E. Charles Maki (Chuck) began his career with KT&T in February 1976, at the tiny LA office on Beverly Boulevard, next to the original Tommy’s Hamburgers. That made for aromatic offices after lunch, many days of the week. His initial venture into the world of Workmen’s Comp, as it was known then, had been with SCIF, starting in 1972 where he lasted 3 ½ years before being “discovered” by founding member and comp legend, Jim Tobin. With many cities and school districts switching from SCIF to self- insurance, in the mid-70s, there were frequent encounters as co-defendants on cases, and Jim had been heard to say that to stop fighting with Chuck, he hired him.
Chuck became a partner/shareholder in the firm in 1977 and when the Ventura office expanded in 1978, he moved his family to Ventura County to manage the Northern Frontier of the firm, where he has remained to the present time. As a testimonial to temperament, managerial ability, or just good fortune, it should be noted that his first secretary in that office, Nancy, remains as his paralegal and branch office manager.
Chuck has a wide variety of experience defending employers such as school districts, cities and counties, a state agency, and numerous self-insured companies. Multiple insurance carriers, third-party administrators, and CIGA are among clients past and present. An occasional uninsured employer requiring legal assistance has been represented.
Through the many changes in the law dating as far back as 1975, with many “reforms,” some of which were helpful to the defense industry, he has remained up to date and prepared to defend the clients of the firm. As a member of the firm, he authored the publication, Special Workers Compensation Problems, and Benefits for School Districts in 1986, which updated and reissued in 1992, much of which remains valuable to the present, as long as code section numbering changes are considered.
He has participated in some noteworthy Appellate decisions, such as Northrop Grumman v WCAB (Graves) 2002, where, in one of the first cases involving the good faith personnel action defenses to psychiatric claims, the Court of Appeals, overturned the WCAB, and held that the results of an investigation did not determine whether it had been conducted in good faith.
In another matter, before SB 899 restricted penalty assessments, liability was 10% of all species of the delay, past, present, and future. In County of San Luis Obispo v WCAB (Barnes) with 23 penalties alleged, and where $650,000 had been paid in medical for a 100% case, the judge, after trial assessed three penalties, the WCAB after recon limited this to one. Chuck took this to the Court of Appeal and was denied. The County brought in another firm for the Supreme Court filing, using, for the most part, the original appeal, and it was sent back for a hearing. Final result and decision was no penalty in that the imposition of a $65,000 penalty for a delay in payment of $97.87 upset the balance of fairness and would result in an unreasonable windfall. This was great for two years until the entire penalty assessment was replaced.
More recently he overturned a decision in a death claim involving a finding that the presumption under 5402 applied, and upon remand, the final determination, withstanding Reconsideration and a Petition for Writ of Review was that a fatal accident of an employee was barred by the Coming and Going Rule. Saving the carrier a potential $250,000 award.
Much of his perseverance, loyalty, and work ethic can be traced to the “formative” years. He worked full-time evenings while putting himself through college. He had full-time employment after college with the City of Los Angeles, at the Fire Department, while attending law school at night, and occasionally helping raise his young family. Then relocating that family for the benefit of the firm, which also helped the family leave the smog of LA, to beautiful Ventura County.
Chuck will bring that experience, loyalty, and work ethic to all clients large and small and welcomes contact and inquiry.