Executive Order

Executive Order No. 323: Industrial Accident Board nominating panel

Date: 02/07/1992
Issuer: William F. Weld
Mass Register: No. 681
Revoking and Superseding: Executive Order 258
Revoking and Superseding: Executive Order 298
Amended by: Executive Order 436
Superseded by: Executive Order 456

Table of Contents

(Superseding Executive Order Nos. 258 and 298)

WHEREAS, the Industrial Accident Board has been established pursuant to M.G.L. c. 23E, section 4 as a forum for claims arising from injuries suffered in the course of employment; and

WHEREAS, the Governor with the advice and consent of the Executive Council has the statutory authority to appoint and reappoint Administrative Judges for terms of six years pursuant to M.G.L. c. 23E, section 4; and

WHEREAS, the Governor with the advice and consent of the Executive Council has the statutory authority to appoint and reappoint Administrative Law Judges for terms of six years pursuant to M.G.L. c. 23E, section 5; and

WHEREAS, the Governor with the advice and consent of the Executive Council has the statutory authority to appoint six three-year-term Administrative Judges; and

WHEREAS, the Governor with the advice and consent of the Executive Council, may upon the request of the commissioner, recall any former Administrative Judge or Administrative Law Judge for a period not to exceed one year; and

WHEREAS, nominees for the position of Administrative Judge and Administrative Law Judge are to be submitted to the Governor by a nominating panel under procedures to be established by the Governor as provided in M.G.L. c. 23E, section 4.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, William F. Weld, Governor of the Commonwealth, by virtue of the authority vested in me as supreme executive magistrate, do hereby revoke executive orders 258 and 298 and order that they be superseded as follows:

1. An Industrial Accident Board Nominating Panel is hereby established to advise the Governor with respect to the appointment and reappointment of all Administrative Judges pursuant to M.G.L. c. 23E, section 4, and Administrative Law Judges pursuant to M.G.L. c. 23E, section 5.

2. The Panel shall consist of eleven members: the Governor's Chief Legal Counsel, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Economic Affairs, the Commissioner of the Department of Industrial Accidents, the senior judge at the Department of Industrial Accidents and six members to be appointed by the Governor, one of whom shall be a health care provider, one of whom shall be an attorney who does not practice workers' compensation law, two of whom shall be representatives of business and two of whom shall be representatives of organized labor. One of the representatives of business shall be the President of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts or his designee and one of the representatives of organized labor shall be the President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO or his designee. All members of the nominating panel shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The purpose of the Panel shall be to screen, interview and recommend to the Governor individuals who are qualified for appointment as Administrative Judges and Administrative Law Judges.

3. The Commissioner of the Department of Industrial Accidents shall serve as Chair of the Panel.

4. The Panel shall act by the concurrence of at least six members. All records and deliberations with respect to candidates for the office of Administrative Judge or Administrative Law Judge shall be held in confidence by the Panel, but shall be available to the Governor, the Advisory Council and Executive Council as provided for in M.G.L. c. 23E section 9.

5. A record of all actions by the Panel shall be kept by a recording secretary chosen by the Panel (and in such person's absence a recording secretary pro tem).

6. Meetings of the Panel, including meetings to interview candidates, shall be held at the time or times announced at previous meetings, or upon the call of the Chair of the Panel, or upon the call of six other members, with notice given at least seven days in advance to all members. The Chair shall, however, call a meeting as soon as possible after being informed by the Governor that a vacant position for an Administrative Judge or Administrative Law Judge exists. Notice of any meeting may be waived by any member before or after the meeting, and attendance at a meeting shall constitute such waiver unless the member shall promptly after the beginning of the meeting object to the meeting on grounds of lack of notice.

7. Any member may participate by telephone in all or any part of the meeting, and such member shall be considered to be present and be entitled to vote on those matters coming before the meeting or any part thereof in which he or she participates by telephone.

8. Any vacancy in the office of Administrative Judge or Administrative Law Judge shall be filled as follows: when a vacancy occurs or is expected to occur, the Governor shall so notify the Panel. The Panel shall recommend to the Governor as soon as possible no fewer than three nor more than five candidates qualified and willing to accept the office, unless the Governor waives such requirement. Upon receipt of the Panel's original recommendation, the Governor may require that the Panel submit within thirty days one set of supplementary recommendations of no fewer than three nor more than five other qualified candidates willing to accept the office. Any candidate found qualified by the panel and recommended to the Governor for appointment shall remain eligible for appointment by the Governor for two years. The Governor shall make his nomination for the office from the original or supplementary recommendations or from any group of candidates previously recommended by the panel who have not yet been appointed but who remain eligible for appointment. Whenever the Executive Council declines to consent to the Governor's nomination, the Governor may require that the Panel submit a set of supplementary recommendations of no fewer than three nor more than five qualified candidates willing to accept the office.

9. The Panel shall require candidates to provide in writing detailed descriptions of their education and employment history and other relevant experiences including civic and community involvement. The Panel shall also require candidates to provide in writing an in-depth explanation of their qualifications to perform the position they seek, and their reasons for applying.

10. In making its recommendations to the Governor, the Panel shall seek men and women who by ability, integrity, and temperament will impartially and independently interpret and apply the workers' compensation law. Persons shall be recommended without regard to age, race, religion, gender, physical disability, sexual orientation, or national origin. Prior to any submission of nominations for appointment or reappointment to the Industrial Accident Board or Industrial Accident Reviewing Board pursuant to section four or section five of chapter 23E, the nominating panel shall review applications for such nominations and consider the following factors:

(1) skills in fact-finding;

(2) basic understanding of human anatomy and physiology; and

(3) a bachelor's degree or demonstrated writing ability as evidenced by four or more years in positions in which writing skills are a major job responsibility.

Such review shall be made on the basis of the application, experience, education and training of the applicant, writing samples, interviews, and any other information the panel may require. When the application is for reappointment, the panel shall require, in addition to any other information, a performance evaluation prepared by the senior judge and commissioner. The performance evaluation shall be a written report which contains the following information: 

(1) average time for the disposition of cases before the applicant, and, where applicable, a comparison of such applicant's speed of disposition with the other board members;

(2) three decisions written and selected by the applicant;

(3) the total number of proceedings scheduled before the applicant and total number of orders and decisions filed;

(4) where applicable, the total number of cases decided by such applicant heard by an appellate body, and the number of such cases which were remanded for further proceedings;

(5) any decisions of an appellate body which specifically reference the candidate's judicial demeanor or temperament;

(6) at the discretion of the commissioner, written complaints from attorneys received by the commissioner regarding the candidate's judicial demeanor or temperament; and

(7) evidence of any demonstrable bias against particular defendants, claimants or attorneys.

In no instance shall a calculation of the number or percentage of orders or decisions made in favor of employees, insurers or employers be a part of any performance evaluation of a member of the board or reviewing board.

11. The Panel shall interview the candidates it deems most qualified after reviewing the written submissions of the candidates. No candidate shall be interviewed unless five members request the interview.

12. The Panel from time to time may promulgate additional policies or adopt additional procedures not inconsistent with these rules. No policies or procedures shall be adopted unless six members have voted in favor of adopting such policy or procedure, and the Governor shall so approve.

13. This Executive Order shall continue in effect until amended, superseded, or revoked by a subsequent Executive Order.

Given at the Executive Chamber in

Boston this seventh day of

February in the year of our Lord

one thousand nine hundred and

ninety-two.

William F. Weld, Governor

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Michael Joseph Connolly

Secretary of the Commonwealth

Contact for No. 323: Industrial Accident Board nominating panel

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