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EVIDENCE

The Workers' Compensation Judge is not bound by the common law or statutory rules of evidence and procedure (LC §5708), but testimony is taken under oath and basic rules of evidence apply. 

No informality in any proceeding or in the manner of taking testimony shall invalidate any order, decision, award, or rule made
and filed as specified in this division. No order, decision, award, or rule shall be invalidated because of the admission into the
record, and use as proof of any fact in dispute, of any evidence not admissible under the common law or statutory rules of evidence and procedure. LC §5709

Presumptions are not evidence: Evidence Code §600 provides, “(a) A presumption is an assumption of fact that the law requires to be made from another fact or group of facts found or otherwise established in the action. A presumption is not evidence.”

See, too, Medical Evidence and Discovery

Label Item Links Comments
Labor Code WCAB "shall not be bound by the common law or
statutory rules of evidence and procedure, but may make inquiry in the manner, through oral testimony and records, which is best calculated to ascertain the substantial rights of the parties and carry out justly the spirit and provisions of this division."

"No informality in any proceeding or in the manner of taking testimony shall invalidate any order, decision, award, or rule made and filed as specified in this division. No order, decision, award, or rule shall be invalidated because of the admission into the record, and use as proof of any fact in dispute, of any evidence not admissible under the common law or statutory rules of evidence and procedure."
LC §5708






LC §5709
But note that WCAB is bound by Evidence Code §910 on privileges
Labor Code  Preponderance: "Preponderance of the evidence" means that evidence that, when weighed with that opposed to it, has more convincing force and the greater probability of truth. When weighing the evidence, the test is not the relative number of witnesses, but the relative convincing force of the evidence.  LC §3202.5  In other words, 51%
Labor Code Admissibility of Evidence LC §5703  
Regulations/Rules Rules of Practice and Procedure of the WCAB WCAB Rules  
Cases  Escobedo: Leading case on substantial evidence

Peter Kiewit Sons v. Industrial Acci. Com.: "Where an issue is exclusively a matter of scientific medical knowledge, expert evidence is essential...."

In Hardesty v. McCord & Holdren, Inc. (1976) 41 CCC 111: Commissioner Glow discussed privileges in relation to discovery in workers' compensation and why interrogatories are not welcome: "[T]he procedural provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure...relating to discovery are not applicable in workers' compensation proceedings. Proceedings before the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board are governed by the specific provisions of the Labor Code and of the Board's Rules of Practice and Procedure adopted pursuant to the authority conferred by § 5307 of the Labor Code, not by the Code of Civil Procedure. Moreover, although we recognize that the liberal rules relating to discovery which were added to the Code of Civil Procedure in 1957 have had the salutary effect of facilitating pre-trial preparation, eliminating surprise during trial, and encouraging settlement, those provisions have not been a wholly unmixed blessing to litigants and their attorneys. We are enjoined by Article XX § 21 of the Constitution of this state to afford the parties appearing before us a forum which shall accomplish substantial justice in all cases expeditiously, inexpensively, and without encumbrance of any character. The adoption by us of a set of rules relating to discovery which would permit a paper war of interrogatories and would require frequent pre-trial appearances by counsel to argue discovery motions would be inconsistent with that constitutional mandate."
Escobedo en banc

Peter Kiewit Sons v. Industrial Acci. Com


No free copy is available
 
Forms      
Websites Legal burden of proof (general) Wikipedia burden of proof   
  To access the free "Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence, Third Edition, click here.    
Practice Tips  Downloadable Checklist for Admissible Evidence 2013

Downloadable Checklist for Substantial Evidence 2012

Admissible evidence checklist

Substantial evidence checklist

 

 
Articles
Summary of the Rules of Evidence by Vincent Dicarlo
Summary of Rules of Evidence It doesn't hurt to know the civil rules. In workers' comp trials it may go to the weight of the evidence rather than its admissibility.
Magazine Articles Admissible Evidence: The ABCs of Admissibility by Marjory Harris, Esq.

Substantial Evidence and Science, Law and Logic by Marjory Harris, Esq.

The Range of Evidence Is Alive and Well

Admissible Evidence

 

Substantial evidence

The Range of Evidence

 

 
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