Attorney Fees Hourly Rate for Representation In Workers Compensation Appeals

In Lee v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd. (1998) 63 Cal. Comp. Cases 1082 (writ den.), the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) determined $ 175 per hour was an appropriate hourly rate for representing an employee in opposing an employer's writ of review in a case of average complexity. Logically, the value of hourly services by a nonattorney appearing at a deposition should be much less than the value of an attorney on appeal. The law firm admitted as much by billing $ 125 per hour, but even this amount requires much greater justification considering the cases and standards for fees cited herein. See also Hurtado v. First Metals & Chemicals, Inc. (1998) SF 352097, 27 Cal. Workers' Comp. Rptr. 44 (WCAB panel rejected $ 175-per-hour deposition fee requested by attorney and affirmed $ 125, where a petition for serious and willful misconduct was barred by laches) and Kuykendall v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd. (1984) 49 Cal. Comp. Cases 257 (writ den.) (lesser hourly rate for attorney representing employee at deposition awarded because specialization was in other fields and not workers' compensation).