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FL Worker's Comp. deposition & mediation per attny. info. How do I obtain copy of the Court Orders? He/she did not provide them.

Youngstown, FL |

Attorney states he/she will not attend either deposition or mediation. ONLY via phone. I am uncomfortable with this and have learned in this forum that the attorney must have an excellent reason for failure to attend at least the mediation. How do I challenge that decision not to be with during this serious phase of my case? Do I have any legal recourse to demand he/she attend in person rather than phone? Would the copy of the Court Order provide the reason(s) and if so, how do I obtain same? Time is of the essence as both will occur in less than 3 weeks and I was notified 72 hrs. ago.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

You need to talk to your attorney immediately. There is no court order that applies to your deposition in most cases. As to your mediation, if it is a required state mediation, as Ms. Cromley pointed out, your attorney appearing by phone can only be done with the permission of the mediator or the judge and is rarely given. There must be a very very good reason for your attorney to appear at either your deposition or the mediation by phone and not appear live. I do not know the reason why your attorney would want to do so and I will not speculate, but I cannot think of any good reason why your attorney would not appear live at your mediation and your deposition. You need to contact your attorney immediately and bring your very valid concerns to him/her and hopefully there is a good answer.

Disclaimer: the above does not constitute legal advice and is only an opinion of the author as to current law. You should consult an attorney with questions about your particular situation.

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Asker

Posted

After reading your reply, I now doubt that it is a required State deposition or mediation. Sounds as if the ins. carrier is demanding both, rather than the State. Although I have attempted to stress to his "secretary/assistant/?" I needed to speak with him ASAP, she stated a week from the date of my request was the best she could do. I realized, from other responses, that for my attny. NOT to appear is unusual and basically considered unacceptable. Looks as if I may need to seek different counsel as quickly as I can after determining who ordered the deposition and mediation and his reason for not appearing at either. Thanks for the heads-up.

Asker

Posted

Since your excellent advice I have since been advised of the website where I can peruse my case by another attorney here and that info proved invaluable to me .You are indeed correct when stating I have valid concerns. The only info I was provided was where/when to present for deposition and then mediation. (Along w/the fact my counsel will NOT be present; learning he indicated he is more than 50 mi. away (90 actually) and I agreed that he could appear only telephonically. I was never even asked, nor told that he might NOT appear. Issues? Absolutely. Feeling as if I will be at a distinct disadvantage? No doubt. I will keep our phone appointment but have little doubt he will be pleased I have been able to actually locate my case (never provided to me) and peruse all aspects of the website info--some of which is alarmingly in error.

Asker

Posted

UPDATE: My attorney stated "I will not waste my time driving 4 hours just to attend a deposition and then a 15 minute mediation the next week. I can do everything I need to by phone". He gave me the choice to find a new attorney, but at this late date I do not see this as a viable possiblity. He considers both meetings mundanely routine with no effort needed on his part to travel 90 miles (each way) to attend. I am disillusioned by this and felt an update needed to be posted.

Dennis Alan Palso

Dennis Alan Palso

Posted

I suspect you would have no problem finding another attorney. It sounds as if this attorney took a case in a jurisdiction far away from where he is. My philosophy is that if I am too far away to handle matters personally, I should not take that case.

Posted

You might want to consider another legal representative. If your case is unimportant to him, you should find someone who has time to show up.

We give free general concepts to be helpful, but you should give ALL your facts to a licensed Attorney in your state before you RELY upon any legal advice.

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Asker

Posted

I concur completely.

Posted

If the mediation is a state mediation, they have to ask approval to attend by phone from the state mediator. Most state mediators do not allow the claimant's attorney to attend by phone, especially if the claiamnt is attending live. If it is a state mediation, you could contact the state mediator. However, if your attorney told you that with no explanation, it sounds like there is a lack of communication between you and your attorney, which may be the bigger issue.

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Asker

Posted

I will contact the State ASAP and determine who set the deposition and mediation: The insurance carrier for the employer or the State of FL Division of Worker's Comp. The lack of communication is precipitated by his "assistant" (she has never indicated what her level of expertise is, i.e. paralegal or secreatary or ? and she is the person with whom I have been forced to communicate. Thanks for your information. It will assist me, no doubt.

Terri Fay Cromley

Terri Fay Cromley

Posted

The defense atty set your deposition. You said you have a mediation set. Your notice should say where it is. The state requires them if you filed a petition for benefits.Usually, those are at the state office unless the parties agree to set a private mediation somewhere else. You can also pull up your file on the department of administrative hearings website and see if you filed a petition and if so, for what benefits. I urge you to contact your attorney with your questions.

Asker

Posted

I know where the deposition and mediation are to be held--the only info shared by my counsel--a private setting w/o my prior approval or knowledge. I wasn't even provided a case number and had no clue how to locate same in order to peruse the docket, which was a real eye-opener after I was directed to the website by an apparently well-versed attorney on this site. I fully intend to contact my attorney--at the time set by his assistant despite the fact that I indicated I needed assistance ASAP. It will be a 7 day wait. Obviously I cannot force him to speak with me sooner! He is in a city 90 miles from me and that was the reason he gave and was then granted approval by the mediator to attend via phone rather than in person, indicating I requested and/or approved his lack of presence at both meetings. (I didn't, of course, and only discovered this fact by perusing my docket.) Your reply is appreciated.

Posted

You can view the Court file online. Florida worker's compensation cases are handled electronically, and most Orders and legal pleadings are online.

Go to www.jcc.state.fl.us/JCC/

Hope that helps.

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