Heyl Royster

 

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Elward Examines Court’s Ruling on Mailbox Rule for Workers’ Comp Judicial Review Filings

02/24/2014

Brad Elward (Peoria) authored an article that was recently published in the Illinois State Bar Journal entitled, "The Mailbox Rule and Workers’ Comp: A Better Route for Circuit Court Review." The article discusses the Illinois Supreme Court case of Gruszeczka v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Comm’n, 2013 IL 114212, decided August 1, 2013, which held the so-called "mailbox rule" applied to judicial reviews from the Commission to the circuit court. The mailbox rule, previously inapplicable to such filings, equates mailing with filing, meaning that counsel is no longer required to travel long distances across the state to file judicial reviews. With proper proof of service documentation, judicial reviews can be filed by placing the requisite documents and proof of service into the mail. The documents will then be deemed filed when placed in the mail.

The timely filing of a judicial review to the circuit court has long been a problem for litigants due to the extremely short period of time – 20 days – within which the documents must be filed. For employers, this short time period is accentuated by the additional requirement of filing an appeal surety bond, which often takes additional time to acquire and execute. Brad’s article explains the Supreme Court’s decision in the context of workers’ compensation reviews and offers practitioners solid advice on how best to take advantage of the change in the law while still protecting their clients.

Brad is president of the Appellate Lawyers’ Association and a member of the firm’s Appellate and Workers’ Compensation Practices. On February 19, he spoke at an Appellate Lawyers Association Administrative Law and Workers’ Compensation Review seminar in Chicago on issues relating to judicial reviews and the recent mailbox ruling.

Click here to view the full article.