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Board Virtual Hearings Live in Multiple Districts; Major Changes for Parties Requesting Hearing Record

The rollout process for the Board’s new virtual hearing system continues.  Virtual hearings are live in the Capital, Binghamton, Brooklyn, Syracuse, and Rochester Districts of the Board as of mid-April, and will come to the Buffalo District on 6/13/18.  The virtual hearing system has had its share of growing pains. We expect future tweaks and improvements as the rollout continues. As our attorneys and clients become accustomed to this new hearing process, we offer the following tips:

 

  1. Hearing transcripts can no longer be requested or obtained directly from Board employed court reporters because virtual hearings are audio recorded without a live reporter.  In appropriate cases our office will arrange to have the recordings transcribed by an outside reporter for use in preparing legal briefs or ongoing litigation.  These transcripts will not be official hearing records, but are useful nonetheless in cases involving testimony or complicated legal issues for, among other things, preparation of Memoranda of Law requested by WCLJs and cross-examination of witnesses at later trial hearings.
  2. The virtual hearing process makes “picking up” a hearing without notice from the carrier/employer difficult because our attorneys no longer have access to the Board’s master list of hearings on calendar for a given day.  As such, extra care must be taken to ensure our office receives timely notice of any hearings that clients wish for us to handle.

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