Mandatory Settlement Conference (MSC) FAQs
1. What is a MSC?
A Mandatory Settlement Conference (MSC) is typically the first conference or hearing at the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB). The MSC is an opportunity to discuss settlement with the representatives of the insurance carrier/employer. Cases often settle at the MSC. If your case does not settle, it may be continued for further hearing or set for trial.
2. Do I have to attend the MSC?
Yes. The MSC stands for Mandatory Settlement Conference. Mandatory means that you are required to go. If you have a true emergency we might be able to get permission from the Judge to allow you to be on telephone standby. However, such emergencies are rare. It is your case and you are expected to participate and attend the necessary hearings.
3. Where is the WCAB?
The WCAB, Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, is located in the State Building at 1515 Clay Street in Oakland.
4. Where do I go when I arrive at the WCAB? How do I meet my attorney?
The WCAB is located on the 6th Floor of the State Building. There is a large waiting room adjacent to the elevators. In the waiting room, you will find the wall with sign in sheets beneath each individual Judge’s name. Locate your name and initial in the box where your name is located. Wait for your attorney in the waiting room. The attorney will call your name. The attorney will know that you are present because you have signed in. If your attorney does not immediately call your name out at 8:30 or 1:30, do not panic. Just remain seated and wait.
5. Is the WCAB accessible by public transportation?
Yes. You can take BART. The exit is the 12th Street/City Center exit in Oakland. The walk is approximately two long city blocks from the BART station to the State Building.
6. Where is the parking?
There is limited metered street parking available around the State Building. There are several parking garages across the street from the State Building.
7. Am I reimbursed for travel to the MSC?
No. While you may be eligible for reimbursement for medical mileage, the defendants are not required to pay for your travel (mileage and/or parking) to litigate your case. The State Building and/or WCAB does not validate parking for any of the garages. Parking typically costs about $15.00.
8. How long will the MSC last?
The MSC’s are scheduled at 8:30am and 1:30pm. There is no way to know how long the MSC will take before it is completed. You could be at the MSC for only a few minutes or for several hours.
9. Do I need to bring any items with me to the MSC?
You do not need to bring any paperwork or items with you unless you were specifically instructed to do so. If your attorney needs you to bring paperwork or other items you will be contacted in advance. Otherwise, no paperwork is necessary. However, as you may be sitting in the waiting room for some time, bring a book or some other item to read.
10. Do I need to talk to my attorney before the MSC?
If your attorney needs to speak with you before the MSC, you will be contacted. Otherwise, the attorney makes the time to speak with you about your case at the MSC.
11. Will my case settle at the MSC?
There is absolutely no way to know in advance if your case will settle at the MSC. Settlement is the goal, but so many variables go into a case, that there is really no way to know if your case will settle or not.
12. What do I wear to the MSC?
Casual clothing is fine. The MSC is not a trial. The chances are slim that you will actually speak to a Judge. So, jeans and casual comfortable clothing and shoes are fine.
13. Will I talk to a Judge at the MSC?
Probably not. The Judge typically spends their time facilitating settlement with the attorneys. There are times when clients do speak with the Judge, but if this is to happen in your case, we will let you know what will be asked and how to respond. The attorney will be present with you when you speak to the Judge.