Workers’ Compensation 101: The Nuts and Bolts

This March, we are holding a beginner-intermediate level program on Workers’ Compensation. If you are new, or somewhat new, to this practice area (or want to expand your practice to cover these types of cases), you really do not want to miss this program. You will learn much of what you need to know about WC cases.

In this course, attorneys will learn about everything from evaluating and defending claims, medical knowledge and terminology, evaluating disability, professional responsibility and ethical traps, and trial and appellate procedures.

Our expert faculty includes top-notch litigators and insurance experts, all CA Bar Certified Legal Specialists, who will give you a terrific overview of Workers’ Compensation claims and litigation. For more details on each topic, please see the agenda tab.

As a special bonus of attending this seminar or ordering the audio and materials package, you will receive free access to Sullivan on Comp for 30 days.

Can’t attend? This program will be recorded live on March 6, 2020 in Los Angeles. The audio package, including seminar materials, will be available within two-three weeks after each live program date.


Have you ever thought about improving your public speaking skills? Now is the time! Get Faith Pincus’ newly published book Being Heard: Presentation Skills for Attorneys, from the ABA now (ABA members receive 10%-20% off). It is also available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback versions. You can also order it from us here.




The following agenda is tentative, please check back soon for updates.

8:30 – 10:30
Claim Evaluation: Remedies & Defenses

  • Specific injury(ies) and cumulative trauma
  • Relevant time limits
  • Effect of injury date on benefits
  • Types of benefits
  • Identification of relevant issues
  • Identification and evaluation of records and documents
  • Benefit notices
  • Defenses to compensability
  • Insurance coverage
  • Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund
  • Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund
  • Death benefits/dependency
  • Related civil remedies
  • Serious and willful misconduct
  • Labor Code § 132a
  • Presumptions and Benefits for public safety personnel

10:30 – 10:45

10:45 – 12:15
Medical Knowledge & Issues

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

12:15 – 1:15
(on your own)

1:15 – 2:00
Professional Responsibility

  • Ethical duties to client, opposing counsel and the Court
  • Bases for sanctions
  • Fee agreements/Bases for fees
  • Prohibited referrals and inducements
  • Dual representation/conflicts of interest
  • California Rules of Professional Conduct

2:00 – 3:00
Disability Evaluation

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

3:00 – 3:15

3:15 – 4:15
Disability Evaluation (Continued) 

4:15 – 5:30
Practice & Procedures (Trial & Appellate)

  • Jurisdiction/venue
  • Discovery & investigation
  • Pre-trial & trial procedures
  • Expert and lay witnesses
  • Appropriate evidence/admissibility
  • Making of record for reconsideration
  • Post-trial remedies/Reconsideration
  • Petitions for Removal (Labor Code § 5310)
  • Writs
  • Affirmative Defenses
  • Liens
  • Settlements
  • Arbitration and Mediation
  • Return-to-Work-Fund/Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit
  • Penalties, interest and increases to benefits
  • Petition to reopen


March 6, 2020
8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (lunch on your own)
Check in between 8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.


DoubleTree Downtown Los Angeles
120 South Los Angeles Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

 Discounted $17 valet and $12 self park at hotel for the day. Enter through valet/main entrance on Los Angeles Street and bring up your ticket for validation. 


The following testimonials are from our Workers’ Compensation Exam Prep course in 2017, with most of the same faculty:

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

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

“Knowledgeable panel. 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.”

“Brilliant! Very informative.”


The following testimonials are from our Insurance Bad Faith program which was held in California a few years ago:

“Excellent speakers, terrific overview of bad faith issues.” – Daniel Tripathi, Esq.

“Good speakers, very knowledgeable.” Meredith Stewart, Esq.

”Excellent.” – Sam Rudolph, Esq.

”Completely satisfied.” – Allison Donohue, Esq.

”Content and presentation were excellent regarding cases where insured is sued by 3rd party.” – Susan Brubeck, Esq.

“Excellent seminar, very thorough. Excellent panel and good price for amount of knowledge gained.”

“Excellent panel. One of the best panels I’ve seen.”

“Very satisfied.”

“Informative program.”

”Good coverage.”

”All presentations were good.”




Nanci Freeman, Esq.
Certified Legal Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law
Hartsuyker, Stratman & Williams-Abrego

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, and, 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.

Saro Kerkonian, Esq.
Certified Legal Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law
Hartsuyker, Stratman & Williams-Abrego

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 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, Esq.
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.


Carrie C. O’Connor, Esq.
Founding Partner / Certified Legal Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law
O’Connor Telezinski

Carrie C. O’Connor is the daughter of an entrepreneur and a school teacher.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California Irvine.  She graduated from Western State University College of Law in Fullerton, California and obtained her license to practice law in 1995.

Ms. O’Connor began the practice of law by representing businesses in general business law matters as a partner in her own firm, O’Connor and Wente, which operated for six years.  Ms. O’Connor successfully represented numerous private businesses in contract reviews and negotiation, business formation, mergers, and litigation.  In 2002, Ms. O’Connor accepted a position as an associate with Serembe, Bakke & Seaman, a San Bernardino-based workers’ compensation defense firm.

In 2005, Ms. O’Connor decided to blend these experiences and resume ownership of her own firm as a Founding Partner in O’Connor * Telezinski, providing representation and advice in business law, employment law, and workers’ compensation. Ms. O’Connor is certified as a specialist in workers’ compensation law by the State Bar of California Board of Specialization.

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: $425

Group: $399 per person for 2 or more from the same company pre-registering at the same time

Government employee/Legal Aid* Rate: $375

Law Students/paralegals*: $235 (current JD students only)


Program materials:

As with almost all legal education seminars and conferences, a pdf of your seminar handbook will be emailed to you one week in advance and is included in the registration fee.  Be sure to check your spam folder if you don’t see it by then.

If you would also like a printed/hard copy of the handbook, you may purchase it in advance.  It will be provided to you the day of the program.  A printed copy of the handbook $25.  To do so, please be sure to check the box when you register.  If you want a hard copy, you must order it when you register; there will not be any available for purchase the day of the program.

* Law Student Rate is for current law students only.

** Legal Aid attorneys are those attorneys employed by Legal Aid/non-profit firms. It does not include attorneys who have their own practice, or are employed by law firms, that volunteer their time for non-profit causes or take on pro-bono cases. Full and partial scholarships may be available to a limited number of Legal Aid attorneys, based upon registration. Please call (877) 858-3848 to discuss or email your request to

CLE Credits

CA General:  This program is approved for 7.5 units of general CLE in California.

NJ General: The LIVE session of this course is approved, under New Jersey’s CLE Approved Jurisdiction policy, for 7.5 CLE units. Pincus Professional Education is a CA Accredited Provider, which is a NJ approved jurisdiction. See the New Jersey State CLE Board Regulations and Guidelines for further information.

NY General: The LIVE session of this course is approved, under New York’s CLE Approved Jurisdiction policy, for 7.5 CLE units. 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. Many attorneys ask for this and are approved in other states.

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.

$235.00$425.00 each

March 6, 2020 | Los Angeles, CA


Printed Materials

[ All attendees receive a pdf of the materials one week prior to the program. To purchase a printed hard copy, please select this option to order it now. ]

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