Trash Talking With My Fellow Bloggers at the National Workers' Comp Conference

04 Jun, 2012 Bob Wilson


The agenda for the 21st Annual National Workers' Compensation and Disability Conference & Expo has been released, and I am pleased to say I managed to worm my way onto it once again. I will be appearing in a Thursday afternoon session featuring the industry's best known bloggers entitled "Front and Center: Bloggers Speak Out on the State of Workers' Compensation". What I am actually doing on the panel I have not quite figured out.

The panel consists of Joe Paduda (ManagedCareMatters), Rebecca Shafer (, David DePaolo (DePaolo's Work Comp World), Peter Rousmaniere (Working Immigrants) and, of course me. The session is moderated by Mark Walls. Ostensibly we will be discussing important topics related to workers' compensation. In reality it may just wind up as a mad rush to out pundit one another. I say it is just a matter of days before the inevitable trash talking begins.

There are some challenges regarding this.

Trash talking Paduda and DePaolo will be easy. I mean, have you met them?

Of all of them, I go back the farthest with Dave DePaolo. I knew Dave when he had hair. I'm kidding, of course. Dave never had hair. We first communicated in 2000 when he threatened me with legal action when he thought we had lifted something from his website. Please, like anybody visits his website (It actually was a document we got from the state. Turns out THEY had lifted it from his site). Dave and I do agree on one significant point; he cannot understand what I am doing on the panel.

Joe Paduda, on the other hand, is a more recent “acquired taste”. Kind of like garlic - once you've been exposed to it everyone in the room will know. Paduda is a good and likable guy, if you can drag yourself past his slightly to the left of Karl Marx viewpoint. I can honestly say that between Joe and I, we know everything there is to know. He knows absolutely everything in the world except that he is wrong, and I know that.

Trash talking Rebecca Shafer will be a bit tougher. Quiet, reserved, cautious and demur on the surface, she is mean as hell and tough as nails underneath. She leaves us with the unavoidable dilemma of looking like we are beating up on Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, while risking getting shot, field dressed and buried on a Michigan Christmas Tree farm when no one is looking.

And then we have Peter Rousmaniere. Honestly, I don't think he knows the first thing about how to do this. Talking smack about Peter would be akin to mugging Mr. Smith the moment he arrives in Washington. He is the grand patriarch of workers comp writing and analysis. Trash talking him will be like kicking Yoda in the crotch. The force will not be with you.

I should note that the moderator, Mark Walls, will, due to his insurance industry induced conservative nature, largely remain above the fray. Although the young girls, whose job it will be to lay rose petals at his feet wherever he treads, may find the atmosphere a bit hostile for their Zen like preferences.

So there you have it. In all seriousness, this is going to be a terrific session, and I expect it to have fantastic give and take. We don't agree on everything, but we actually all get along quite well.

Which is remarkable when you consider the outsized ego's a COUPLE OF THEM lug around all day.

I'm just warning everybody that this could get ugly. I don't know when the trash talk will start, or who will launch the first volley. It won't be me, I assure you.

I'm a uniter.


You can get the full agenda and sign up for the conference online here, and they even have allowed my readers to save a decent chunk of change ($320) by using Promo code WILSON12.


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