I have had some very positive discussions with Judges lately. I am not talking about begging for leniency in traffic court or determining how much my bail should be. They didn't involve asking for a gag order over embarrassing evidence or determining whether I could be released on my own recognizance. I actually try to avoid appearing before a judge in any official capacity, as that is an indication that something somewhere may have gone terribly awry. I prefer to avoid court in general, and have done a pretty good job of it most of my life. Guilty! Hang 'em High....Coincidentally, however, I have been summoned to appear for Florida Jury Duty just two days before I am to Keynote the Washington State Self Insurers Association Conference in May. That should be interesting. I'll just go in with a suitcase and my pre-determined vote scrawled on a piece of paper to give to the judge. It will be most efficient and she will no doubt greatly admire my continuing commitment to civic duty. But today I am not talking about any of those judges. No, the adjudicators I currently discuss are all of the workers' compensation variety; and I was not actually appearing before any of them.

It seems, for reasons unfathomable to me, that my blog is popular with many workers' comp judges around the country. I will not name those with whom I have had direct discussions, as they are professional people with reputations to maintain. It's not that associating with me wouldn't give them a reputation; it is probably just not the kind they would prefer.

I recognize that this oddity is not true of all judges, but I nevertheless often get very positive comments from these most esteemed officers of the court. I have been told the Chief Magistrate of one state not only reads my blog, but forwards the stories on to all the other Magistrates for them to read as well. I've even been invited to speak at the annual luncheon of the National Association of Workers' Compensation Judiciary next August.

I know;  I was as baffled by this as you are.

Judges have to have the absolute toughest job in the industry. Think about it. They must opine, without having a personal opinion. They must choose, without taking sides. They must judge, without being judgmental. Every day in their court room or hearing hall they face bickering counsel who seemingly cannot agree on anything. On one side of the table is the injured worker, who doesn't understand why he won't be compensated for his suffering. On the other side, his employer, who doesn't understand why his worker is being compensated at all. Even worse, judges are sometimes faced with the unrepresented injured worker, one who has somehow passed through the workers' compensation shredder and still managed to drag their haggard remains to this point; and the judge has to both protect the rights of the unknowing while not crossing the highly taboo chasm of representation.

A tough job, indeed.

Thinking about their job is when it hit me. Judges have to make sense of the often senseless. They have to find the proper answer, the balance available to a case within the restrictions and definitions of the law. They are the ultimate voice of reason in an otherwise jumbled and chaotic universe. Of course! The reason they like my blog is we have soooooooo much in common!

Oh sure, they are highly educated with experience in both practicing and adjudicating law, and I, well, am not and have not. Still, the common bond between these highly intelligent legal eagles and I, essentially a wordsmithing monkey, is undeniable. After all, my blog brings clarity to an otherwise jumbled and chaotic universe. I am nothing if not the quintessential voice of reason for the workers' compensation industry. Just ask anybody (who works for me and needs their paycheck).

That must be why my blog is popular with them. They can obviously relate. I knew there had to be a good excuse for this. I can't think of any other logical reason.

There will, of course, be naysayers. Some people will not agree that I am the quintessential voice of reason for the workers' compensation industry. Those people are not the voice of reason. They are being unreasonable. So there. To them I would just point to the previous paragraph where it says I am indeed the quintessential voice of reason for the workers' compensation industry.

And as we all know, if it's in print, it must be true. Just don't judge me.

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