NCIC Update July 2023
Philip A. Baddour was confirmed by the General Assembly to serve a second term as a commissioner.
The 28th Annual North Carolina Industrial Commission Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference will be held October 4 through 6, 2023 at the Raleigh Convention Center.
New Mediation Rules Regarding Participation
The Supreme Court of North Carolina has approved amendments to the Rules for Mediated Settlement Conferences and Other Settlement Procedures in Superior Court Civil Actions, which went into effect May 1, 2023. Among the amended Superior Court mediation rules is Rule 4, which governs attendance at Superior Court mediations.
Attendance at Industrial Commission mediations is governed by Rule 104 of the Industrial Commission’s mediation rules (11 NCAC 23G .0104). Paragraph (b) of Rule 104 provides that the attendance method for Industrial Commission mediations shall be the same as the attendance method set forth in Rule 4 of the Rules for Mediated Settlement Conferences and Other Settlement Procedures in Superior Court Civil Actions. Therefore, the Rule 4 amendments affect the way the attendance method will be determined in Industrial Commission mediations beginning May 1, 2023.
Under the Rule 4 amendments, if all parties and the mediator agree on the mediation attendance method (which can be remote, in-person, or a hybrid of the two where some parties are participating remotely while others are together in-person), then the mediation will be held using the agreed-upon attendance method. If an agreement on the attendance method cannot be reached, then attendance will be in-person unless the mediator has designated in the Dispute Resolution Commission’s Mediator Information Directory that he or she will only conduct remote mediations. However, in all cases, a party who is required to attend the mediation may file a motion with the Industrial Commission Dispute Resolution Coordinator asking that a different method of attendance be ordered. For example, a party who wishes to participate remotely but does not object to others participating in-person may file a motion requesting an order allowing a hybrid of remote and in-person attendance at the mediation.
This is a change to the rules in that the previous default method of attendance when agreement could not be reached was remote. This new change makes the default attendance in person. It is too early to tell how the Industrial Commission will rule on Motions submitted from either side regarding remote attendance.
April Gladkin Promoted to Full Commission Chief Administrative Officer and Lead Counsel
The Industrial Commission has announced the promotion of April Gladkin to Full Commission Chief Administrative Officer and Lead Counsel. Ms. Gladkin will now manage the daily operations of the Full Commission, supervise other Full Commission Legal Counsel, manage and coordinate the Full Commission’s dockets, and serve as the primary liaison and contact for public inquiries regarding docketing, case management, and other Full Commission issues.