An attorney dutifully searching through a copy of The Virginia Workers' Compensation Act Annotated as published by LexisNexis and sold by the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission ("the Commission") would be unable to find a single reference to the team "mediation" either in the statutes and rules contained therein or even in the index.

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Abraham Lincoln famously said "A lawyer's time and advice are his stock and trade." In the context of contingency fee cases, a lawyer is not paid based on a measure of time expended but a percentage of the result achieved. For all of the bombast over the years suggesting that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals is a bastion of doctrinaire conservatism, a 2010 decision from the 4th Circuit provides a fierce defense of the sanctity of the contingency fee as a means of allowing clients with limited resources to obtain premium representative.

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The Virginia Workers' Compensation statute is designed to prevent lawsuits against employers and simultaneously provide specifed benefits to workers' compensation claimants for lost wages, medical benefits, permanent partial compensation, death benefits and so forth.

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As we are all aware starting July 1, 2010 the Workers' Compensation Commission officially began allowing us access to the Commission's online case management system, Webfile. The Webfile system allows us to: view and manage our cases online, track all files in which we are noted to be the attorney of record, allows us to receive correspondence from the commission, allows usimmediate acccess to medical records that have been filed with the commission and allows us to keep track of scheduled hearings.

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Under Virginia Code §65.2-702B hearings are help "in the city or county where the injury occurred, or in a contiguous city or county, unless otherwise designated by the commission." The result of this simple provision in the workers' comp act is that for most cases there is very little wiggle room as to the location where cases are going to be scheduled and which Deputy pool will potentially handle a particular case.

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