I have a deep understanding of – and am recognized for an expertise in -- national workers’ compensation law and policy, including benefit design and delivery, as well as the insurance mechanism. This experience, along with my background working for a Member of Congress and as counsel to a Congressional committee, deputy director of the Labor Department’s Congressional Affairs Office, and Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board has given me an understanding of the legislative and regulatory process. I understand how law is made, because I have participated first-hand in that endeavor. In this respect, I have cross-over experience – and expertise -- covering both policy and political realms.
I spent 27 years with the American Insurance Association (AIA), a national property & casualty insurance trade association active on workers’ compensation public policy, where for the last 20 years I headed the workers’ compensation practice in the AIA Law Department. In that role, I had overall responsibility for the line, supervised other attorneys assigned to the workers’ compensation issues, and served as secretary to the Workers’ Compensation Committee, the policy committee for this line of insurance, populated by members’ senior workers’ compensation underwriters. The expertise of the underwriters was augmented by technical subcommittees providing expert input on the array of medical issues intertwined with the workers’ compensation system and for which a major share of the benefit dollar is now spent; data reporting (including electronic data interchange (EDI)); and state-specific guidance on regulatory issues in California, Florida, and Texas, including discussion and information exchange between the state’s workers’ compensation agency head and member in-state experts, a practice that proved to be mutually beneficial.
I was responsible for advising AIA’s regional government affairs and federal affairs staff on the policy ramifications of legislation and regulation, developing policy guidance in response to critical challenges facing the workers’ compensation system, drafting testimony and participating in legislative hearings and regulatory forums, as well as public speaking at national workers' compensation forums.
My role also involved working with AIA’s amicus curiae program, through which AIA filed amicus briefs with state and federal appellate courts in litigation raising matters of key public policy importance. Member requests for AIA to participate as an amicus in a particular case were vetted through staff and member litigation advisory contacts, and AIA staff was responsible for identifying amicus counsel, providing guidance on preparation of the brief, and approving it before filing. In this role, I also managed public policy litigation involving members as plaintiffs or defendants, in such cases identifying counsel, ensuring proper parties were participating, organizing funding, and organizing companies to support filing amicus briefs in the same litigation. Litigation invariably was ultimately decided by a state’s highest court or, on a few occasions, the U.S. Supreme Court.
In sum, my responsibilities for the line were as broad as my involvement was deep, in all aspects of workers’ compensation public policy and advocacy.