51.52.115  <<  51.52.120 >>   51.52.130

Attorney's fee before department or boardUnlawful attorney's fees.

(1) Except for claim resolution structured settlement agreements, it shall be unlawful for an attorney engaged in the representation of any worker or beneficiary to charge for services in the department any fee in excess of a reasonable fee, of not more than thirty percent of the increase in the award secured by the attorney's services. Such reasonable fee shall be fixed by the director or the director's designee for services performed by an attorney for such worker or beneficiary, if written application therefor is made by the attorney, worker, or beneficiary within one year from the date the final decision and order of the department is communicated to the party making the application.
(2) If, on appeal to the board, the order, decision, or award of the department is reversed or modified and additional relief is granted to a worker or beneficiary, or in cases where a party other than the worker or beneficiary is the appealing party and the worker's or beneficiary's right to relief is sustained by the board, the board shall fix a reasonable fee for the services of his or her attorney in proceedings before the board if written application therefor is made by the attorney, worker, or beneficiary within one year from the date the final decision and order of the board is communicated to the party making the application. In fixing the amount of such attorney's fee, the board shall take into consideration the fee allowed, if any, by the director, for services before the department, and the board may review the fee fixed by the director. Any attorney's fee set by the department or the board may be reviewed by the superior court upon application of such attorney, worker, or beneficiary. The department or self-insured employer, as the case may be, shall be served a copy of the application and shall be entitled to appear and take part in the proceedings. Where the board, pursuant to this section, fixes the attorney's fee, it shall be unlawful for an attorney to charge or receive any fee for services before the board in excess of that fee fixed by the board.
(3) For claim resolution structured settlement agreements, fees for attorney services are limited to fifteen percent of the total amount to be paid to the worker after the agreement becomes final. The board will also decide on any disputes as to attorneys' fees for services related to claim resolution structured settlement agreements consistent with the procedures in subsection (2) of this section.
(4) In an appeal to the board involving the presumption established under RCW 51.32.185, the attorney's fee shall be payable as set forth under RCW 51.32.185.
(5) Any person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.

NOTES:

FindingEffective date2011 1st sp.s. c 37: See notes following RCW 51.32.090.
IntentEffective date2003 c 53: See notes following RCW 2.48.180.
Effective datesImplementation1982 c 63: See note following RCW 51.32.095.
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