A series of articles emphasizing practical
knowledge you can't find in practice guides
and interviews with experts who share
their techniques for effective and efficient
case management

 

How To Do It: Articles, Interviews &
Practice Tips

Articles emphasizing practical knowledge you can't find in practice guides

People Who Made A Difference
Profiles of people who changed workers’ compensation law.

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Warren Schneider
Marjory Harris


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In the first of a series of profiles on people who made a
difference in workers’ compensation law, Marjory Harris
interviews The Honorable Mervin N. Glow. During a
long and remarkable career as an applicants’ attorney,
Commissioner of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals
Board, workers’ compensation judge, and now a mentor
to attorneys, Merv Glow’s intelligence and compassion
have changed the law and the lives of many injured workers.

In 1976, Commissioner Mervin N. Glow wrote the opinion in Hardesty, a board panel decision
that is still a leading case on discovery in workers’ compensation law (Hardesty v. McCord
& Holdren, Inc.
, 41 CCC 111 (BPD-1976). The Board found that "the procedural provisions of
the Code of Civil Procedure (§§2016, et seq.) relating to discovery are not applicable in
workers' compensation proceedings. Proceedings before the Workers' Compensation Appeals
Board are governed by the specific provisions of the Labor Code and of the Board's Rules of
Practice and Procedure adopted pursuant to the authority conferred by §5307 of the Labor
Code, not by the Code of Civil Procedure." Apart from the subpoena and the deposition, no
other discovery methods have been incorporated from the Code of Civil Procedure [CCP].

In this interview, The Honorable Mervin Glow talks about the changes in workers’
compensation discovery since Hardesty, his achievements, and the current state of
workers’ compensation law and practice.

HARRIS: Commissioner Glow, do you think the Code of Civil Procedure discovery provisions
should be further integrated into workers’ compensation law, beyond the provisions for
subpoenas and depositions?

GLOW: No. In Hardesty I wrote, "We are enjoined by Article XX §21 [now Article XIV, §4]
of the Constitution of this state to afford the parties appearing before us a forum which shall
accomplish substantial justice in all cases expeditiously, inexpensively, and without
encumbrance of any character. The adoption by us of a set of rules relating to discovery
which would permit a paper war of interrogatories and would require frequent pre-trial
appearances by counsel to argue discovery motions would be inconsistent with that
constitutional mandate." Interrogatories would be an irresistible temptation, a goldmine to the
defense bar. They can bill by the hour. This also is true for production of documents. If they
want records, let them subpoena them.

WCJs (a title I was proud of and still use) don’t want to read 100 pages of deposition, or 30
pages of interrogatories and 112 pages of answers to interrogatories. They don’t want to
read all these medical records.

If they want to increase the discovery chores of applicants’ attorneys, they should require defendant to pay. In the old days, applicants’ attorneys were not paid to do depositions. The applicants’ bar lobbied for the §5710 fee, and if there are expanded discovery rights, there should be fees paid by defendant.

Next Page >

People Who Made a Difference
In this interview, The Honorable Mervin Glow
talks about the changes in workers' compensation
discovery since Hardesty, his achievements, and
the current state of workers' compensation law
and practice.
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