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Mississippi Workers' Compensation Legal Library

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Procedural Rule 2.7 Hearings; Discovery.

All evidentiary hearings before an Administrative Judge or review hearings before the Commission, shall be docketed with the Commission at least twenty-three (23) days before the date set for hearing, except when the parties otherwise agree or when shorter notice is allowed by statute or rule, including but not limited to Miss. Code Ann. Sec. 71-3-17(b) and Mississippi

Workers' Compensation Commission General Rule 1.9. The Commission will provide all parties written notice of the date, time and place of the hearing.

At each evidentiary hearing before an Administrative Judge, the employer shall have the claims professional handling the claim present at the hearing or available to the Commission by telephone during the entirety of the hearing. Parties will bring three (3) hard copies of all proposed exhibits to the hearing. Medical records must be paginated and presented in chronological order. Twenty-three days after Claimant files a Petition to Controvert, the claim shall be assigned to an Administrative Judge and placed on the active docket. Discovery shall be completed and medical depositions scheduled within 120 days after the claim is placed on the active docket.

A party may request extension of the 120-day time limitation for discovery if there is credible medical evidence that the claimant has not reached maximum medical improvement or if other good cause is shown in writing to the Administrative Judge. The discovery deadline may be shortened to as few as sixty (60) days if the claimant files a complete Prehearing Statement indicating discovery is complete and the claim is ready for a hearing on the merits; in that event, employer/carrier will have fifteen (15) days after the filing of the claimant's Prehearing Statement to file its completed Prehearing Statement or written request for additional time.

Unless the Administrative Judge finds a bifurcated hearing will expedite resolution of a claim, all claims shall be completed at one hearing on the merits, and all lay, expert, and documentary evidence, including medical depositions, shall be introduced at the hearing. All issues ripe for determination at the time of the hearing shall be addressed at the hearing.

Absent the illness of a party or other extreme circumstances, no claim set for a hearing on the merits shall be continued. All requests for continuances shall be in writing and state with particularity the grounds for the request. An Administrative Judge or a Commissioner may grant a continuance by written order or hearing cancellation notice.

If a party fails to appear at a scheduled hearing, the Administrative Judge on the Administrative Judge's motion, or the motion of a party, may dismiss the claim or award compensation upon presentation of proper proof. If a justifiable reason for the party's absence is presented within fourteen (14) days after the date of the order dismissing or awarding compensation the Commission or Administrative Judge may grant a motion to reopen or set aside the order of dismissal.

Each controverted claim not set for hearing shall be reviewed periodically. Failure of the party or the party's attorney to respond to a status inquiry within twenty (20) days may result in the dismissal of the claim, award of benefits, or other sanctions.

This Rule shall be in force and effect on and after January 18, 2018.

Source: Miss. Code Ann. § 71-3-85.

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