Exam Prep: Workers’ Compensation Law Certified Legal Specialist Exam (CA)(Live in 2019)

The California State Bar’s Legal Specialist Exam in Workers’ Compensation is taking place on Tuesday, October 22, 2019.

Here is your chance to study for the CA Workers’ Compensation Specialist Exam with guidance from Certified Legal Specialists in Worker’s Compensation Law.

At this program, you will get a thorough overview of the critical substantive areas of Workers’ Compensation law and a jump start on your study routine.

This carefully-planned program will review the substantive ares of law listed as testing topics on the CA Bar’s website and give you tips on how to take the exam, what to expect on exam day, and how to study for it. We will have a practice essay session with at least two questions found in the Bar’s sample packet, that will conclude with issue spotting and a review of how you could have best answered those questions (the practice test answers will not be graded, just discussed).

By taking this course, you can eliminate the stress that goes with the unknown when preparing for an exam and you can get guidance and subject matter review from those that have taken the exam previously and have been on the commission that writes the exams.

Can’t attend? This program will be recorded live on September 19th & 20th in Los Angeles. The Exam Prep audio package in CD or Download format, including all seminar materials, will be available within two – four days after the program. Click here or click to the right to order that package.


Early Study Special: If you order our 2017 Exam Prep audio package, you can take $300.00 off of the price towards your 2019 exam prep course enrollment or audio. Make a note in the comments section of your order and we’ll contact you to process your 2019 registration by hand or call us at (877) 858-3848 for the special coupon code.

Important reminder: Because we cannot know exactly what specific questions and issues the bar will test on, and their “potential topic list” is vast, our program covers most of those topics that the bar lists they might test, but not all. This means that we cannot guarantee every single question or issue that appears on your exam is covered in our course (that would pretty much be impossible). We also strongly recommend you begin studying for the exam early – as early as summer. Last minute studying, even with the help of this course, is always a risky proposition when it comes to such a difficult exam covering so many areas of appellate law.

Please note: If you took this course in 2017 and did not pass the exam, please call us about a special rate at (877) 858-3848.



REMINDER: We do not recommend making pre-paid, non-refundable travel arrangements in case a program is cancelled due to an emergency. We are not responsible for non-refundable travel/hotel expenses.

If you would like more information from the CA Bar on their exam and becoming a Certified Legal Specialist, click here.


Day One
September 19th
9:00 a.m.  –  5:30 p.m.


9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Exam details, preparation tips, what to expect, etc.

  • Exam details
    • Morning – 8 essays/short answers in 4 hours
    • Afternoon – 75 multiple choice
  • Grading of the Exam 
  • What the exam was like
  • What to expect
  • How to prepare / study plans / strategies
  • Practical considerations
  • Test taking tips, writing tips

10:00 – 10:15

10:15 – 11:45
Medical Knowledge & Issues [Subject Area 4]

    • 4.1 Anatomy/physiology
    • 4.2 Terminology
    • 4.3 Industrial diseases
    • 4.4 Treatment guidelines / UR / Independent Medical Review (IMR) / MPN / Medical Treatment Utilization Schedule (MTUS)
    • 4.5 Determination of medical issues (AME/QME)

11:45 – 12:45
Networking LUNCH

12:45 – 3:15
Claim Evaluation: Remedies & Defenses [Subject Area 2]

    • 2.1 Specific injury(ies) and cumulative trauma
    • 2.2 Relevant time limits
    • 2.3 Effect of injury date on benefits
    • 2.4 Types of benefits
    • 2.5 Identification of relevant issues
    • 2.6 Identification and evaluation of records and documents
    • 2.7 Benefit notices
    • 2.8 Defenses to compensability
    • 2.9 Insurance coverage
    • 2.10 Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund
    • 2.11 Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund
    • 2.12 Death benefits/dependency
    • 2.13 Related civil remedies
    • 2.14 Serious and willful misconduct
    • 2.15 Labor Code § 132a
    • 2.16 Presumptions and Benefits for public safety personnel

(break at 2pm)

3:15 – 5:15
Disability Evaluation [Subect Area 5]

    • 5.1 Permanent Disability/Description of Disability
    • 5.4 Rating instructions
    • 5.5 Mechanics of rating disability
    • 5.2 Psyche/Work function Impairments/Global Assessment of Function (GAF)
    • 5.3 Causation of disability/Apportionment/Burden of proof

5:15 – 5:30
Final q/a

Day Two
September 20th
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


9:00 – 10:30
Practice & Procedures (Trial & Appellate) [Subject Area 3]

    • 3.1 Jurisdiction/venue
    • 3.2 Discovery & investigation
    • 3.3 Pre-trial & trial procedures
    • 3.4 Expert and lay witnesses
    • 3.5 Appropriate evidence/admissibility
    • 3.6 Making of record for reconsideration
    • 3.7 Post-trial remedies/Reconsideration
    • 3.8 Petitions for Removal (Labor Code § 5310)
    • 3.9 Writs
    • 3.10 Affirmative Defenses
    • 3.11 Liens
    • 3.12 Settlements
    • 3.13 Arbitration and Mediation
    • 3.14 Return-to-Work-Fund/Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit
    • 3.15 Penalties, interest and increases to benefits
    • 3.16 Petition to reopen

10:30 – 10:45

10:45 – 11:15
Practice test – one question

11:15 –12:00
Issue Spotting discussion regarding practice test and morning q/a (exam will not be graded)

12:00 – 1:00
Lunch (on your own)

1:00 – 1:45
Professional Responsibility 

    • 1.1 Ethical duties to client, opposing counsel and the Court
    • 1. 2 Bases for sanctions
    • 1. 3 Fee agreements/Bases for fees
    • 1. 4 Prohibited referrals and inducements
    • 1. 5 Dual representation/conflicts of interest
    • 1. 6 California Rules of Professional Conduct

1:45 – 2:15
Practice test

2:15 – 2:30

2:30 – 4:00
Issue spotting re: practice exam question and final q/a (exam will not be graded)



Day 1 – Thursday, September 19th:
9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (Networking lunch included)

Day 2 – Friday, September 20th:
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Lunch on your own)


Hyatt Regency Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
6225 West Century Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Check in begins 30 minutes before the program starts.


Parking: Discounted $20 self park and $25 valet parking.


These testimonials are from our 2017 WC Exam Prep Course.

“Great source to prep for the exam.” – Reema Simjee, Esq.

“Got a good overview of exam.” – Adrian Rodriguez, Esq.

“Knowledgeable panel… allowed various questions. Helped… me to stay focused and tuned in.”

“Freeman and Kerkonian had great overall knowledge.” – Vahe Tchoukadarian, Esq.

“Overall very good.”

“Good overview of topics.”

“William Lindheim and Lelian Maximous were brilliant! Mark Stephens was inspiring and very informative.”


Nanci Freeman, Esq.
Certified Legal Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law
Williams-Abrego & Associates, Farmers Insurance Exchange

Nanci Freeman is a Senior Trial Attorney with the Law Offices of Hartsuyker, Stratman & Williams Abrego, in-house counsel for Farmers Insurance Exchange, a member of Farmers Insurance Group of Companies.

Ms. Freeman earned her undergraduate degree in English from UCLA, graduating magnum cum laude. She is a graduate of UCLA School of Law. Ms. Freeman was a speaker at the commencement ceremony of her law school. A speech she wrote and delivered at the law school during protests over Proposition 209 was published in the Chicano Latino Law Review.

Ms. Freeman spent the first eight years of her legal career practicing workers compensation insurance defense. In late 2008, she opened the Law Office of Nanci Freeman, where her practice included family law, landlord tenant law, and workers compensation. Her workers compensation practice included representation of both applicants and defendants. She has represented self-insured employers, uninsured employers, insurance carriers, and TPAS. She has also served as judge pro-tem at the Long Beach WCAB.

Ms. Freeman is certified by the state bar as an MCLE provider on several topics. She became a certified specialist in 2009.

In her spare time she enjoys frolicking with her playful and mischievous Boston Terrier.

Nikki Mehrpoo Jacobson, Esq.
Certified Legal Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law & Immigration Law
The Jacobson Law Firm LLP

Nikki Mehrpoo Jacobson has achieved dual certification by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization as a legal specialist in Workers’ Compensation and Immigration & Nationality Law. This achievement makes attorney Jacobson the only lawyer with this dual certification in the state of California.

Ms. Jacobson is a nationally and internationally recognized speaker, legal analyst, media commentator, expert witness, lobbyist and legal consultant in immigration and workers’ compensation law. She regularly shares her valuable insight in France on France 5, in Iran on KIRN 670 AM, and in Denmark on Ekstra Bladet, as well as Business Insurance, WCAuthority.com and WorkersCompensation.com, analyzing high-profile cases, court decisions and legal issues. She currently represents clients assisting the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigations with matters of national security.

As a dual-certified specialist, attorney Jacobson is uniquely qualified to handle catastrophic orthopedic and neurological work-injury cases, and complex employment and family-based immigration matters. She has developed a special niche in the cases where her clients’ immigration status and employment matters intersect. For example, these cases can involve workers who are victims of a crime at work, or who are undocumented and have suffered work injuries.

Ms. Jacobson is a Commissioner on the California State Bar Workers’ Compensation Law Advisory Commission, on the Board of Directors for the California Applicants’ Attorneys Association (CAAA) and an active member of the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association (AILA). Ms. Jacobson is also Professor of Law at West Los Angeles College, published academic, and a distinguished lecturer on the rights of injured workers and immigrants. Attorney Jacobson is an editor and contributing author of several legal publications, including Navigating The Fundamentals of Immigration Law (2016–17 Ed.) and Immigration Practice Toolbox, Third and Fourth Editions.

As a refugee from Iran, she understands the issues and hardships her clients face every day. Ms. Jacobson is committed to giving voice to the voiceless and to insure that people are heard. She is a dedicated LGBTQ ally and is committed to representing members of the LGBTQ community with their asylum claims.

Her adherence to legal ethics and superior skills has earned her the highest rating of AV Preeminent from Martindale-Hubbell. In 2015 through 2019, she was designated a “Top Rated Immigration and Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Los Angeles” by Super Lawyer and in 2009 through 2012 she was named Super Lawyers’ Southern California Rising Star, an honor bestowed on attorneys in California who excel in the practice of law. She is also rated “Superb” by AVVO.

Shepard Jacobson, Esq.
Certified Legal Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law
The Jacobson Law Firm, LLP

 Please check back soon for full bio! 

Shepard Jacobson is a California Certified Legal Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law. He is also an experienced immigration lawyer.

Saro Kerkonian, Esq.
Certified Legal Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law
Williams-Abrego & Associates, Farmers Insurance Exchange

Saro K. Kerkonian is a Workers’ Compensation Law Specialist certified by the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization.  Mr. Kerkonian has been in practice for 29 years and is a Senior Trial Attorney with the Law Offices of Hartsuyker, Stratman & Williams-Abrego of Los Angeles, California, where he represents Farmers Insurance Company in defense of workers’ compensation claims.   He has extensive experience representing both applicants and defendants in all aspects of workers’ compensation proceedings.

Prior to joining the Law Offices of Hartsuyker, Stratman & Williams-Abrego, Mr. Kerkonian was a principal with the KCNS Law Group of Glendale, CA where he represented applicants in workers’ compensation and social security proceedings.  He has also served as counsel with the Glendale based firm of Tennenhouse, Minassian & Adham, where he defended the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the County of Los Angeles, and the City of Los Angeles Police Department in workers’ compensation proceedings.   Early in his career, he was an associate attorney for the firm of Hinden, Rodich & Grueskin. 

Mr. Kerkonian is the author of California Paralegal Manual, Workers’ Compensation, published by the The Rutter Group, a division of Thomson Reuters.

Mr. Kerkonian is a frequent lecturer on workers’ compensation law.  He was part of a 5-person panel sponsored by the Armenian Bar Association and Latino Comp, which included California Supreme Court Justices Marvin Baxter and Carlos Moreno.  He was also a moderator and lecturer on a panel with California State Senator Charles Poochigian, author of major legislation reforming workers’ compensation, including the landmark SB 899 discussed in this manual.

Mr. Kerkonian received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of La Verne in 1987, where he was awarded the American Jurisprudence Award in Constitutional Law.  He is a founding member of the Armenian Bar Association, where he currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Governors.  

Jason M. Marcus
Partner / Certified Legal Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law
Marcus, Regalado & Marcus

Jason M. Marcus joined Marcus, Regalado & Marcus in 2008 after obtaining his law degree from McGeorge School of Law. He is a certified specialist in workers’ compensation per the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

He is dedicated to aggressively fighting for the rights of injured workers. He is a past president of the California Applicants’ Attorneys Association and currently serves as the chair of CAAA’s Legislative Committee. Jason is also a past president of the Sacramento County Bar Association Workers’ Compensation Section. He is active in the workers’ compensation community and is a frequent presenter on workers’ compensation issues.


Joseph Richards, Esq.
Founder/Certified Legal Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law
Law Office of Joseph E. Richards

Mr. Richards is a Certified Legal Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law by the State Bar of California, California Board of Legal Specialization. 

As an Applicant’s Attorney and later a defense attorney, Mr. Richards has appeared before just about every Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board of Southern California on matters such as liens, AOE/COE, priority conferences, threshold issues, expedited trials on issues of medical treatment and temporary disability, mandatory settlement conferences, and trials of cases-in-chief.

In May 2014, Mr. Richards entered solo practice in Santa Ana, again exclusively representing Applicants in Workers’ Compensation claims, from the filing of the Applications for Adjudication to resolution. 

Mr. Richards now spends approximately 90% of his practice time as an Applicant’s Attorney in the California Workers’ Compensation system with regular frequency.  The other 10% is split between labor & employment law, wages & hours, personal injury tort law, and disability law.

Mr. Richards is a member of the California Applicants’ Attorneys Association, Orange County Bar Association Workers’ Compensation Section and a member of the California Lawyers Association Workers’ Compensation Section. He is also a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, membership in which is limited to Trial Lawyers who have demonstrated exceptional skill, experience and excellence in Advocacy by achieving a trial verdict, award or settlement in the amount of One Million Dollars or more.

Todd E. Taylor, Esq.
Senior Attorney/Certified Legal Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law
Michael Sullivan & Associates LLP

Mr. Taylor, Senior Attorney, represents insurance carriers, self-insured employers and public entities in all aspects of workers’ compensation. Before his promotion, Mr. Taylor was an Associate Attorney at the firm, also practicing worker’s compensation defense exclusively.

He was an Associate Attorney at Grancell, Stander, Reubens, Thomas & Kinsey in El Segundo, where he handled more than 100 workers’ comp cases from inception to trial or settlement. Much of that time, he served as Lead Attorney for American Building Maintenance.

Mr. Taylor also served as Associate Attorney at Hayford & Felchlin in Los Angeles, Chaves & Breault in Torrance, and Domingo, Elias & Vu in Brea. There, too, he practiced exclusively worker’s compensation defense, representing employers and public entities including school districts. He was a Paralegal at Samuelsen, Gonzalez, Valenzuela & Brown in Irvine, assisting the firm’s attorneys in workers’ comp defense.

Before embarking on a legal career, Mr. Taylor was a Work Care Technician at Northbay Healthcare in Vacaville, performing pre-employment tests and occupational health screenings, and managing medical records. 

He served several years as Security Forces in the U.S. Air Force, having served two foreign campaign tours in Saudi Arabia, and Panama. His military duties included all aspects of policing, routine and emergency law enforcement, some of which required top-secret clearance. He also supervised and trained troops in investigation and surveillance.

Mr. Taylor received his Juris Doctor degree from Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, where he served as the campus chapter’s President of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America for two years, and was a member of the Trial Advocacy Honors Board. He received his undergraduate degree from Minnesota State University in Moorhead, graduating magna cum laude.



Registration fees are per person.

Individual: $750

Group: $725 per person for 2 or more from the same company pre-registering at the same time

Government employee: $625

Networking Lunch on Day One is included in the registration fee.


REMINDER: We do not recommend making pre-paid, non-refundable travel arrangements in case a program is cancelled due to an emergency. We are not responsible for non-refundable travel/hotel expenses.

CLE Credits

CA General:  This program is approved for 8.25 units of general CLE in California.

CA Certified Legal Specialist: This program is approved for 8.25 units of Certified Legal Specialist CLE in California until September 18, 2021 as follows:

  • A/.75; B/1.50; C/1.50; D/2.25; E/2.25

Exam tips and practice exams cannot be counted in the approved CLE units, per the bar.

NJ General: The LIVE session of this course will be approved for the same number of units as in CA.  See the New Jersey State CLE Board Regulations and Guidelines for further information.

NY General: The LIVE session of this course will be approved for the same number of units as in CA.  Pincus Professional Education is a CA Accredited Provider, which is a NY approved jurisdiction. See Section 6 of the New York State CLE Board Regulations and Guidelines for further information.

This program is approved for CLE in the states listed above.  Upon request, Pincus Pro Ed will provide any information an attorney needs to support their application for CLE approval in other states other than what is listed above.

Terms & Refund Policies

Recording policy: No audio or video recording of any program is permitted.

Seminar Cancellations: Should you be unable to attend for any reason, please inform us in writing no later than 14 days prior to the event and a credit voucher will be issued. If you prefer, a refund, less a $50 non-refundable deposit, will be issued. No refunds or credits will be given for cancellations received within 14 days of an event. However, if you notify us within 14 days of an event, and wish to convert your in-person attendance registration to an Audio CD package (with handout), we can do so. A small additional shipping charge, and sales tax in CA, will be incurred. No shipping charge is incurred for downloads. We will also issue a voucher for the amount paid if you notify us within 14 days and prefer not to have the audio recording.

Substitutions may be made at any time.

Reminder: The room temperature at hotels and other seminar locations are notoriously hard to control. Please bring a sweater or jacket in case it gets cold and/or layer as if you are going to the movies so you are comfortable.

For policies related to audio products, please select “I want a download or CD” on the right.

$625.00$750.00 each

September 19-20, 2019 | Los Angeles, CA


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