Any party may be represented by an attorney. However, a party is not required to have an attorney at a hearing. An attorney representing an injured employee is entitled to fees up to 20 percent of the amount of compensation in dispute. If there is no additional award, the attorney is entitled to a 10 percent fee up to a maximum of $250.00. Attorney fees and necessary costs will be deducted from payments to the employee or the dependents. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will determine the amount of attorney fees.
If an employee is not represented by an attorney, the Division will schedule a pre-hearing conference after an application for hearing is filed. The purpose of this conference is to permit the parties to discuss the claim informally with an ALJ. The ALJ will attempt to have the parties identify conceded and disputed issues and to encourage the parties to agree on exhibits which may be introduced at a hearing. At a pre-hearing conference it is often possible for the parties to come to an agreement that will eliminate the need for a hearing. A formal hearing will be scheduled at a later date if the parties cannot resolve the case at a pre-hearing conference.