Fellow WILG® warriors,
Much has changed in the last month and much has not.
Despite what have been deemed completely unsupported lawsuits or being dismissed on standing grounds by virtually every court that has ruled on them, President Trump continues to deny his election loss. Despite these appeals, President-elect Biden is set to be sworn in on January 20, 2021 and his administration will swing into action on a variety of fronts. Although at the time of my writing to you, we do not know who will be selected and ultimately confirmed to lead the Department of Labor, we can expect the Department, and its head of the Longshore and FECA divisions, to be more responsive to the needs of injured workers than the previous administration.
When the new Congress takes power, WILG® will be advocating for the passage of multiple bills including the Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) Bill. The MSP Bill is a bi-partisan bill that is designed to streamline the MSA appeals process and bring more fairness to the analysis of the need for an MSA and, if one is needed, make the funding requirement fairer to the facts of the case. Additionally, WILG® will be advocating for passage of HR 635 (Baca bill) which would set up a Congressional study to evaluate the dramatic erosion of worker’s compensation benefits under state workers’ compensation systems and analyze whether the states workers’ compensation systems are maintaining their responsibilities under the “Grand Bargain.“ Concurrent with HR 635, WILG® will continue to advocate for the General Accounting Office (GAO) to study cost shifting to the states and private insurance that has occurred due to the decline in benefits paid under state workers’ compensation systems.
As some of you may know, the AMA has announced its intention to create a new process for amending the AMA guides, sixth edition. WILG® has formed a task force, led by Past President Steve Birnbaum, to investigate the AMA’s plan to revise the guides. While the AMA has not yet completed its revamping of the editorial process, I can tell you WILG® is not encouraged by what it has seen thus far. We will keep our membership updated as the process continues to unfold.
Some of you may be wondering about 2021 and WILG® events and CLE‘s. Will they be live or virtual? As a result of the COVID crisis and the fact a widespread deployment of COVID vaccines will most likely not be a reality for non-high-risk sectors of our population until spring/summer of 2021, the Southeast Conference will now be the WILG® Spring Conference. It will be held virtually on the WILG® Branded Socio Platform as the WILG® Annual Convention and Holiday Celebration were. Since the CLE will be virtual and the topics national, I encourage everyone, not just members who practice in the Southeast, to attend and get your CLE hours and learn something that will help you better represent your clients. Some of the topics to be presented at the Spring Conference will include: “Diagnosing Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) Using Both Neuropsychological Testing and Cutting-Edge Radiographic Testing Techniques”; “Pain Management Without Opioids”; “Constitutional Challenges to Your States Workers’ Compensation Laws”; “Marketing Your Law Firm and More.” We fully expect by September that the pandemic will have receded, and we will all be meeting live for the 2021 Convention at the Breakers in sunny Palm Beach, Florida. The convention dates are September 27 through the 29th. Please block off time on your calendar to attend now as the convention will be here before you know it and we expect a stellar turn out!
In addition to the spring conference, WILG® will hold its second Constitutional Challenge Summit, most likely to be scheduled virtually this April. WILG® is also holding a member-only seminar on January 22 focusing on the most up-to date and comprehensive information regarding how COVID claims are being handled in each state. This webinar is presented by two top experts in the field, Professor John F. Burton, Jr. and Professor Michael Duff, and will be moderated by WILG® Past President, Alan Pierce. This is a must-attend event!
Finally, please do not forget your WILG® 2021 dues! Membership dues renewal deadline is January 1. Your membership has never been so valuable as it is now. WILG® works hard for you and your clients and this year was no exception. Please check out www.WILG.org to see all that WILG® has done and is doing in the time of COVID for you and injured workers across the country. If during this time you need assistance with your dues, do not hesitate to contact me or Jennifer Comer. Generous WILG® Members have donated memberships for those in need and WILG® offers monthly and quarterly payment plans.
Please also remember WILG®’s great membership benefits. We know that many have lost their health insurance, dental insurance, and other benefits during this time. WILG® members have these benefits available at affordable prices through the WILG® website. We are here to support your practice, your staff, and YOU so that you can better help your clients and continue saving the world one injured worker at a time.
I hope to “see” all of you at our upcoming events. Until then, wear your mask and stay safe!
Mr. Malcolm M. Crosland Jr. Esq.
The Steinberg Law Firm, L.L.P.
61 Broad Street
Charleston SC 29402
Click here to read President Tom Holder's President's Messages
Click here to read President Amie C. Peters President's Messages