1
 1
 
 2          IN THE MATTER OF THE ARBITRATION BETWEEN
 
 3
 
 4
 
 5
 
 6   GLEN GROSSMAN and JORGE VARGAS,
 
 7                      Grievants,
 
 8        vs.
 
 9   STATE COMPENSATION INSURANCE FUND,
 
10                      Respondent.
 
11                                       /
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17   Date:          Wednesday, September 17, 2003
 
18
 
19   Time:          10:48 a.m.
 
20
 
21   Location:      25 San Juan Grade Road, Suite 200
                    Salinas, California
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
 
 
    2
 1
                      A P P E A R A N C E S
 2
              ARBITRATOR:
 3
              FRANK SILVER
 4            385 Grand Avenue, Suite 201
              Oakland, CA  94610
 5            FAX:  510-444-3604
              TEL:  510-839-8525
 6            E-mail:  fsilveroakland@aol.com
 
 7
              For the Grievants:
 8
              CARROLL, BURDICK & McDONOUGH LLP
 9            Attorneys at Law
              2100 - 21st Street
10            Sacramento, CA  95818
              FAX:  916-456-3060
11            TEL:  916-456-2100
              E-mail:  garym@cbmlaw.com
12            BY:  GARY M. MESSING, ESQ.
 
13
              For the Respondent:
14
              STATE OF CALIFORNIA
15            LEGAL DIVISION
              1515 "S" Street, North Building, Suite 400
16            Sacramento, CA  95814-7243
              FAX:  916-323-4723
17            TEL:  916-324-0512
              E-mail:  ekbrehl@dpa.ca.gov
18            BY:  EDMUND K. BREHL, ESQ.
                   Labor Relations Counsel
19                 Department of Personnel Administration
 
20
              Reported by:
21
              MELINDA YOUNG, C.S.R.
22            License No. 1787
 
23
              Also present:
24
              GLEN GROSSMAN, JORGE VARGAS, MIGUEL ESTRADA
25
 
 
 
    3
 1
 
 2                     INDEX OF TESTIMONY
 
 3        N MICHAEL RUCKA
          DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. MESSING .............. 15
 4        CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. BREHL ................. 48
 
 5        GLEN GROSSMAN
          DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. MESSING ............. 60
 6        CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. BREHL ............... 122
          REDIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. MESSING .......... 137
 7        RECROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. BREHL ............. 141
 
 8   EXHIBITS:                                           PAGE
          Joint Exhibit 1, applicable MOU between  ........ 7
 9        the parties.
 
10        Joint Exhibit 2, grievants' grievance  .......... 7
          dated September 6, '02.
11
          Joint Exhibit 3, September 9, 2002  ............. 7
12        letter on CB&M letterhead.
 
13        Joint Exhibit 4, a handwritten note  ............ 7
          dated September 27th on SCIF letterhead.
14
          Joint Exhibit 5, October 2, 2002 letter  ........ 7
15        on SCIF letterhead with an attachment.
 
16        Joint Exhibit 6, October 4th, 2002  ............. 7
          letter on CB&M letterhead.
17
          Joint Exhibit 7 November 1st, 2002  ............. 7
18        letter on SCIF letterhead.
 
19        Joint Exhibit 8, November 4th, 2002  ............ 7
          letter on CB&M letterhead.
20
          Joint Exhibit 9, November 14th, 2002  ........... 7
21        letter on Department of Personnel
          Administration, DPA, letterhead.
22
          Joint Exhibit 10, December 27th, 2002  .......... 8
23        letter on DPA letterhead.
 
24        Joint Exhibit 11, January 2nd, 2003  ............ 8
          letter on CB&M letterhead
25
 
 
 
    4
 1        Union Exhibit 1, Resume for Glen  .............. 63
          Grossman
 2
          Union Exhibit 2, job description for  .......... 69
 3        attorney level C.
 
 4        Union Exhibit 3, document entitled  ............ 70
          "State Compensation Insurance Fund," job
 5        description for senior staff counsel
          specialist.
 6
          Union Exhibit 4, State Personnel Board  ........ 73
 7        specification for staff counsel.
 
 8        Union Exhibit 5, SPB specifications for  ....... 73
          staff counsel III.
 9
          Union Exhibit 6, Production Profiles and  ...... 94
10        Litigation Activities
 
11        Union Exhibit 7, Production Profile (By  ....... 99
          Applicant)
12
          Union Exhibit 8, Status Progress Report,  ..... 100
13        report date 08/16/2002
 
14        Union Exhibit 9, SCIF document re  ............ 102
          Grossman, Vargas and Pickering
15
          Union Exhibit 10, Master Calendar ............. 103
16
          Union Exhibit 11, report dated September  ..... 114
17        19th, 2002.
 
18        Union Exhibit 12, computer printout  .......... 116
          September 19th, 2002 of discrimination
19        claims in SCIF Salinas office.
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
 
 
    5
 1                    P R O C E E D I N G S:
 
 2            THE ARBITRATOR:  This is an arbitration between
 
 3   the -- what is the name of the union?  I'm sorry.
 
 4            MR. MESSING:  CASE.
 
 5            THE ARBITRATOR:  That stands for what?
 
 6            MR. MESSING:  California Association of
 
 7   Attorneys, State Attorneys, Law Judges and, hang on,
 
 8   I've got the contract here.
 
 9            THE ARBITRATOR:  Oh, it's right here.  I've got
 
10   it.
 
11            MR. MESSING:  It should be on the contract.  In
 
12   State Employment.
 
13            THE ARBITRATOR:  I've got it.  CASE, C-A-S-E,
 
14   is the acronym, and it stands for California Attorneys,
 
15   Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers in State
 
16   Employment.
 
17            And I'm not quite sure how that's an acronym,
 
18   but we'll let it go at that.
 
19            Okay.  It's between CASE and the State of
 
20   California, the State Compensation Insurance Fund.
 
21   Okay.
 
22            The arbitrator for the case is Frank Silver.
 
23   Could counsel state your appearances, please.
 
24            MR. MESSING:  Carroll, Burdick & McDonough by
 
25   Gary Messing for the grievants.
 
 
 
    6
 1            MR. BREHL:  The Department of Personnel
 
 2   Administration by Edmund K. Deak, D-E-A-K, Brehl for
 
 3   SCIF.
 
 4            THE ARBITRATOR:  Okay.  We have marked for
 
 5   identification, well, we have marked a number of joint
 
 6   exhibits which I will briefly identify.
 
 7            Joint Exhibit 1 is the applicable MOU between
 
 8   the parties.
 
 9            Joint 2 is the grievants' grievance dated
 
10   September 6, '02.
 
11            There are correspondences regarding the
 
12   grievance, Joint 3, September 9, 2002 letter on CB&M
 
13   letterhead.
 
14            Joint 4 is actually a handwritten note dated
 
15   September 27th on SCIF letterhead.
 
16            Joint 5 is an October 2nd letter on SCIF
 
17   letterhead with an attachment.
 
18            Joint 6 is an October 4th letter on CB&M
 
19   letterhead.
 
20            Joint 7 is a November 1st letter on SCIF
 
21   letterhead.
 
22            Joint 8 is a November 4th letter on CB&M
 
23   letterhead.
 
24            Joint 9 is a November 14th letter on Department
 
25   of Personnel Administration, DPA, letterhead.
 
 
 
    7
 1            Joint 10 is a December 27th letter on DPA
 
 2   letterhead.
 
 3            And Joint 11 is a January 2nd, 2003 letter on
 
 4   CB&M letterhead.
 
 5            So, Mr. Messing, have you got the proposed
 
 6   issue here?
 
 7            MR. MESSING:  I do.
 
 8            The proposed issue is as follows:  First, has
 
 9   the State Compensation Insurance Fund violated the
 
10   memorandum of understanding by failing to compensate
 
11   Mr. Grossman and Mr. Vargas at a higher rate during the
 
12   grievance period for working out of class as
 
13   attorney IIIs?  And if so, number 2, what is the remedy?
 
14            THE ARBITRATOR:  Okay.  Mr. Brehl, is that
 
15   acceptable?
 
16            MR. BREHL:  That's fine.
 
17            THE ARBITRATOR:  Let me ask for stipulations
 
18   first.
 
19            Is it stipulated that the prior steps of the
 
20   grievance procedure have been complied with or waived
 
21   and the matter is properly in arbitration?
 
22            MR. MESSING:  Yes.
 
23            MR. BREHL:  Yes, it is.
 
24            THE ARBITRATOR:  Finally, in the event a remedy
 
25   is ordered, is it stipulated that I should retain
 
 
 
    8
 1   jurisdiction with respect to implementation?
 
 2            MR. MESSING:  Yes.
 
 3            MR. BREHL:  Yes.
 
 4            THE ARBITRATOR:  Then we're going to have
 
 5   opening statements.
 
 6            So Mr. Messing, would you proceed.
 
 7            MR. MESSING:  Thank you.
 
 8            Going to be brief.  This is a basic
 
 9   out-of-class claim.  As you know, undoubtedly, an
 
10   out-of-class claim deals with a fundamental and vested
 
11   right, which was why you have the authority to order
 
12   back pay when out-of-class work has been performed.
 
13   That notion was firmly established in 1998 in Dominey
 
14   versus DPA 205 Cal. App. 3d 729 at pages 742 to 743.
 
15            To let you know what this case is about,
 
16   briefly, the State has several different levels of
 
17   classifications for state attorneys.  Staff counsel
 
18   range from A to D level, A being the lowest and D the
 
19   highest.  And above the D level there are what are
 
20   called specialist IIIs, attorney IIIs or
 
21   specialist IIIs.  The State Personnel Board has
 
22   established job descriptions for each of these
 
23   classifications.
 
24            Grievants, Glen Grossman and Jorge Vargas, were
 
25   employed by SCIF as staff counsel, range D attorneys,
 
 
 
    9
 1   during the grievance period.  Mr. Vargas continues to
 
 2   work as a range D attorney, while Mr. Grossman was
 
 3   promoted to specialist.
 
 4            The evidence will show that Mr. Grossman and
 
 5   Mr. Vargas while working as a range D attorney performed
 
 6   the duties of specialist, and have been required to
 
 7   utilize a higher level of expertise than a range D
 
 8   attorney on a consistent basis.  SCIF has described its
 
 9   own job descriptions for range D attorney and specialist
 
10   which do not comport with the State Personnel Board job
 
11   descriptions, but which are very helpful to us.  We will
 
12   argue that the SCIF job descriptions are fundamentally
 
13   different from the SPB definition and are therefore
 
14   invalid and cannot be considered the standard in this
 
15   case.  However, the SCIF job descriptions are evidence
 
16   that the range D attorneys were performing as
 
17   specialists and assigned the work of specialist under
 
18   the SPB definition.
 
19            We will show, regardless of the job description
 
20   considered, that Mr. Grossman and Mr. Vargas were
 
21   actually working at a higher level than that of staff
 
22   counsel range D attorneys on a consistent basis.  The
 
23   SCIF job descriptions demonstrate that SCIF expected the
 
24   employees in the two positions to perform the same
 
25   duties.  The SPB job descriptions differentiate between
 
 
 
   10
 1   the two descriptions in two fundamental ways.  First,
 
 2   range D attorneys are only supposed to perform work of
 
 3   average difficulty, and, second, they do not act as lead
 
 4   attorneys over others.
 
 5            It is evident that Mr. Grossman and Mr. Vargas
 
 6   as range D attorneys were both assigned to handle cases
 
 7   that were sensitive and complex in nature and acted as
 
 8   lead attorneys over other attorneys on various
 
 9   occasions.  Mr. Grossman and Mr. Vargas engaged in these
 
10   higher level job duties more than 50 percent of their
 
11   time within 2-week periods consistently throughout the
 
12   grievance period.
 
13            If you look at page 93 of the MOU, so we can
 
14   establish the portions of the contract at issue --
 
15            THE ARBITRATOR:  93?
 
16            MR. MESSING:  Page 93.  If you look at B-1 at
 
17   the top of the page.  It says:  An employee is working
 
18   "out of class" when he/she spends a majority (i.e., more
 
19   than 50 percent) of his/her time over the course of at
 
20   least two consecutive work weeks performing duties and
 
21   responsibilities associated with a higher level existing
 
22   classification that do not overlap with the
 
23   classification in which said employee holds employment.
 
24            Duties -- and then the second paragraph, and I
 
25   want you to pay attention to that, please:  Duties that
 
 
 
   11
 1   are appropriately assigned to incumbents in the
 
 2   employee's current classification are not out of class.
 
 3   Duties appropriately assigned are based on the
 
 4   definition and typical tasks enumerated in the
 
 5   California State Personnel Board specification.
 
 6            Now, SCIF may argue that range D attorneys are
 
 7   expected to work on some complex cases, but the bulk of
 
 8   the cases are handled by specialists.  This is not
 
 9   consistent with the SPB job description.  In practice,
 
10   SCIF's practice muddies the difference between the two
 
11   positions so that it can have less highly paid
 
12   specialists by requiring them to do the same work as
 
13   range D attorneys.  Such work under the MOU has to be
 
14   compensated at the higher rate.  So what you'll find is
 
15   from the SCIF descriptions, job descriptions that will
 
16   be presented, that the actual job duties performed by
 
17   Grossman and Vargas show that they were required to work
 
18   out of their job classification because they were
 
19   required to work on complex and sensitive cases in the
 
20   office, and they were required to act as lead attorneys
 
21   over others, and they did this, of course, without
 
22   compensation.
 
23            In fact, what you'll hear is that the State
 
24   Compensation Insurance Fund definition for a senior
 
25   staff counsel, that's the D level, that definition
 
 
 
   12
 1   virtually tracks the State Personnel Board definition
 
 2   for a specialist.  It says under -- and you'll receive
 
 3   this into evidence as the case progresses.  It says:  To
 
 4   act as the lead attorney in the day-to-day operation
 
 5   within the assigned function, and then also talks about,
 
 6   "this incumbent will exercise lead responsibility in
 
 7   assisting an attorney-in-charge in training new
 
 8   attorneys and in handling the most complex and most
 
 9   difficult legal problems and issues in the department."
 
10            So SCIF has been a bit confused over the years.
 
11            Under section 15.3, the -- and you can turn to
 
12   page 94 sub D sub 4, that section requires out-of-class
 
13   work that has not been specifically assigned to an
 
14   individual to be compensated for a one-year period,
 
15   one-year calendar period prior to the filing of the
 
16   grievance.  Do you see that section?
 
17            THE ARBITRATOR:  I do.
 
18            MR. MESSING:  Okay.  And finally, SCIF may
 
19   attempt to argue that cases that Mr. Grossman and Vargas
 
20   were assigned do not constitute complex and sensitive
 
21   cases.  Well, if that's the case, it violated its own
 
22   job description.  But in any event, SCIF has not
 
23   previously defined what sensitive and complex cases are
 
24   and cannot now set up a description to avoid the
 
25   violations of the MOU and avoid paying these individuals
 
 
 
   13
 1   for the work that they have been doing over the past
 
 2   several years.
 
 3            So the evidence will show that Mr. Vargas and
 
 4   Mr. Grossman were performing the same job duties on a
 
 5   regular basis as specialists without added compensation.
 
 6   The appropriate remedy in the case, as I said, one-year
 
 7   compensation prior to the date of the filing of the
 
 8   grievance through Mr. Grossman's promotion in his case
 
 9   and through the present for Mr. Vargas.  That is with
 
10   any appropriate interest, of course.
 
11            And that is the basic case in a nutshell.
 
12            THE ARBITRATOR:  Okay.  Fine.
 
13            Mr. Brehl, do you want to respond at this
 
14   point?
 
15            MR. BREHL:  No.  We'll reserve.
 
16            THE ARBITRATOR:  Okay.  Fine, then we're going
 
17   to -- Mr. Messing has indicated he's calling a witness
 
18   out of order.
 
19            MR. MESSING:  Right.  And I want to apologize
 
20   to the arbitrator that this witness's testimony would
 
21   make more sense if it were taken in a different order,
 
22   but I would ask you to bear with us.  It is germane to
 
23   the case, but this is a very busy individual, and we
 
24   need to get him back to his office.
 
25            THE ARBITRATOR:  Okay.  Off the record.
 
 
 
   14
 1            (Off the record.)
 
 2            THE ARBITRATOR:  Let's go back on the record.
 
 3            Could you state your name, please, sir.
 
 4            THE WITNESS:  I'm N. Michael Rucka.
 
 5            THE ARBITRATOR:  Spell your last name, please.
 
 6            THE WITNESS:  R-U-C-K-A.
 
 7            THE ARBITRATOR:  Okay.  I need to swear you in.
 
 8            Could you raise your right hand, please.
 
 9                      N. MICHAEL RUCKA
 
10   having been duly sworn, testified as follows:
 
11              DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. MESSING
 
12        Q.  Would you identify your place of employment,
 
13   please?
 
14        A.  245 West Laurel Drive, Salinas, California
 
15   93906.
 
16        Q.  And what do you do for a living, sir?
 
17        A.  I am an attorney.
 
18        Q.  What kind of law do you practice?
 
19        A.  Workers' compensation and Social Security.
 
20        Q.  How long have you been practicing in those
 
21   areas, sir?
 
22        A.  Almost 38 years.
 
23        Q.  38 years.  You don't look that old.
 
24        A.  Thank you.  Thank you.  I started when I was
 
25   very young.
 
 
 
   15
 1        Q.  Has your practice generally been in this
 
 2   geographic area?
 
 3        A.  Yes, since 1969.
 
 4        Q.  Okay.  Can you just briefly describe your
 
 5   office in terms of how many lawyers you have,
 
 6   paralegals, et cetera?
 
 7        A.  Well, I have 4 offices, but I'll just describe
 
 8   the one that I principally practice in, that's the
 
 9   Salinas office.
 
10            MR. BREHL:  Excuse me, just for all of our
 
11   sake, the relevant time period would actually be, I
 
12   guess, September 6th, 2002, as of that time.
 
13            MR. MESSING:  I think the present is perfectly
 
14   adequate.  If you want to cross-examine him and find out
 
15   if there has been any change.
 
16   BY MR. MESSING:
 
17        Q.  Can you just tell me, roughly, the structure of
 
18   the current office that you practice in?  That's the one
 
19   at 245 West Laurel?
 
20        A.  Correct.  Basically there has been no change in
 
21   the last 5 years.
 
22        Q.  Okay.
 
23        A.  I have 2 legal assistants who report directly
 
24   to me.  There are a total of 6, 7 lawyers who practice
 
25   out of my office.  I have at various times supervisorial
 
 
 
   16
 1   responsibility for at least one other doing workers'
 
 2   compensation.  Do you want the number?
 
 3        Q.  No, that's fine.
 
 4            When you say my office, are you the principal?
 
 5   Are you an owner and partner?
 
 6        A.  I am.
 
 7        Q.  You are the owner?
 
 8        A.  I am a partner and shareholder in the practice.
 
 9        Q.  Okay.  The other offices are affiliated.  You
 
10   said there were 3 other offices?
 
11        A.  Correct.
 
12        Q.  Those are affiliated with your office?
 
13        A.  Yes, they are all part of the same law
 
14   corporation.
 
15        Q.  Of which you are a partner and a shareholder?
 
16        A.  Correct.
 
17        Q.  And how many lawyers, roughly, practice in
 
18   those offices?
 
19        A.  5 in the other offices.
 
20        Q.  Okay.  From time to time do you have occasion
 
21   to supervise their work or determine what cases may be
 
22   coming in and out of the office?
 
23        A.  From time to time, yes.
 
24        Q.  Thank you.
 
25            Now, that sounds like you may be the largest
 
 
 
   17
 1   office in this area for practicing on the applicant's
 
 2   side.  Is that true?
 
 3        A.  I would say that's true, at least that's what
 
 4   we like to tell people.
 
 5        Q.  Okay.  And you know Mr. Grossman and
 
 6   Mr. Vargas?
 
 7        A.  I do.
 
 8        Q.  In what capacity?
 
 9        A.  As attorneys.
 
10        Q.  And you know that they work for SCIF?
 
11        A.  That's true.
 
12            MR. MESSING:  Okay.  And for the record, I
 
13   think, Mr. Arbitrator, that we could refer to SCIF
 
14   throughout these proceedings without having a problem.
 
15            THE ARBITRATOR:  That's certainly fine with me.
 
16   BY MR. MESSING:
 
17        Q.  Okay.  You have had occasion to work also with
 
18   Mr. Pickering and Mr. Berry --
 
19        A.  Mr. Berry Cannon.
 
20        Q.  -- Berry Cannon?
 
21        A.  Yes, right.
 
22        Q.  Berry Cannon.  Strange name.
 
23            In those cases you were adversaries, you were
 
24   the adversary to Mr. Grossman, Mr. Vargas, Mr. Pickering
 
25   and Mr. Cannon?
 
 
 
   18
 1        A.  Correct.
 
 2        Q.  Do you know what those individuals' titles are
 
 3   or were when you were dealing with them and where they
 
 4   existed in the hierarchy of SCIF?
 
 5        A.  No.
 
 6        Q.  How many -- could you give me some kind of idea
 
 7   of how many cases you might have had with each of those
 
 8   attorneys, just a ballpark?
 
 9        A.  Well, I'll extrapolate to that, because I have
 
10   roughly 20 to 25 appearances a week at the appeals board
 
11   of which probably 45 to 50 percent involve the State
 
12   Compensation Insurance Fund.  And there are now more
 
13   attorneys at the State Fund, but that's only been a
 
14   recent change.  Over the last couple of years, excluding
 
15   this year, I would say that the workers' compensation
 
16   cases that the Fund had were pretty evenly distributed
 
17   between Mr. Vargas, Mr. Cannon and Mr. Pickering.  Less
 
18   with Mr. Grossman because for some time, because I had
 
19   represented Mr. Grossman's wife a number of years ago,
 
20   no cases were handled by Mr. Grossman with me.  And I
 
21   have handled some cases with Mr. Estrada as well.
 
22        Q.  Okay.  So you said that 20 to 25 appearances
 
23   per week?
 
24        A.  Correct.
 
25        Q.  And most of the time it's one of those
 
 
 
   19
 1   attorneys that we listed appearing; is that right?
 
 2        A.  Well, again by extrapolation, if the State Fund
 
 3   has approximately 40 percent of the market share, which
 
 4   I think it does, then it would be 40 percent, just
 
 5   roughly, of the 25 appearances involved with State
 
 6   Compensation Insurance Fund.  It may vary a little bit
 
 7   from week to week, but that's an approximation.
 
 8        Q.  Okay.  I asked you earlier about whether you
 
 9   knew where these individuals were in the hierarchy of
 
10   SCIF.  Is there anything about the work that you
 
11   observed them performing that led you to form an opinion
 
12   about where each of those attorneys were in the
 
13   hierarchy of SCIF?
 
14        A.  No.  The nature of the work that -- the nature
 
15   of the cases that they have been involved in with me,
 
16   all of them have been similar.  I could not draw a
 
17   distinction with regards the subject matter of the case.
 
18        Q.  Now, do you recollect for each of the
 
19   individuals, I'll go one by one, when you might have
 
20   started working on cases with them?  Start with
 
21   Grossman.
 
22        A.  More than 10 years ago, I know.
 
23        Q.  10 plus.  Okay.
 
24            How about Mr. Vargas?
 
25        A.  I would say the same.
 
 
 
   20
 1        Q.  Mr. Pickering?
 
 2        A.  Longer.
 
 3        Q.  Okay.  Mr. Cannon?
 
 4        A.  Well, he's been gone a number of years now.
 
 5   But I would say maybe 5 to 7 years with him.
 
 6        Q.  And can you give any kind of approximation of
 
 7   the number of cases you have had with Mr. Grossman, just
 
 8   a ballpark?
 
 9        A.  Well, before I represented his wife I -- he was
 
10   in the mix as -- I just assumed cases were distributed
 
11   on a rotational basis, because I could never, you know,
 
12   until I got the answer or the notice of representation,
 
13   I wouldn't know who was going to handle it.  And he
 
14   would be in the same average mix.
 
15        Q.  Okay.  And then for awhile you said that that
 
16   changed because you represented his wife?
 
17        A.  Correct.
 
18        Q.  Okay.  Have you started finding him as an
 
19   adversary lately, though?
 
20        A.  In the last few -- actually the last year or so
 
21   on some cases, not anywhere near as many as the other
 
22   SCIF attorneys.
 
23        Q.  Okay.  But is that because he's only now in the
 
24   rotation that you described and so he doesn't have the
 
25   bulk number of cases that have built up, but does he
 
 
 
   21
 1   appear to be in the same rotation?
 
 2        A.  Right.  And he has always appeared on other
 
 3   cases involving my office even during the period of time
 
 4   when he was not on cases that I was individually
 
 5   handling.
 
 6        Q.  Okay.  I see.  And you maintain familiarity
 
 7   with the types of cases that were going through your
 
 8   office that were handled by other lawyers?
 
 9        A.  To a degree.
 
10        Q.  Can you give examples of the sensitive and
 
11   complex cases that arise when you're working with -- or
 
12   working on a case against SCIF?
 
13        A.  Well, there are generically cases that have
 
14   injury at issue.
 
15        Q.  Okay.
 
16        A.  And the question there is whether the injury
 
17   arose out of and occurred in the course of employment.
 
18   There are -- some of those issues in those cases are
 
19   factual issues as to whether the event occurred.  Other
 
20   of those same type cases are medical issues as to
 
21   whether the condition from which the individual is
 
22   suffering is consequential to the work activities,
 
23   thereby being able to conclude that it arose out of and
 
24   occurred in the course of employment.
 
25        Q.  Okay.
 
 
 
   22
 1        A.  Then you have a separate whole set of cases in
 
 2   which the, for lack of a better way of describing it,
 
 3   the issue is not "what if?"  But "how much?"  So you're
 
 4   talking about what is the length of the period of
 
 5   entitlement, temporary disability within which may be
 
 6   the question of earnings, within which the question of
 
 7   which applicable law might apply, because there have
 
 8   been changes in earnings questions.
 
 9            And then you have the separate subset of the
 
10   how much issue which is what is the permanent
 
11   disability.  And, again, you come back to medical
 
12   questions there and medical issues.  So those primarily
 
13   are the subject matters.  On, fortunately, far fewer
 
14   occasions you have death cases in which all of those
 
15   issues may come to the fore.  But in addition you have
 
16   questions of dependency, questions of entitlement to
 
17   burial expenses and sometimes entitlement between
 
18   conflicting defendants as to what their right of
 
19   entitlement is.
 
20        Q.  Okay.  Let me ask you this, in terms of looking
 
21   at sensitive or complex cases, are psychological injury
 
22   cases considered to be more sensitive or complex?
 
23        A.  Well, they certainly are more complex.  The
 
24   term sensitive is, I think like beauty, in the eyes of
 
25   the beholder.  The problem is that most offices don't
 
 
 
   23
 1   handle psychiatric cases.  My office does.  And I handle
 
 2   a lot of them.
 
 3        Q.  Okay.  So they're more complex than the average
 
 4   case?
 
 5        A.  They're more complex than the average case.
 
 6   And they make the average case that has a psychiatric
 
 7   component in it far more complex.
 
 8        Q.  Okay.  And why is that?
 
 9        A.  Well, because the -- first of all, you have to
 
10   go back to understanding the changes in the laws.  Since
 
11   1989 the level of proof, the burden of proof, has
 
12   gradually changed as to what is compensable from a
 
13   psychiatric standpoint.  So determining what is
 
14   compensable becomes different than whether it is
 
15   industrial, because you can have the situation where
 
16   someone has sustained a psychiatric disability that
 
17   arose out of and occurred in the course of employment
 
18   whereby the conclusion before 1989 would be that that
 
19   was an industrial injury that was compensable.  Now,
 
20   given the circumstances, it could be found to be an
 
21   industrial injury that is not compensable because it
 
22   didn't meet some of the specials.
 
23        Q.  What about apportionment cases, do those tend
 
24   to be complex or sensitive?
 
25        A.  Yes, yes.
 
 
 
   24
 1        Q.  Why is that?
 
 2        A.  Well, because, again, you have multiple
 
 3   competing forces.  First of all, the statutes, there is
 
 4   one set of statutes that says that the natural
 
 5   progression of a condition is apportionable.  And the
 
 6   second says that if you have preexisting disability, you
 
 7   can apportion to it.  So the issue becomes what you can
 
 8   prove as to whether from a defense standpoint -- from my
 
 9   standpoint you don't want them to prove any of it.  But
 
10   from a defense standpoint the issue becomes what can be
 
11   proved and how do you go about doing that.
 
12        Q.  And so in those cases a SCIF attorney would be
 
13   trying to lay off liability to other employers and
 
14   attributing injuries --
 
15        A.  Correct.
 
16        Q.  -- to previous employers?
 
17        A.  Correct.  In addition, in a specific injury
 
18   case where SCIF is the only carrier, the desire and need
 
19   is to find apportionment to either an earlier injury or
 
20   to pathology that is naturally progressing.  But in
 
21   those cases in which there are multiple parties, which
 
22   oftentimes occurs, the problem becomes greater because
 
23   then you're, from my standpoint, representing the
 
24   injured worker.  I'm not particularly concerned as to
 
25   which carrier pays, but from their standpoint it becomes
 
 
 
   25
 1   very important for them to be able to establish that
 
 2   some other carrier is responsible, and that becomes even
 
 3   more so now with the whole issue of CIGA.
 
 4        Q.  It's kind of like a cross-complaint situation
 
 5   in litigation?
 
 6        A.  Exactly.
 
 7        Q.  So they become a moving party against another
 
 8   employer?
 
 9        A.  Right.  But in workers' compensation oftentimes
 
10   the moving papers don't show as much as what happens in
 
11   terms of figuring out when to go to an agreed medical
 
12   examiner and who that examiner is going to be and why
 
13   you would use that, and those are not quite in the realm
 
14   of pure legal determinants.  I mean you've got the
 
15   principle that you want to establish, but you've got a
 
16   factual issue that you want to try and deal with to try
 
17   and fashion it to the way that you want.
 
18        Q.  By the way, in an apportionment case that you
 
19   have been testifying to, you don't necessarily know that
 
20   a case is an apportionment case when you first start; is
 
21   that right?
 
22        A.  No, that's correct.
 
23        Q.  So if a SCIF attorney is assigned a case, which
 
24   may look like there is only one party on the other side,
 
25   you know, during the course of that case it may become
 
 
 
   26
 1   complex by other parties popping up?
 
 2        A.  Right.  And/or by their own discovery through
 
 3   deposition or through the inquiry of the -- of their own
 
 4   medical examiner.
 
 5        Q.  What is a hundred-percent-disability case?
 
 6        A.  By definition it means that there is inability
 
 7   to engage in the ability to work in the open labor
 
 8   market.
 
 9        Q.  Is that considered to be a complex case?
 
10        A.  I would think that it is, unless you're talking
 
11   about a quadriplegic who becomes a quadriplegic as a
 
12   result of a specific injury, yeah, they're very
 
13   difficult.
 
14        Q.  What makes them difficult?
 
15        A.  Well, again, there is lots of reasons that go
 
16   into it, but simply stated, the dollar difference
 
17   between ninety-nine and three-quarters percent and a
 
18   hundred percent is vast.  It can be as much as a half a
 
19   million dollars depending on the age of the individual.
 
20   Because at the hundred percent level, the injured
 
21   employee receives temporary disability for life at the
 
22   rate that they were receiving at time of injury.  So if
 
23   you have somebody who is young, and let's take the
 
24   current rate today, which is 602 a week, if they're
 
25   entitled to maximum, well, if they have a 40-year life
 
 
 
   27
 1   expectancy, 602 times 50, is, what, new math for me --
 
 2        Q.  30,000?
 
 3            THE ARBITRATOR:  $30,000.
 
 4            THE WITNESS:  It's about $31,000 a year times
 
 5   40.  What you have got in terms of dollars.  If, on the
 
 6   other hand, it's ninety-nine and three-quarters, then
 
 7   you're looking at somebody who is going to get the
 
 8   permanent disability rate, which I believe -- don't hold
 
 9   me to it because I don't see them that often -- is, I
 
10   think, 260 a week for a finite number of years, roughly
 
11   speaking, 13.  Thereafter, a small life pension, which
 
12   is probably about $130 a week after the 13 years have
 
13   expired.
 
14            So you can see that in the dollar exchange, for
 
15   the defense to keep it below a hundred percent even to
 
16   the point of ninety-nine and three-quarter percent,
 
17   there is a massive savings in dollars.
 
18   BY MR. MESSING:
 
19        Q.  And so I would assume a massive battle over
 
20   that last quarter of a percent?
 
21        A.  Right.
 
22        Q.  Okay.  Now, I gather in your lengthy career you
 
23   have handled cases of first impression?
 
24        A.  Yes.
 
25        Q.  I would imagine they don't happen often,
 
 
 
   28
 1   though, or do they?
 
 2        A.  Well, they happened more often when I was
 
 3   younger, maybe it had to do with an energy level.
 
 4        Q.  Are those generally considered to be complex?
 
 5        A.  Yes.
 
 6        Q.  And why is that?
 
 7        A.  Well, you're making law out of whole cloth.
 
 8   You're extrapolating from what you know to what you hope
 
 9   the Court will know.
 
10        Q.  Okay.  Can you just give us an example of a
 
11   case of first impression you have handled recently that
 
12   would illustrate the complexity of it?
 
13            MR. BREHL:  I think I'll object to the
 
14   relevance of that unless it happens to be a case that
 
15   was handled with these 2 individuals.
 
16            THE ARBITRATOR:  I understand the distinction,
 
17   but I'll allow it just for illustrative purposes, and I
 
18   understand.  I mean a case of first impression it
 
19   strikes me, there is a tremendous range in there in
 
20   terms of what the complexity might be.
 
21   BY MR. MESSING:
 
22        Q.  Yeah, why don't you go ahead and answer.
 
23        A.  Well, the last case of first impression that
 
24   comes to my mind that I had actually with the State Fund
 
25   was a -- that actually went all the way through the
 
 
 
   29
 1   courts was one that I had with, I'm not sure who
 
 2   finished it at this point, but Berry Cannon had it for
 
 3   some time.  And that was a death case, the name of which
 
 4   is now escaping me.
 
 5            MR. ESTRADA:  Laird Drake?
 
 6            THE WITNESS:  Laird Drake.  Thank you very
 
 7   much.  And that case was in litigation for 9 years.
 
 8   BY MR. MESSING:
 
 9        Q.  Well, now, I mentioned before the test of
 
10   sensitive or complex in terms of complexity, I would
 
11   assume that cases of first impression end up in the
 
12   actual court system as opposed to just before WCAB or
 
13   what have you, right?
 
14        A.  Right.  Okay, what happens realistically is
 
15   where you have cases of first impression and either side
 
16   is afraid of the consequences of going to trial, you
 
17   settle them.  So there are -- I mean there are a number
 
18   of those kinds of cases where the issue, whether it's
 
19   medical or the application of law, I mean I recently had
 
20   a smoke inhalation case and the question of whether the
 
21   cancer that resulted from it was entitled to the
 
22   presumption that a firefighter would have.  Another case
 
23   not too long ago that Mr. Vargas was involved in where
 
24   the issue was asbestos exposure, and to the extent that
 
25   you can, you try and work out a settlement that makes
 
 
 
   30
 1   everybody a little bit unhappy but nobody terribly
 
 2   unhappy.
 
 3        Q.  Okay.  But you may have to litigate -- well,
 
 4   strike that.
 
 5            Most of your cases are handled before the WCAB,
 
 6   correct?
 
 7        A.  Right, all the workers' compensation cases are
 
 8   all handled before the WCAB.
 
 9        Q.  But when there is a case of first impression
 
10   that case may end up being litigated through the court
 
11   system?
 
12        A.  Right, by virtue of the process of
 
13   reconsideration, and from there a writ of review, and
 
14   from there to the Supreme Court.
 
15        Q.  Okay.  And I gather you don't always know the
 
16   first day when the case comes through the door whether
 
17   it's a case of first impression?
 
18        A.  That's usually the case, though once in awhile
 
19   you know that when the case walks through the door that
 
20   it's going to be a case of first impression.
 
21        Q.  And when a case has been assigned to a SCIF
 
22   lawyer when you have been an adversary, those cases go
 
23   through the court system, is it typically the same
 
24   attorney who handled the case before the board that
 
25   continues to handle it through the court system?
 
 
 
   31
 1        A.  No.  I guess as a policy, I don't know SCIF's
 
 2   process, except by observation, once it finishes the
 
 3   reconsideration stage where the commissioners who are
 
 4   the equivalent of the first level of appellate review
 
 5   have made their decision and there is either a further
 
 6   review sought by myself on behalf of my client or by the
 
 7   employer on behalf of SCIF, SCIF always sends the file
 
 8   to an attorney who has previously not dealt with the
 
 9   file, and that attorney is in San Francisco.  That's my
 
10   experience, in any event.
 
11        Q.  Thank you.
 
12            Would you explain what a serious and willful
 
13   case is?
 
14        A.  Serious and willful misconduct is a provision
 
15   of California law which allows the injured worker to
 
16   seek additional compensation for which no insurance can
 
17   be provided.  And if you can show -- it's almost -- the
 
18   burden is almost to the point that you have to show on
 
19   behalf of the worker that the employer intended the
 
20   result that occurred.  Gross negligence is often said to
 
21   be insufficient.  It has to be something greater than
 
22   gross negligence.  It has to be a knowledge that the
 
23   occurrence of the event is more probably going to happen
 
24   to the individual to whom it happened.
 
25            The classic example, which is the easiest to
 
 
 
   32
 1   understand, is the removal of a guard on a punch press.
 
 2   But there are others.  Another simple example of that is
 
 3   the employer who has had shoring in a ditch and then has
 
 4   the shoring removed and then sends an employee into the
 
 5   ditch to work and the ditch caves in for absence of the
 
 6   shoring.  That would be a clear-cut serious and willful
 
 7   claim.  But there are a lot of them which are in sort of
 
 8   the gray area and they're filed because the extent of
 
 9   the injury at the time that you see the applicant, the
 
10   injured worker, requires that they be filed because you
 
11   only have as applicant's counsel one year from the date
 
12   of injury within which to file that claim and it has to
 
13   be filed with some degree of specificity.  So you do it
 
14   as quickly as you can, and then it is defended from the
 
15   standpoint of the employer based upon the pleadings that
 
16   the applicant has filed.
 
17        Q.  Are those typically considered complex cases?
 
18        A.  Yes.
 
19        Q.  What makes them complex?
 
20        A.  Well, they're complex because you've got the
 
21   whole gamut of discovery problems that you normally
 
22   don't see in workers' compensation.  But you -- you
 
23   know, from my standpoint as the advocate for the injured
 
24   worker, it's getting an investigation.  It's trying to
 
25   understand if it's a mechanical defect what it is that
 
 
 
   33
 1   caused that mechanical defect, and was that something
 
 2   that happened before.  And I presume that from the
 
 3   defense standpoint -- and I have to only presume that
 
 4   because I haven't done that work -- that the process is
 
 5   very similar from their standpoint.
 
 6        Q.  Okay.  Now, I think we're fairly familiar with
 
 7   132a cases.  Those are discrimination or retaliation
 
 8   cases?
 
 9        A.  Correct.
 
10        Q.  Are those generally considered to be complex?
 
11        A.  Complex, yes.  Difficult factually.  And made
 
12   more so because of the problem of psychiatric cases
 
13   because what you see is that you have to from the
 
14   applicant's standpoint, worker's standpoint, you would
 
15   have to be able to separate the whole issue of just --
 
16   just tease it out so that you're looking at what is
 
17   retaliatory and against public policy as opposed to what
 
18   is a good faith personnel action.
 
19        Q.  And serious and willful and 132a cases are
 
20   generally filed initially with those allegations; is
 
21   that right?
 
22        A.  Correct.  With regards to both of them, you
 
23   have one year from the date of the occurrence as opposed
 
24   to a regular workers' compensation application which can
 
25   be filed up to 5 years if the injury is not in dispute
 
 
 
   34
 1   and there has been some benefit provided.
 
 2        Q.  Wouldn't it be true that some cases become --
 
 3   that are initially filed as just regular injury cases
 
 4   later become 132a cases --
 
 5        A.  Yes.
 
 6        Q.  -- because the employee is retaliated against
 
 7   for filing that initial claim; is that right?
 
 8        A.  Right.  The statute there is one year after the
 
 9   occurrence.
 
10        Q.  In those cases in your experience does the
 
11   attorney at SCIF who is handling the original case tend
 
12   to be the same attorney who is handling the serious, I'm
 
13   sorry, the 132a claim when that gets filed?
 
14        A.  Yes.
 
15        Q.  Okay.  And of course nobody knew at the initial
 
16   filing that this was going to become a 132a case?
 
17        A.  Correct.
 
18        Q.  All right.  Department of Corrections cases,
 
19   are those considered to be complex or difficult?
 
20        A.  Some are very complex and very difficult.
 
21        Q.  Why is that?
 
22        A.  Well, part of it has to do with just the
 
23   personality of the Department of Corrections.  I think
 
24   in some ways they should be easier because you have
 
25   presumptions that exist in the law that favor
 
 
 
   35
 1   correctional officers for heart and for hepatitis and
 
 2   some other things.  But they're not -- they're difficult
 
 3   in the heart cases because the battle -- indeed
 
 4   Mr. Vargas and I yesterday had a case of that kind where
 
 5   the issue was the application of whether the employee
 
 6   was entitled to the application of the presumption for
 
 7   heart, number 1, and, number 2, whether the employee
 
 8   actually had heart trouble as that term is defined by
 
 9   the courts.
 
10            And the best way to describe this in terms of
 
11   the difficulty is not so much how heavy the case is in
 
12   terms of lifting but how you put the pieces together and
 
13   where the line of demarcation is.  And the line is not
 
14   always clear.  And from the defendant's standpoint, they
 
15   want to, in those situations, obscure the line as much
 
16   as they can in the hopes that the judge will find the
 
17   line less clear and be more on their side.  And there
 
18   are not always bright lines.
 
19            I don't know if I'm making myself plain, but
 
20   they are factually driven.  And the complexity, again
 
21   because of the monies, in the Department of Corrections
 
22   cases if you have somebody who, as advocate for the
 
23   worker, I can establish is entitled to a finding of fact
 
24   that an industrial injury occurred, and establish that
 
25   there is sufficient disability to allow he or she to
 
 
 
   36
 1   then apply for a PERS disability retirement, all of a
 
 2   sudden, again, we're looking at a case that has
 
 3   significant magnitude beyond just the occurrence of the
 
 4   injury and, you know, 15 or $20,000 in indemnity.  And
 
 5   these are concerns that drive -- that drive the defense
 
 6   of the case, because the Department of Corrections ends
 
 7   up having to pay an industrial disability leave, which
 
 8   is full pay for the first 30 days and two-thirds pay for
 
 9   the next 11 months.  So they're high value cases.  And
 
10   so in that sense they become -- the urge to make them
 
11   complex is apparent.
 
12        Q.  They become more contentious, is that the idea?
 
13        A.  I don't like to use the term "contentious,"
 
14   because there is a lot of comedy at this particular
 
15   appeals board.  People deal with one another I think
 
16   with a lot of courtesy and cooperation and it's rarely
 
17   are there ever shouting matches.
 
18        Q.  Okay.  Just a couple more and then we'll move
 
19   on.  You do parks and recreation cases?
 
20        A.  I have in the past, not so many of them, but I
 
21   have.
 
22        Q.  Do they tend to be more complex or difficult?
 
23        A.  You know, the experience that I have had with
 
24   them would suggest that they are pretty much the same in
 
25   the category as the Caltrans cases.  So I would judge
 
 
 
   37
 1   them by that, because I haven't had that many park and
 
 2   rec cases, probably less than maybe 8 or 10 in all the
 
 3   years.  Most of them go to my partner.  But I do a lot
 
 4   of Caltrans cases, and the park and rec cases I have had
 
 5   are every bit as difficult as the Caltrans cases.
 
 6        Q.  So you're saying Caltrans cases tend to be
 
 7   difficult?
 
 8        A.  Yes.
 
 9        Q.  Why is that?
 
10        A.  Again, I think we're dealing with the
 
11   personality of the agency in part, and we're also
 
12   dealing with a wide variety of kinds of injuries.
 
13        Q.  All right.  Are there any other cases that pop
 
14   to mind or types of cases that tend to be very complex
 
15   or difficult that we haven't touched on?
 
16        A.  No.  CDF.  California Department of Forestry.
 
17        Q.  For the same types of reason that you described
 
18   for Corrections?
 
19        A.  Exactly, exactly, exactly.
 
20        Q.  Okay.
 
21        A.  And then the other problems are the problems
 
22   that you see -- and they're actually becoming more
 
23   prevalent -- in the CIGA cases where the State Fund may
 
24   be one of the last 2 carriers left standing at least for
 
25   this year in California.  You know, CIGA is the
 
 
 
   38
 1   California Insurance Guarantee Association.
 
 2        Q.  Um-hum.
 
 3        A.  And with the unfortunate operating law that
 
 4   occurred that was a rush to the bottom and a lot of
 
 5   carriers wrote business and they didn't have adequate
 
 6   reserves, and there is a quirk in the law that allows
 
 7   CIGA to escape if they can lay the liability in a
 
 8   cumulative injury case, if they can show that there is
 
 9   another insurance carrier that has coverage during the
 
10   same period.  So those cases are becoming more complex
 
11   now.  And the State Fund is a larger target for those
 
12   cases.  And as a result the State Fund's role in the
 
13   case is becoming more significant.
 
14        Q.  Okay.  Let me ask you this, can you give us
 
15   some examples of some complex cases that you tried
 
16   against Mr. Grossman over the last, let's say, 3 years
 
17   and explain why they were complex, if you can remember
 
18   any with specificity?
 
19            MR. BREHL:  I'm going to object because I think
 
20   it needs to be narrowed.  The last 3 years may fit the
 
21   same criteria, I don't know, but we need to really
 
22   concern ourselves only from September of 2001, which is
 
23   2 years ago.
 
24            THE ARBITRATOR:  That should be about 2 years.
 
25            MR. MESSING:  All right.  Let's talk about the
 
 
 
   39
 1   last 2 years.
 
 2            THE WITNESS:  You know, I think that I can't
 
 3   for the simple reason I don't think he was handling
 
 4   cases with me during that period.  He was handling cases
 
 5   with my office, but not with me.
 
 6   BY MR. MESSING:
 
 7        Q.  Okay.
 
 8        A.  So I couldn't tell from you a firsthand
 
 9   experience.
 
10        Q.  Let me ask you this, how about Mr. Vargas?
 
11        A.  Well, as I said, we had the case yesterday
 
12   which was complex, intricate, in which I had filed a bad
 
13   faith petition for the failure of the department to act
 
14   appropriately.
 
15        Q.  Let me try and put it this way, do you believe
 
16   that there is any difference in the difficulty or the
 
17   complexity of the cases that you have handled against
 
18   Grossman and Vargas as compared to Pickering and Cannon
 
19   over the years?
 
20        A.  No.
 
21        Q.  Do you recollect over the years cases that you
 
22   have had against Grossman or Vargas that were more
 
23   complex or sensitive than cases you have handled against
 
24   Pickering and Cannon?
 
25        A.  No.  I think that they're of equal weight.  To
 
 
 
   40
 1   my eye, the quality of lawyering has been on par for all
 
 2   of them.
 
 3        Q.  Okay.
 
 4        A.  You know, there are some cases that seem to
 
 5   flow with more facility and ease, but that's not because
 
 6   they weren't complex when they started.
 
 7        Q.  Okay.  And I think we've talked about cases
 
 8   that may begin simple and become complex.  I suppose
 
 9   they can begin complex and become simple; is that right?
 
10        A.  The answer to that in a word is no, because
 
11   they become simple -- if they start off complex they
 
12   became simple because of lawyering that went on down the
 
13   line --
 
14        Q.  Okay.
 
15        A.  -- rather than the other way around.
 
16            Again, we're dealing mostly with, in those
 
17   kinds of situations, with cases that are factually
 
18   driven.  The medical changes and the medical picture
 
19   allows the case that still may be complex, but you find
 
20   a simple solution because you -- the game is no longer
 
21   worth the candle if you have a case that you thought was
 
22   going to be a $25,000 case and now all of sudden it
 
23   looks like 1500.  All of the other issues and
 
24   complexities suddenly disappear and you find a way to
 
25   bury that case very quickly.
 
 
 
   41
 1        Q.  But you did testify that there are cases that
 
 2   become more difficult or complex after filing like the
 
 3   132a cases?
 
 4        A.  Right.
 
 5        Q.  Are there other examples of how cases which may
 
 6   appear to be simple at the outset become more complex
 
 7   that you can talk about?
 
 8        A.  Yeah.  The problem with medical, you start off
 
 9   with a simple back case and the case goes to hell from
 
10   there, either because the issue was fought for too long,
 
11   and by the time the person gets to surgery the available
 
12   remedy is no longer as good as it was, had it been
 
13   offered at the beginning, or the person in the interim
 
14   develops diabetes or maybe because of the injury
 
15   develops diabetes and the issue becomes is the diabetes
 
16   industrial related.  I have a case like that with
 
17   Mr. Vargas right now where if I prevail in showing the
 
18   diabetes is there, the case is a hundred percent case.
 
19   Mr. Vargas's job is to stop that.
 
20        Q.  Okay.  You haven't noticed in cases where they
 
21   start simple and become complex that they get
 
22   transferred to some other lawyer?
 
23        A.  No.
 
24        Q.  Okay.
 
25        A.  The only time that I have ever seen cases
 
 
 
   42
 1   transferred, it's only -- normally only for the day
 
 2   because there is a conflict and somebody else makes an
 
 3   appearance, and that's usually at a mandatory settlement
 
 4   conference.
 
 5        Q.  Can you explain just -- I have just a couple
 
 6   more things, so I appreciate your time.  But the
 
 7   complexity of rating disabilities, can you tell us a
 
 8   little bit about that.
 
 9        A.  Okay.  As long as it's only a little bit you
 
10   want from me, because by definition it is complex.
 
11            The state uses a rating system which was
 
12   actually historically taken from the Russian Revolution.
 
13   It was adopted from a 1905 disability schedule that the
 
14   Mensheviks attempted to pass in the Duma.  California
 
15   adopted it in 1917 without a lot of change, actually.
 
16        Q.  This is actually true?
 
17        A.  That's true, yeah.  And Ely Welsh, who was the
 
18   rating specialist for the state for 40 years, basically
 
19   made it into as intelligible a document as anything that
 
20   the Russians have ever written, which meant that it
 
21   probably isn't all that intelligible.  But all kidding
 
22   aside, what it does is it attempts, and California is
 
23   unique in this regard, and the reason I can say that is
 
24   because I have a fair amount of experience in other
 
25   states as well, but California uses a rating prospect in
 
 
 
   43
 1   which you take the individual's age at the time of
 
 2   injury, the occupation that they had at time of injury,
 
 3   and you couple that with the nature of the injury, and
 
 4   then you modify it to determine what the approximate
 
 5   loss of work ability is to the open labor market.  So
 
 6   when you have somebody who has a 40 percent permanent
 
 7   disability rating, what you're basically saying is as a
 
 8   result of this particular injury they have a -- an
 
 9   approximately 40 percent loss of work ability in the
 
10   open labor market.  And this is just -- it's an informal
 
11   and sort of expanding and contracting concept.  But
 
12   because of that, the -- and because the rating schedule
 
13   has gone on to be highly refined with 14 different body
 
14   part categories, and it will depend on sometimes what
 
15   you actually give as the appellation for the injury.
 
16   For instance, a neck injury which produces disability to
 
17   the fingers may be worth more than a hand injury which
 
18   produces disability to the fingers.  And so the -- what
 
19   you are attempting to do through the medical evidence is
 
20   to, for lack of a better way of describing it, groom the
 
21   case to allow for the most amount or the least amount of
 
22   disability being awarded to the particular individual,
 
23   using the parameters of the schedule.  I don't know if I
 
24   explained it.
 
25        Q.  Actually, that is somewhat clear.  Let me ask
 
 
 
   44
 1   you this, are there some cases where the rating is more
 
 2   difficult than in other cases?
 
 3        A.  Yeah.  I mean oftentimes as skilled as I may
 
 4   be, I won't trust my judgment to what the rating will be
 
 5   and I'll request a disability evaluation, consultative
 
 6   report, which gives me what the state's concept is of
 
 7   what the level of that disability is.
 
 8            That's different from a formal rating which is
 
 9   derived by the judge giving a set of instructions to the
 
10   rater saying please rate for the following factors of
 
11   disability.  And then if I don't like what the
 
12   instructions produce, I will move to cross-examine the
 
13   rater.  If the defendant doesn't like what the
 
14   instructions produce, they move to cross-examine the
 
15   rater, or either one may move to strike the rating that
 
16   the judge has issued because it's a -- it's in the
 
17   nature of a preliminary ruling and you have the right to
 
18   contest it and point out where the judge is in error.
 
19            So to that extent you have this additional area
 
20   that you have to deal with, and that's assessing both
 
21   the medical evidence that you have, what the oral
 
22   testimony has been at trial and determining -- or trying
 
23   to persuade the judge to change the determination that
 
24   the judge has made.
 
25        Q.  It seems to me that from what you're saying,
 
 
 
   45
 1   when you have difficult cases of rating that you're not
 
 2   likely to know that on the day that the case is filed;
 
 3   that's something that you're going to find out as the
 
 4   case develops?
 
 5        A.  Correct.  You oftentimes don't know that,
 
 6   really, much before the point in time when you get to
 
 7   the mandatory settlement conference.
 
 8        Q.  Okay.  Do you remember a case called Jack Duffy
 
 9   or James Lindsey, those cases?
 
10            MR. ESTRADA:  Excuse me.  The name of the case?
 
11            MR. MESSING:  Jack Duffy or James Lindsey.
 
12            THE WITNESS:  Duffy as I recall was a postpolio
 
13   case.  That was extremely complex.  The question there
 
14   was not whether he had polio, because he clearly did,
 
15   but what effect his work had in lighting up the prior
 
16   condition and causing greater disability.
 
17            James Lindsey I'm having a tough time.  I
 
18   remember the name and I sort of remember the client, but
 
19   I don't remember the facts.
 
20            MR. GROSSMAN:  We did a seminar --
 
21            MR. MESSING:  No, no, no, you can't talk.
 
22   BY MR. MESSING:
 
23        Q.  Regarding the Lindsey case, if I mentioned that
 
24   Fred Boyd was involved --
 
25        A.  Right.
 
 
 
   46
 1        Q.  -- does that refresh your recollection?
 
 2        A.  Yes, and Al Frank was the mediator.
 
 3        Q.  Was that a complex case?
 
 4        A.  That was not only complex, it was extremely
 
 5   difficult from the standpoint it was psychiatric.  It
 
 6   was physical.  My client was a Vietnam War Vet who had
 
 7   significant difficulties, had returned to the open labor
 
 8   market.  He -- there was a Tarasoff warning given in
 
 9   that case.
 
10        Q.  Okay.
 
11        A.  It was extremely difficult.  Maybe that's why I
 
12   couldn't remember it to begin with.
 
13        Q.  Were these some of the more complex cases you
 
14   have handled over the years, the Duffy and Lindsey
 
15   cases?
 
16        A.  Certainly fitted in with the most complex, yes.
 
17        Q.  Do you remember who was your opponent on the
 
18   Duffy case?
 
19        A.  I believe the Duffy case was Mr. Grossman, and
 
20   I believe the same was true in the Lindsey case.
 
21        Q.  The average case that you have handled with
 
22   Mr. Grossman and Mr. Vargas, could you characterize it
 
23   as simple or complex?
 
24        A.  I think it's a mix.  I mean some have been
 
25   simple and some have been complex.
 
 
 
   47
 1            From the standpoint of what happens in my
 
 2   office, I generally end up with the more complex cases.
 
 3   And that's not -- you know, there is a joke in the
 
 4   office that I make the cases complex, because we don't
 
 5   really screen them at the beginning.  And there is no
 
 6   way of knowing what's going to be a complex case when
 
 7   you open it.  But what happens, I suspect, is that for
 
 8   one thing, I've got so many years of experience that I
 
 9   see issues that a lot of people would not necessarily
 
10   pursue.  And, you know, we hold seminars within the
 
11   office.  We hope that the other lawyers in my office are
 
12   doing the same level of work or will at the same point
 
13   in time that I am.  But one only can hope.
 
14        Q.  I think you testified earlier you get on the
 
15   other side all of the attorneys that I mentioned in the
 
16   SCIF office?
 
17        A.  Right.  From my experience from the newest to
 
18   the oldest, I mean I don't know what the criteria is for
 
19   assignment.
 
20        Q.  Okay.  Let me just, a couple of, really, few
 
21   more questions and I will be done.
 
22            Do you recall a Jane Barbatini case?
 
23        A.  I do.
 
24        Q.  And what was that about, and was that complex?
 
25        A.  That was very complex, very complex.  I'm
 
 
 
   48
 1   trying to remember.  That was a number of years ago.
 
 2   She was a Department of Corrections employee, I believe.
 
 3   And I believe the question was whether or not she was
 
 4   going to be entitled to a correctional officer
 
 5   presumption, and I think Mr. Vargas was defense counsel
 
 6   and I think I lost that case.
 
 7        Q.  Is there something called a Rodriguez
 
 8   application?  Do you know what that is?
 
 9        A.  Not by that name.
 
10        Q.  In the Barbatini case did an adjuster testify?
 
11        A.  Yes.
 
12        Q.  Is that unusual?
 
13        A.  Well, I wish it would happen less.
 
14        Q.  Okay.  All right.  Let me just ask you this --
 
15   I think your testimony has been very helpful -- you were
 
16   subpoenaed to testify here today?
 
17        A.  I was.
 
18            MR. MESSING:  Okay.  I have nothing further.  I
 
19   think Mr. Brehl may wish to cross-examine you.  Maybe he
 
20   won't.
 
21            Off the record.
 
22            (Off the record.)
 
23            THE ARBITRATOR:  Cross-examination.
 
24                CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. BREHL
 
25        Q.  Yes, could I ask, do you know what year would
 
 
 
   49
 1   be the last time that you filed a 132a that was
 
 2   litigated by SCIF?
 
 3        A.  Well, I can't tell you when it was last
 
 4   litigated.  I filed a 132a recently.  I mean I -- within
 
 5   the last 60 or 90 days.
 
 6        Q.  Has that one been dealt with by either of these
 
 7   attorneys at this point?
 
 8        A.  It hasn't been dealt with by anybody at this
 
 9   point.
 
10        Q.  Prior to that -- we're concerned with a period
 
11   from September 2001 and on.  Prior to that, do you think
 
12   the 132a's that you would have dealt with with SCIF were
 
13   prior to September of 2001, or do you know?
 
14        A.  Well, let me answer it in this fashion:
 
15   Oftentimes a 132a is filed and it becomes a bargaining
 
16   chip in the resolution of a case.  I don't think that in
 
17   the almost 38 years that I have been practicing I've
 
18   tried more than fifteen 132a cases, if that many.  But
 
19   they're there and you develop them.  And so to answer
 
20   your question, I can't tell you right now.  I don't
 
21   think that in the last couple of years I have tried a
 
22   132a case.
 
23        Q.  Do you think in the last 2 years you have used
 
24   a 132a for a bargaining chip in which you dealt with
 
25   either of these attorneys --
 
 
 
   50
 1        A.  Yes.
 
 2        Q.  -- in resolving the case?
 
 3        A.  Yeah, I'm pretty sure of that.  As I sit here
 
 4   now, I couldn't tell you what the name of the case is.
 
 5   You know, I handle -- my own caseload is somewhere in
 
 6   the neighborhood of 450 clients on average, and I just
 
 7   don't recall the names of the cases.  I have a better
 
 8   recollection for facts, actually, than I do for clients'
 
 9   names, which is terrible, I guess.
 
10        Q.  Okay.  Are you aware of the policy of SCIF that
 
11   if a 132a is filed against a private employer that they
 
12   insure they, in fact, do not defend that case but send
 
13   it out?
 
14        A.  Is that 132a or S & W?  I get them confused.  I
 
15   know that where I have had one or the other with SCIF
 
16   they have used outside counsel.  So I can't tell you.  I
 
17   could be confused and it could be that it's 132a and not
 
18   S & W.
 
19            THE ARBITRATOR:  What's S & W?
 
20            THE WITNESS:  Serious and willful misconduct,
 
21   Your Honor.
 
22            THE ARBITRATOR:  Okay.
 
23   BY MR. BREHL:
 
24        Q.  On the serious and willful cases, have you done
 
25   any serious and willful cases within the last 2 years?
 
 
 
   51
 1        A.  You mean tried them --
 
 2        Q.  Yes.
 
 3        A.  -- as opposed to filed them?
 
 4        Q.  Tried them first.
 
 5        A.  No.
 
 6        Q.  How about filing them?
 
 7        A.  I'm reasonably certain that there have been,
 
 8   but I can't tell you a hundred percent.
 
 9        Q.  Can you recall if any of those were dealt with
 
10   by either Mr. Vargas or Mr. Grossman?
 
11        A.  No, not specifically.
 
12        Q.  How about Mr. Pickering or Mr. Cannon?
 
13        A.  Same answer.  I couldn't tell you.  I mean if I
 
14   didn't try it, they were part of the mix in the
 
15   settlement, and I just don't have any recollection.
 
16        Q.  And I take it in this Lindsey case when you
 
17   were saying there was a Tarasoff warning involved, you
 
18   mean a Tarasoff warning with respect to a threat on the
 
19   life of somebody with the employer?
 
20        A.  Yeah, that's correct.  Well, the threat was
 
21   actually -- I think there was a question at one point as
 
22   to who the intended object of the Tarasoff was.
 
23        Q.  Okay.  And was that dealt with in some manner
 
24   by the SCIF attorney involved, Mr. Grossman?
 
25        A.  Did he deal with the Tarasoff warning?
 
 
 
   52
 1        Q.  Right.
 
 2        A.  Only to the extent that he was aware of it
 
 3   because it was contained within a psychiatric report and
 
 4   the whole question of how to deal with the client or a
 
 5   defendant -- I'm sorry, an applicant by the defense in a
 
 6   case in which the threat was significant, and at the
 
 7   time it was given believed that it could have been
 
 8   directed not only at, to my recollection, not only as
 
 9   against the SCIF adjuster but also the SCIF attorney, if
 
10   I'm not mistaken, in the case.
 
11        Q.  Okay.
 
12        A.  And I will say that the Tarasoff warning was
 
13   subsequently removed by the treater.  But there was a
 
14   period of time within the case that it was a significant
 
15   component.
 
16        Q.  All right.  Significant, I take it, with
 
17   respect to the issue of whether the person that was
 
18   threatened should be notified so they can take their own
 
19   action?
 
20        A.  No.  I think in this case they were notified,
 
21   because the report went to SCIF itself.
 
22        Q.  I see.
 
23        A.  But significant in the question of how you
 
24   continue to try and handle a case that you have someone
 
25   who is inordinately angry, potentially dangerous.  As I
 
 
 
   53
 1   recall we ultimately settled that case somewhere in the
 
 2   $200,000 range and were able to, I think, fundamentally
 
 3   reach a fair settlement which not only closed the case
 
 4   but did so in a way that I think insulated all of the
 
 5   players within the proceedings.
 
 6        Q.  And that was Mr. Grossman that handled that
 
 7   case?
 
 8        A.  Yes.
 
 9        Q.  Now, let me ask you this, say over the last 2
 
10   years, assuming that 40 percent of your appearances are
 
11   SCIF matters, which I think is what you testified to --
 
12        A.  Um-hum.
 
13        Q.  -- what percentage of time with respect to
 
14   Mr. Grossman and Mr. Vargas in that mix was involved in
 
15   these what you term to be complex cases, if you know?  I
 
16   mean are these unusual?
 
17            MR. MESSING:  First of all, I'm going to
 
18   object.  Mischaracterizes the witness's testimony.  I
 
19   believe he testified 45 to 50 percent of the cases were
 
20   SCIF, not 40 percent.
 
21            THE ARBITRATOR:  I think he said 40.  That's
 
22   what I recall.
 
23            MR. BREHL:  I think he said 40.
 
24            MR. MESSING:  I noted 45 to 50 percent.
 
25            MR. BREHL:  I'm pretty sure he said 40.
 
 
 
   54
 1            THE ARBITRATOR:  I know he said there was a 40
 
 2   percent market share that SCIF has.
 
 3            MR. MESSING:  That's a different matter.
 
 4            MR. BREHL:  I take it back.  I have 20 to 25
 
 5   appearances per week at WCAB, 45 to 50 percent involve
 
 6   SCIF.
 
 7            MR. MESSING:  Thank you.  I'll accept your
 
 8   apology.
 
 9            MR. BREHL:  Then I have attorney at SCIF has 40
 
10   percent to 45 percent of 25 appearances.
 
11   BY MR. BREHL:
 
12        Q.  Do you know if it was 40?
 
13        A.  What I gave you was an approximation.  I know
 
14   what my office has been reported to have, about 55
 
15   percent of market share.  I don't believe that.  But
 
16   that's what people have told me in the past.  Of the
 
17   market, I think SCIF has 40 percent of the market share.
 
18   I think what I testified to was that for the most part I
 
19   see Mr. Vargas, Mr. Pickering -- in the corrections
 
20   cases that I almost exclusively see Mr. Vargas,
 
21   Mr. Pickering, and I see Ms. -- Caron, oh, God, I just
 
22   blocked.
 
23            MR. ESTRADA:  Mesa.
 
24            THE WITNESS:  Mesa, thank you very much.
 
25   That's terrible, don't tell her I did that.
 
 
 
   55
 1            And in the past I've seen Mr. Grossman.
 
 2   BY MR. BREHL:
 
 3        Q.  Okay.  We're talking about the corrections
 
 4   cases --
 
 5        A.  Yes.
 
 6        Q.  -- or other cases?
 
 7        A.  Yes.
 
 8        Q.  All right.
 
 9        A.  Corrections.  You know, what happens in terms
 
10   of -- I may have a case in which there will be several
 
11   appearances.  I mean several different defendants and
 
12   there will be an appearance by the Fund as well in that
 
13   case.
 
14            I mean I just had one with Mr. Estrada, there
 
15   were 2 defendants.  I just had one the other day that
 
16   there were 4 defendants in there.  I just can't tell you
 
17   with any degree of precision.  But I have a sense that
 
18   of the 20 to 25 appearances that I have on a weekly
 
19   basis, damn near half of them involve SCIF in some
 
20   fashion or another.
 
21        Q.  Could it be possible that the complexity of
 
22   these cases also has to do with not SCIF but other
 
23   defendants when you have multi defendants?
 
24        A.  I'm not sure I understand.
 
25        Q.  Well, the particular issue that becomes complex
 
 
 
   56
 1   doesn't really involve SCIF or its attorneys, it
 
 2   involves the other defendants when you have multiple
 
 3   defendants?
 
 4        A.  Well, in a sense that's true, because, I mean,
 
 5   the other defendant brings in another element and that
 
 6   element is usually trying to lay the burden off onto
 
 7   SCIF.
 
 8        Q.  Um-hum.
 
 9        A.  And so the SCIF attorney deals with the cards
 
10   that are dealt in the particular case.
 
11            Is that what you're asking me?
 
12        Q.  Yes.
 
13        A.  Yeah.
 
14        Q.  Okay.
 
15        A.  I don't think -- and I think I already said
 
16   this, I don't think it's at all possible in most cases
 
17   to determine if the case is going to become complex
 
18   until certain factual turns and twists occur within the
 
19   case.
 
20        Q.  You also said that you had -- with regard to
 
21   Mr. Vargas, you had a case recently I think where you
 
22   had a bad faith petition that had been filed against the
 
23   Department alleging that the Department had failed to
 
24   handle the matter appropriately?
 
25        A.  Correct.
 
 
 
   57
 1        Q.  And that was complex because of that issue?
 
 2        A.  Among others, yeah.
 
 3        Q.  About how many types of cases of that
 
 4   complexity have you had with Mr. Vargas over the last 2
 
 5   years if you can tell us?
 
 6        A.  I would think that between 40 and 50 percent of
 
 7   the cases that I have at the board are less than
 
 8   routine.
 
 9        Q.  Okay.
 
10        A.  If they're routine, the cases are dealt with at
 
11   the adjuster level.  We resolve them over the phone and
 
12   they send me the stipulations, or they never even deal
 
13   with the attorney.  Now, that's not true in all cases.
 
14   But in a lot of cases, you know, I'll settle, I'll call
 
15   the defendant or my assistant will call the defendant,
 
16   the adjuster, and pursuant to my set of instructions
 
17   they'll work out the parameters and the papers necessary
 
18   to settle the case or a particular issue will be dealt
 
19   with at that level.
 
20            So by my assessment I think that half of the
 
21   cases that I show up on at the board are complex cases
 
22   in and of themselves.  Sometimes I'm there because I've
 
23   got -- there is a personality conflict between maybe
 
24   myself and the other attorney in terms of not being able
 
25   to get together to talk about a case and the board is a
 
 
 
   58
 1   convenient place to do it.  By personality I don't mean
 
 2   we have adverse relationships, but it's just been a
 
 3   timing factor.  But I think half of the cases require
 
 4   the board's aid to resolve.  And I consider those to be
 
 5   complex.  If you have to start the issue of trying these
 
 6   issues they become complex.
 
 7        Q.  Okay.
 
 8            MR. BREHL:  Can I have a moment?
 
 9            THE ARBITRATOR:  Sure.
 
10            (Recess.)
 
11            THE ARBITRATOR:  Back on the record.
 
12   BY MR. BREHL:
 
13        Q.  In addition to Mr. Vargas and Mr. Grossman and
 
14   Mr. Pickering and Mr. Cannon, over the last 2 years,
 
15   what other attorneys at SCIF would you have worked with?
 
16        A.  In the last 2 years?
 
17        Q.  Yes.
 
18        A.  Let's see.  Mr. Estrada, Ms. Mesa, Mr. Mendoza
 
19   -- are you talking about the SCIF office here?
 
20        Q.  Yes.
 
21        A.  I think that's pretty much it.  Did I miss
 
22   anybody?
 
23        Q.  Do you recall a Ms. Serrano as well?
 
24        A.  Oh, yeah, I do, yeah.  She was only there a
 
25   short time and then went over to, I guess, ALRB or
 
 
 
   59
 1   something.  I think she took over -- she came in, I
 
 2   think, when Mr. Cannon left, if I'm not mistaken.
 
 3        Q.  All right.
 
 4        A.  Yeah, okay.
 
 5        Q.  Now, I take it you have had no experience with
 
 6   respect to the state classification system and how
 
 7   determinations are made of the class levels within the
 
 8   state --
 
 9        A.  That's correct.
 
10        Q.  And your view of the complexity of cases is not
 
11   with any knowledge of the classification system but
 
12   rather upon your knowledge and experience of workers'
 
13   comp cases themselves in the forum of the general
 
14   practice of workers' comp?
 
15        A.  Correct.  I don't know what or how the classes
 
16   are set up or even how many classes there are.  But what
 
17   I do understand is the nature of the case itself while
 
18   I'm dealing with it and the kind of response I get from
 
19   the other side.
 
20            MR. BREHL:  Okay.  I have nothing further.
 
21            MR. MESSING:  I have nothing further.
 
22            THE ARBITRATOR:  Okay.  Thank you very much,
 
23   sir.
 
24            THE WITNESS:  Thank you.
 
25            THE ARBITRATOR:  Off the record.
 
 
 
   60
 1            (Off the record.)
 
 2            THE ARBITRATOR:  Who is our next witness going
 
 3   to be, Mr. --
 
 4            MR. MESSING:  Mr. Glen Grossman.
 
 5            THE ARBITRATOR:  Back on the record.
 
 6            The union has called Mr. Grossman as a witness.
 
 7            Could you raise your right hand.
 
 8                       GLEN GROSSMAN
 
 9   having been duly sworn, testified as follows:
 
10            THE ARBITRATOR:  State and spell your name for
 
11   the record.
 
12            THE WITNESS:  Glen Grossman, G-L-E-N,
 
13   G-R-O-S-S-M-A-N.
 
14            THE ARBITRATOR:  Let's go off the record one
 
15   moment.
 
16            (Off the record.)
 
17            THE ARBITRATOR:  Back on the record.
 
18              DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. MESSING
 
19        Q.  Can you state your current place of employment,
 
20   please?
 
21        A.  25 San Juan Grade Road, Suite 200, Salinas,
 
22   California 93906.
 
23        Q.  And what's your current classification?
 
24        A.  I am a specialist.
 
25        Q.  That's staff counsel specialist, staff
 
 
 
   61
 1   specialist III; is that right?
 
 2        A.  Yes.  Yes?
 
 3            MR. ESTRADA:  Staff counsel --
 
 4            MR. MESSING:  Staff counsel specialist III.
 
 5   BY MR. MESSING:
 
 6        Q.  And you work for SCIF?
 
 7        A.  Correct.
 
 8        Q.  Okay.  How long have you been working for SCIF?
 
 9        A.  Since February 14th, 1989.
 
10        Q.  And have you been at this location during that
 
11   period of time?
 
12        A.  When I first started with State Fund, this
 
13   office was located on Blanco Circle, and then we moved
 
14   in '96 and I have been here ever since.
 
15        Q.  Okay.  What did you do before you came to work
 
16   for SCIF?
 
17        A.  Immediately before I came to work for State
 
18   Fund I was with a family law specialist in Bakersfield.
 
19   Before that I had my own practice.
 
20        Q.  And when did you start practicing law, about
 
21   what year?
 
22        A.  I was admitted to the California bar December
 
23   1st, 1981.
 
24            MR. MESSING:  Could you mark that for
 
25   identification, please.
 
 
 
   62
 1            THE ARBITRATOR:  This is union 1.  It appears
 
 2   to be a resume.
 
 3            MR. MESSING:  I'll give a copy to the witness.
 
 4   BY MR. MESSING:
 
 5        Q.  Can you identify this?
 
 6        A.  This is a resume that I prepared sometime since
 
 7   May of last year.
 
 8        Q.  And is this a true and accurate reflection of
 
 9   your background?
 
10        A.  As far as it goes, yes.
 
11            MR. MESSING:  Okay.  I'd like that admitted.
 
12            THE ARBITRATOR:  Any objection?
 
13            MR. BREHL:  No.
 
14            THE ARBITRATOR:  Admitted.
 
15   BY MR. MESSING:
 
16        Q.  You said that you were a specialist.  Let's
 
17   call it a specialist III, if that's all right.  When
 
18   were you promoted to that position?
 
19        A.  January 1st of this year.
 
20        Q.  Do you happen to know your current monthly rate
 
21   of pay as a staff counsel III?
 
22        A.  Not off the top of my head, no.
 
23        Q.  Okay.  Would $7,386 a month sound familiar?
 
24        A.  That would sound about right.
 
25        Q.  And what was your previous job title before you
 
 
 
   63
 1   became a specialist III?
 
 2        A.  I was a range D attorney.
 
 3        Q.  Okay.  Now, I made some comments in my opening
 
 4   statement about the progression of attorneys.  I think
 
 5   perhaps we should put that in the record.
 
 6            What is the entry level position, and can you
 
 7   just quickly describe the structure?
 
 8        A.  Entry level position is usually the A category,
 
 9   and I think you spend a year there.  And then you're
 
10   promoted to a B, and I think you spend a year at the B
 
11   range.  And then you're promoted to a C.  And I think
 
12   after 2 years at the C level, you're promoted to the D.
 
13        Q.  And we are at sea level here in the Monterey
 
14   area -- just making light.
 
15            And it's a promotion from range D to the III
 
16   level; is that right?
 
17        A.  Well, um, at State Fund there is a limited
 
18   number of specialist positions.  So, for instance, Jose
 
19   and I were both applying for the position that I ended
 
20   up with.  I don't know if that answers your question.
 
21        Q.  No --
 
22        A.  No.
 
23        Q.  -- it doesn't.
 
24            What I'm asking is your movement from A to D is
 
25   automatic step movement?
 
 
 
   64
 1        A.  Correct.
 
 2        Q.  Okay.  From D to specialist III, is that a
 
 3   promotion?
 
 4        A.  Yes.
 
 5        Q.  Okay.  That answers my question.
 
 6            And can you briefly describe the current
 
 7   composition of your office in terms of the attorneys?
 
 8        A.  There is 7 attorneys including Mr. Estrada, my
 
 9   attorney in charge.  There is a legal support
 
10   supervisor.  And she supervises 5 -- I think she
 
11   supervises 5 full-time legal secretaries, and then some
 
12   temporary or youth aid people that we have working.
 
13        Q.  The 6 staff attorneys other than the supervisor
 
14   classifications, their levels and who are they?
 
15        A.  Steve Pickering is a specialist attorney III.
 
16   I'm a specialist attorney III.  Mr. Vargas is an
 
17   attorney II -- attorney D.
 
18            Caron Mesa, C-A-R-O-N, I don't know if she is
 
19   still a C or a D now, I don't know.  Joe Mendoza I
 
20   believe is a B.  And Nikki, N-I-K-K-I, Kaur, K-A-U-R, I
 
21   believe she is a range C.
 
22        Q.  How long has that configuration been in
 
23   existence?  Let me put it this way, in January was that
 
24   the configuration in the office of the attorneys
 
25   roughly?
 
 
 
   65
 1        A.  Nikki had not come yet.
 
 2        Q.  All right.  But other than that?
 
 3        A.  Right.
 
 4        Q.  Okay.  When you first came to work for SCIF,
 
 5   what was your classification?
 
 6        A.  I started as a range B.
 
 7        Q.  Do you recollect your monthly rate of pay when
 
 8   you were last working as a range D?
 
 9        A.  I know it as an annual amount was $84,000.
 
10        Q.  Does $7,034 sound familiar?
 
11        A.  It does.
 
12        Q.  Okay.  Now, before I get into the specifics of
 
13   your cases, do you remember when Mr. Pickering became a
 
14   specialist III?
 
15        A.  There was 2 occasions that that happened.
 
16        Q.  The last occasion.
 
17        A.  That was -- I believe it was effective February
 
18   1st, 2002.
 
19        Q.  Okay.  And what were the circumstances of
 
20   Pickering becoming a III at that time?
 
21        A.  Our office had received an additional
 
22   allocation for a specialist position.  Mr. Vargas,
 
23   myself and Mr. Pickering all interviewed for that
 
24   position.  There were probably some other people that
 
25   interviewed for it too from outside the office.  And
 
 
 
   66
 1   Mr. Pickering was the one that was selected.
 
 2        Q.  Okay.  And who is Berry Cannon?
 
 3        A.  He was the specialist from 1997 or thereabouts
 
 4   until February 2002 when he left State Fund.
 
 5        Q.  And when he left State Fund, what happened to
 
 6   his specialist position?
 
 7        A.  There were interviews for his position.  I
 
 8   think those interviews were held in March of 2002, and
 
 9   Mr. Vargas and I both applied and, geez, I think some
 
10   other people from out of the office applied as well.
 
11        Q.  And what happened?
 
12        A.  Nothing happened.  Nobody was appointed to the
 
13   position.
 
14        Q.  Okay.
 
15        A.  And then there was another round of interviews,
 
16   I want to say November of 2002, and I think at that time
 
17   only Mr. Vargas and I applied.
 
18        Q.  And you were appointed in 2003?
 
19        A.  Right.
 
20        Q.  So Mr. Pickering, the timing is odd, but
 
21   Mr. Pickering wasn't actually taking Mr. Cannon's
 
22   position, but there was only an exchange of one for one,
 
23   one left and one was appointed about the same time?
 
24        A.  Actually, Mr. Cannon was on our books until
 
25   April 30th, 2002.  So Mr. Pickering and Mr. Cannon were
 
 
 
   67
 1   both technically on the books as specialists at the same
 
 2   time.
 
 3        Q.  Briefly?
 
 4        A.  Right, for 3 months.
 
 5        Q.  Okay.  Have you had any occasion to serve in an
 
 6   official capacity for the CASE union?
 
 7        A.  Yes.
 
 8        Q.  What is that capacity?
 
 9        A.  I was a director of ACSA, A-C-S-A, which stands
 
10   for the Association of California State Attorneys and
 
11   Administrative Law Judges from 1995 until 1999.  And
 
12   then I was elected 2 years ago to the Board of Directors
 
13   of CASE, which is technically still ACSA.  ACSA is still
 
14   the incorporated name, but it goes by CASE.  And I have
 
15   been a director at CASE for the last 2 years.
 
16        Q.  And in your capacity as director of CASE, do
 
17   you have any specific knowledge that you cultivate of
 
18   attorneys and their working conditions within SCIF?
 
19        A.  Let me answer a different question.
 
20            MR. BREHL:  Well, I don't think we can do that.
 
21   BY MR. MESSING:
 
22        Q.  No.  Why don't you answer that question.
 
23        A.  I'm not sure I understand that question.  Can
 
24   you rephrase it?
 
25        Q.  As a director of CASE, do you make it your
 
 
 
   68
 1   business to figure out what the working conditions are
 
 2   of CASE attorneys working for SCIF?
 
 3        A.  I am made aware by various attorneys in the
 
 4   State Fund offices of their working conditions.
 
 5        Q.  Okay.  And are you familiar with the contract?
 
 6        A.  The MOU?
 
 7        Q.  Yes.
 
 8        A.  Yes.
 
 9        Q.  And do you keep abreast of grievances and other
 
10   matters that emanate from SCIF?
 
11        A.  I try to.
 
12        Q.  Are you by any chance familiar with SCIF's job
 
13   description for staff counsel ranges C and D?
 
14        A.  I have some familiarity with it.
 
15            MR. MESSING:  I'd like to mark this as --
 
16            THE ARBITRATOR:  Union 2.
 
17            MR. MESSING:  Let me give a copy to Mr. Brehl.
 
18            Could you mark that.
 
19            THE ARBITRATOR:  Union 2.
 
20   BY MR. MESSING:
 
21        Q.  Union 2.  Could I ask you to have a look at
 
22   that document.  Tell me if you recognize it?
 
23        A.  Yes.
 
24        Q.  And what is this?
 
25        A.  I believe it's a job description that I
 
 
 
   69
 1   received when I was promoted to the range C --
 
 2        Q.  Okay.
 
 3        A.  -- level.
 
 4        Q.  And do you know who wrote this job description?
 
 5        A.  I have no idea.
 
 6        Q.  Okay.  Do you know if the job description was
 
 7   written by somebody at SCIF?
 
 8        A.  I assume it was.
 
 9        Q.  Okay.  Have you ever seen a SCIF job
 
10   description -- have you ever seen a job description for
 
11   specialist IIIs?
 
12        A.  Yes.
 
13        Q.  Okay.
 
14            MR. MESSING:  I'd like this to be marked as our
 
15   next in order, please.
 
16            THE ARBITRATOR:  Union 3, this is entitled
 
17   "State Compensation Insurance Fund," job description for
 
18   senior staff counsel specialist.
 
19   BY MR. MESSING:
 
20        Q.  I'll ask you to look at that.  Do you know what
 
21   that is?
 
22        A.  I believe it's the job description for the
 
23   position that I now hold.
 
24        Q.  Okay.  Do you know if that description was
 
25   prepared by somebody at SCIF?
 
 
 
   70
 1        A.  I believe it was.
 
 2        Q.  Okay.  May I have that back for a moment.
 
 3            MR. MESSING:  And I'd like to draw the
 
 4   arbitrator's attention to the first paragraph describing
 
 5   function.  I don't think I need to read that into the
 
 6   record.
 
 7            MR. BREHL:  Speaks for itself.
 
 8            THE ARBITRATOR:  No.
 
 9            MR. MESSING:  All right.  Thank you.
 
10            First of all, I'd like to move these 2
 
11   documents into evidence.
 
12            THE ARBITRATOR:  Any objection?
 
13            MR. BREHL:  Let's go off the record a minute.
 
14            THE ARBITRATOR:  Okay.
 
15            (Off the record.)
 
16            THE ARBITRATOR:  Back on the record.
 
17            MR. MESSING:  I want to state for the record
 
18   that Exhibit U-3, senior staff counsel specialist, was
 
19   produced to the office of Carroll, Burdick & McDonough
 
20   on behalf of the CASE in September of 2002 in response
 
21   to a request for information under the Public Records
 
22   Act.
 
23            THE ARBITRATOR:  So this was produced by SCIF?
 
24            MR. MESSING:  By SCIF, that's correct.
 
25            THE ARBITRATOR:  Okay.
 
 
 
   71
 1            MR. BREHL:  Could I just ask one thing on that
 
 2   just so we have a clear record.  That would have been a
 
 3   request, I take it, of SCIF at their headquarters
 
 4   office, not Salinas?
 
 5            MR. MESSING:  I don't recollect.  I'll have to
 
 6   check.
 
 7            MR. BREHL:  Okay.
 
 8            MR. MESSING:  I don't know if I'll be able to
 
 9   trace that back because we have now transferred the
 
10   files in our office to the in-house office that was
 
11   established for CASE, and there were literally hundreds
 
12   of boxes, so I don't know if we have the capacity to
 
13   provide that.
 
14            MR. BREHL:  Can I just ask this so I can check
 
15   up there and trace it down, so I can describe it for
 
16   them?  Was it like during bargaining or something where
 
17   you had to get information as to what the different job
 
18   specs said?
 
19            MR. MESSING:  I don't know.  But I think what
 
20   you ought to do is check with George Cronin.  I think he
 
21   was the one that provided this to us.
 
22            THE ARBITRATOR:  The question is whether to
 
23   admit 2 and 3.
 
24            MR. BREHL:  Well, they are different.  At this
 
25   point I'm afraid I have to object to them until I can
 
 
 
   72
 1   check with Cronin and find out what's going on.
 
 2            THE ARBITRATOR:  I'll mark my copy as
 
 3   identified only and I'll hold that in abeyance.  That's
 
 4   for both of them; is that correct?
 
 5            MR. BREHL:  Yes.
 
 6   BY MR. MESSING:
 
 7        Q.  Have you seen -- moving on, then, have you seen
 
 8   job descriptions issued by the State Personnel Board for
 
 9   range D staff attorneys and specialists?
 
10        A.  Yes.
 
11            MR. MESSING:  I'd like this marked --
 
12            THE ARBITRATOR:  Union 4, this appears to be a
 
13   State Personnel Board specification for staff counsel,
 
14   Union 4.
 
15   BY MR. MESSING:
 
16        Q.  Does this look familiar?
 
17        A.  Yes.
 
18        Q.  What is this?
 
19        A.  It appears to be the California State Personnel
 
20   Board specifications for positions in ranges A through
 
21   D.
 
22        Q.  Okay.
 
23            THE ARBITRATOR:  Union 5 for identification,
 
24   this is the SPB specifications for staff counsel III.
 
25   BY MR. MESSING:
 
 
 
   73
 1        Q.  Have a look at that, please.  Do you recognize
 
 2   this?
 
 3        A.  Yes.
 
 4        Q.  What is it?
 
 5        A.  It is the specifications by the California
 
 6   State Personnel Board for the position of staff counsel
 
 7   III specialist.
 
 8            MR. MESSING:  Okay.  And I would draw the
 
 9   arbitrator's attention to the first paragraph under
 
10   distinguishing, or actually the entire paragraph under
 
11   distinguishing characteristics on the first page, U-A,
 
12   Union A.
 
13            MR. BREHL:  Okay.
 
14            MR. MESSING:  I would ask these 2 documents be
 
15   entered into evidence.
 
16            THE ARBITRATOR:  Any objection to 4 or 5?
 
17            MR. BREHL:  No, I would be disloyal if I did.
 
18   They are DPA documents.
 
19            THE ARBITRATOR:  Okay.  They are admitted.
 
20   BY MR. MESSING:
 
21        Q.  Now, you have noted the difference between the
 
22   SCIF job descriptions and the SPB job descriptions that
 
23   we have marked for identification and entered into
 
24   evidence?
 
25        A.  I've noted some of the differences.
 
 
 
   74
 1        Q.  Do you want to characterize those differences
 
 2   for the record
 
 3        A.  To summarize it, it appears that the range D
 
 4   work at State Fund meets the State Personnel Board's
 
 5   definitions for attorney III specialist work.
 
 6        Q.  Okay.  Now, when you were a range D staff
 
 7   attorney, did you receive assignments from SCIF that are
 
 8   inconsistent with the SPB job description that we see in
 
 9   Exhibit Union 5?
 
10        A.  I believe so.
 
11        Q.  Okay.  And how exactly -- would you explain
 
12   exactly how your duties seem to be inconsistent with
 
13   that SPB job description?
 
14        A.  I believe the SPB job description for the range
 
15   D calls for cases of average complexity, and my
 
16   caseload, I believe, was more complex than average
 
17   complexity.
 
18        Q.  Okay.  And we're speaking now -- I'm going to
 
19   be very specific about the time period of the grievance
 
20   commencing one year prior to the filing of the
 
21   grievance.  Is your testimony correct for that period?
 
22        A.  It's even more correct for that period.
 
23            MR. BREHL:  Well, okay, he's answered.  But I
 
24   would object to the question, would have if I could
 
25   have.  I think we have not established foundation for
 
 
 
   75
 1   what this person would know to be complexity in the
 
 2   classification system for the state.
 
 3            THE ARBITRATOR:  Well, you know, I take the
 
 4   word complex at this point to be just the usual word,
 
 5   not used in any technical sense.  And I mean certainly
 
 6   I'm aware of course that that word appears in the job
 
 7   descriptions, but his testimony, the prior witness's
 
 8   testimony about complexity is their understanding.  It
 
 9   doesn't reflect necessarily policy.
 
10            MR. BREHL:  Okay.
 
11   BY MR. MESSING:
 
12        Q.  When you were a range D attorney, and from now,
 
13   from this point on let me focus on the period covered by
 
14   the request for back pay and the grievance.  Were you
 
15   ever asked to act as a lead over other attorneys?
 
16        A.  I know I was asked to assist, but I can't
 
17   recall any specific instance where I was asked to be a
 
18   lead attorney.
 
19        Q.  But you believe that you were?
 
20        A.  I'm sorry?
 
21        Q.  You said you can't recollect a specific
 
22   instance?
 
23        A.  Right.
 
24        Q.  Does that mean that you recollect it occurring
 
25   but you just can't define a specific instance, or you
 
 
 
   76
 1   don't have any recollection?
 
 2            MR. BREHL:  I can't resist this.  This is
 
 3   leading.
 
 4            THE ARBITRATOR:  Well, he managed to somewhat
 
 5   clean it up at the very end, but -- you can answer the
 
 6   question.
 
 7            THE WITNESS:  It's my general impression that I
 
 8   did act as lead attorney, but I cannot give you a
 
 9   specific instance.
 
10   BY MR. MESSING:
 
11        Q.  Okay.
 
12        A.  I can't give you a case name or situation.
 
13        Q.  Okay.  Were you expected as a range D to work
 
14   on sensitive and complex cases?
 
15        A.  Yes.
 
16        Q.  I want you to talk about some of the cases that
 
17   you worked on that were in your estimation sensitive or
 
18   complex.  Describe them, describe the case and why the
 
19   case was sensitive and complex.  And this is, again,
 
20   targeting the same period of time.  For example, do you
 
21   recollect the Teresa Sanchez case?
 
22        A.  Yes.
 
23        Q.  Would you explain that case briefly for the
 
24   arbitrator and why it was sensitive and complex.
 
25        A.  The injured worker had alleged an injury.  She
 
 
 
   77
 1   spoke no English.  The employer spoke no English.  The
 
 2   employer maintained that the lady was working off a
 
 3   loan.
 
 4            MR. BREHL:  I'm sorry?
 
 5            THE WITNESS:  The lady, the alleged injured
 
 6   worker was working off a loan.  The employer was denying
 
 7   there was an employee-employer relationship.  And it
 
 8   took a number of hours.  There was labor commissioner
 
 9   proceedings involved.  We litigated the issue of whether
 
10   res judicata at that time or estoppel would apply.  I
 
11   lost the trial.  We went up on reconsideration, which is
 
12   our appeal process.
 
13            It took a lot of time, a lot of work.  There
 
14   were depositions of the injured worker, of a witness, of
 
15   the employer.  The employer's attorney was in contact
 
16   with me on a regular basis.
 
17   BY MR. MESSING:
 
18        Q.  What was the result of the collateral estoppel
 
19   issue that was raised in that case?  What happened?
 
20        A.  The workers' compensation judge applied
 
21   collateral estoppel to prevent us from relitigating
 
22   issues that had been determined at the labor
 
23   commissioner.
 
24        Q.  What about the Amador Salas matter, can you
 
25   briefly describe that for the record?
 
 
 
   78
 1            MR. BREHL:  Can you spell Salas?
 
 2            MR. MESSING:  S-A-L-A-S, Salas.
 
 3            THE WITNESS:  That was another case where State
 
 4   Fund had denied the claim.  We went to trial.  But prior
 
 5   to trial actually starting, the applicant's attorney and
 
 6   myself stipulated as to the date that the injured worker
 
 7   became permanent and stationary.  We went to trial and
 
 8   the judge ruled against me.  The judge basically ignored
 
 9   the stipulation as to when the injured worker became
 
10   permanent and stationary.  So I petitioned for
 
11   reconsideration on that ground and obtained a reversal
 
12   of the judge's ruling.
 
13   BY MR. MESSING:
 
14        Q.  Why was that case complicated or sensitive?
 
15        A.  Well, any time you're pointing out to a
 
16   reviewing court that the lower court judge ignored a
 
17   rule of law or a board regulation, it's somewhat
 
18   sensitive because this is a 3-judge board.  I mean you
 
19   can't avoid seeing these judges.  So I had to be very
 
20   delicate in my petition alleging error because I was
 
21   going to have to deal with that judge again.
 
22        Q.  Okay.  What was the Larry Sumpter matter?
 
23        A.  Larry Sumpter was a case where, if you recall
 
24   Mr. Rucka this morning was talking about CIGA, the CIGA
 
25   attorney and applicant's attorney had agreed to use a
 
 
 
   79
 1   chiropractor on a medical issue.  The chiropractor found
 
 2   a cumulative injury with -- that was long enough that it
 
 3   brought State Fund into the picture for, I think State
 
 4   Fund had 2 weeks of exposure.  But under the law if
 
 5   State Fund has one day of exposure, State Fund has to
 
 6   assume all the liability for that claim.  And I believe
 
 7   the guy was post surgery.  There was $30,000 in
 
 8   outstanding medical bills.  And I worked very closely
 
 9   with the adjuster in getting a -- our own medical
 
10   opinion.  We only had 90 days to work with because it
 
11   had already been set for trial by the time I got the
 
12   file.  We got the doctor's report and I got in touch
 
13   with the doctor.  We cleaned up his report so that it
 
14   was very favorable to State Fund, and then we went to
 
15   trial and the judge decided that our medical report was
 
16   more -- was more -- carried more weight, and he found
 
17   that State Fund didn't have any liability in that case.
 
18   And the -- obviously the adjuster was happy, the
 
19   employer was happy.  The adjuster's supervisor sent an
 
20   e-mail to the office telling everybody that we had won
 
21   this case.
 
22        Q.  And your medical report was based upon an AME;
 
23   is that right?
 
24        A.  In that case?
 
25        Q.  Yes.
 
 
 
   80
 1        A.  No, I'm sorry.  I missed that point.  In
 
 2   workers' comp usually the judges will follow the opinion
 
 3   of the agreed medical examiner.  In this case CIGA and
 
 4   the applicant's attorney already had their agreed
 
 5   medical examiner.  State Fund wasn't a part of that.
 
 6   And the judge decided that State Fund's
 
 7   defense-qualified medical examination report was more
 
 8   valid than the agreed medical examination report that
 
 9   the -- that CIGA and the applicant's attorney had
 
10   procured, and that's very unusual for a trial judge not
 
11   to follow the agreed medical examiner.
 
12        Q.  So you basically convinced the judge to not
 
13   admit the qualified medical examination as opposed to
 
14   the agreed upon medical examination or vice versa?
 
15        A.  No, no.  The judge takes both in and weighs
 
16   which one is more credible, and the judge found that
 
17   State Fund's report was more credible than the agreed
 
18   medical examiner.
 
19        Q.  Okay.  Just a few more.  What about the Robert
 
20   Beck matter?
 
21        A.  It's still ongoing.  That was a case where --
 
22   I'm trying to remember.  My recollection is the question
 
23   was, was the pain in the neck to be rated independently
 
24   from the back disability, or was it subsumed by the back
 
25   disability.  And the judge bought State Fund's position
 
 
 
   81
 1   and the rater agreed with us and I believe the
 
 2   commissioners agreed with us as well.
 
 3        Q.  Did that involve something about a
 
 4   semisedentary rating?
 
 5        A.  Right, right.
 
 6        Q.  And what's that?
 
 7        A.  It's a degree of permanent disability which is
 
 8   equal to a dollar amount when you know the earnings.
 
 9   But it was just a very confusing rating issue.  One of
 
10   the ratings was one of the things that Mr. Rucka was
 
11   talking about this morning that could be very complex.
 
12        Q.  And that was an example of that?
 
13        A.  Right.
 
14        Q.  What was the Darwin Nash matter?
 
15        A.  That was -- Mr. Nash had had several knee
 
16   injuries.  Some had been previously settled.  He had an
 
17   injury in 1988 with State Fund.  He then filed a
 
18   cumulative injury and he petitioned to reopen the 1988
 
19   injury arguing that because State Fund provided benefits
 
20   beyond the 5-year period that State Fund should be
 
21   estopped from raising the statute of limitations.
 
22        Q.  Okay.
 
23        A.  Allianz Insurance Company was involved.  The
 
24   judge found that Mr. Nash was a hundred percent totally
 
25   disabled, and I petitioned for reconsideration arguing
 
 
 
   82
 1   that you could not apply estoppel to the 5-year statute
 
 2   because it wasn't a normal statute of limitations.  It
 
 3   was actually a jurisdictional statute.
 
 4            I lost at the commissioner's level and State
 
 5   Fund's appellate attorneys chose not to take it further.
 
 6   I mean there are boxes of that file.  It's several feet.
 
 7   I mean he's had several surgeries.  There were
 
 8   depositions of the doctors, the treating doctors, the
 
 9   agreed medical examiners, several depositions of
 
10   Mr. Nash.  Probably half a dozen hearings.
 
11        Q.  Okay.  What was complex about the Rosalinda
 
12   Mendoza matter?
 
13        A.  That was a case, as far as I know was a case of
 
14   first impression.  It was a lien claim that they were
 
15   trying to use a statute that was written only to apply
 
16   to injured workers, and defendant's -- the applicant's
 
17   attorney and State Fund had agreed to use -- they had
 
18   agreed on a treating doctor, and they were -- in
 
19   workers' comp there is a presumption that the treating
 
20   doctor is correct.  That won't be true after January
 
21   1st, but at that time it was true.  And so the lien
 
22   claimant was trying to argue that the treating doctor
 
23   had put all the disability on State Fund, that that
 
24   opinion of the treating doctor was entitled to
 
25   presumption of correctness.  And I convinced the judge
 
 
 
   83
 1   that the lien claimant could not use that presumption.
 
 2   They could not use that statute.
 
 3        Q.  Okay.  Do you remember a Frances Moore case?
 
 4        A.  Yes.
 
 5        Q.  What was unusually complicated or sensitive
 
 6   about that case?
 
 7        A.  She was a former correctional officer at
 
 8   Soledad, and she had a psych case, and she could not
 
 9   take advice from anybody.  In fact she fired Mr. Rucka
 
10   and she was litigating in pro per for years.  It was
 
11   just impossible to deal with.  It was just -- it was
 
12   just -- it was very, very difficult.  And the judges, of
 
13   course, because Frances Moore was representing herself,
 
14   they just bent over backwards to give her anything she
 
15   wanted.
 
16        Q.  Had she made any claims about her medical
 
17   treatment, about SCIF denying her medical treatment?
 
18        A.  Constantly.  She was constantly making claims.
 
19   In fact, it's the file that Mr. Estrada said he didn't
 
20   want to touch.  I mean she was just -- she was always
 
21   saying State Fund didn't do this, didn't do that, State
 
22   Fund wouldn't pay for her cancer treatment, a lot of
 
23   hearings, lots and lots of hearings at the appeals
 
24   board.
 
25        Q.  Did this case have a PERS component?
 
 
 
   84
 1        A.  Yes.  One of Frances's arguments to the judge
 
 2   was State Fund was denying her cancer treatment, and she
 
 3   is a PERS member, and she is entitled to PERS medical.
 
 4   I got hold of a PERS attorney in Sacramento and I got
 
 5   him to -- because she wouldn't file the application
 
 6   because she was fighting with PERS over what her benefit
 
 7   amount would be, so instead of getting some amount, she
 
 8   was receiving no amount.  So I got the PERS attorney
 
 9   involved.  He scheduled hearings.  And she eventually
 
10   got PERS health benefits.
 
11        Q.  Going back to Mr. Rucka's testimony for a
 
12   second, you heard him describe the different manners or
 
13   ways in which cases can be complex or sensitive.  Do you
 
14   agree with those characterizations?
 
15        A.  Yes.
 
16        Q.  Okay.  So in the Frances Moore case you
 
17   indicated that there was a psychiatric component to the
 
18   case?
 
19        A.  Right.
 
20        Q.  And that was one of Mr. Rucka's categories of
 
21   complexity?
 
22        A.  Right.
 
23        Q.  That this was a corrections case as well?
 
24        A.  Yes.
 
25        Q.  And that it was also a case involving a PERS
 
 
 
   85
 1   disability?
 
 2        A.  Right.
 
 3        Q.  Okay.  What was the Marvin Tindle matter, and
 
 4   how did that fit into Mr. Rucka's paradigm or
 
 5   explanation?
 
 6        A.  I'm sorry, I do not remember.
 
 7        Q.  Do you recall a case having to do with Labor
 
 8   Code Section 3357 and --
 
 9        A.  This is a guy I'm thinking of, he wandered on
 
10   to a job site, got injured and claimed because he was
 
11   performing service for the employer, he should be
 
12   considered by law an employee.  I had the employer come
 
13   and testify he had never seen him before.  He didn't
 
14   hire him.  And the judge agreed with us.
 
15        Q.  So in legal terms, was there -- what was the
 
16   manner in which this case was disposed?
 
17        A.  State Fund -- the judge issued a take nothing,
 
18   meaning State Fund doesn't have to pay any money.  What
 
19   was interesting about that is there was that labor code
 
20   presumption that when performing service for another,
 
21   one is presumed to be an employee.  I was able to
 
22   establish first there has to be an employer-employee
 
23   relationship before the presumption kicks in.
 
24        Q.  The Hazel McPherson matter, can you explain to
 
25   the arbitrator why that was a complex case?
 
 
 
   86
 1        A.  I believe she was working for a nurses
 
 2   registry.  She was injured at a home.  And there was a
 
 3   question as to who the employer was, was it to be the
 
 4   homeowner or the nurses registry.
 
 5        Q.  Okay.  So what legal issues did this raise and
 
 6   why was it a complex case?
 
 7        A.  Well, the issue was who was the employer?  Who
 
 8   was ultimately going to be liable for providing
 
 9   benefits.  And I was able to convince the judge that
 
10   State Fund should not be the one paying benefits.
 
11        Q.  Was there any issue that arose in this case
 
12   that required you to apply the Business and Professions
 
13   Code?
 
14        A.  Yes.  Nurses registries are regulated under the
 
15   Business and Professions Code.  So I had to bring the
 
16   Business and Professions Code into the case.
 
17        Q.  Just a few more.  Who is Stacy Rose and why was
 
18   that case complicated?
 
19        A.  I'm sorry.  I don't remember.
 
20        Q.  Okay.  Do you recollect whether that case
 
21   involved a prior admitted injury with SCIF?  Does that
 
22   ring any bell?
 
23        A.  No.  I'm sorry.
 
24        Q.  Are you familiar with Cindira Dichiara?
 
25            MR. BREHL:  Let's spell that one.
 
 
 
   87
 1            MR. MESSING:  D-I-C-H-I-A-R-A.
 
 2            THE WITNESS:  Did she work for the CHP?
 
 3   BY MR. MESSING:
 
 4        Q.  Well, that would appear to be the case I'm
 
 5   referring to.
 
 6        A.  Yes, I remember that.
 
 7        Q.  Do you want to explain why that was a complex
 
 8   case to the arbitrator?
 
 9        A.  This morning Mr. Rucka was talking about the
 
10   law constantly changing, at least in workers' comp, and
 
11   depending on your date of injury that will impact on the
 
12   benefits.  And as I recall Ms. Dichiara had a specific
 
13   injury which was admitted.  Actually somebody from
 
14   Mr. Rucka's office was alleging a cumulative injury,
 
15   which would have brought it to a much later date.  But
 
16   after the adjuster and I ran the numbers, it turned out
 
17   it would be cheaper for the California Highway Patrol to
 
18   admit the cumulative injury and pay benefits on that
 
19   rather than to pay benefits on the specific injury that
 
20   they did admit.
 
21        Q.  So does this implicate the ratings --
 
22        A.  Right.
 
23        Q.  -- that were brought forward by Mr. Rucka?
 
24        A.  Right.  Involved permanent disability under two
 
25   different schedules.  It also involved working with the
 
 
 
   88
 1   state agency who wanted to fight the case until we
 
 2   explained to them that it's actually cheaper to admit
 
 3   it.
 
 4        Q.  Okay.  Real quick, Allen Brookshire, does that
 
 5   ring a bell?
 
 6        A.  Yes.
 
 7        Q.  In a nutshell?
 
 8        A.  I prepared a settlement agreement which
 
 9   specified the percentages of liability of the four
 
10   defendants to the case.  The case was settled.  One of
 
11   the defendants didn't pay and I petitioned to enforce
 
12   the award.  The codefendant argued that we had to go to
 
13   arbitration to resolve the issue, and I was able to
 
14   convince the judge that all we were doing is enforcing
 
15   the award, there was no need to go to a separate
 
16   arbitrator.  It wasn't required by law.
 
17        Q.  Okay.  And that was complex for what reason?
 
18        A.  Because the codefendant's argument was what I
 
19   was seeking to do was to obtain contribution.  There is
 
20   a separate statutory scheme for contribution, and that
 
21   scheme requires going to an arbitrator to resolve those
 
22   disputes.  And I was able to avoid going there, avoid
 
23   that expense and having the judge, you know, resolve the
 
24   issue to our favor.
 
25        Q.  Okay.  I have some other examples but I'm going
 
 
 
   89
 1   to skip by them for now.
 
 2            THE WITNESS:  Could we take a 5-minute break?
 
 3            THE ARBITRATOR:  Sure.
 
 4            (Recess.)
 
 5            MR. MESSING:  Are we back on the record?
 
 6            THE ARBITRATOR:  Okay.
 
 7            MR. MESSING:  As I had said, I had other cases
 
 8   that I was going to describe, but in the interests of
 
 9   not killing everybody at once in this room, I'll move
 
10   on.
 
11            MR. BREHL:  You'll do it over a longer period
 
12   of time?
 
13            MR. MESSING:  I will.
 
14   BY MR. MESSING:
 
15        Q.  The cases that you have been describing, who
 
16   assigned them to you?
 
17        A.  Mr. Estrada.
 
18        Q.  Okay.  Now, when you were assigned cases, did
 
19   Mr. Estrada ever verbalize it when these cases were
 
20   complex or sensitive?
 
21        A.  On occasion if there was something that was
 
22   very sensitive that the employer was calling him,
 
23   yelling and screaming or what have you, he would warn
 
24   me.
 
25        Q.  Can you give me an example of a complex case, a
 
 
 
   90
 1   difficult and complex case that Mr. Estrada may have
 
 2   commented to you about its complexity?
 
 3        A.  Frances Moore certainly was one.
 
 4        Q.  That's the case that you previously have
 
 5   described?
 
 6        A.  Right.
 
 7        Q.  Okay.  Now, do you work on similar types of
 
 8   sensitive and complex cases as a specialist?
 
 9        A.  Yes.
 
10        Q.  Okay.  What is the difference between the
 
11   caseload that you're carrying now and the caseload that
 
12   you were carrying during the, we'll call it the
 
13   grievance period?  If I say grievance period, let's
 
14   assume that that applies to everything beginning a year
 
15   before the filing of the grievance.  What's the
 
16   difference between your caseload as a specialist and the
 
17   cases that you were carrying during the grievance
 
18   period?
 
19        A.  I think 2 factors.  One is my caseload is
 
20   larger now than it was when I was a range D attorney.
 
21   But then everybody's caseloads statewide are larger now.
 
22   The other is I have a few more serious and willful cases
 
23   in my caseload.
 
24            THE ARBITRATOR:  A few more what?
 
25            THE WITNESS:  Serious and willful.
 
 
 
   91
 1            I think in August of 2002 I had maybe 7 and now
 
 2   I probably have 10.
 
 3   BY MR. MESSING:
 
 4        Q.  Do you remember during the grievance period
 
 5   approximately how many cases you were responsible for as
 
 6   a range D attorney?
 
 7        A.  I have compiled the statistics, but I do not
 
 8   recall what those statistics are off the top of my head.
 
 9        Q.  We'll get to that in a moment, but before I do,
 
10   if I may, can we talk for a moment about your caseload
 
11   when you were promoted.  What happened to the cases that
 
12   you were handling?  Did you give them to another
 
13   attorney, a range D attorney, or did you maintain your
 
14   same cases?
 
15        A.  I maintained my same caseload.
 
16        Q.  How many -- were you immediately assigned some
 
17   new cases when you were promoted, or did that occur just
 
18   in the course of the rotation and people getting
 
19   assigned cases?
 
20        A.  I think I probably got -- I know in December I
 
21   got one of Mr. Cannon's serious and willful cases and
 
22   probably in January I got some serious and willful cases
 
23   reassigned to me that had been assigned to
 
24   Mr. Pickering.
 
25        Q.  What happened to all the cases that you had
 
 
 
   92
 1   been working on before that?
 
 2        A.  I kept those.
 
 3        Q.  Okay.  And before we get to that, let me just
 
 4   ask you about the promotional process.  Can you please
 
 5   just describe what was involved in your promoting from
 
 6   the D to the specialist III?
 
 7        A.  Okay.  I had to fill out or complete a document
 
 8   entitled "Professional Readiness Appraisal."  It was
 
 9   about 12 pages.  I had to list examples of complex cases
 
10   I worked on, cases involving novel issues of law.  I
 
11   basically had to describe my legal qualifications.  And
 
12   that was submitted to Mr. Estrada and Mr. Estrada made
 
13   comments, and that went to his supervisor, Fred DaSilva,
 
14   for additional comments.
 
15        Q.  Now, that Professional Readiness Appraisal, did
 
16   that result in some action, some decision before you
 
17   were permitted to proceed on in the promotional process?
 
18        A.  Having a -- my understanding is having a
 
19   satisfactory or better rating on that PRA entitled me to
 
20   sit for the oral interview.
 
21        Q.  Okay.  And do you remember what your rating
 
22   was?  Was it satisfactory or better?
 
23        A.  I believe it was better.
 
24        Q.  Okay.  Now, are there documents that reflect
 
25   your caseload at the time that you were a D?
 
 
 
   93
 1        A.  Yes.
 
 2        Q.  What would those documents be called?
 
 3        A.  Well, there is a number of documents.  Every
 
 4   year in December we do an annual case count, and then
 
 5   during the year the attorneys in charge keep track of
 
 6   new cases coming in, cases being closed, and those are
 
 7   compiled in production profiles statewide.
 
 8        Q.  Production profiles.  Is that what their
 
 9   official title would be?
 
10        A.  I believe so.
 
11        Q.  Okay.
 
12            THE ARBITRATOR:  Why don't we go off the
 
13   record.
 
14            (Off the record.)
 
15            MR. MESSING:  I want to mark this as my next in
 
16   order.  What number would this be?
 
17            THE ARBITRATOR:  This would be 6, I do believe.
 
18   Does that sound right?
 
19   BY MR. MESSING:
 
20        Q.  Can I ask you to identify this document?  Do
 
21   you recognize this document?
 
22        A.  Yes.
 
23        Q.  And what is it?
 
24        A.  This is entitled "Production Profiles and
 
25   Litigation Activities."  This is April to June 2002 on
 
 
 
   94
 1   the top.
 
 2        Q.  And your position at that time was what?
 
 3        A.  I was a range D attorney.
 
 4        Q.  Okay.  And would you please explain to the
 
 5   arbitrator what this document shows and where he should
 
 6   look?  Try to keep the pages in order if possible.
 
 7        A.  This shows the year-to-date litigation activity
 
 8   for all the State Fund offices.
 
 9            THE ARBITRATOR:  You're referring to the second
 
10   page in here?
 
11            Let's go off the record a second.
 
12            (Off the record.)
 
13   BY MR. MESSING:
 
14        Q.  Would you please -- we now have this document
 
15   marked pages 1 to 45.  Could you please walk through
 
16   this document with the arbitrator and explain the
 
17   significant statistics here regarding the production and
 
18   the caseload?
 
19        A.  Basically this is showing year over year over
 
20   year increase in the number of cases and litigation
 
21   activities for all State Fund offices statewide.  Page 2
 
22   is for Northern California.  It's the year-to-date stats
 
23   for Northern California the beginning of 2000 through
 
24   June 2002, that's page 2.
 
25        Q.  As you're doing this, do you want to point out
 
 
 
   95
 1   what the data shows?
 
 2        A.  Sure.  Salinas is right in the middle of the
 
 3   chart on page 2.  And it shows we had 1,672 open files.
 
 4   It shows we had 113 trials in the first 6 months of
 
 5   2002, 532 conferences, 123 depositions.
 
 6            THE ARBITRATOR:  Right.  Okay.
 
 7            THE WITNESS:  Okay.  Page 3 is for Southern
 
 8   California.
 
 9            THE ARBITRATOR:  Let me ask, I'm just
 
10   wondering, is Southern California going to be relevant
 
11   here?
 
12            MR. MESSING:  No.
 
13            THE ARBITRATOR:  Okay.
 
14            THE WITNESS:  Page 4 is year to date through
 
15   May 2002.
 
16            THE ARBITRATOR:  So I mean this has the same
 
17   figures.  It just goes through May, and the page 2 goes
 
18   through June?
 
19            THE WITNESS:  Correct.
 
20            THE ARBITRATOR:  To June just has more.  I'm
 
21   just wondering if there is any reason I need -- will
 
22   need to look at May?
 
23            THE WITNESS:  No, I don't think so.
 
24            THE ARBITRATOR:  Okay.
 
25   BY MR. MESSING:
 
 
 
   96
 1        Q.  No.  I just wanted you to get to those things
 
 2   on the pages that you want to bring to the arbitrator's
 
 3   attention.
 
 4        A.  Page 6 shows the average open cases per
 
 5   attorney on staff.  And it shows that for Northern
 
 6   California the average number of cases per staff was
 
 7   247, but in the Salinas office we were averaging 289.
 
 8        Q.  Okay.
 
 9        A.  Page 15 shows year to date through June 2001.
 
10   That's page 15.  And that shows that for Northern
 
11   California the average caseload for an attorney was 239,
 
12   but in Salinas we had -- the average was 275.
 
13            Page 31 is the --
 
14            THE ARBITRATOR:  Let me go back to this page 15
 
15   again.
 
16            THE WITNESS:  Sure.
 
17            THE ARBITRATOR:  This is then for as of June.
 
18            THE WITNESS:  2001.
 
19            THE ARBITRATOR:  2001 those were the figures?
 
20            THE WITNESS:  Correct.
 
21            THE ARBITRATOR:  275 cases average in Salinas?
 
22            THE WITNESS:  Right.
 
23            THE ARBITRATOR:  Okay.
 
24            MR. BREHL:  You know, the one problem that I
 
25   think we have with that, unless I'm mistaken, that would
 
 
 
   97
 1   have to be irrelevant, because that's before the --
 
 2   that's before the period of the grievance, I think,
 
 3   isn't it?  It goes back to September 2001.  I believe
 
 4   so.
 
 5            MR. MESSING:  We're showing the general --
 
 6            THE ARBITRATOR:  Okay.  We'll come back to
 
 7   that.
 
 8            MR. MESSING:  -- general trends.  It's not
 
 9   important whether it's in the period or not.  We're
 
10   showing the general distributions.
 
11            THE ARBITRATOR:  Well, I mean you can sort of
 
12   point out.  What is the period?  I've got to focus on
 
13   that.
 
14            MR. BREHL:  It would be September 6th, 2001,
 
15   well, for Mr. Vargas to the present and for him it would
 
16   be beginning.
 
17            THE ARBITRATOR:  Okay, beginning September.
 
18   What was the next one you were going to point out?
 
19            THE WITNESS:  The next one is page 31.
 
20            THE ARBITRATOR:  Okay.
 
21            THE WITNESS:  Which shows the statewide
 
22   statistics as of the end of September 2000.  That shows
 
23   Northern California the average attorney caseload was
 
24   209.  And in Salinas the average was 242.  So in other
 
25   words, the Salinas attorneys consistently carried a
 
 
 
   98
 1   caseload above the average of Northern California, which
 
 2   -- and Northern California is much higher than Southern
 
 3   California.
 
 4            MR. MESSING:  Let's move on.  There will be
 
 5   some more documents which will perhaps assist.
 
 6            Can we mark this as the next exhibit in order.
 
 7            THE ARBITRATOR:  Union 7.
 
 8            MR. MESSING:  Union 7.
 
 9   BY MR. MESSING:
 
10        Q.  Could you please identify this document?
 
11        A.  This is to show -- well, page 1 is for the
 
12   first quarter of 2000, and then page 2 is the fourth
 
13   quarter of 2002, just to show the increase.  And in
 
14   Salinas in the first quarter of 2000, well, the
 
15   statewide average caseload was 202.  The average in
 
16   Salinas was 229.  And then two and a half years later
 
17   the statewide average caseload is 285 and Salinas it's
 
18   280, which reflects a new attorney coming in, but my
 
19   actual caseload was much higher than that.
 
20        Q.  Okay.  Now, there are documents that show what
 
21   cases that you work on, correct?
 
22        A.  Correct.
 
23            MR. MESSING:  Okay.  So I'm going to ask this
 
24   document be marked as our next in order.  What would
 
25   this be?
 
 
 
   99
 1            THE ARBITRATOR:  Union 8.  So this -- what
 
 2   you're handing me is all one --
 
 3            MR. MESSING:  One exhibit.  I'll make sure that
 
 4   that's the correct document here.  Oops, sorry.  Hang on
 
 5   one second.  I see.  Hang on a second, wrong document.
 
 6            I would ask you to mark that then.  What's that
 
 7   next in order?
 
 8            THE ARBITRATOR:  Union 8, and this is the first
 
 9   page it says report date August 16th, 2002, assigned
 
10   attorney Glen Grossman.
 
11   BY MR. MESSING:
 
12        Q.  In a nutshell, what is this?
 
13        A.  This is a list of all of my cases as of August
 
14   16th, 2002, and I've crossed out where the name is
 
15   redundant.  In other words, an injured worker could have
 
16   more than one claim, but we only count it as one injured
 
17   worker.
 
18            THE ARBITRATOR:  Okay.
 
19   BY MR. MESSING:
 
20        Q.  So this reflects your actual caseload?
 
21        A.  Right.  And if you have 2 loose pages at the
 
22   bottom, I don't know if you do -- yeah, okay.  The last
 
23   2 pages reflect the serious and willful claims that I
 
24   had as of that date.
 
25   BY MR. MESSING:
 
 
 
  100
 1        Q.  And how many are reflected there?
 
 2        A.  7.
 
 3        Q.  As you testified to earlier?
 
 4        A.  Yes.
 
 5        Q.  Okay.
 
 6            MR. BREHL:  How do you tell?
 
 7            MR. ESTRADA:  Look in the back.
 
 8            THE WITNESS:  The last 2 pages in the back.
 
 9            MR. BREHL:  Okay.  Great.
 
10   BY MR. MESSING:
 
11        Q.  Perhaps to make this a little easier for the
 
12   arbitrator, in December are you responsible to count the
 
13   number of cases that you're handling and indicate what
 
14   kind of case they are?
 
15        A.  Yes.  We have to count up the entire caseload,
 
16   how many serious and willful claims, how many
 
17   discrimination claims, how many of those cases are
 
18   policy cases, and how many of those cases are state
 
19   agency cases.
 
20        Q.  Okay.  Do people, by the way, in the office
 
21   discuss with each other how many cases they're handling?
 
22        A.  Generally speaking we do.
 
23        Q.  Okay.  And have you discussed your caseload and
 
24   Mr. Pickering's caseload with each other?
 
25        A.  Yes.
 
 
 
  101
 1        Q.  Okay.  When?
 
 2        A.  Oh, I'm sure we discussed it this past
 
 3   December, because we're always in there at the same
 
 4   time.  Everybody is pulling files off the shelves
 
 5   counting.
 
 6        Q.  Did you find that when you were still a range D
 
 7   attorney during the grievance period that your caseload
 
 8   had a similarity to Mr. Pickering's?
 
 9        A.  For most of that time period it did.  I think
 
10   in December 2002 his caseload was probably higher than
 
11   mine.  But for most of the time period it was the same,
 
12   substantially the same.
 
13        Q.  And he was a specialist at that time?
 
14        A.  In December 2002 he was a specialist.
 
15            MR. MESSING:  Let's mark as --
 
16            THE ARBITRATOR:  Union 9, this will be 2 pages.
 
17   There are 3 names on here, Grossman, Vargas and
 
18   Pickering.
 
19   BY MR. MESSING:
 
20        Q.  Would you explain to the arbitrator what these
 
21   pages represent?
 
22        A.  Sure.  I took the calendars for the year 2000,
 
23   2001 and 2002 through June 30th of 2002 and I added up
 
24   -- I counted how many mandatory settlement conferences I
 
25   had, how many depositions I had, how many trials I had
 
 
 
  102
 1   and then the total number of appearances of those 3
 
 2   types.  And I did that for Mr. Vargas as well as
 
 3   Mr. Pickering, and these are the numbers that I came up
 
 4   with.
 
 5        Q.  And you accumulated these numbers by reviewing
 
 6   what documents?
 
 7        A.  The weekly calendars for the office.
 
 8        Q.  Okay.
 
 9            MR. BREHL:  These are like electronic
 
10   calendars?
 
11            MR. MESSING:  Okay.  Well, I'm going to ask
 
12   that this document be marked --
 
13            MR. BREHL:  Could I voir dire on that document
 
14   just for a second?
 
15            MR. MESSING:  This may clear it up.  Do you
 
16   want to wait?
 
17            THE ARBITRATOR:  Okay.  It hasn't been offered
 
18   yet.  Go on.
 
19            Union 10 is a packet, a large packet entitled
 
20   something calendar, oh, major, what's that, master,
 
21   master calendar.
 
22            MR. MESSING:  Sorry, there is a hole punched in
 
23   the S.
 
24            THE ARBITRATOR:  Union 10.
 
25   BY MR. MESSING:
 
 
 
  103
 1        Q.  Would you take a look at this and tell me what
 
 2   this is?
 
 3        A.  The top part -- there is a part on top of the
 
 4   first divider -- is our weekly calendar for January 2nd,
 
 5   2002 through July 2nd, 2002.
 
 6        Q.  Okay.
 
 7        A.  And underneath that I believe is the calendar
 
 8   for the entire year of 2001.
 
 9        Q.  Okay.
 
10        A.  And then underneath that is the entire calendar
 
11   for the year 2000.
 
12        Q.  Okay.  So is this -- are these the records that
 
13   you use to compile, then, case numbers that you were
 
14   referring to before?
 
15        A.  That's on Union Number U-9, yes.
 
16        Q.  Right.  Now, if you turn to the second page of
 
17   U-9, will you explain what we have there?
 
18        A.  These are the numbers of my caseload as of the
 
19   date that I counted from 1993 through April of this
 
20   year.
 
21        Q.  Okay.
 
22        A.  Let me just explain that all the numbers except
 
23   the very last one are based on an actual count.  The
 
24   April 29th, '03 count is based on my internal tracking
 
25   system.  In other words, I didn't do a physical count,
 
 
 
  104
 1   but I inventory every file when it comes in and when it
 
 2   goes out.  And that's the number that I had.
 
 3        Q.  Okay.  In December of '02 when your caseload
 
 4   was 349, you were still at the D level?
 
 5        A.  Correct.
 
 6        Q.  Okay.  And in April of '03 you were then a III?
 
 7        A.  Correct.
 
 8        Q.  Okay.  But you also testified that -- so there
 
 9   is an increase of about 30 some odd cases there.  But
 
10   you also testified that there was an increase in
 
11   everybody's caseload at that time, is that right, during
 
12   that period?
 
13        A.  Yes, yes.
 
14        Q.  Okay.
 
15        A.  There has been a steady increase for the last 2
 
16   years.
 
17        Q.  Okay.
 
18            THE ARBITRATOR:  What are you counting from?
 
19   Are you counting from these documents, well, this is a
 
20   printout like Union 8?
 
21            THE WITNESS:  Actually, the top numbers except
 
22   for the very last one are based on a physical count, an
 
23   actual physical count.
 
24            THE ARBITRATOR:  What, of the folders in your
 
25   filing cabinet?
 
 
 
  105
 1            THE WITNESS:  Yes, we pull each file down, look
 
 2   at it, say this should be closed, this should be moved,
 
 3   somebody needs to do something on this, the adjuster
 
 4   needs to be contacted.  It's basically inventory of all
 
 5   the files.  So these top numbers are based on an actual
 
 6   physical count.
 
 7            THE ARBITRATOR:  Okay.  Are you going to
 
 8   offer -- you've got a number -- I don't know whether --
 
 9   if you're sort of at a break, if you're not that's all
 
10   right, but we've got Union 6 through 10.
 
11            MR. MESSING:  Right.
 
12            THE ARBITRATOR:  Did you want to offer them
 
13   now?
 
14            MR. MESSING:  I was going to, at that moment.
 
15            THE ARBITRATOR:  Very good.
 
16            MR. BREHL:  U-8 is fine.  I want to make sure I
 
17   understand something.
 
18            THE ARBITRATOR:  Okay.
 
19            MR. BREHL:  U-9 is based upon your actual count
 
20   from U-10, right?
 
21            THE WITNESS:  Yes.
 
22            MR. BREHL:  Okay.  Well, I'm sure it's
 
23   accurate, you know, I think it can go in, if I count
 
24   them up myself and there is a discrepancy, I'll let you
 
25   know.
 
 
 
  106
 1            THE ARBITRATOR:  Fine.  But there is no
 
 2   objection to Union 6 through Union 10, so they will be
 
 3   admitted at this point.
 
 4   BY MR. MESSING:
 
 5        Q.  Do you know about how many appearances you
 
 6   average per year as a range D attorney?
 
 7        A.  I'd have to look at my records.  I know it's a
 
 8   lot more this year not because I'm a specialist, but
 
 9   because everything has a lot more -- it's really gotten
 
10   out of hand.
 
11            MR. BREHL:  Looking at U-9 --
 
12            MR. MESSING:  Appearances.
 
13            THE WITNESS:  Yes.  In 2000 I had combined
 
14   mandatory settlement conferences appearances,
 
15   depositions and trials of 229.  The following year I had
 
16   combined appearances of 192.  But as of June 30th, 2002
 
17   I had 133 just for those 6 months.
 
18   BY MR. MESSING:
 
19        Q.  And these appearances are reflected in Exhibit
 
20   Union 10, the master calendar?
 
21        A.  Yes.
 
22        Q.  And your appearances on average as a
 
23   specialist?
 
24        A.  I'll be honest.  I don't know what they are
 
25   this year, but they're far more than they have ever been
 
 
 
  107
 1   in any other year.
 
 2        Q.  Is that because you're a specialist or for any
 
 3   other reasons?
 
 4            MR. BREHL:  Asked and answered I think.
 
 5            THE ARBITRATOR:  He said he believes it's not.
 
 6            MR. MESSING:  I'll let his prior answer stand.
 
 7   BY MR. MESSING:
 
 8        Q.  Now, did you work with specialists while you
 
 9   were a range D staff attorney?
 
10        A.  Yes, I worked both with Mr. Cannon as well as
 
11   with Mr. Pickering.
 
12        Q.  Did you work on many cases with them or did you
 
13   work independently on your cases as a range D?
 
14        A.  I worked my cases independently.  But there
 
15   were several cases where we were co-counsel.  I'm sorry.
 
16   Strike that.  We weren't co-counsel.  We were defending
 
17   separate claims made by the same injured worker.
 
18        Q.  Were you representing different employers?
 
19        A.  Exactly.
 
20        Q.  Okay.  And other than those type of cases, you
 
21   testified that you were familiar with Mr. Pickering and
 
22   Mr. Cannon's workload over the past 3 years?
 
23        A.  Somewhat familiar, yes.
 
24        Q.  Okay.  Through your discussions with them?
 
25        A.  Mr. Cannon and I were very close friends, so we
 
 
 
  108
 1   were constantly talking about our cases.  Mr. Pickering
 
 2   less so, but Mr. Pickering was always sharing with us
 
 3   his war stories.
 
 4        Q.  Okay.  Did you form an opinion of the -- of
 
 5   whether or not the cases that you were handling were
 
 6   similar to the one -- strike that.
 
 7            The cases that you were handling as a range D,
 
 8   did you form an opinion as to whether they were similar
 
 9   to the cases that Mr. Pickering was handling as a
 
10   specialist?
 
11            MR. BREHL:  I'm going to object to that.  I
 
12   don't think we have enough foundation for that question
 
13   at this point.
 
14            THE ARBITRATOR:  I think I'll sustain that.
 
15   BY MR. MESSING:
 
16        Q.  Did you have occasion to, yourself, review
 
17   Mr. Pickering's cases on occasion?
 
18        A.  Sure.  When he would go on vacation Mr. Estrada
 
19   would -- usually would rotate coverage either for his
 
20   appearances or for his actual mail.  So I mean there is
 
21   a couple cases of Mr. Pickering's where I did points and
 
22   authorities, I did a trial.  Mr. Vargas probably did
 
23   more of that than I did for Mr. Pickering.  I mean a
 
24   couple times I went into his office and cleaned out his
 
25   desk, I stamped all his mail and saw what was going on.
 
 
 
  109
 1        Q.  So you covered for Mr. Pickering on cases when
 
 2   you were a D and he was a specialist?
 
 3        A.  Correct.
 
 4        Q.  You responded to mail on cases that he was
 
 5   working?
 
 6        A.  Correct.  And did points and authorities.
 
 7        Q.  Did you make appearances in cases that he had
 
 8   while you were a D and he was a specialist?
 
 9        A.  Yes.
 
10        Q.  And in addition to that, you discussed cases
 
11   with him that he was handling while you were a D and he
 
12   was a specialist?
 
13        A.  Yes.
 
14        Q.  Okay.  Did you form an opinion as to whether or
 
15   not the cases that you were handling were similar to the
 
16   ones that Mr. Pickering was handling at the time?
 
17        A.  Yes.
 
18        Q.  And what was your opinion?
 
19        A.  I believe that they were fairly similar.  I
 
20   mean some were the same cases.
 
21        Q.  Okay.  How did his caseload compare to yours?
 
22        A.  I think his was -- in 2002 I think his caseload
 
23   was larger than mine.
 
24        Q.  Okay.  By a lot?
 
25        A.  No, I wouldn't say a lot, but I think it was
 
 
 
  110
 1   larger.  And I'm assuming that's because I turned my
 
 2   cases over faster than he does.
 
 3        Q.  What do you mean by turn your cases over?