At the 2008 CompEd seminar in Louisville, Ky., innovation was the theme of Executive Director Dwight T. Lovan’s presentation on the future of the Office of Workers’ Claims. The most radical of the changes posed by Lovan were technological ones. Attorneys will be required to include their e-mail address on pleadings. Additionally, public record information will be accessible online from the OWC’s Web site.
In a brief conversation with Roland Niemi Law Group, Director Lovan indicated that with the possible closing of some hearing sites, video conferencing might be implemented for benefit review conferences. Video conferencing facilities would be maintained at hearing sites and attorneys and judges in remote locations could conduct benefit review conferences. This innovation would no doubt produce a ripple effect of savings across the entire workers’ compensation community.
Though Director Lovan could not provide specific deadlines for implementation of the various technological proposals the OWC has also set Jan. 1, 2009, as a deadline for adopting a system that will allow standard pleadings to be electronically filed.