The following is a Memorandum issues by Peter J. Calderone, Director and Chief Judge of the NJ Division of Workers' Compensation. It was issued on May 3, 2004.
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 34:15-64, judges of compensation have the discretion to award a reasonable counsel fee not to exceed 20% of the award entered. The judge should in all matters determine a reasonable fee based on the circumstances of the case and the value of the services performed.
Effective May 3, 2004, in those cases where a counsel fee allowance is greater than S30,000.CO, judges of compensation are required, in addition to whatever other procedures a judge may set, to include in the record an affidavit of services, testimony and/or other information on which the judge’s counsel fee allowance is based.
This process provides discretion to judges of compensation in reviewing requests for an allowance greater than the Division set threshold. At one time, an affidavit ofservices was the only mechanism for allowing fees above the threshold amount. Ajudge may now utilize other processes for setting a counsel fee greater than the thresho!d as long as the basis for the determination is clearly provided in the record.
Please include this memorandum in your Compendium of Memoranda by replacing the current Chapter 4, Section 2: For Counsel page 5 with this new page 5.