My topic will focus on working with non-English speaking clients. As we all know, non-English speaking immigrants come to this country for many different reasons, but the vast majority end up in labor jobs: jobs that cause work comp injuries. Personally, I have represented clients from over 20 countries; in Nebraska we have a surprising number of immigrants and refugees who relocate to Nebraska for plentiful jobs and cheap housing.
As a result of this melting-pot of injured workers, my seminar presentation will focus on the Ethics of representing non-English speaking clients. Specifically, I will explain what lawyers should do when a non-English speaking client contacts the lawyer; what issues may arise during litigation; and how to handle non-English speaking clients and interpreters during legal proceedings.
I recently wrote a post about immigration status and workers compensation. You can read that post here.
I will present on opioids in workers’ compensation. I plan on spending some time discussing opioid addiction as a work-related medical condition and some of the factual and legal challenges that come with opioid use in a workers’ compensation case. I will also address digestive and bowel issues that arise with opioid use and how those injuries can be covered by workers’ compensation.
Opioid addiction is a major public health and even political issue. Drug formularies are being pushed as a way to combat addiction by reducing the prescription of opioids in workers’ compensation cases. I plan on discussing why drug formularies should raise serious concerns not just from doctors, but from employees and employers. You can read my blog posts about formularies here, here and here.
Rod Rehm will be presenting on the topic of deposition preparation for plaintiffs in workers’ compensation cases. Rod is a Fellow in the College of Workers’ Compensation and has prepared hundreds of injured workers for their depositions in his long legal career. Earlier in his career Rod worked both as a prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer so he can draw on 40 plus years of litigation experience when it comes to witness preparation.
His presentation taught over 50 fellow lawyers who attended about the “Ethical Implications of Representation and Fee Sharing Agreements.”
This presentation provided Brody with an excellent opportunity to share his knowledge with other Nebraska lawyers. These seminars are important to the legal profession when continuing to receive updated legal education, a requirement for all licensed attorneys in Nebraska.
I regularly encourage the firm’s attorneys and staff members to participate in continuing education and networking opportunities through professional associations and other occasions, serving as both presenters and lifelong learners.
Thank you to Brody for representing the firm as a presenter to this group. Congratulations for being asked to speak. We are proud of you!
NATA is dedicated to the improvement of the trial practice and preservation of our civil justice system. The Association provides quality continuing legal education. It is active in the legislative process that impacts upon justice in Nebraska. Membership in NATA is open to all lawyers and law students. All the lawyers at the office of Rehm, Bennett & Moore, P.C., L.L.O., are members of NATA. Firm owner Rod Rehm is a past president and currently serves on the Board of Directors. Firm shareholders Todd Bennett and Jon Rehm are also members of the Board of Directors.
“My responsibilities were to develop topics, secure speakers and serve as master of ceremonies for the seminar by communicating with a variety of individuals over the course of numerous months,” Moore said. Roughly 100 people attended this year’s seminar, including firm associates Brody Ockander and Brianne Rohner Erickson.
Moore completed his final year of serving a four-year rotation of leadership positions within the Workers’ Compensation Section, which started when he was nominated for and elected to the treasurer position three years ago. Moore was the third member of the firm to serve as chairman of the NSBA Workers’ Compensation Section. Partner Todd Bennett and I are past chairmen as well. Moore has participated as a member of the WC Section for the last 14 years, and is admitted to practice law in both Nebraska and Iowa.
There are currently more than 30 sections in the NSBA, according to its website. Each section is made up of a group of attorneys who share similar interests and voluntarily join that section. Attorneys can belong to more than one section.
The Workers’ Compensation Section is consistently one of the largest sections of the association. The section’s goals, according to Moore, are similar to the NSBA’s mission, which can be found here. Some of the priorities that Moore highlights include “to foster and maintain integrity, professionalism, civility and high standards of conduct by NSBA members,” and to help “provide quality support and services for NSBA members.”
Moore’s service is yet another example of the efforts our attorneys and staff have made to be leaders in the legal community, both as participants and leaders in shaping the legal conversations that affect our clients.
His presentation included information on both civil litigation and workers’ compensation.
“Many of the interpreters I spoke with are interpreters for various Nebraska courts,” Ockander said. “Therefore, it is helpful for these interpreters to have at least some background knowledge about how the civil court and workers’ compensation systems work in order to ensure the best possible interpretation for all parties. For non-English speaking persons, equal access to justice hinges on whether the interpreter does a good job.”
The firm’s attorneys need access to translators for the many languages that our clients speak, so it is helpful that Ockander was able to interact with this group and serve as a resource for their conference. I encourage the firm’s attorneys and staff to participate in continuing education and networking opportunities through professional associations and other occasions, taking the occasion to serve as both presenters and lifelong learners.
Thank you to Ockander for representing the firm as a presenter at this conference.
It is important for attorneys to stay current with the law, and I encourage the firm’s members to participate in continuing education and networking opportunities through professional associations and other occasions.
Associate Brody Ockander was recently selected for the Nebraska State Bar Association Leadership Academy. As stated by the NSBA, the leadership academy’s mission is “to develop the leadership skills of the participants to allow them to make greater contributions to the legal profession and their community.”
Academy goals include the following, according to the NSBA:
To nurture effective leadership with respect to ethical, professional and community service issues
To build relationships among legal leaders from across the state and from across disciplines within the profession
To raise the level of awareness among lawyers regarding the broad range of issues facing the legal profession
To enhance the diversity of leaders within the legal profession and the community as a whole
Discussion topics for the group will include Effective Leadership; Legislative Issues; Balancing Work and Life; and Public Trust and Confidence in the Judicial System, according to the NSBA web site.
Clients of Rehm, Bennett & Moore helped make a positive difference this legislative session. They are parents who lose their children as a result of work injuries.
Albert and Diane DeLeon of Grand Island persuaded their state Sen. Mike Gloor to introduce a bill that was signed into law that increased the funeral benefit from $6,000 to $10,000. This was after they lost their son Emilio in a construction accident. In addition, Gene Cary testified in favor of a similar bill that would have raised the funeral benefit for the families of dead workers as well as giving a $25,000 death benefit to parents who have had a child killed in a work accident. Gene’s son Neil was killed in a work accident in 2010. The bill awarding an automatic death benefit to parents who have their child killed in a work accident failed to advance out of committee. Bills held in committee are killed for this session of the legislature and must be re-introduced next session. However, the combined stories of Cary and the DeLeons helped to advance the cause of parents who lose a child in a work accident.
Besides the bill increasing funeral benefits for parents who lose their children in work accidents, the only other bill to pass that affected injured workers was a bill that gave employers protections for information given in employment references.
Besides the bill increasing funeral benefits for parents who lose their children in work accidents, the only other bill to pass that affected injured workers was a bill that gave employers protections for information given in employment references. As the bill was originally introduced by Sen. Charlie Janssen of Fremont, the bill would have given employers almost free reign to Continue reading →