MOCK HEARING EXERCISE
-EMPLOYER REPRESENTATIVE ASSIGNMENT-
You are a representative for the EMPLOYER, (THE DEFENDANT) that will be listed in a case summary provided to you by the Professor. Your client has DENIED THE WORKER’S COMPENSATION CLAIM listed in your case summary.
As the defendant’s representative in our Mock Workers’ Compensation Hearing, your job will be to offer the employer’s evidence to present your clients’ version of the facts. You will undermine the employee’s (the plaintiff) case by showing that they cannot prove that they were injured during the course and scope of their employment or that the case is fraudulent in some way. You will prove that the plaintiff’s testimony and evidence have no bearing on the true issues of the case and is completely irrelevant to the facts of the case.
Your opponent, the employee, has filed an appeal regarding the denial of benefits from the employer with the workers’ compensation board in the state listed in your case. It is your job to defend your company against this appeal to a designated Administrative Law Judge. In order to accomplish this goal, you will be required to do the following:
IN ORDER TO READ YOUR CASE YOU WILL NEED ACCESS TO A COMPUTER
WITH WORKING VERSION OF ADOBE READER (THE LATEST VERSION AVAILABLE).
ADOBE READER IS A FREE PROGRAM, AND YOU CAN DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY FOR INSTALLATION AT www.adobe.com
(2) DEVELOP A CASE DEFENDING YOUR POSITION AND PRESENT YOUR CASE TO THE JUDGE (THE PROFESSOR).
A. Opening Statement
The opening statement will be typed. It must be between 150-200 words. The statement will introduce the case and outline the arguments that you are about to make.
B. Presentation of Evidence
Each piece of evidence will be accompanied by a short paragraph explaining what the piece of evidence is and how it supports the argument for denial of Worker’s Compensation. Be sure to refer to the evidence by it’s exhibit number to ensure I am looking at the piece of evidence you are describing in the paragraph.
C. Closing Statement
The closing statement will be typed. It must be between 150-200 words. The statement will sum up the arguments that you have just made and the evidence you have presented.
(3) CREATE “FROM SCRATCH” A MINIMUM OF TEN PIECES OF EVIDENCE SUPPORTING YOUR
Each piece of evidence should be marked to ensure there are no mix-ups during the grading process. All pieces of evidence will be marked in the top right-hand corner with your last name and an exhibit number like this: Nichols, Exhibit 1
A. Either one (one minute) video clip or Five photos
All photos (or video) must support an argument you are trying to make to support your case. For example, either the photo or video footage might depict the employee performing some action outside of their home that they should physically not be able to do with the type of injury they are claiming to have sustained.
Many of the employee descriptions are rather vague, however your photo (or video) evidence must match whatever descriptions are provided. For example, if the injured employee is a 50-year-old male, the pictures should not be of a woman.
Photo evidence can include pictures of the employee presumably taken by private investigator, social media posts, x-rays, MRIs, maps, photos of the work area, etc. If you are not sure an idea you have would qualify, email me to ask.
You may find pictures online or stage the pictures. If you find them online, you do not have to have the same person in every picture, however, the person in each of your pictures should look similar enough that we could believe that it is the same person (about the same weight, age, race, hair color, etc.).
If you make, or find, a video that works as supporting evidence for your case. The one video takes the place of all five required photos. You may still provide additional photographic evidence if you fell it is necessary to fully support your case.
You can make up evidence that is not specifically discussed in you case. Make up the type of evidence you would like to have available if you were really defending a case like the one you were assigned.
B. Five typed supporting documents
Similarly, all documents should support the arguments you are trying to make in support of your case to deny Worker’s Compensation coverage. For example, a document might be a medical report from a physician or licensed health care professional (PLHCP). Documents may also take the form of witness statements, accident reports, medical evaluations, etc.
**ALL DOCUMENTS UTILIZED MUST BE CREATED “FROM SCRATCH” AND LOOK AS AUTHENTIC AS POSSIBLE TO YOUR CASE. This means you can not find documents that another student has created in the past for this course. You must do your own work. You may use forms that you find online, however they must be for the appropriate state and/or agency described in your case. They must also be completed with details that would support your case.
You may notice that some of the documents used as examples in this packet are notarized, you are not required to get documents notarized to make them look authentic. Most documents would not be notarized in a real hearing.
**FAILURE TO PRODUCE THE REQUIRED PIECES OF EVIDENCE TO SUPPORTING YOUR CASE WILL RESULT IN A DEDUCTION OF 4 POINTS PER PIECE OF EVIDENCE.
Additional Notes Regarding the Exercise:
IN ALL CASES, ASSUME THAT THE EMPLOYER OR INSURANCE COMPANY (WHICHEVER
IS APPLIABLE) HAS DENIED THE CLAIM.
DATES OF ACCIDENTS AND/OR MISSING WORKDAYS ARE NOT IN DISPUTE WITH EITHER PARTY.
Notes on Past Decisions
THE CASE SUMMARIES THAT YOU ARE PROVIDED HAVE ALREADY BEEN DECIDED BY AN ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE IN AN ACTUAL WORKER’S COMPENSATION HEARING.
REGARDLESS OF THAT DECISION, YOU MUST EFFECTIVELY PRESENT YOUR CASE AS IF THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THE CASE HAS BEEN DENIED AND NO DECISION HAS YET BEEN MADE.
The Decision in Your Case
The Professor will provide you with a final decision (whether you “won”) and you grade during the final week of the course.
Sample Case Materials
This section includes sample excerpts from another student’s case. UTILIZE THESE EXCERPTS AS AN EXAMPLE OF THE LEVEL OF QUALITY AND LENGTH THAT YOUR MATERIALS SHOULD REACH. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ARE YOU ALLOWED TO ACTUALLY UTILIZE THE ENCLOSED EXAMPLES IN YOUR CASE’S CONSTRUCTION. The examples are presented only as guides to follow for your case construction. Some of the evidence will not be relevant for your specific case, so do not simply replicate what this student did. Make up the best evidence to support the case you were assigned.