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Nathalie Amezquita vs. Scott Ziehl An Individual, Co-partner Dba Jewelry, Liquidation Usa

Scott Ziehl an Individual, Co-Partner dba Jewelry, Liquidation USA Nathalie Amezquita WORKERS’ COMPENSATION APPEALS BOARDSTATE OF CALIFORNIANATHALIE AMEZQUITA, Applicant,vs.SCOTT ZIEHL an Individual, Co-Partner dbaJEWELRY, Liquidation USA, Defendants.Case Nos. ADJ7624426; ADJ8657421(Los Angeles District Office)OPINION AND ORDERGRANTING PETITION FOR DISQUALIFICATION            Applicant has filed a timely, verified Petition for Disqualification, requesting that the Appeals Board disqualify Workers’ Compensation Administrative Law Judge (WCJ) Richard Shapiro, on the grounds that the WCJ had demonstrated a state of mind evincing enmity against the applicant. Petitioner also alleges that the WCJ had formed or expressed an opinion as to the merits of applicant’s case. We have not received responses from counsel for the employer or from counsel for the Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund.            Trial commenced in this matter on February 7, 2012, before WCJ Garrett Bailey, who subsequently resigned. After a year, the parties succeeded in obtaining a transcript of the proceedings before WCJ Bailey. The case was set for trial on April 23, 2013, before WCJ Shapiro. When the parties informed WCJ Shapiro that they were unable to settle and wished to commence trial, applicant’s counsel states under penalty of perjury that the WCJ told him that he would receive a “take nothing” if he proceeded to trial and that his client was “a liar.”            In his Report and Recommendation, the WCJ does not deny that he made the comment about “take nothing” or called the applicant “a liar.” He does say that applicant’s counsel was planning to offer new medical reports in which the histories would conform to the testimony in 2012, despite the fact that discovery had been closed. He states: “The undersigned does not believe that pointing out certain serious problems for purposes of trying to facilitate an informal resolution of the case, though not , necessarily in the terms alleg

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