Message from the President

Andy J. Reinhardt

We are "Inn" this Together

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Message from the VWC Chairman

Robert A. Rapaport

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
- Winston Churchill.

When I began to practice before the Commission, hearings were held in open court at what is often referred to as a cattle call. This allowed attorneys to observe other practitioners ply their craft. I was able to watch skilled (and not so skilled) attorneys question and cross exam witnesses, and argue motions relating to evidence and fine points of law. From these observations I was able to pick and choose who to emulate and what pitfalls to avoid. Watching the likes of Bill Walker and Bob Macbeth, I learned the value of listening to the answers to questions and not worry about the next question I had prepared to ask. Perhaps more important, I learned that when you are winning, shut up. I saw so many lawyers snatch defeat from the jaws of victory hoping to make a winning case perfect.

Now hearings are scheduled at a time certain and generally the court room is empty but for clients and witnesses when cases are presented and argued. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a Bill Dudley as a mentor. Some are reticent to ask questions of their boss for fear of appearing unprepared, or worse, not smart. This is why the availability of a mentor is so important. Mentors are a sounding board for ideas. An opportunity to ask questions of someone who has “been there and done that.” There simply is no substitute for experience. Most of us would rather not learn from making mistakes, although we all do.

I have mentored several attorneys in my career and assure you I’ve gained far more than I gave. Additionally, mentoring never stops. While I tried thousands of cases, before joining the Commission, I had never conducted a hearing nor written an opinion. But I was fortunate enough to have the experience and knowledge of Commissioners Marshall and Newman to help me learn my new role.

A good mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you than you see in yourself, and helps bring out that talent and ability. That is why, if you have the time and are willing to share, I strongly urge you to consider mentoring other lawyers.


Mike Beste is on sabbatical from Reinhardt Harper Davis and currently living in South America.

Tenley Carroll Seli has left Lynch Seli to take a position as Assistant Bar Counsel with the Virginia State Bar. She’s excited for the transition, but sad to leave the many colleagues with whom she has worked for so many years.

Member Spotlight

Meet the Commission’s two newest Deputy Commissioners!

Deputy Commissioner John Cornett

Have you ever met or known anyone famous?

I met Saylor Bob when I was a kid. I even have a picture he signed. Unless you grew up in the Richmond area when local programming was a thing, you probably have never heard of him, but he was bigger than Barney or Baby Shark back in the day.

What is your favorite sport to watch and why?

Boxing. Boxing is a test, not only of individual strength, but endurance and strategy. There is an art to boxing. Boxing is like a dance, a somewhat brutal dance, but a dance nonetheless. It relies on timing, good footwork and knowing when to make the right move.

What was your first job?

I had my first real job when I was in high school. I made custom picture frames for a little framing shop in Petersburg called Needleworks. Looking back, I’m not sure putting a 16 year old kid in charge of a table saw and a hydraulic press was a good idea, but I still have all my fingers, so it worked out.

What talent would you like most to have?

Not being able to carry a tune in a bucket, I have always envied people who could sing, and wish I had that talent. I still remember when I was in the children’s church choir, and the director taught me the wonderful skill of mouthing the words without actually making a sound. She said I was very good at it.

What do you do in your spare time?

In addition to yard work and spending time with family and friends, I love attending concerts and visiting local distilleries.

What is your favorite holiday and why?

Christmas. I find true meaning behind the holiday and the hope and joy that it brings. I love being able to spend time with family, and enjoy the traditions that we have developed over the years. Also, my wife loves to decorate for Christmas, so our house looks like a Hallmark movie, which I really enjoy. The decorations, not the Hallmark movies. Not a fan of the Hallmark movies.

How many cups of tea do you drink a day?

I usually have at least two if not three glasses of tea a day. Being from the South, the tea is always in a glass not a cup, with ice, sweetened. Also, don’t put fruit in it, unless it is a lemon slice.

Deputy Commissioner Josh Wulf

What is your favorite sports team?

The Washington Nationals. This year (and for many of their early years) rooting for the team is a labor of love, but watching them win the World Series in 2019 despite statistically impossible odds was a sublime experience.

What was your first job?

My first law related job (not my first job ever) was at an office in the Department of Justice that investigated alleged Nazi war criminals living in the United States. I’m still amazed the office let a college kid interview camp survivors to see if they could be potential witnesses. That job was far more interesting than my very first job working at a cookie store.

What do you do in your spare time?

I create content for a cocktail website my wife and I started in 2014. Not surprisingly, in social situations when people learn I’m a Deputy Commissioner and learn about the website, I get far more questions about cocktails than I do about workers’ compensation.

What was the last television show you watched and why did you choose it? What is your favorite television show?

Family Guy is one of my favorite television shows over the years. It’s impressive when someone easily blends intellectual humor with definitely not intellectual humor (I have the same opinion about Mel Brooks). The last television show I watched was The Lincoln Lawyer on Netflix, and my wife chose it.

What is your favorite holiday and why?

The Fourth of July. The weather is warm, people are in a good mood, and it’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate what is great about our country.

On a scale of 1-10, how good of a driver are you?

Eight. I was raised by parents who come from Boston, so depending on your point of view, those Boston instincts keep me from being a 10 driver or make me a 10 driver.

How many cups of coffee (or tea) do you drink a day?

None. I believe that makes me a rarity in the legal profession.



During 2020, at the height of the COVID pandemic restrictions, the Commission developed a waitlist for scheduling Full and Final Mediations. By July 2022, the waitlist contained 212 cases, and parties were often waiting 60 days to begin the scheduling process.

In an effort to make the scheduling of Full and Final Mediations more efficient, the Commission’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Department began a pilot project using Sign Up Genius software in July 2022. Initially, attorneys in a small group of cases were notified that specific cases (individual JCNs) had been selected for the Pilot. They were asked to confer with each other, and select a date, time, mediator, and format for Full and Final Mediation using SignUpGenius.

After parties in a particular JCN selected a slot, ADR scheduled the mediation and sent Commission Notices confirming the scheduling within 2 business days of the selection. The pilot originally ran for two weeks, and was then extended on an ad hoc basis. By early October, 2022, the waiting list was eliminated, and 309 cases had been scheduled using SignUpGenius. Incoming requests for Full and Final Mediation were offered scheduling information within 2 business days in most instances.

While the pilot project has been very successful, additional cases have continued to be set using the “old fashioned” way, with ADR staff contacting attorneys’ offices with available dates, times, mediators, and formats using email. Currently the Commission is transitioning from the “old fashioned” way to using SignUpGenius as the default method of scheduling.

As with anything involving Alternative Dispute Resolution, every case is different. There will likely always be cases that require “old fashioned” scheduling due to the number of parties, companion third party litigation, mediation in dual jurisdictions, and the like. Any attorney involved in such a case should reach out to the Commission’s ADR Department for individual assistance.

Stay tuned for further updates as the transition to scheduling in SignUpGenius is completed. If you have questions, feel free to contact Managing Deputy Commissioner, Debbie Blevins.


  • Save the date! The VWC’s 2023 Educational Conference will be held on October 18th and 19th at the Richmond Convention Center.

  • Dana L. Plunkett, Managing Deputy Commissioner of the Fairfax regional office, has new phone and fax numbers:  

    • Phone: 703-269-2286 / Fax: 703-207-7195.

  • The Medical Fee Schedule is being reviewed and updated by the Regulatory Advisory Panel and the Commission, with a go-live date in 2024. For a complete listing of events, the 2024 MFS Biennial Review Timeline will be posted on the VWC’s website. 

  • The Claims Services Department collaborated with the Inn of Court on a Supplemental Agreement Form for Varying Wage Benefits.  Christina Ramos presented a draft version of the new form to Inn members at the Educational Conference. The form was approved by Inn members with one recommended modification and will be sent back to the Commission for final approval. Upon final approval, the new form will be beta tested before a full release to the public. Future projects include modifications of the existing Agreement Form utilizing a similar model as the Supplemental Agreement form as well as the automated exchange of agreements.

  • VWC’s Customer Contact Center:  

    • Hours:  8:30am – 4:45pm (M-F) / Phone:  877-664-2566.  

    • Please have the injured worker’s name along with JCN or last four digits of the SSN, DOB, and nature/extent of injury to help CCC locate the case.

  • All requests for VWC Opinions can be sent to


Upcoming 2022 Holiday Events

Please note the dates/venues and mark your calendar.
You will receive an email closer to the dates to RSVP.

Kids’ Chance

November 5th, 2022
Register at

Kids’ Chance of Virginia’s 5th Annual DC Dash 5K, named in honor of Commissioner Roger Williams, takes place at the Columbia Island Marina on November 5th at 9:00 a.m. The race takes runners north of the Mount Vernon trail towards Arlington and then back toward Lady Byrd Johnson Park.

Past Events - August 2022

Washington Nationals

Southwest Virginia Function
Hosted by Rick Lucas.

Norfolk Tides


A Judicial Throwback to Cold War “Détente.”

Commissioner Wesley G. Marshall