Categories: Labor and Employment Law
Instructor(s) Aplin, Ronald
This experiential course is taught by experienced attorneys designed to introduce second and third year law students to worker’s compensation law and procedure. Ronald S. Aplin of Aplin & Ringsmuth, LLC is the primary instructor. Students are assigned to advocate fictitious Wisconsin worker’s compensation claims from the pleading stage to hearing. Roughly half of the class sessions involve a traditional lecture/discussion format, although legal, procedural and medical topics are discussed with the fictitious claims in mind. In other class sessions, guest experts, including an orthopedic surgeon, a psychologist, and vocational experts, pose as witnesses in the fictitious claims, and are “examined” and “cross-examined” by experienced attorneys, as if they were testifying at hearing. One class session involves the direct and cross-examination of a claimant from one of the fictitious claims. Students learn about medical, psychological and vocational science, and acquire litigation skills in these class sessions. Current administrative law judges also teach a class session as guest lecturers on effective advocacy at hearing, and on settlement. At the conclusion of the course, students are required to write a brief advocating their clients’ positions in the fictitious cases for hearing, and then litigate their clients’ claims in a two-hour mock worker’s compensation hearing, conducted during the final exam period before a current administrative law judge. Course materials include the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Handbook by John D. Neal and Joseph P. Danas, and additional materials provided to students by the instructor electronically.