I am a Certified Legal specialist in California workers' compensation. I have an office in Point Arena California.
Free Consultation The WCAB does not allow attorneys practicing workers compensation to bill clients directly and all attorney fees must be approved by the court. In sum, the applicant has no exposure to pay attorney fees absent an award from the court.
Contingent Fees On occasion I will prosecute a 132a discrimination claim and may request a contingency fee relating to any recovery.
A: 1) If the WCJ believes testimony is needed, then there will be a court reporter, otherwise most everything will be done in the WCJ chambers.
2) Yes you have all the rights available with respect to any trial result.
The attorney is entitled to payment Quantum Merit. That means the attorney gets paid for work done. I bill at $425 an hour, so it doesn't take long to generate thousands of dollars in attorney fees, especially with phone calls and emails billing at .2 hr each. You say you fired the attorney "for cause" but that can mean many things. For example, cause would be showing up late for a court date, or dressing improperly, etc. Yes, the attorney got fired, but the attorney is entitled to get paid for all work done up the the time the attorney was fired.
To keep it short, you are not going to convince at WCJ not to award attorney fees. I suggest you bargain with the attorney for a 12% fee and move on with your life.