In the conference the parties are required to attempt to come to an agreement about the case. Attending the conference is a must but it is not mandatory that the case be settled during the conference. Employees need to attend the Mandatory Settlement Conference just in case a settlement is reached. All settlements must however be approved by a judge.
Your presence is important for signatory purposes. However most of the time your attorney will do the talking and discussions while you wait outside for the outcome. If a settlement is reached your lawyer will convey the message to you. If not then the workers comp California claim will proceed to a trial. Sometimes a different date may be set for another conference subject to the judge’s approval.
Where no settlement is reached you attorney will fills out papers that describe the issues agreed upon and what issues will depend on the judge’s decision. The attorney should also list all your witnesses medical reports and exhibits. The list should be comprehensive at this stage because after the Mandatory Settlement Conference no witnesses or exhibits can be added to the list.
Cases that do not settle either go through a trial a second conference or are taken off calendar. If you are set for trial your attorney should prepare you for court proceedings. Unless the reason is good enough for not settling the case most judges will not set another date for a second conference. If a case is taken off calendar it means that you have agreed with your employer to go to an Agreed Medical Examiner or the settlement has been agreed but it will take time to finalize and sign. In this case the judge holds the file for a period up to 30 days.
The Mandatory Settlement Conference is not handled by the same judge who handles a workers comp California trial. A lawyer who knows the personality of a judge assigned the trial will know whether to settle the case or proceed to trial. During the cases it is important for the employee to be honest with the claims to get a reasonable compensation.