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287.610. Additional administrative law judges, appointment and qualification, limit on number - annual evaluations - review committee, retention vote - jurisdiction, powers - continuing training required - performance audits required - rules. -1. After August 28, 2005, the division may appoint additional administrative law judges for a maximum of forty authorized administrative law judges. Appropriations shall be based upon necessity, measured by the requirements and needs of each division office. Administrative law judges shall be duly licensed lawyers under the laws of this state. Administrative law judges shall not practice law or do law business and shall devote their whole time to the duties of their office. The director of the division of workers' compensation shall publish and maintain on the division's website the appointment dates or initial dates of service for all administrative law judges.
2. The thirteen administrative law judges with the most years of service shall be subject to a retention vote on August 28, 2008. The next thirteen administrative law judges with the most years of service in descending order shall be subject to a retention vote on August 28, 2012. Administrative law judges appointed and not previously referenced in this subsection shall be subject to a retention vote on August 28, 2016. Subsequent retention votes shall be held every twelve years. Any administrative law judge who has received two or more votes of no confidence under performance audits by the committee shall not receive a vote of retention.
3. The administrative law judge review committee members shall not have any direct or indirect employment or financial connection with a workers' compensation insurance company, claims adjustment company, health care provider nor be a practicing workers' compensation attorney. All members of the committee shall have a working knowledge of workers' compensation.
4. The committee shall within thirty days of completing each performance audit make a recommendation of confidence or no confidence for each administrative law judge.
5. The administrative law judges appointed by the division shall only have jurisdiction to hear and determine claims upon original hearing and shall have no jurisdiction upon any review hearing, either in the way of an appeal from an original hearing or by way of reopening any prior award, except to correct a clerical error in an award or settlement if the correction is made by the administrative law judge within twenty days of the original award or settlement. The labor and industrial relations commission may remand any decision of an administrative law judge for a more complete finding of facts. The commission may also correct a clerical error in awards or settlements within thirty days of its final award. With respect to original hearings, the administrative law judges shall have such jurisdiction and powers as are vested in the division of workers' compensation under other sections of this chapter, and wherever in this chapter the word "commission", "commissioners" or "division" is used in respect to any original hearing, those terms shall mean the administrative law judges appointed under this section. When a hearing is necessary upon any claim, the division shall assign an administrative law judge to such hearing. Any administrative law judge shall have power to approve contracts of settlement, as provided by section 287.390, between the parties to any compensation claim or dispute under this chapter pending before the division of workers' compensation. Any award by an administrative law judge upon an original hearing shall have the same force and effect, shall be enforceable in the same manner as provided elsewhere in this chapter for awards by the labor and industrial relations commission, and shall be subject to review as provided by section 287.480.
6. Any of the administrative law judges employed pursuant to this section may be assigned on a temporary basis to the branch offices as necessary in order to ensure the proper administration of this chapter.
7. All administrative law judges shall be required to participate in, on a continuing basis, specific training that shall pertain to those elements of knowledge and procedure necessary for the efficient and competent performance of the administrative law judges' required duties and responsibilities. Such training requirements shall be established by the division subject to appropriations and shall include training in medical determinations and records, mediation and legal issues pertaining to workers' compensation adjudication. Such training may be credited toward any continuing legal education requirements.
8. (1) The administrative law judge review committee shall conduct a performance audit of all administrative law judges every two years. The audit results, stating the committee's recommendation of confidence or no confidence of each administrative law judge shall be sent to the governor no later than the first week of each legislative session immediately following such audit. Any administrative law judge who has received three or more votes of no confidence under two successive performance audits by the committee may have their appointment immediately withdrawn.
(2) The review committee shall consist of one member appointed by the president pro tem of the senate, one member appointed by the minority leader of the senate, one member appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, and one member appointed by the minority leader of the house of representatives. The governor shall appoint to the committee one member selected from the commission on retirement, removal, and discipline of judges. This member shall act as a member ex officio and shall not have a vote in the committee. The committee shall annually elect a chairperson from its members for a term of one year. The term of service for all members shall be two years. The review committee members shall all serve without compensation. Necessary expenses for review committee members and all necessary support services to the review committee shall be provided by the division.
9. No rule or portion of a rule promulgated pursuant to the authority of this section shall become effective unless it has been promulgated pursuant to the provisions of chapter 536.
(RSMo 1939 § 3747, A.L. 1945 p. 1996, A.L. 1951 p. 611, A.L. 1955 p. 599, A.L. 1957 p. 530, A.L. 1959 S.B. 209, H.B. 93, A.L. 1961 p. 428, A.L. 1977 S.B. 400, A.L. 1980 H.B. 1396, A.L. 1987 H.B. 564, A.L. 1992 H.B. 975, A.L. 1993 S.B. 251, A.L. 1998 H.B. 1237, et al., A.L. 2001 S.B. 267, A.L. 2005 S.B. 1 & 130, A.L. 2013 S.B. 1)
Prior revision: 1929 § 3357