LABOR AND INDUSTRIES
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Chapter 296-08 WAC, Practice and procedure and chapter 296-14 WAC,
THIS RULE IS BEING PROPOSED UNDER AN EXPEDITED RULE-MAKING PROCESS THAT WILL ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR THE AGENCY TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS, PREPARE A SMALL BUSINESS ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT, OR PROVIDE RESPONSES TO THE CRITERIA FOR A SIGNIFICANT LEGISLATIVE RULE. IF YOU OBJECT TO THIS USE OF THE EXPEDITED RULE-MAKING PROCESS, YOU MUST EXPRESS YOUR OBJECTIONS IN WRITING AND THEY MUST BE SENT TO Carmen Moore, Department of Labor and Industries, P.O. Box 44001, Olympia, WA 98504-4001 , AND RECEIVED BY January 23, 2006.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: This rule making will repeal chapter 296-08 WAC, Practice and procedure. However, WAC 296-08-025 Attorney's fees, will be incorporated into existing chapter 296-14 WAC, Industrial insurance. There are no anticipated effects as, with the exception of WAC 296-08-025, the rules have not been used for years.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: To promote more efficient government, the department is engaged in an ongoing review of its rules and policies. This repeal will eliminate a group of rules that is unused and nonessential to department and public business. It will move the one remaining essential rule to an appropriate existing WAC chapter.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapters 51.04, 51.08, 51.12, 51.24, and 51.32 RCW.
Statute Being Implemented: RCW 51.52.120, 51.04.020, and 7.68.110.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: Department of Labor and Industries, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Joseph Molenda, Tumwater, (360) 902-4714; Implementation: Russell D. Johnson, Tumwater, (360) 902-6695; and Enforcement: Cynthia Harris, Tumwater, (360) 902-6961.
November 22, 2005
WAC 296-14-955 Attorney's fees. (1) The department of labor and industries (hereinafter department) shall fix a reasonable attorney fee to be paid by the worker, crime victim, or beneficiary for services rendered with the department if written application therefor is made by the attorney, worker, crime victim, or beneficiary, as provided in RCW 51.52.120.
(a) Fees will be set only for services rendered prior to the notice of appeal;
(b) On closed claims, fees will only be set if written application is received by the department within one year from the claim closure date as indicated on the department order.
(c) If such application for fixing of a fee is made by the attorney, it shall set forth therein the monetary amount which the attorney considers reasonable for all services rendered with the department, the reason such fee is considered to be reasonable, and a detailed breakdown of the time spent by the attorney in representing the injured worker.
(d) In all instances, the department shall afford to all parties affected a minimum of ten days in which to submit comment and material information which may be helpful to the department in setting a fair and reasonable fee.
(e) The department will provide copies of information sent to the department to the attorney, worker, crime victim, or beneficiary upon request.
(f) Informal contact may be made with the parties to determine the feasibility of reaching an agreement on the amount of the fees.
(g) Additional information necessary to reach a decision may be requested by the department.
(2) Fee fixing criteria. All attorney fees fixed by the department where application therefor has been made shall be established in accordance with the following general principles:
(a) Only one fee shall be fixed for legal services in any one claim regardless of the number of attorneys representing the worker, crime victim, or beneficiary, except that in cases of multiple beneficiaries represented by one or multiple attorneys the department has the discretion to set more than one attorney fee if so requested.
(b) The department shall defer fixing a fee until such time as information, which it deems sufficient upon which to base a fee, is available.
(c) A fee shall be fixed only in those cases where the attorney's services are instrumental in securing additional benefits to the worker, crime victim, or beneficiary.
(d) Where increased compensation is obtained, the fee may be fixed without regard to any medical benefits secured.
(e) In setting all fees, the following factors shall be carefully considered and weighed:
(i) Nature of the claim.
(ii) Novelty and complexity of the issues presented or other unusual circumstances.
(iii) Time and labor expended.
(iv) Skill and diligence in resolving the claim.
(v) Extent and nature of the relief.
(vi) The prevalent practice of charging contingency fees in the department.
(vii) The worker's or crime victim's circumstance and the remedial social purposes of the Industrial Insurance Act and of the Crime Victims Compensation Act, which are intended to provide sure and adequate relief to injured workers and crime victims and their families.
(3) The manager of the claims consultant division of the department is the director's designee to process all petitions to set attorney's fees and to issue orders setting those fees for services rendered by attorneys in securing industrial insurance benefits. The supervisor of the crime victims section of the department is the director's designee to process all petitions to set attorney's fees and to issue orders setting those fees for services rendered by attorneys in securing crime victims benefits.
The following chapter of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed:
|WAC 296-08-001||Effective date and validity.|
|WAC 296-08-010||Appearance and practice before agency -- Who may appear.|
|WAC 296-08-020||Appearance and practice before agency -- Appearance in certain proceedings may be limited to attorneys.|
|WAC 296-08-025||Attorney's fees.|
|WAC 296-08-030||Appearance and practice before agency -- Solicitation of business unethical.|
|WAC 296-08-040||Appearance and practice before agency -- Standards of ethical conduct.|
|WAC 296-08-050||Appearance and practice before agency -- Appearance by former employee of agency or former member of attorney general's staff.|
|WAC 296-08-060||Appearance and practice before agency -- Former employee as expert witness.|
|WAC 296-08-070||Computation of time.|
|WAC 296-08-080||Notice and opportunity for hearing in contested cases.|
|WAC 296-08-090||Service of process -- By whom served.|
|WAC 296-08-100||Service of process -- Upon whom served.|
|WAC 296-08-110||Service of process -- Service upon parties.|
|WAC 296-08-120||Service of process -- Methods of service.|
|WAC 296-08-130||Service of process -- When service complete.|
|WAC 296-08-140||Service of process -- Filing with agency.|
|WAC 296-08-150||Subpoenas -- Where provided by law -- Form.|
|WAC 296-08-160||Subpoenas -- Issuance to parties.|
|WAC 296-08-170||Subpoenas -- Service.|
|WAC 296-08-180||Subpoenas -- Fees.|
|WAC 296-08-190||Subpoenas -- Proof of service.|
|WAC 296-08-200||Subpoenas -- Quashing.|
|WAC 296-08-210||Subpoenas -- Enforcement.|
|WAC 296-08-220||Subpoenas -- Geographical scope.|
|WAC 296-08-370||Official notice -- Matters of law.|
|WAC 296-08-380||Official notice -- Material facts.|
|WAC 296-08-400||Stipulations and admissions of record.|
|WAC 296-08-410||Form and content of decisions in contested cases.|
|WAC 296-08-420||Definition of issues before hearing.|
|WAC 296-08-430||Prehearing conference rule -- Authorized.|
|WAC 296-08-440||Prehearing conference rule -- Record of conference action.|
|WAC 296-08-450||Submission of documentary evidence in advance.|
|WAC 296-08-460||Excerpts from documentary evidence.|
|WAC 296-08-470||Expert or opinion testimony and testimony based on economic and statistical data -- Number and qualifications of witnesses.|
|WAC 296-08-480||Expert or opinion testimony and testimony based on economic and statistical data -- Written sworn statements.|
|WAC 296-08-490||Expert or opinion testimony and testimony based on economic and statistical data -- Supporting data.|
|WAC 296-08-500||Expert or opinion testimony and testimony based on economic and statistical data -- Effect of noncompliance with WAC 296-08-470 or 296-08-480.|
|WAC 296-08-520||Rules of evidence -- Admissibility criteria.|
|WAC 296-08-530||Rules of evidence -- Tentative admission -- Exclusion -- Discontinuance -- Objections.|
|WAC 296-08-540||Petitions for rule making, amendment or repeal.|
|WAC 296-08-550||Petitions for rule making, amendment or repeal -- Requisites.|
|WAC 296-08-560||Petitions for rule making, amendment or repeal -- Agency must consider.|
|WAC 296-08-570||Petitions for rule making, amendment or repeal -- Notice of disposition.|
|WAC 296-08-580||Declaratory rulings.|