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Day 2 | 2024 Workers' Compensation Section Program


8:55        Welcome and Introductions

9:00        Valuing a Claim for Settlement

Brian Groesser, Midkiff Muncie & Ross P.C., Raleigh
Thomas E. Lamm, Ricci Law Firm, Raleigh

This session looks at how both sides evaluate a claim for settlement, including assessing value to items beyond the average weekly wage and preparing your client for weaknesses and limitations.

10:00      Break

10:10      AI and the Impact on Our Practice

Casey Spence, Sumwalt Anderson, Greensboro

Hear a discussion about the development and use of artificial intelligence in workers’ compensation, including an explanation of ways to improve your practice and be more efficient. Also, learn about ethical considerations for the use of AI material and how to spot it in your cases.

11:10      Break

11:20      Death Claims Refresher

Henry Byrum, Stiles Byrum & Horne L.L.P, Charlotte
Annemarie Pantazis, Wilder Pantazis Law Group, Charlotte

This session takes a renewed look at handling death claims. From the forms to file, to the documents that are needed, to who recovers, there are a lot of moving parts that need to be addressed prior to approval from the Industrial Commission.

12:20      Lunch Break

1:20        Claim Diversity and Impact*

Megan Callahan, Cardinal Law Partners, Greensboro
Dr. Olu Jegede, Cone Health Center for Health Equity, Greensboro
Michael Robinson, NCCJ, Raleigh

What is unconscious bias? Discuss what, how and when unconscious bias can affect claims, examining it in the medical-treatment aspect of the claim and the claims handling by attorneys and the Industrial Commission.

2:20        Break

2:30        Mediating Difficult Cases

Kate Deiter-Maradei, Deiter Mediation, Raleigh
Timothy Hewlett, Hewlett Mediation, Winston-Salem

Hear directly from mediators on how best to navigate unique claims and claimants. Attendees receive advice and tips on how to mediate effectively post-COVID in remote and in-person situations, learn how mediators approach these situations, and explore how best to handle them as an attorney. Discuss topics including the rules of the NC Industrial Commission, standards of professional conduct for mediators, and NC Statutes G.S. §7A-38.1 and G.S. §7A-38.4A, among others.

3:30        Break

3:40        Stakeholder Review and Sturdivant

Joy Brewer, Brewer Defense Group, Raleigh
Kevin Bunn, Kevin Bunn Attorney at Law PC, Cary

The stakeholders determine the direction of workers’ compensation litigation. Get an inside look at the negotiations between the parties as to pertinent issues heading into 2024. Also, gain insight from a discussion of Sturdivant and its impact on 500-week claims.

4:40        Adjourn for the Day


8:55        Announcements and Introductions

9:00        Doctor Deposition Discussion

Melissa Cleary, McAngus Goudelock & Courie, Raleigh
Dr. Mark Dumonski, Guilford Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Center, Greensboro
Matthew Harbin, James Scott Farrin, Greensboro

During this panel discussion on expert medical deposition testimony, attendees hear from both a physician and attorneys on how to take effective and useful witness testimony both in person and via Zoom. The panelists also explore the dos and don’ts for obtaining useful and persuasive testimony.

10:00      Break

10:10      Motion Practice at the ESO

Michael Kelly, North Carolina Industrial Commission, Raleigh

Listen as Special Deputy Commissioner Kelly discusses his view of motion practice at the Executive Secretary’s Office, providing insight on the dos and don’ts of filing and actually litigating claims before the Office.

10:40      Break

10:50      Case Law Update

Heather Baker, Teague Campbell Dennis & Gorham, Raleigh
Cameron Simmons, Cameron Simmons Law, Wilmington

12:20      Adjourn

* Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit
‡ Indicates portion providing Technology Training credit
≠ Indicates portion providing NC Dispute Resolution Commission Continuing Mediator Education

Thank you

Thank you for joining us for the 2024 Workers' Compensation Section Program.


Legislative changes, case law, and technology have all changed how workers' compensation is being and will be practiced in the future.

This program sheds light on those changes and how we adapt as a practice going forward in 2024 and beyond.


  • Heather T. Baker

    Heather T. Baker is a Partner at Teague Campbell Dennis & Gorham in Raleigh.

    Heather is originally from New Jersey, but grew up in North Carolina and went on to graduate from N.C. State University with a degree in English. A high school teacher instilled in her the importance of being able to write and say exactly what you mean, and Heather has continued to love and develop this skill set in both the written and spoken word. Since graduating from UNC Chapel Hill School of Law in 2009, Heather has focused her practice on workers' compensation and is an integral member of Teague Campbell's workers' compensation team. She practices with a comprehensive understanding of the law while balancing each of her clients' specific needs. Heather has an impressive record advocating for her clients in and out of the courtroom.

    Within the realm of workers' compensation in North Carolina, Heather represents employers across industries, some of which include construction, manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, utilities, and vegetation management. She is regularly asked to speak at local and national conferences, client seminars, and other industry events. Heather has been honored to speak annually at the NC Bar Association's Workers' Compensation Seminar and has also spoken at the NC Bar Association's Annual Review Meeting. She currently serves as Secretary of the NC Bar Association's Workers' Compensation Section Council for the 2020/2021 session and will serve as Vice-Chair in the 2021/2022 year. Heather is also an active member of the National Workers' Compensation Defense Network (NWCDN), a network of prominent insurance defense firms throughout the United States and Canada. She is currently serving as the Southeast Regional Chair and regularly speaks at NWCDN conferences.

    Community is important to Heather and she has made it a priority to invest in her local community. During law school, she helped co-found a mentoring program, Graduate2Graduate, which paired law school students with local high school students who were identified as academically at risk. Heather went on to assist with the launch of Lawyers 4 Literacy in Wake County, a volunteer organization that pairs lawyers in the area with elementary school children to increase literacy and interest in history and civics. More recently, in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on public education, Heather volunteered to assist with fundraising for the Project for Equitable Access in Remote Learning (PEARL), which aims to mitigate the education equity gap that has intensified as a result of COVID-19 by providing support for high school students in Raleigh, North Carolina. Heather is also the Chair of the firm's Mentoring Committee, where she enjoys working with associates and other newer attorneys in the legal community.

    Heather is a proud resident of downtown Raleigh. She and her husband, Mike, met while attending N.C. State University and they love living in Raleigh. They have two young daughters who keep them on their toes. Heather is an avid runner and enjoys participating in marathons across the country. The Boston marathon holds a special place in her heart. When not working, wrangling children, or running, Heather enjoys traveling. She and Mike most recently traveled to Vietnam and Cambodia and continue to add to their list of places to visit.

    Click here for more information about Heather.

  • Joy Brewer

    Joy Brewer is an attorning and founding member of Brewer Defense Group in Raleigh. She practices exclusively in the area of workers' compensation defense with more than fifteen years representing clients before the North Carolina Industrial Commission.

    Joy has handled all types of legal issues in workers' compensation, including compensability, medical causation, occupational disease, fraud, disability and coverage issues. In addition, she has significant experience in handling claims before both the N.C. Court of Appeals and N.C. Supreme Court.

    Joy earned her B.A. Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. from Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law. Upon graduating from law school, she served as the law clerk to the Honorable Robert F. Orr on the N.C. Supreme Court.

    Click here for more information about Joy.

  • Kevin Bunn

    Kevin Bunn is the founding attorney of Kevin Bunn Attorney at Law PC in Cary. He is an experienced injury attorney who has been practicing in Cary for more than twenty years. He concentrates his practice in the areas of workers' compensation, automobile accidents and personal injury, and social security disability. He exclusively represents the injured and disabled.

    Kevin has been awarded an "AV-Preeminent" peer-review rating by Martindale-Hubbell, signifying that other lawyers rank him at the highest level of professional excellence in both legal ability and ethics. He also holds a "Superb" rating with AVVO. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Workers' Compensation Section of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. He is licensed to practice in State and Federal courts as well as the Cherokee Tribal Courts.

    Kevin earned his B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his J.D. from from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Kevin.

  • Henry C. Byrum Jr.

    Henry C. Byrum Jr. is an attorney with Stiles Byrum & Horne LLP in Charlotte. He practices mainly in workers' compensation. He has mediated over one thousand cases for the North Carolina Industrial Commission.

    Henry has written and lectured extensively on workers' compensation issues to employers, insurance, medical, and legal groups, including the North Carolina State Bar, the North Carolina Bar Association, the North Carolina Superior Court Judges Conference, the North Carolina Industrial Commission's Annual Education Seminar, and the Continuing Legal Education Program for the Wake Forest University School of Law.

    Henry earned his B.A., with honors, from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, M.A. from Auburn University and his J.D., cum laude, from Mercer University.

    Click here for more information about Henry.

  • Megan Callahan

    Megan Callahan is a founding member of Cardinal Law Partners in Greensboro. She is a North Carolina board-certified workers' compensation lawyer and has represented clients in pursuit of their workers' compensation benefits before the North Carolina Industrial Commission for many years. She has also been handling personal injury, motor vehicle accidents, and premises liability cases since 2007. She has tried a number of cases in North Carolina Superior Court throughout North Carolina.

    Megan also served as a public defender in Forsyth County and obtained a lot of great courtroom experience during this time.

    Megan is on the board of the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ), the board of Youth Focus and is a member of the Junior League of Greensboro. She has also been on the board of the Guilford Center, which was the Guilford County Mental Health local management entity.

    Megan earned her B.A. in Sociology from North Carolina State University and J.D., with honors, from Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Megan.

  • Melissa Cleary

    Melissa Cleary is a member at McAngus Goudelock & Courie LLC in Raleigh. Her practice focuses exclusively on workers' compensation. She is a Board Certified Specialist in Workers' Compensation Law and the first female defense attorney in North Carolina to be inducted into the College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers.

    In addition to her many appearances before the North Carolina Industrial Commission, Melissa has handled cases before the North Carolina Court of Appeals, the North Carolina Supreme Court and the EEOC.

    Melissa earned her B.A., magna cum laude, in Economics from Saint Mary's College and her J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Click here for more information about Melissa.

  • Kate Deiter-Maradei

    Kate Deiter-Maradei is founder of Deiter Mediation in Raleigh. She is a superior court certified mediator. Through Deiter Mediation, she works to resolve workers' compensation and liability matters. She is proficient in Spanish.

    Previously, Kate litigated cases involving workers' compensation, professional liability, medical malpractice, and real estate disputes. Prior to her work as a mediator, she was a partner at Teague Campbell Dennis & Gorham LLP where her experience as a litigator sparked an interest in alternative dispute resolution.

    Kate earned her B.A. in Women's Studies, with a minor Spanish, International Studies, from Pennsylvania State University and her J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Kate.

  • Dr. Mark Dumonski

    Dr. Mark Dumonski is a spine surgeon with Guilford Orthopedics in Greensboro. He specializes in surgical and non-surgical conditions related to the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine, and is board-certified in orthopaedic surgery. His surgical expertise includes spinal decompressive procedures, routine and complex spinal fusions, minimally invasive procedures, as well as motion preservation procedures such as artificial disc replacement.

    Prior to joining Guilford Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Center in 2010, he proudly trained at the country's highest-regarded spine institutions. After completing his undergraduate training and medical school at the University of Connecticut, Dr. Dumonski completed his orthopaedic residency at Rush University in Chicago, IL. There, as chief resident, he was awarded "Resident Teacher of the Year" by his peers, a clear reflection of his ongoing commitment to ensuring every patient a full and thorough understanding of his or her spinal condition and its associated treatment options. After residency, Dr. Dumonski dedicated an additional year of training at a spine surgery fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. There, he gained valuable experience in diverse and complex conditions of the spine, again training with the world's leading spine surgeons. Throughout residency and fellowship, Dr. Dumonski has had the unique distinction of training extensively with both orthopaedic spine surgeons and neurosurgeons, and as a result, is uniquely able to approach any given patient from both perspectives.

    Over the course of his practice at Guilford Orthopaedics, Dr. Dumonski has become well-known for his exceptional bedside manner and patient outcomes.

    Dr. Dumonski and his high-school sweetheart moved to North Carolina in 2010, and they have absolutely loved every aspect of living in the region ever since. An avid athlete, Dr. Dumonski particularly enjoys running and has completed 14 marathons. He also regularly plays drums with the worship team at Daystar Church in Greensboro. When he's not treating patients, exercising, or leading worship, he will very likely be found in Summerfield with his wife, Wendy, their twin girls, Alexa and Brianna, and his son, Zachary.

    Click here for more information about Dr. Dumonski.

  • Brian C. Groesser

    Brian C. Groesser is the Director, Managing Partner of Raleigh Office at Midkiff Muncie & Ross PC. His entire practice is dedicated to serving the needs of employers and insurance carriers in defending workers' compensation claims in North Carolina. He places strong emphasis on the relationships he has with his clients while providing efficient and effective representation. He has successfully defended and closed claims at all levels of the Industrial Commission.

    Since 2017, Brian has hosted a monthly webinar for clients called Legal Lunch Live wherein he discusses news from the Industrial Commission, compensability scenarios, doctor comparisons, and case law updates. Since 2023, he has hosted a one-of-its kind podcast called Claim Closure discussing North Carolina workers' compensation issues. He conducts yearly presentations for clients, as well as the NCBA and the Industrial Commission. He is AV-rated by Martindale Hubbell, listed in The Best Lawyers in America, and is named to North Carolina Super Lawyers Rising Stars.

    Brian earned his A.B, magna cum laude, in Political Science from University of Michigan and his J.D., magna cum laude, from North Carolina Central University School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Brian.

  • Matthew "Matt" Harbin

    Matthew "Matt" Harbin is a Partner at James Scott Farrin in Greensboro. He has spent more than twenty years fighting for the rights of injured workers throughout North Carolina, and he is a tireless and empathetic advocate.

    Since joining the firm, Matt has become a rare North Carolina State Bar Board Certified Specialist in Workers' Compensation law and a member of the American Association for Justice, the Workplace Injury Litigation Group, and North Carolina Advocates for Justice, which honored Matt with an Order of Service award in 2017, 2018, and 2019. He was also named to the Best Lawyers in America "Best Lawyers"4 list for Workers' Compensation law from 2021-2024.

    Following law school, Matt accepted a position with a Raleigh firm and handled criminal, employment, and workers' compensation cases. Next, he worked at the North Carolina Industrial Commission (the agency in charge of workers' comp in N.C.) as a Special Deputy Commissioner, where he learned the ins-and-outs of the workers' compensation system.

    Matt earned his B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Matt.

  • Timothy W. "Tim" Hewlett

    Timothy W. "Tim" Hewlett is a mediator with Hewlett Mediation in Winston-Salem.

    Tim has practiced in eastern North Carolina, the Triangle, and most recently, since 2010, the Triad. For the first 7 years of his practice, he had a general civil practice, appearing before the General Courts of Justice, the North Carolina Industrial Commission, North Carolina Court of Appeals, and the Social Security Administration. From approximately 2010 to 2020, Tim practiced almost exclusively in the realm of Workers' Compensation. In 2021, Tim transitioned, almost exclusively, to a mediation only practice, opening Hewlett Mediation.

    Tim has, either as counsel or as mediator, participated in well over 1000 mediations over the years, whether in workers' compensation, personal injury, or family law (as counsel).

    Tim earned his B.S. in Political Science and Religion & Philosophy from Barton College and his J.D. from Widener University School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Tim.

  • Dr. Olu Jegede

    Dr. Olu Jegede serves as Vice President of Clinical Care-Health Equity for Cone Health in Greensboro. He is responsible for prioritizing and developing ways to address disparities in health care and outcomes for the community. Reporting to the chief clinical officer, Dr. Jegede partners with key leaders in the Center for Health Equity and the Cone Health chief medical officer to develop strategies and tactics as differences in care and outcomes are identified. In addition, he develops clinical care while keeping a focus on quality of care delivered, promoting cost effective and appropriate care and positive patient experiences.

    Dr. Jegede is a Certified Physician Executive. He earned his master's in Healthcare Administration (MHA) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Managing Health Care Delivery Certificate from Harvard Business School. He is a fellow of American College of Physicians (FACP), fellow of American Association for Physician Leadership (FAAPL), and fellow of American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE).

    Dr. Jegede was recently appointed to the North Carolina Council on Sickle Cell Syndrome by Governor Roy Cooper and to the Minority Health Advisory Council by the North Carolina Senate Preside Pro Tempore.

    Click here for more information about Dr. Jegede.

  • Michael Kelly

    Michael Kelly is Special Deputy Commissioner at the North Carolina Industrial Commission in Raleigh.

    Michael practiced as a family law attorney in courts across the state from 2009 until 2012. He has worked at the Commission as a Special Deputy Commissioner since 2012.

    Michael earned his B.A. in Theatre and History from Wake Forest University and his J.D. from Elon University School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Michael.

  • Thomas E. Lamm

    Thomas E. Lamm is an Associate Attorney at Ricci Law Firm in Raleigh. He dedicates his practice to those who have been injured on the job. He is a Board-Certified Specialist in Workers' Compensation law.

    Prior to joining the Ricci Law Firm Injury Lawyers, Thomas worked for insurance companies and employers in workers' compensation litigation.

    Thomas routinely speaks and teaches other attorneys in the professional at continuing education conferences. He was invited to participate in the North Carolina Bar Association's inaugural Public Service Academy in 2017 and is active in other activities within the profession such as the North Carolina Advocates for Justice.

    Thomas earned his B.S. in Business Administration and Management from North Carolina State University and his J.D., cum laude, from Campbell University School of Law. He served as the Symposium Editor for the Campbell Law Review. He won the Richard Lord Moot Court competition and served as the President of the Delta Theta Phi law fraternity while attending law school.

    While in law school, Thomas had the opportunity to intern in workers' compensation, corporate law, and Social Security Disability. Prior to attending law school, Thomas was a financial analyst in corporate finance.

    Click here for more information about Thomas.

  • Annemarie Pantazis

    Annemarie Pantazis is a board certified workers' compensation specialist with the Wilder Pantazis Law Group in Charlotte. She represents plaintiffs in NC workers' compensation claims.

    Annemarie served two terms on the NCAJ Board of Governors and served as Chair of the Workers' Compensation Section. She currently serves on the NC State Bar workers' compensation specialization committee, which drafts and grades the specialization exam. She also currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Workplace Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), which is a nationwide organization of workers' compensation advocates. She received WILG's rising star award, the Charlotte Business Journal's 40 Under 40 Award, Super Lawyers recognitions of Top 25 Lawyers in Charlotte, Top 100 Lawyers in N.C., Top 50 Women Lawyers in N.C., and Best Lawyers-Workers' Compensation Claimant's Lawyer of the Year Award.

    Annemarie earned her B.A. from The College of William & Mary and her J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law, where she was a published member of the Law Review and Chief Justice of the Moot Court Board.

    Click here for more information about Annemarie.

  • Michael Robinson

    Michael Robinson is program director at NCCJ of the Piedmont Triad in Greensboro. Michael has been the Program Director for NCCJ since 2017, where he oversees Youth and Adult Programming designed to fight bias, bigotry, and racism through education, dialogue, and advocacy. Michael received a Master's in Peace and Conflict studies from UNC Greensboro, and in 2016, founded Shifting Lenses, a workshop series that brings people from all walks of life together to discuss common values in public spaces. When Michael is not doing work in the community, he can be found watching hours of Peppa Pig with his two-year-old daughter Artis Ray or going on long walks with his partner Darah Robinson and their two pups, Willoughby and Eugene.

    Click here for more information about Michael.

  • Cameron D. Simmons

    Cameron D. Simmons is the owner of Cameron Simmons Law PLLC in Wilmington. He is also Of Counsel with several other local firms, running their workers' compensation practices. Cameron is a Board-Certified Specialist in Workers' Compensation and has been since 2005. He is also a certified mediator.

    Cameron was in college a long time and spent a considerable amount of time watching WVU football while in grad and law school at West Virginia University. Unfortunately, his beloved Mountaineers are terrible right now. Despite being born and raised in West Virginia, Cameron somehow finds time to wear shoes (but not always a shirt) and has all his teeth.

    After graduating in 1999, Cameron moved to North Carolina and began practicing on the dark side of the force with McAngus Goudelock and Courie. He then moved to the beach and helped open the Wilmington office of Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog. After years of evil, he saw that light and switched to the Plaintiff's side of the v in 2006. His practice now is focused almost solely on Plaintiff's workers' compensation and mediation.

    Cameron has handled cases at all levels of the Industrial Commission and the appellate courts. He has been and is presently on some boards and has been an officer of stuff here and there…but that's kinda boring. What's not boring is that he lives on a hobby farm in Wilmington, with tons of animals, his smoke show partner Lindsay and their 2 teenage boys (1 of which is bad). The fact that both kids are still alive is a miracle that Cameron should receive complete credit for.

    P.S. Cameron picked his profile picture because it represents the only running sport in which Cameron can beat Heather.

    Click here for more information about Cameron.

  • Casey Spence

    Casey Spence is an attorney with Sumwalt Anderson in Greensboro.

    Prior to joining the firm, Casey worked at Deuterman Law Group as an associate attorney in workers' compensation, following previous stints there as a law clerk and new client coordinator.

    In 2016, Casey was one of a select group of attorneys in the state who qualified as a Board Certified Specialist in Workers' Compensation, a title that was renewed in 2022.

    Casey is actively involved in a number of professional development groups, including the NC Bar Association and the NC Advocates for Justice (NCAJ). Others in the legal field consider her a leader in workers' compensation law, especially cases involving undocumented workers.

    Casey earned her B.A. in Political Science, Spanish Language and Literature, Middle Eastern Studies from North Carolina State University and her J.D., with honors, from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Casey.

  • Jack P. Waissen

    Jack P. Waissen is an associate attorney at Deuterman Law Group in Greensboro. He joined the firm in 2016 as an associate attorney in workers’ compensation, after graduating law school and working numerous summer associates positions in Alabama where he gained experience in wrongful death, personal injury, insurance defense, and corporate litigation.

    Jack is actively involved in a number of professional development groups, including the N.C. Bar Association and the N.C. Advocates for Justice (NCAJ). He is currently serving a three-year term as a Council Member on the North Carolina Bar Association Worker's Compensation Section Council. As part of his responsibilities, he is on the Continuing Learning Education (CLE) Committee where he plans CLEs on workers' compensation for the N.C. Bar Association.

    Jack has litigated and won cases at all levels of the N.C. Industrial Commission and the N.C. Court of Appeals.

    Jack graduated, summa cum laude, from N.C. Central University with a double major in political science and criminal justice. He earned his J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law. While in law school, he worked as a research assistant for several professors, served as articles editor for The Journal of the Legal Profession, and volunteered at Raise the Bar, a 6th grade mentoring program in Alabama.

    Originally from Basingstoke, England, a town about 50 miles southwest of London, Jack came to the United States on a tennis scholarship at N.C. Central.

    Click here for more information about Jack.

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February 2, 2024
Fri 8:55 AM EST

Duration 3H 25M

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