It is not uncommon for a hearing to be reset three or even four times depending on the complexity of the case. However, the injured workers’ attorney will likely contest any continuances or resets if he or she believes the Employer or Insurance company is attempting to take advantage of the Claimant’s condition or is simply delaying the injured worker’s day in court.
Board Rule 102 (C) provides that if a hearing is set for the first time and all parties agree to reset the hearing, a postponement will be granted without permission from the presiding Administrative Law Judge. The parties would simply notify the ALJ that the parties agree to the continuance. However, if one party objects to the continuance on the first setting, then judicial intervention would be necessary. Generally, the attorneys would have a conference call with the presiding ALJ to determine whether a continuance would be justified. As an unwritten rule of thumb, the first setting is usually continued in order to take discovery and to complete the parties’ investigation. The second and third settings will likely be more scrutinized and a continuance will be granted only on “strict legal grounds.”