I recently read an interesting blog post by Bob Wilson. When I saw the title "What if Workers' Comp Surveyed Like McDonald's?" I heard Carly Simon in my head: "You probably think this (blog) is about you, You're so vain." It wasn't, not any more than Love Story was about Al Gore. Perhaps I am too vain, but the Wilson post coincided closely with our deployment of the 2021 judicial survey.
The Wilson post is essentially a suggestion that you "don't ask the question if you are not interested in a real and true answer." There is an old adage passed around by lawyers; it comes from To Kill a Mockingbird. The author, Harper Lee, warns "“Never, never, never, on cross-examination ask a witness a question you don't already know the answer to, was a tenet I absorbed with my baby-food.” Not bad advice. I have seen a fair few lawyers ask questions that they wish they never had. I have even seen them introduce documentary evidence that proved the other party's case for them. In one memorable example, I listened to that "other party's" lawyer argue vehemently against admitting the documentary evidence the lawyer wanted to admit. Forgive me, but I digress.
That adage is true, much of the time in trial. But, the survey is not cross-examination. It is direct. The questions are open-ended and afford you the opportunity to comment freely. It is probable that we can learn from the answers you will provide on the survey. After all, this is not a case, a hearing, or a motion. This is your state adjudication system for workers' compensation claims. It should, in large part, be about those it serves: employees and employers. Of course, it is also about the law.
This post is actually about the annual chance to enhance. For the fourteenth year in a row, the OJCC has recently deployed the annual survey in conjunction with The Florida Bar Workers' Compensation Section. And, "no" you do not get a free ice cream cone if you complete it. And, "no," your "chances of winning" do not change based on whether you provide positivity or negativity. Seriously, read Bob's post if really don't believe someone would entice in exchange for a more positive response.
We ask a few things. First, If you have not been before a particular mediator or judge in the last three years, please elect not to respond regarding that person. The point of the survey is to afford insight into the perceptions of people recently, currently, acquainted with the judge or mediator. We ask that you complete some demographic information regarding your geography, chronology, etc. And, we ask that you provide an objective assessment of your perceptions of each judge or mediator for whom you provide feedback. The survey is not about vitriol or insults. What we need is your frankness and positive ideas for improvement.
In Above the Law, Steven Segal is faced with overwhelming odds. A gang member points out that the hero Steven Seagal is in a precarious position: "I don't think you can take us all." To which Seagal replies: “You're right, but I'll get an ‘A' for effort." Does effort count? Perhaps it should? As you answer, perhaps consider your perceptions as to whether a particular judge or mediator should be recognized for effort. Did some mediator over the last year go that extra mile in your case? Did someone show you patience, courtesy, caring? Speaking of an A for effort, I appreciate you for putting forth the effort to complete the survey. Each of you that takes the time gets an A in my book.
We ask that you are frank and positive. For each of the various categories, there is an opportunity to leave a comment. If you select a low numerical value for something, the system will prompt you to leave a comment. That is your opportunity to suggest how something could be improved. If there is something you do not like, why not propose what you believe would be better? If someone is performing well, why not take a moment and explain how? I find in every trial there is something that impresses me. I strive to provide feedback so that lawyers know.
This is your chance to do the same. If you are not satisfied, suggest what would help. If you are satisfied, take the time to say what impresses you. The survey is only of value if you take advantage of the opportunity. Your input is critical. The survey is open to attorneys that are registered for e-JCC or are members of the Workers' Compensation Section. If you did not receive an email (or it got in the spam-folder), send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Disclaimer: WorkersCompensation.com publishes independently generated writings from a variety of workers' compensation industry stakeholders. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of WorkersCompensation.com.