Office of Adjudication  > Judge Information > Practice and Procedure Before BWC Judges

Office of Adjudication

Judges' Procedural Requirements

The Special Rules of Administrative Practice and Procedure, 34 Pa. Code Section 131.1 et seq., govern the trial of claims before workers' compensation judges. These rules establish general procedures for postponement and continuance requests, time limitations, filing and service of pleadings, hearings, supersedeas rulings, depositions, discovery, subpoenas, stipulations, post-trial submissions and decisions.
 
The Special Rules permit judges to waive or modify their requirement when there is cause to do so. Judges may alter certain time limits, establish hearing patterns and schedules, adjust the timing and order of proofs, and encourage the format for post-trial submissions.
 
The following pages link to questionnaires completed by workers' compensation judges. They address procedural questions the parties frequently encounter in trying workers' compensation cases. You may search the questionnaires alphabetically by judge's name or by field office.
 
 
The answers contained in these questionnaires are provided for informational purposes only. They are intended solely as general guidelines for trying cases before workers' compensation judges. The types of rulings referenced by these answers are extremely fact-sensitive. These answers do not bind any judge to rule one way or another in any given case.
 
The following represents a condensed listing of the 24 questions answered by the judges:
  1. What will occur at the first meeting with the judge?
  2. Is a pre-hearing memorandum required at the first meeting with the judge?
  3. Is a pre-hearing stipulation required at the first meeting with the judge?
  4. Do you require counsel to provide bureau documents relating to the claim?
  5. Do you use a one-day/one-hearing format or a serial hearing?
  6. What are your rules regarding the taking of testimony?
  7. What procedure do you follow if a party fails to appear at the first hearing?
  8. What are your procedures for supersedeas hearings?
  9. What is your procedure regarding the order of testimony with respect to submission of medical evidence, particularly when cross petitions are filed?
  10. What is your procedure regarding continuances, changes in hearing times and extensions?
  11. To what extent do you follow the time limits in the special rules?
  12. What is your procedure for handling discovery disputes, e.g., do you employ telephone conferences, do you prefer to attend certain depositions, etc.?
  13. Under what circumstances will you permit a party or witness (including an expert witness) to testify by deposition or by phone, rather than appear at the hearing?
  14. Are you willing to allow counsel to participate in hearings by telephone?
  15. Do you require that counsel pre-mark or provide lists of exhibits?
  16. Must counsel bring copies to the hearing or may they be made at the judge's office?
  17. Are you willing to close a case by mail or is a final hearing required?
  18. Do you accept faxes and e-mails from the parties?
  19. What are your procedural rules regarding the review of Compromise and Release Agreements?
  20. Do you have any special procedures for trial of psychological injury cases?
  21. What procedures should the parties follow regarding motions for recusal?
  22. What is the latest date as of which the parties may file written preservations of deposition objections?
  23. What are the time requirements for the submission of briefs and other post-hearing submissions?
  24. Please describe your preferences for the format and content of post-trial submissions.
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