Synopsis: Lots of My Readers are Asking—What is Up, Are You Still Writing the KCB&A Update?


Editor’s comment: The problem I am facing during the Great Pandemic of 2020-2021 is there isn’t much news that I feel is of interest to the greater WC community. There have been very few IL WC Appellate Court rulings to report on. I am not a “news-creator” and don’t feel it necessary to stretch to find headlines. When I have news that is “fit to print,” I promise to publish.


Here are a couple of thoughts that may be of interest to you.


First, CompFile for IL WC is interesting and “real.” Settlement contracts are already part and parcel of this new process. The transcript phase of CompFile is about to launch. Please take the time to read below for information on how the system will work on the court reporter end of things. Also included are a few suggestions that will improve the ease of transition to CompFile for court reporters and attorneys/paralegals on both sides.


In IL Zones 1, 2 and 3, transcripts are ordered by both parties 95% of the time. The transcript is then sent to you by email and a copy is also sent to the Arbitrator. Both parties split the cost. This will remain unchanged. 

When a Petition for Review to the IWCC panel is filed, there will be no more paper copies of the transcripts mailed—it will all be online. All transcripts will now be accessed through CompFile. The assigned court reporter will upload the transcript and associated exhibits to CompFile. If both sides order an interim transcript, the cost of the exhibits will be the only charge remaining to both parties if an appeal is filed and this will be split between both parties. Again, this is ONLY if both sides order an interim transcript at the time of the trial. Please be aware that the CompFile system tracks downloads of the transcripts. If you do not purchase a transcript, you are not entitled to the court reporter’s work product. 

As has been your practice in the past, the certified court reporters would appreciate prompt payment once the transcript is uploaded and available in CompFile. Some court reporters will be requiring pre-payment but they do not want to do that if they don’t have to. When only one party orders at the time of trial, the necessary price adjustments will be applied, but do keep in mind it is considerably more cost=effective when both sides split the transcript at the time of trial, and the arbitrators have all told the reporters it is extremely helpful to them when they have a copy of the transcript when writing their decisions.

Please consider the following while we make the transition to CompFile—Stop With Staples!

The court reporters will be responsible for scanning all exhibit pages which will now be found at the end of the transcript rather than incorporated within. Staples make the scanning process difficult. Pages can be missed and torn. If you would consider using clips instead, it would make the reporter’s job much easier. Accumulated clips will be returned in bulk during dockets to reduce the added expense to your office so they can be reused.

Please don’t submit double-sided pages. 

Another very helpful thing would be if you would number each page within your exhibits. The numbering of pages will ensure that all pages are present and complete.

As far as DVDs, thumb drives, etc., please assume we will be schooled on that at some point but right now we have no idea how those types of exhibits will work. Now they just stay with the file.

I appreciate your thoughts and comments. Please post them on our award-winning blog.



Synopsis: If Something isn’t Mentioned in the IL WC Act or Rules, It Doesn’t Mean It Doesn’t “Exist.”


Editor’s comment: One of the Top Petitioner’s Attorneys Wrote in the WC Section of the ISBA Blog:


“The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act doesn’t have any provisions regarding nurse case managers. So, I do not allow such persons to be involved in any aspect of the case.”


I have heard this objection to nurse case managers before. Please note my constant advice to the other side of the WC bar—no one puts an NCM or telephonic nurse on a claim because it is a minor claim.


Here are some simple thoughts—there are lots and lots of things that we deal with every day as WC professionals that aren’t mentioned in the law.


For one example, in the IL WC Act and Rules, there is a very short mention of Certified Vocational Counselors or CRC’s. The law confirms they have to be “certified.” There are no other provisions. CRC’s are used all the time by both sides of the bar.


Second, there is no provision or description of FCE’s or functional capacity evaluations. I do not feel FCE’s are “medicine” and should not be used, ever. Funny how they appear in case after case.


Third, Surveillance operatives are used constantly in workers’ compensation claims across the U.S. There is no mention of them in the IL WC Act or Rules. Their work, if relevant, is admissible and appears in numerous claims.


The simple point I am making is nurse case managers have a role in handling a WC claim. They are used when their expertise suits the claim. They follow rules and guidelines recommended by Petitioner’s attorneys. In my view, objections to NCM’s is easily cured—make sure they report to both sides of the claim simultaneously.


I appreciate your thoughts and comments. Please post them on our award-winning blog.