RLS Workers’ Compensation Alternative Dispute Resolution Carve-Out Program

RLS has been working with the Fresno POA for well over a year in developing a groundbreaking Workers’ Compensation Alternative Dispute Resolution & Carve-Out Program (“Work Comp ADR Carve-Out Program”). “Carve-out” is a generic description for an alternative to traditional work comp programs that have been utilized in the private sector for many years.  However, the innovative and novel program that we have developed with the FPOA is all-inclusive, comprehensive, preventive and includes financial incentives and rewards for both the associations and individual employees.

Other associations and their employers have created “carve-out” programs, but none of those take a holistic approach to fix a broken work comp system which victimizes injured employees and drains resources away from employers that could otherwise be used to fund employee benefits.  Last week we assisted the leadership of the Fresno POA in making a presentation before the Fresno City Council to publicly introduce the Work Comp ADR Carve-Out Program.

This innovative program is designed to make a permanent cultural change in the way work comp claims are resolved while enhancing the quality and timing of medical treatment for injured employees.  While the program is a radical departure from the traditional work comp system, there are structural protections in the program which maintain the members’ substantive legal rights.

The Work Comp ADR Carve-Out Program is a new way to think about assisting injured members and will generate many questions.  Please click here to check out our RLS ADR Carve-Out Program FAQs.

If you are interested in more information please don’t hesitate to contact an attorney or labor representative from the Rains Lucia Stern, PC Labor Group in your area of California:

Northern: Rocky Lucia, Timothy Talbot, & Peter Hoffmann

Central: Roger Wilson

Southern: Robert Wexler

Labor Representatives: Jim Bickert, John Noble, & Bud Stone


Rains Lucia Stern Welcomes Robert M. Wexler!

We are extremely pleased to announce that Rob Wexler has joined Rains Lucia Stern as a partner.  Rob has established a reputation as one of the premier labor attorneys in the State of California representing pubic employees.  As a long-time resident of Southern California, Rob will represent the firm’s clients throughout the region.

Rob has over 20 years experience advising labor associations and their members on all matters relating to contract negotiations, grievances, disciplinary investigations, bargaining unit certifications, impasse proceedings, wage and hour claims, disability rights, as well as pension and retirement matters.  During his career, Rob has represented an array of labor organizations, including some of the largest municipal peace officer and firefighter associations in California.  He has also represented individual employees in disciplinary investigations, including hundreds of peace officers involved in on-duty and off-duty shootings and other critical incidents.

Rob has been a featured lecturer and presenter at numerous local, state and national seminars and conferences, and has distinguished himself as a dynamic and effective speaker on topics ranging from public safety officers’ rights to collective bargaining. 

Robert graduated from Southwestern University School of Law’s prestigious SCALE program, where he received the Wildeman Scholarship for Academic Excellence and was a member of Phi Delta Phi International Honors Society.  He and his wife, Jennifer, are proud parents of two daughters. 

Please join us in welcoming Rob to RLS!

Rains Lucia Stern, PC trial attorney Eustace de Saint Phalle and his co-counsel Michael Gatto win a future damage award that exceeds $100,000,000 in a medical malpractice case

Last Thursday afternoon a jury in Contra Costa County returned a verdict in the case of Brian C (a minor) vs. Contra Costa County Health Services, a medical malpractice case concerning negligent management of a twin pregnancy which resulted in the death of one twin and severe brain injury of the other.  The jury determined that the surviving twin would likely live another 74 years, would never be employable, and would need extensive future medical care for the rest of his life for a total future damage award of $111,700,000. [Read more…]

Community Violence Solutions: The Unsung Heroes of the CCC Justice System

From: Contra Costa Lawyer
By Terry Leoni 2/1/15

Community Violence Solutions (CVS) opened its doors in 1974, as the Rape Crisis Clinic of Contra Costa and Marin counties. Although its name has changed since its inception 41 years ago, its mission has remained the same—to support adult and child survivors of sexual assault. It is not only one of the oldest organizations of its kind in California, but also in the country, with staff who works tirelessly to assist those in need after a sexual assault. [Read more…]

Attorneys’ Fees Awarded in a Precedent-Setting Disciplinary Decision

By Sarah Burdick

RLS attorneys Sarah Burdick and Jonathan Murphy handing Dee Dee Lundquist a check for attorneys’ fees awarded against the City of Oakland in the Mausz arbitration.

RLS attorneys Sarah Burdick and Jonathan Murphy handing Dee Dee Lundquist a check for attorneys’ fees awarded against the City of Oakland in arbitration.

A neutral Arbitrator has recently made an unprecedented award in an Oakland POA discipline case.  The Arbitrator awarded full back-pay for a served five-day suspension, plus interest, attorneys’ fees, and fully overturned all sustained allegations in an appeal action against the City of Oakland.  The award of attorneys’ fees (which are not called for in the MOU) were essentially made as a sanction for the City’s conduct. As the Arbitrator explained: [Read more…]

Mob rule by protesters is not the road to justice

From: SFGate
By Harry S. Stern 12/18/14

Nearly two decades ago, the great constitutional scholar George Anastaplo asked me to contribute to a law review article he was writing about the aftermath of O.J. Simpson’s acquittal of murder charges by a jury in Los Angeles. I had something of a unique perspective: I was working as a police officer while a law student. [Read more…]

Mike Rains – To Discuss the Ferguson Grand Jury Results on National Public Radio, “To the Point.” 11/26/14 at 11:10 a.m.

Mike Rains will join three other nationally recognized speakers in a live roundtable discussion regarding the Ferguson Grand Jury results. Hosted by Warren Olney, the discussion will take place on NPR’s “To the Point.” NPR’s member stations will air the show beginning at 11:10 a.m. PT tomorrow, Wednesday, November 26th. The program will last 35 minutes. 

Please click the link to view the list of NPR member stations:


If a member station is not available in your area, the show will also be available live online. pri.org/live  

California Supreme Court Agrees to Hear (and Hopefully Overturn) Recent Appellate Decision Allowing District Attorneys Direct Access to Peace Officer Personnel Files for Brady Material Review

We are delighted to announce that the California Supreme Court has granted review of the decision handed down by the First Appellate District on August 11, 2014 entitled People v. Superior Court (Daryl Lee Johnson) (2014) 228 Cal.App.4th 1046. [Read more…]

UBER assault victim hires RLS

RLS managing principal and trial attorney Harry Stern and RLS personal injury litigator Joseph Lucia are representing Roberto Chicas who was the victim of a hammer attack at the hands of an UBER driver in what has been become a highly-publicized incident. The case has garnered national media attention in light of the horrific nature off the injury—the client is in serious danger of losing his eye–and because of the growing controversy concerning UBER’s business model of flooding the streets with untested and untrained drivers while attempting to avoid liability. [Read more…]

RLS Asks the California Supreme Court to Overturn a Dangerous Decision Concerning Brady Discovery

The PORAC Legal Defense Fund and the San Francisco Police Officers’ Association asked RLS and Mike Rains to submit an Amicus Curiae letter to the California Supreme Court, urging the Court to overrule the recent holding of the First District Court of Appeal in People v. Superior Court (Johnson). That decision gave District Attorneys the right to directly access and inspect police officer personnel files pursuant to Penal Code section 832.7 in order to look for Brady discovery.  The potential intrusion into materials which are sensitive and private, and have nothing to do with Brady discovery, is simply too great, and there are less intrusive ways DA’s can satisfy their Brady obligations than rummaging through the personnel files of officers.

Click here to view full letter submitted by Mike.