Lawyer change is noted with no response
Question: I have an ongoing workers' compensation case from April 2003. A letter was sent to the state Department of Labor in July to change my attorney, as I am not satisfied with his work. I was told that the Department of Labor needs to recognize a change of attorney. How long does it take for it to recognize a change of attorney? I have an attorney waiting to take my case but have gotten no response from the department. My case has been going on for four years and six months. What can I do?
Answer: There apparently was a big miscommunication.
The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations recognizes the withdrawal of representation on the day it receives a letter from the attorney indicating he/she no longer represents the claimant, said James Hardway, special assistant to the labor director.
By the same token, it recognizes the new attorney on the day it receives that attorney's letter of representation.
"When a claimant retains a new attorney and the old attorney has not submitted a letter of withdrawal, we try to get a withdrawal letter from the old attorney," Hardway explained. "If we are not successful, we ask the claimant to submit a letter indicating that the attorney no longer represents him/her."
But the department does not send any letter acknowledging the termination or appointment of an attorney, he said. "We just accept the letter(s)."
If you would like more information or assistance, call Hardway at 586-8844.
Q: When the rockfall mitigation project began on Kailua Road, the speed limit was reduced from 35 mph to 25 mph, not just in the construction area, but in the Honolulu-bound lane all the way up to the YMCA. It seemed to turn the road into a speed trap even more than before, as police officers lay in wait at Kailua Baptist Church driveway. Twenty-five mph along that road seems incredibly slow, and you are placed at risk of being run down by the noncompliant drivers. The speed limit on the Kailua-bound side remains at 35 mph along that same area, until much nearer to Kailua town. Now that the construction is approaching completion, are there plans to return the speed limit to 35 mph? If not, what are the criteria for keeping it at such a low speed, when there are few driveways and accidents in the past?
A: The speed limit on Kailua Road was re-posted at 35 mph on Nov. 1, about 100 yards after crossing the Hamakua Drive bridge in the Honolulu-bound direction.
"This will return the speed limit to the same level as it was before the landslide mitigation project," as well as address most of your concerns, said Scott Ishikawa, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.
The project will be "substantially completed" by the end of this month, he said.
He points out that there is a lower school-zone speed limit between the rockfall project area and the Kailua YMCA in the Honolulu-bound direction.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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