WHEREAS, the membership of the Philadelphia Bar Association and the Workers' Compensation Section include the vast majority of claimant and defendant attorneys and Workers' Compensation Judges in Philadelphia County;

WHEREAS, the majority of workers' compensation attorneys practicing in the Philadelphia area handles cases in the five county metropolitan area;

WHEREAS, until recently all cases in the five county area were held in four locations: the State Office Building (Philadelphia County); Upper Darby (Delaware County); Malvern (Chester County); and Bristol (Bucks County);

WHEREAS, the Department of Labor and Industry, Bureau of Workers' Compensation, recently opened an additional hearing office in Dresher (Montgomery County);

WHEREAS, the Department of Labor and Industry, Bureau of Workers' Compensation, has proposed opening its sixth area office in Northeast Philadelphia;

WHEREAS, the vast majority of workers' compensation practitioners have offices in the Center City Philadelphia area;

WHEREAS, the claimants and other interested parties rely on public transportation to attend hearings and Center City Philadelphia is the location most accessible for persons using public transportation;

WHEREAS, the additional hearing locations will lend to increased delays for claimants, defendants and insurance carriers, because there will be a larger number of scheduling conflicts as a result of attorneys being unable to attend hearings at different locations at the same time;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association requests that the Governor of theCommonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Secretary of Labor and Industry, the Director of the Bureau of Workers' Compensation and the members of the State Senate of Pennsylvania in the interest of efficiency, centralize hearings at no more than one location per county in the Philadelphia metropolitan area.

ADOPTED: October 24, 1996