial Practice and Administrative Conferences – Karen Lowell and Tara Schlairet

Attorneys can expect a discussion of how to prepare cases for a hearing through the use of discovery, including preparation of evidence, and utilizing different vehicles in furtherance of claim objectives, such as petitions, motions, and pre-trial conferences.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Discovery
  • Evidence
  • Motions
  • Conferences

Session III – Arguing the Treatment Parameters – Stephanie Martin

Issues with an aging population and workforce. Orthopedic injuries in the shoulder seen in an aging workforce. Non-Op operative treatments.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Aging workforce
  • Normal aging changes on MRI’S
  • Shoulder Pathology
  • Treatments of shoulder injuries

Session IV - The Hearing – Thomas Holder and Eric Proser

A discussion about bringing appeals in Georgia Workers’ Compensation cases

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Appeals to the Appellate Division
  • Appeals to the Superior Court
  • Appeals to the Court of Appeals and beyond

Session V – Appellate work in Workers’ Comp – Ben Gerber and Jennifer Smith

Discuss the process of filing an appeal, ramifications of what legal, status if places claim

Key topics to be discussed:

  • The how to
  • Why of the appellate process in Georgia

Session VI – Settlements – Christopher Gifford and Thomas Cauthen

Explore this topic from the perspective of a Claimant’s attorney, and an Insurance Defense attorney. We will discuss the different types of settlements in workers’ compensation, how to appropriately advise clients regarding settlements, the right time to settle a claim, and ancillary issues that impact settlement.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Settlement workers
  • Advise clients regarding settlements
  • Right time to settle a claim
  • Ancillary issues that impact settlement

This course is co-sponsored with myLawCLE.

Date / Time: April 13, 2022

  • 9:00 am – 12:15 pm Eastern
  • 8:00 am – 11:15 am Central
  • 7:00 am – 10:15 am Mountain
  • 6:00 am – 9:15 am Pacific

Choose a format:

Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program "live" in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for "live" CLE credit.

On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 5 business days after the original recording date and are viewable for up to one year.

Closed-captioning available

Speakers

Thomas L. Holder_myLawCLEThomas L. Holder | Gerber & Holder

Thomas L. Holder attorney at Gerber & Holder, after graduating from Emory, Tom worked as an Associate Attorney at two widely respected law firms—one of which became the largest plaintiff’s law firm in the state of Georgia. In 1986, Tom founded his own law firm with James J. Long—called Long & Holder, LLP—which focused on work-related head injuries, death cases, and all other cases involving workers’ compensation. He successfully managed this firm for 32 years.

These days, Tom has joined forces with well-respected Atlanta work injury attorney Ben Gerber to give their clients the best possible legal representation in their work injury case. Now he practices with the firm of Gerber & Holder and exclusively devotes his time to representing injured workers in Georgia. Tom is a nationally known expert in workers’ compensation law.

 

Eric S. Proser Esq._myLawCLEEric S. Proser Esq. | Workers’ Compensation Practice Group Chair

Eric Proser attorney at Workers’ Compensation Practice Group Chair is the firm’s Workers’ Compensation Practice Head which now includes defense of workers’ compensation in several states. He has been successfully defending workers’ compensation claims for decades, including litigation at administrative law hearings and through all levels of court, protection and pursuit of subrogation interests and pursuit of reimbursement from the Subsequent Injury Trust Fund. In addition to his litigation practice, Eric regularly advises employers and insurers on how to prevent or minimize exposure and claims. His philosophy is that open claims need successful litigation results or creative resolutions to become closed claims, and that doing so promptly and aggressively is the best approach. He has been a frequent lecturer at seminars and symposiums on a wide variety of workers’ compensation topics, and speaks for approved continuing education credits for claims adjusters.

 

Natalie Elkins_myLawCLENatalie Elkins | Gerber & Holder Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

Natalie E. Elkins attorney at Gerber & Holder Workers’ Compensation Attorneys devotes her career to the representation of injured workers before the State Board of Workers’ Compensation and the appellate courts of Georgia. She has written and presented on many cases pertaining to Georgia worker’s compensation law.

 

Joanna S. Jang_myLawCLEJoanna S. Jang | Swift/Currie

Joanna S. Jang practices primarily in the area of workers’ compensation defense representing employers, insurers, self-insureds, and third-party administrators in equipment rental, construction, property and hotel management, manufacturing, retail, and landscaping industries before the State Board of Workers’ Compensation and all appellate courts in Georgia. Joann also has extensive experience handling federal and state business and commercial litigation cases.

 

Karen G. Lowell_myLawCLEKaren G. Lowell | Gerber & Holder Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

Karen G. Lowell attorney at Gerber & Holder Workers’ Compensation Attorneys has dedicated her practice of law exclusively to workers’ compensation cases. She works diligently as an advocate for her client’s best interests to provide effective counsel and ensure the best possible outcomes. In her first several years practicing law, Karen represented employers and insurance companies, gaining valuable insight into their playbook. This experience laid the foundation to better serve injured workers throughout the state of Georgia. Karen was born in Dallas, Texas, but grew up in Alpharetta, Georgia. She attended the University of Georgia for her undergraduate degree before attending law school at Georgia State University. She now lives in Doraville, Georgia with her husband and son. Outside of work, Karen is passionate about community service, including serving foster youth, and church involvement. She also enjoys spending time outdoors.

 

Tara Schlairet_myLawCLETara Schlairet | Swift/Curie

Tara Peterson Schlairet attorney at Swift/Curie is an associate in the firm’s workers’ compensation practice area. She counsels employers and insurers through sensitive issues, claims, and employment-related concerns.

Clients face a myriad of issues when they are involved in a workers’ compensation claim. Putting clients’ best interests at the forefront, Tara guides each client through legal options and nuanced decision-making that leads to the best outcomes.

Balancing an aggressive defense perspective against frivolous claims, Tara honors the inherent value of reaching resolutions through collegiality and cooperation. Her approach is client-centric and cultivates integrity in all relationships, leading to favorable and cost-effective results.

Prior to joining the firm in 2018, Tara represented the interests of employers, insurance companies, and servicing agents in all aspects of Florida workers’ compensation claims.

 

Stephanie S. Martin MD_myLawCLEStephanie S. Martin MD | Law Offices of Ms. Stephanie S. Martin MD

Dr. Stephanie S. Martin (Bankson) is an orthopedist in Atlanta, Georgia and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including WellStar Windy Hill Hospital and Northside Hospital Gwinnett. She received her medical degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years.

 

Christopher K Gifford_myLawCLEChristopher K Gifford | Gerber & Holder Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

Christopher K. Gifford has been practicing law for more than a decade, during which time he has worked exclusively in the field of worker’ compensation. For the first five years of practice, he represented employers and insurance companies where he gained extensive knowledge and insight into how work injury claims are handled from the other side.

Now, Chris dedicates 100% of his practice to helping injured workers and employees. For the last six years, he has used his unique experience representing both employees and employer-side interests to serve the hardworking people of Atlanta, Athens and throughout the state of Georgia. He has participated in hundreds of depositions and settlement mediations, tried numerous cases before the State Board of Workers’ Compensation and handled appeals before the Superior Courts of multiple jurisdictions and the Court of Appeals of Georgia.

Chris is a graduate of Cumberland School of Law and received a bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Georgia.

 

Thomas Cauthen_myLawCLEThomas Cauthen | Drew Eckl & Farnham, LLP

Thomas Cauthen attorney at Drew Eckl & Farnham, LLP has represented employers, insurers, and third-party administrators in the defense of workers’ compensation claims throughout Georgia since 2014. He received his J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law, where he was a Dean’s Scholar, and his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Georgia.

He has extensive experience litigating cases for clients in the automotive manufacturing, warehouse, food service, and retail industries. Thomas prides himself in understanding each client’s business and specific goals in order to better represent them in individual cases.

Thomas has taken and defended hundreds of depositions. He has also mediated over 100 cases to successful resolution. He works to resolve workers’ compensation claims expediently, advising clients from the early stages of claim investigation through the appeals process.

He has tried cases before the State Board of Workers’ Compensation and has argued before the State Board of Workers’ Compensation Appellate Division.

 

Benjamin Gerber_myLawCLEBenjamin Gerber | Gerber & Holder Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

Benjamin Gerber attorney at Gerber & Holder Workers’ Compensation Attorneys is an experienced trial lawyer focusing his practice on helping those who have been injured on the job. He is also a founding partner of Gerber & Holder.

Ben has proved is expertise and skill time and time again. He has achieved the highest attorney rating of 10.0/10.0 Superb from Avvo. In addition, he has been named to the list of Rising Stars by Georgia Super Lawyers Magazine for 5 consecutive years, an honor reserved for less than 3% of the qualifying attorneys in the state.

 

Jennifer Smith_myLawCLEJennifer Smith | Atkins David LLC

Jennifer Smith attorney at Atkins David LLC practices primarily in the area of workers’ compensation defense for employers, insurers and third party administrators throughout Georgia. Jennifer also handles complex subrogation and Federal Longshore and Harbor claims. In addition, a portion of her practice is dedicated to defending healthcare providers in medical malpractice claims.

Prior to practicing law, Jennifer had nearly ten years experience in the health care industry. As Director of Reimbursement at Resurgens Orthopaedics, P.C., she handled workers’ compensation and health insurance contracts, structured workflow and training programs, and designed systems to increase receivables for a large, multi-facility orthopedic practice. She advised physicians and clinic managers on reimbursement policies, as well as contract, coding and compliance issues. She frequently served as a guest speaker for Medical Present Value’s annual user conference on the topics of effective managed care contract analysis and optimizing patient and insurance receivables.

Jennifer received her J.D., cum laude, from Georgia State University School of Law in 2009. She was an Atlanta Law School Fellowship recipient and member of the Public Interest Law Association and Child Advocacy Society. Her one year externship at the Georgia Justice Project involved handling criminal defense cases for indigent clients. She also participated in the H.E.L.P. Legal Services Clinic, providing direct legal services to low-income children and their families. While in law school, she volunteered for the Street Law program, designed to introduce high school students to the legal profession as well as foster a positive attitude towards the law through activities such as mock mediations and trials.

In addition to this experience, Jennifer worked for a local Atlanta radio station following her graduation from Georgia State University in 2005, with a B.A. in Journalism. Outside of work, Jennifer volunteers at a women and children’s homeless shelter.

Jennifer is a member of the Workers’ Compensation section of the State Bar of Georgia.

Agenda

Session I – Case Intake Determinations 101 | 9:00 am – 9:30 am

1. Claimant | 9:00 am – 9:15 am
2. Insurance defense attorneys | 9:15 am – 9:30 am

Session II – Pretrial Practice and Administrative Conferences | 9:30 am – 10:00 am

1. Discovery | 9:30 am – 9:38 am
2. Evidence | 9:38 am – 9:46 am
3. Motions | 9:46 am – 9:53 am
4. Conferences | 9:53 am – 10:00 am

Session III – Arguing the Treatment Parameters | 10:00 am – 10:30 am

1. Aging workforce | 10:00 am – 10:08 am
2. Normal aging changes on MRI’S | 10:08 am – 10:16 am
3. Shoulder Pathology | 10:16 am – 10:23 am
4. Treatments of shoulder injuries | 10:23 am – 10:30 am

Break | 10:30 am – 10:45 am

Session IV – The Hearing | 10:45 am – 11:15 am 

1. Appeals to the Appellate Division | 10:45 am – 10:55 am
2. Appeals to the Superior Court | 10:55 am – 11:05 am
3. Appeals to the Court of Appeals and beyond | 11:05 am – 11:15 am

Session V – Appellate work in Workers’ Comp | 11:15 am – 11:45 am

1. The how to | 11: 15 am – 11:30 am
2. Why of the appellate process in Georgia | 11:30 am – 11:45 am

Session VI – Settlements | 11:45 am – 12:15 pm

1. Settlement workers | 11:45 am – 11:55 am
2. Advise clients regarding settlements | 11:55 am – 12:00 pm
3. Right time to settle a claim | 12:00 pm – 12:08 pm
4. Ancillary issues that impact settlement | 12:08 pm – 12:15 pm