Definition of Mandatory Settlement Conference
A Mandatory Settlement Conference is used primarily in California to try and help settle a California workers' compensation case. When there is a dispute of some kind between an injured worker and their employer or their employer's workers' compensation insurance company, the first time the injured worker goes to workers' compensation court, which is known as the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board, it will usually be for what is referred to as a Mandatory Settlement Conference. California law requires that all of the parties be present at the conference. The purpose of the conference is to try and settle the case. However, if that cannot be done, all of the parties have to agree on what issues still exist. For example, there may be agreement that a worker is injured, but there is a dispute over the extent of the worker's disability.
The reason why the injured worker's presence at the conference is mandatory is in the event that a settlement is reached. However, all settlements in a California workers' compensation case have to be approved by a judge. It is an opportunity to present a settlement to the judge and have the judge sign it on the spot. Because this conference is very important, it is wise for an injured worker to have a workers' compensation attorney on their side in order to get the best possible settlement.