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Teddy Snyder

Teddy Snyder

Teddy Snyder mediates workers’ compensation cases throughout California through WCMediator.com. Parties on both sides of the negotiating table rely on her settlement expertise and experience. An attorney since 1977, she has concentrated on claim settlement for more than 19 years. Her motto, developed over that time, is, “Stop fooling around and just settle the case.”

Since 1983, Snyder has enjoyed the privilege of Martindale’s highest rating of “av,” “preeminent,” for legal expertise and ethics. She was in the first group LEXIS-NEXIS named as Notable Persons in Workers’ Compensation in 2008.

Snyder’s alternative dispute resolution experience includes service with the Los Angeles Superior Court mediation panel as well as for the California Contractors State Licensing Board and American Arbitration Association.

She speaks and writes frequently on issues affecting settlement. She is nationally recognized for her expertise on Medicare Secondary Payer and Affordable Care Act issues affecting settlement.

Recent Articles by Teddy Snyder

Why Not to Make Opening Statements

Times have changed. In the past, mediators would open a mediation by asking for opening statements from lawyers for each party. Problem was, though, these were typically so inflammatory that a meeting that was supposed to be about resolution started with animosity. Sometimes, one side walked out right then, before the real mediation even started. […]

Why Is Work Comp Mediation So Hard?

Why do so many advocates stumble when it comes to preparing for mediation? Perhaps the most important thing a lawyer can do to prepare for mediation is to write a brief. Done properly, the process forces the writer to focus and get ready to negotiate. But many people do it wrong, mostly by providing irrelevant and obsolete information […]

3 Tips for Settling Workers’ Comp Cases

Merriam Webster defines “courage” as the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear or difficulty. The easy way to litigate is to react to catalysts from outside sources, such as the court, opposing counsel or a medical emergency. The courageous negotiator is proactive. That includes knowing how to push a claim to […]

How Mediation Should Progress

Like the moon, mediation proceeds in phases. Here’s a primer on what happens when. Phase 1: Investigation The first phase of a mediation consists of fact-gathering and defining the issues. When the parties provide exhaustive briefs, time spent on fact-finding may be minimal. We can quickly pin down which facts and issues the parties agree or […]

MOU Is Not a Noise Made By a Cow

Almost all of my mediations end with agreement to a Compromise and Release. Parties often bring a partially completed Compromise & Release form, DWC-CA form 10214(c), to the mediation. That’s great. But when considerations prevent execution of a final agreement at the mediation, a Memorandum of Understanding, known as an M.O.U., can be invaluable. After working hard to […]

Why Phones Are Bad for WC Negotiations

A litigation analysis found that lawyers used telephone negotiation in 72% of the cases studied, resulting in settlement only 35% of the time. That means that phone negotiation sessions or other processes had to be used multiple times to get to settlement. We can assume that repetition resulted in a loss of time and money […]

Work Comp: Mediation or an ‘Informal’?

There are a lot of reasons why negotiating a workers’ comp settlement at a mediation is better than at the board, such as control over scheduling and lack of time constraints. But how does that compare with an informal? The presence of the mediator makes all the difference. Here are three examples: Stop the Posturing When opposing […]

Work Comp Mediation in a #MeToo World

In the #MeToo and #TimesUp era, employees may be more ready to assert sexual aggression claims than in the past. These situations could lead to a workers compensation claim, a civil suit or even criminal proceedings. Privacy is an issue in each setting, but only in comp is the claims professional engaged in the victim’s medical […]

‘Slice’ Your Way to Mediation Success

One of my favorite methods for resolving workers’ compensation cases in mediation is slicing. Slicing a dispute into its separate issues allows parties to reach early partial agreement, paving the way for complete resolution. Parties sometimes want to put one number on the table without specifying how much of that number may represent permanent disability (PD), future […]

Tips on Mediation in Workers’ Comp

The way mediations start is important. A bad start can result in a lot of wasted time getting to the place you should have been at the beginning. The First Move The best way to start is to start. Don’t be afraid to make the first offer to settle. Setting a settlement floor or ceiling […]

3 Reasons to Talk With Injured Workers

Near the start of every mediation, once each side is in their own caucus room, I spend time talking directly with the injured worker. There are at least three reasons to do so. 1. I want to build trust in the mediation process. The injured worker needs to feel part of and emotionally invested in […]

WC’s Version of ‘Room Where It Happens’

“Hamilton,” the ground-breaking musical about our colonial forefathers, is finally coming to Los Angeles in August. But maybe you’ve been experiencing a version of that story. Like Aaron Burr, injured workers want to be in the room where it happens [sorry if you encounter an ad at this link].  Instead, they are frequently shut out of […]

How to Settle Tough WC Cases

I see cases — sometimes years later — where the parties were oh-so-close to settling when negotiations broke down. Nobody would compromise their bargaining position to give that last inch, and they didn’t have a mediator to help them bridge the gap. A Secret Response to an Offer Nobody Made A “mediator’s proposal” works like […]

When You Know the Claim Should Settle

Your best friend in negotiation can be your opponent—provided you put your report where your mouth is. Too often, parties withhold evidence that would support their position. Sure, your opponent’s initial reaction may be to denigrate your evidence. But your opponent may not have anything to refute it. It might even be too late for […]

Don’t Miss the Crossover Issues in WC

March Madness may be the ideal time to remember workers’ compensation crossover issues. Crossover issues are not strictly workers’ compensation issues — which is why they are sometimes overlooked. That omission can cost a party money or even lead to a professional malpractice suit. Third-Party Claims Product liability, medical malpractice and negligent roadway design are […]

Work Comp Rule That Nobody Follows

The rule is straightforward: “If a party requests that a defendant provide a computer printout of benefits paid, within twenty (20) days, the defendant shall provide the requesting party with a current computer printout of benefits paid. The printout shall include the date and amount of each payment of temporary disability indemnity, permanent disability indemnity […]

What You Forgot to Tell Your TPA

Many self-insureds and carriers use third party administrators as their front-line adjusters. A set of instructions or guidelines from the actual check-writer is supposed to regulate the TPA’s procedures. Anticipating every permutation of every possible situation is impossible, but every set of instructions should include guidance on when and how to use mediation. Recently, I had the […]

How to Know When a Claim Should Settle

Case evaluation is part art and part math. And we’re not even talking calculus; we’re talking arithmetic. A surprisingly large number of lawyers tell me they’re bad at math. They’re not alone. CNN anchor Chris Cuomo recently had his math corrected by co-anchor Michaela Pereira while discussing Powerball lottery numbers.   You can’t come up with a realistic […]

3 Signals It’s Time to Close the Claim

Some workers’ compensation claims seem to have a life of their own. Before you know it, years have passed since the date of injury. Here are three signals telling you to take a hard look at settling now. The Injured Workers Is 61 Years Old Once an injured worker reaches age 62½, any buyout of future medical […]

How to Close Old Work Comp Claims

You know the claims I’m talking about: the really old claims where the injured worker is representing himself. Let’s call them the SRAs, self-represented applicants. Active SRAs file one court paper after another, causing the insurer or self-insured employer to fund what seems like a never-ending stream of visits by a representative to the board. […]

‘Twas the Night Before Mediation

‘Twas the night before mediation And all through the firm Not a creature was stirring, Not even a worm But then one lawyer Asleep on a couch Shot up, hit his head And said with an “Ouch” Oh my, I’ve got That mediation tomorrow I didn’t do a brief Much, much to my sorrow Then […]

How Politics Drives Up Your MSA Costs

For President George W. Bush and Congress to get Medicare Part D drug coverage passed in 2003, they had to make significant concessions to big business, including the drug industry. One of the law’s provisions forbids the government from setting rules for negotiating better drug prices. The “noninterference” section says: In order to promote competition […]

The Next Problem for Workers’ Comp: Medical ID Theft

Medical identity theft occurs when a thief obtains treatment using the victim’s Social Security number or health insurance identification number. Authorities also report arrests of care providers who have stolen medical identities and submitted bills for treatment they never performed.  Cyber-attacks on medical data have produced a market for this kind of information. A theft […]

The 6 Acute Needs in Workers’ Comp Cases

Everybody has needs. These six are acute for parties in workers’ compensation:1) The Need to Be HeardApplicants need to tell their story. At the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB), applicants are sitting in the waiting room or cafeteria, if they are there at all. Mediation may be the only time an applicant can tell his […]

Affordable Care Act Can Help Close Workers’ Comp Claims

The Affordable Care Act can help workers’ compensation professionals close claims. Now that injured workers can buy private health insurance regardless of pre-existing conditions, parties can calculate case value according to the cost to fund health insurance premiums. Uncertain about the cost of future premiums? You’re an old hand at this — the cost of […]

How Many Pieces Go Into a Settlement?

Question: How many pieces are involved in a workers’ compensation settlement? Answer: Probably more than you think. The more issues there are in a negotiation, the greater the opportunity for give and take. This adds flexibility for parties to shape a settlement acceptable to all. Trading across issues in negotiation is called “logrolling.” Every case […]

15 Reasons to Mediate Workers’ Comp Cases

1. Mediation can save stress, time and money. 2. You can schedule a mediation at a time and place of the parties’ choosing — no long waits for a court date. 3. Mediation is voluntary. 4. You can mediate a claim at any time, even while awaiting appeal or reconsideration. 5. You can choose your […]

Death, Taxes and the Link to Work Comp

Workers’ compensation is one more area where death and taxes must be considered. DEATH The death of an injured worker who has not previously entered into a Compromise and Release settlement for the indemnity part of the workers’ compensation claim stops all benefits. Per California Labor Code 4700, “Neither temporary nor permanent disability payments shall […]

The 1 Way to Maximize Success in Mediation

The goal in mediation is to define issues and resolve them. You can get a head start by alerting your mediator to the issues and suggesting why those issues tilt in your favor. Lack of a brief unnecessarily lengthens the mediation, and your mediator is probably being paid according to how much time is spent in […]

Is Mediation Effective in Workers’ Comp?

Babe Ruth’s lifetime batting average was .342. Studies in states with a history of workers’ compensation mediation suggest your success rate with it is likely to be a whole lot better. In Florida, parties must mediate workers’ compensation claims within 130 days of the filing of a petition for benefits. Results for the fiscal year ended June […]

The 6 Misconceptions on Using Mediation

Here are the six biggest mediation misconceptions: 1. The mediator might rule against me. Mediators do not make any rulings. The role of the mediator is to help the parties resolve the issues. 2. If I go to mediation, I will have to give up something. Negotiation is about compromise. Each side usually gives up […]

CMS' New MSA Toolkit for Self-Administration

The Achilles heel in Medicare Set-Aside compliance in workers' compensation settlements has always been self-administration. For cases within the CMS' “review threshold,” carriers and self-insureds have procured Medicare Set-Aside allocation reports at no small expense. They file for CMS approval, insisting that settlement documents provide for separate set-aside funding. Then, in 99% of the cases, the money is […]

Expanded Medicaid Changes the Game in Workers’ Comp

The workers’ compensation community appears oblivious to the fact that the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) can facilitate settlements while also introducing a complicated new question because beneficiaries of expanded Medicaid are not subject to the asset limitations of traditional Medicaid.  (Medicaid is called “Medi-Cal” in California.) Medicaid is a federal program of healthcare benefits for […]

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