On May 6, 2023, the Eastern PA-Delaware Region of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society held “Big Climb Philly” at Lincoln Financial Field. The event has raised over $500,000.00 for this important cause. We at Brilliant & Neiman LLC are proud to have one of our attorneys, Glenn Neiman, participate in the event with the team from Angeion Group (a major class action administration firm in Philadelphia). We know that being a good corporate citizen means getting involved with worthy causes. As such, we are proud to support the noble efforts of LLS to help find cures and treatment options for this devastating disease. To learn more about The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, or make a donation, you can visit LLS.org.
On June 1, 2023 and June 2, 2023, the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation will hold its 22nd annual “Workers’ Compensation Conference.” Here, attorneys, Workers’ Compensation Judges (WCJs), employer representatives, adjusters, risk management/safety employees and others who work in the world of workers’ comp from across the entire State of PA, gather to discuss and learn changes and trends of which they should be aware.
Our attorneys attend this conference nearly every year, and will do so again this year. While we, as attorneys who represent injured workers, are in the vast minority (most of the attorneys who attend this conference are seeking work from the workers’ compensation insurance company representatives in attendance), we feel it is critical to the representation we provide.
By being in the room while the insurance industry representatives are told about the state of the workers’ comp laws, we are getting a peek into their thought processes. This helps us understand and anticipate steps and strategies the workers’ compensation insurance carriers may take. We are also able to have informal conversations with WCJs and defense attorneys, building relationships that may improve communication in future dealings. Not to mention, we are also learning, attending the seminars on such topics as return to work, payment of medical bills, employee mental health (especially post-injury), medical advancements and negotiation strategies.
Yesterday, our attorneys participated in a webinar dealing with the continuing impact the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having on the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system. We have already participated in hearings using Skype for Business, and understand some Workers’ Compensation Judges (WCJs) are experimenting with the WebX platform. Zoom had been used on occasion, but apparently some security concerns have rendered that unusable for our purposes.
Depending on the case and the situation, some attorneys, and the WCJs, are agreeing to simply delay the testimony of an injured worker for later in the case, hoping we will be able to have in-person hearings again in the somewhat near future. However, given the uncertainty in timing, there is often a need to move forward, at least with video, in addition to audio. We believe it is critical for the WCJ to actually see the injured worker testify, since so much comes down to simply whether the WCJ believes the injured worker or not.
Even in ordinary circumstances, the procedures followed by a WCJ vary widely, sometimes even in the same workers’ compensation hearing office. For this reason, there is a “Judge Book,” detailing the practices and procedures for each WCJ in the Commonwealth. Now, on the page for each WCJ, you will see “CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE JUDGE’S SPECIAL PROCEDURES DURING THE GOVERNOR’S EMERGENCY DECLARATION DUE TO COVID-19.” Here you will find how any particular WCJ is handling cases in the current COVID-19 era.
Today, our attorneys participated in a conference call (so as to maintain social distancing) with workers’ compensation attorneys across the State of Pennsylvania, as well as lobbyists, regarding the status of the workers’ comp system in PA as we all deal with the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We discussed pending legislation in the Pennsylvania House and Senate, as well as how we are all handling cases under the shutdown as ordered by Governor Wolf.
There is legislation being worked upon by PA House Democrats, but nothing substantial is expected to be passed. The issue that appears most concerning to legislators is making sure those essential workers on the front lines, the doctors, nurses, first responders, and the like, are protected should they develop the Coronavirus (COVID-19). While this is a noble goal, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act already does provide protection in such a situation. As we note on our website, when an employee is exposed to a substance (or disease) in the workplace, and is rendered disabled by the exposure, there exists a valid workers’ compensation case. We would also note that the healthcare workers are not the only employees on the front lines in this situation. Workers in grocery stores, like stockers and cashiers, restaurant workers, warehouse people and delivery drivers, just to name a few, are also at risk for catching COVID-19 through workplace exposure.
As to the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system, cases are continuing to be litigated. Often this is being done by telephone conference, though some Workers’ Compensation Judges (WCJs) are using videoconference (which is important when an injured worker, or critical witness, is testifying, so the WCJ can better determine whether to believe such testimony). Since none of us know how long the government-ordered shutdown will continue, it is critical to the system (and the lives of injured workers throughout PA) that cases continue to be litigated.
With all of the attention justifiably focused on the fear and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, it might be nice for us to change gears, and have a blog post that does not mention COVID-19 (well, doesn’t mention it again!).
The attorneys at Brilliant & Neiman LLC have always been involved in Bar Associations in the counties in which they practice. In particular, our attorneys are leaders in the Bucks County Bar Association (BCBA), the county in which two of our offices, including our headquarters in Warminster, are located (the other Bucks County office is in Trevose, near Bensalem and Philadelphia). Both Dina Brilliant and Glenn Neiman are past co-chairs of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the BCBA.
So, it is with great excitement, and pride, that we announce that Dina Brilliant has been named co-chair of the BCBA Solo & Small Practice Section. As a small firm, we understand the challenges faced by both solo practitioners, and small firms, and Ms. Brilliant looks forward to leading the Section in the coming months.
We are all struggling through an unprecedented time due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This global pandemic has infected thousands, and forced the sheltering of millions and closure of businesses across the world (including our offices). In Pennsylvania, hundreds have already been infected, with experts predicting the spread to get worse, before it gets better.
This condition attacks the respiratory system, and can cause grave bodily harm, especially in those particularly vulnerable. Disability, and death, can result from this condition.
We have started to receive telephone calls on whether being infected with COVID-19 can be a “work injury” under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. The short answer is yes, potentially, such an infection could be considered a “work injury” in PA. Basically, the typical analysis we use for any potential workers’ comp case would be applied in this type of case.
By now, most Pennsylvanians have heard that Governor Tom Wolf has ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in PA to close their physical locations, as of 8:00 p.m. on March 19, 2020. Along with this announcement, the Governor’s office released a list of what businesses qualify as “life-sustaining.” Law firms are specifically excluded from this list. Obviously, we all want to see the end of the Coronavirus pandemic, and we all must do our part. As such, Brilliant & Neiman LLC will abide by the orders of the Governor and close our physical offices until further notice.
Please be advised that our attorneys will still be working remotely, and are available to both existing clients, as well as any injured workers needing assistance at this difficult time. You can call us at 215-638-7500, or 610-740-1002, and leave a message on the voicemail of either Dina Brilliant or Glenn Neiman, or you can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We will get back to you as soon as possible.
We ask for your patience in these trying times. We are working hard to serve the needs of our clients, as well as help contain the spread of the Coronavirus. We will provide updates as they are available.
By now, we are all too familiar with the Coronavirus (COVID-19). At this point, governments, individuals and businesses are still evaluating how best to protect each other and ourselves against this pandemic.
The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is largely still open and operating on a normal basis. Hearings are generally still taking place, though the situation is being monitored. One hearing office, however, has been closed for at least a two week period. The Dresher Workers’ Compensation Hearing Office will be closed from March 13 through March 27, 2020. We are told that all hearings and mediations scheduled there are cancelled and will be rescheduled. The Dresher office serves injured workers who live in Eastern Montgomery County (or cases otherwise based in that region); cases based in Western Montgomery County, in the Malvern Workers’ Compensation Hearing Office, will take place as scheduled.
Brilliant & Neiman LLC will remain open, and our attorneys are available to injured workers. However, we will be trying to abide by CDC recommendations, and avoiding personal contact, including hand shaking. We also ask visitors to our offices to use hand sanitizer at our door.
While we are very conscious of being available to our clients as much as possible, the practice of PA workers’ compensation law, and the litigation process, means we are not always in our offices. Sometimes, in addition to being at workers’ compensation hearings and depositions, our attorneys attend events or presentations that may help us better perform our job protecting the injured worker in PA.
And, so it follows, our attorneys were invited by Rothman Institute to attend their Workers’ Compensation Conference, being held all day on Friday, October 24, 2019. We sincerely apologize if this means we are not available to help our clients on that day directly, though our office staff certainly remains available (and can reach the attorneys for any emergencies). As our clients know, it is the practice of Brilliant & Neiman LLC for the clients to speak directly to the attorney, rather than being forced to always speak to support staff. We apologize for this deviation from our regular course of business.
The Workers’ Compensation Conference will no doubt provide our attorneys with additional tools to help us best protect the rights of injured workers in PA. Topics being presented will include 3-D printing in orthopedic surgery, issues with complex rotator cuff surgery, as well as general updates regarding treatment options for injuries to the neck, back and knees. The Workers’ Compensation Conference will be moderated by Dr. Nicholas Taweel, and will include presentations from Dr. Pedro Beredjiklian, Dr. Mark Lazarus, Dr. Michael Molter, Dr. Howard Yeon and Dr. Paul Steinfield.
For years, we have had an office in the center of Allentown, and represented injured workers all along the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton corridor. We have attended workers’ compensation hearings at the Workers’ Compensation Judge office in Allentown (on Tilghman Street), as well as at the Northampton County Courthouse (where Northampton County workers’ compensation hearings are held). Indeed, both Allentown and Bethlehem/Easton appears on our website as communities we proudly serve. Recently, it occurred to us that we have never become members of the Northampton County Bar Association (NCBA). We have been members of the Bucks, Lehigh and Philadelphia County Bar Associations, so it certainly seemed like a logical step for us to join the NCBA.
While other bar associations simply welcome new members by having them complete an application, the NCBA handles these things in a more dignified and traditional fashion. Indeed, both of our attorneys (Dina Brilliant and Glenn Neiman) had to obtain sponsors, attend a quarterly NCBA meeting, and be formally approved to become members of the NCBA. And so, at the meeting on September 12, 2019, both Ms. Brilliant and Mr. Neiman were approved as members of the NCBA. We are proud to have been admitted into the NCBA, and we look forward to becoming further involved in the wonderful work the NCBA does in the community, as we have done with the other Bar Associations of which we are members.
We will continue striving to serve injured workers in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton community through our Center City Allentown office, as we do with injured workers in the Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia areas through our offices in Trevose and Warminster. And, for those injured workers elsewhere in the Southeastern to Central areas of PA, we also are happy to meet clients in various other locations conveniently located throughout the region.