Monday, February 11, 2013

What is a Stipulation Status Conference? MN Workers' Compensation Proceedings

My workers’ compensation case settled. I received Notice of a Stipulation Status Conference from the Office of Administrative Hearings. What is this? 

A Stipulation Status Conference is an informal conference scheduled by the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) to determine or confirm the status of a pending dispute. Once OAH has been notified that a workers’ compensation case has settled, the case is scheduled for a Stipulation Status Conference several weeks later.

The purpose of the Stipulation Status Conference is essentially to ensure that a Stipulation for Settlement is filed with the Court in a timely manner once a case has settled. In some cases, there are numerous issues that must be resolved even after a tentative agreement is reached. For example, medical providers must often be negotiated with concerning resolution of their outstanding bills. If there are many medical providers, or intervenors, it can take additional time to resolve all of the outstanding medical expenses. In other cases, it can take time to procure additional documentation or information before a settlement can be finalized. In these instances, if a settlement is taking longer than anticipated to finalize, the purpose of the Stipulation Status Conference is to ensure that the parties are moving things in the right direction, and to offer the assistance of the Court in resolving outstanding matters.

Rarely, after a tentative settlement has been reached, one or more of the parties decides to back out of the settlement. During a Stipulation Status Conference, the Court will place the matter back on the trial calendar if a tentative settlement falls apart.

As a rule, our clients do not need to attend Stipulation Status Conferences. Most often, they are cancelled prior to the date of the conference, once the appropriate paperwork has been filed. If a Stipulation Status Conference does take place, and you are represented by Meuser & Associate, Ron or Jen will attend on your behalf.

If you are not represented, or if you are represented by another Minnesota workers’ compensation attorney, you should either plan to attend, or ask your attorney whether you need to attend or not. For a free, no-obligation workers’ compensation legal consultation, contact Meuser & Associate at 877-746-5680 or click here to send us an email.


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