August 7th, 2020
workers compensation
ALABAMA SUPREME COURT AUTHORIZES WORKERS’ COMPENSATION SETTLEMENT APPROVAL HEARINGS VIA TELEPHONIC AND VIDEO CONFERENCES

On March 18, 2020, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alabama Supreme Court entered its “Administrative Order Concerning Workers’ Compensation Cases During the Suspension of In-Person Proceedings”.  The Administrative Order allows circuit court judges and Ombudsmen of the Alabama Department of Labor to approve any worker’s compensation settlement via telephonic or video conferencing. On May 13, 2020, the Alabama Supreme Court issued an Administrative Order extending its March 18, 2020 Administrative Order regarding approval of workers’ compensation settlements, but also allowing courts to resume in-person hearings, subject to the approval of the Presiding Circuit Judge for each circuit. Despite the May 13 Administrative Order, most of the courts which we practice have continued conducting settlement approval hearings telephonically or via video conferencing. We have been pleased with the efficiency of this process and expect courts will continue to conduct settlement approval hearings through telephonic and video conferencing for the foreseeable future.

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