Elias Teferi


The purpose of this study was to determine the perception among defense attorneys regarding the New Reform Law SB899. The study was also to further assess defense's satisfaction with regard to the leadership provided by Governor Schwarzenegger, Senator Poochigian and The Legislature as a whole. Furthermore the study was to assess defense attorneys' readiness to defend the gains afforded following the passage of the reform law. The sampling procedure for this study is one of the three types of non-probability sampling called Purposeful Sampling. The population for this study includes all defense attorneys who are members of the California State Bar and are currently engaged in defending Workers' compensation cases in the State of California. The sample of this study was obtained from defense attorneys who practice in the Southern California Tri-County (Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego) region. The survey instrument had 34 questions out of which 6 were demographic in nature. Surveys were administered to 110 Defense Attorneys. A total of 31 (N = 31) respondents participated for a response rate of 31%. According to the analysis done on the study the highest mean scores were obtained on questions relating to the concern defense attorneys have regarding the provisions of SB899 that are exposed to serious legal challenges up to and including reversals on appeal (M = 4.52). Concurrently defense attorneys have confirmed their readiness to defend the gains of SB899 and have given high marks (M = 4.23) regarding the plan of action for the future that will be to litigate and argue for preservation of the law. Defense attorneys also strongly agreed that SB899 enjoys broad support amongst California employers, insurance carriers and third party administrators (M = 4.06). Their impression regarding the Governor's leadership including Senator Poochigian's was also positive and has drawn moderately high agreement (M = 3.58). Participants also have validated the Governor's argument on the detrimental effect of high premiums (M = 3.68). This study provides solid evidence that defense attorneys are concerned about certain aspects of the New Reform Law being reversed on appeal while affirming their commitment to preserve the gains afforded by the same. Their success or failure for preservation of SB899 will without a doubt be closely monitored by all stakeholders.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Workers' compensation -- Law and legislation -- California; Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Rosensitto, Michelle;