Adoption of New Workers’ Comp Attorney/Legal Assistant Fees Rules
On December 9, 2016, Commissioner of Workers' Compensation Ryan Brannan adopted the repeal of existing 28 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §152.3 and §152.4. Commissioner Brannan also adopted new §152.3, §152.4, and §152.6.
The new rules and attorney/legal assistance rates are effective January 30, 2017.
The amended rules have set the maximum reasonable hourly rate for attorneys at $200 and $65 for legal assistants (not to include hours for general office staff). The maximum hourly rate for attorneys was previously set at $150 and $50 for legal assistants.
The new rules include other changes regarding submission and approval of attorney fees as well as guidelines for legal services provided to claimants and insurance carriers.
The new rules can be found here.
The Division of Workers’ Compensation also adopted revisions to DWC Form-150, Notice of Representation and revisions to DWC Form-151, Attorney Application For Web Access; and DWC Form-152, Application for Attorney Fees; as well as new DWC Form-150a, Notice of Withdrawal of Representation.
Attorneys should use the updated forms beginning January 30, 2017, to ensure compliance with the new rules.
The new and revised forms can be found here.
The Insurance Council of Texas’ (ICT) Workers’ Compensation Committee reviewed the rules. ICT provided informal comment on the rules to the DWC.