Welcome to the first ever George and Wallach, LLLP Blog post. I am told that Blog posts are necessary to keep our client base engaged and to introduce the firm to current and potential clients, so here goes.
Our firm has been in operation through various names for 70 years. I came to work here at what was then George & George, a vibrant, well-respected and well-established law firm the summer of 1986 just after my second year of law school. I was hired to be a law clerk for the summer. Summer? Well, that 35 years has flown by, but it is has still been a LOOOOOOONG summer. I felt like the new guy for a long time, but I have now been here half of the firm’s existence.
And here it is summer again…
While our firm handles a number of types of cases, we are likely best known for our advocacy in workers’ compensation cases and our involvement in the larger workers compensation world. Workers’ Compensation, particularly here in Georgia, is a unique world with a lot of ins and outs that distinguish it from general personal injury practice and many other sorts of law as well.
It’s a quirky, demanding and frequently frustrating area of the law, but it is also wonderfully rewarding at times. When the workers’ compensation system is used for the benefit of the injured workers as opposed to folks who are solely interested in profits, a positive or at least less negative result can often be dragged out of the ashes of a significant work injury or even the loss of a career. Our goal as a firm is to facilitate that positive outcome by focusing on our client’s needs.
I have not made any real decisions yet as to the direction this blog will take, the content that can be expected from it or even how frequently it will be updated, but please check back when you can so that you can see “what’s up.”
For the moment we will focus on some changes at the State Board of Workers’ Compensation, the state agency that regulates Georgia’s Workers Compensation system. The Board oversees the activities of the insurance companies and other role-players in the system and contains its own judiciary broken up into a trial division and an appellate division. The 3 judges on the appellate division are also the “directors” of the State Board. One is the Chairman.
Gov. Kemp has, in the last year, appointed all 3 members of the Board. Chairman Benjamin Vinson was formerly a member of the Board but not the Chairman. Judge Frank McKay was formerly Chairman and is now one of the Member/Judges. Judge Neera Bahl is the third member of the Board. To learn more about the State Board of Workers Compensation, click here: sbwc.georgia.gov/organization/about-state-board-workers-compensation
This year, for the first time in its history, the State Board has published its new rules for comment before they go into effect. You can see what they published here: sbwc.georgia.gov/notice-proposed-board-rules-changes-be-adopted-july-1-2021 To many folks, this is a substantial improvement in the way the State Board ”does business” and it will be interesting to see how public participation in shaping our workers compensation system will develop. Hang on…it could be a bumpy ride…