Informal Rater testimony (California)

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Informal Rater testimony (California)

Postby wcscout on Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:23 pm

Is there anything governing a "professional rater" testifying at Trial?
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Re: Informal Rater testimony (California)

Postby LawAdvocate on Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:05 pm

Just usual practice, the only rating that counts is the DEU rating. If you disagree with the final DEU rating, then your sole recourse is to cross-ex the rater.

Professional raters should be used to assist with writing your cross-ex questions, imho. Anything out of a professional rater's mouth is basically argument and is not legally binding, so that may be the reason I have never seen one testify.
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Re: Informal Rater testimony (California) (California)

Postby steve appell on Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:19 pm

"A Professional Rater" testifying at trial is neither relevant nor substantial evidence. This is why it has never happened before. Follow LAD advise and Cross X the doc to change the rating. Otherwise, the rating instructions are solely up to the WCJ.

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Re: Informal Rater testimony (California)

Postby lacompfun on Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:14 pm

Not for testimony at trial.

However they can be very helpful on settlement. Also it could be filed and the Judge might look at it. It is not legally binding.
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Re: Informal Rater testimony (California)

Postby vampireinthenight on Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:40 am

It may not be binding and I am not in the habit of using rater testimony, but I think it can help in a complex case, especially when there are overlap concerns. DEU raters are far from infallible and even though you can expose errors on cross-ex, human nature does not allow some of them to admit they made a mistake or misinterpreted rating doctrine. Competing testimony can help drive it home.

A former DEU rater can be persuasive and might know more of the DEU historical practices than a new younger rater currently with the DEU. Let say you have a rating issue under the 1998 PDRS, do you want to limit the record to a cross-ex of a rater who didn't begin rating until 2014? Or would you rather have a competing opinion that is more persuasive and makes more sense?

To that end, I think it can be relevant and the "substantiality" of it really just depends on the quality of whom you choose.
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