OAC Policy 2
(a) A judge may exercise discretion to request or receive proposed orders or position statements from the parties in a workers' compensation case. The following options exist for obtaining proposed orders or position statements. These options are not exclusive, and a judge may use other mechanisms appropriate to the case.
i. Ruling from the bench and referring preparation of a proposed order to prevailing counsel. In making the referral the judge should articulate findings and conclusions, in as much detail as the judge considers appropriate, resolving conflicts in the evidence and deciding all pertinent issues. Also, the judge should provide guidance on boilerplate language, pertinent case and statutory law, and when and how to submit the proposed order. The judge's mastery of the law applicable to the facts of the case at the conclusion of the hearing is a necessary prerequisite to ruling from the bench. A judge may modify the fact findings and legal conclusions articulated at the conclusion of the hearing in the written order. Proposed orders are subject to rewriting by the judge to more accurately find facts and more accurately make legal conclusions with supporting case and statutory authority.
ii. Issuing a letter, minute order or e-mail to all attorneys, detailing specific findings and legal conclusions, and requesting the prevailing attorney to submit a proposed order. The same guidelines for bench rulings apply.
iii. Requesting post-hearing position statements with guidance from the judge on the facts, issues and law to be addressed, as appropriate.
iv. Conducting a conference call between the judge and all the attorneys or unrepresented parties to articulate findings of fact and conclusions of law, and to refer preparation of a proposed order to the prevailing party. The same guidelines for bench rulings apply. The call will be tape-recorded to prevent misunderstandings.
v. Taking the case under advisement and the judge preparing specific findings.
(b) Regardless of how the judge proceeds in accepting proposed orders or position statements, the following principles apply:
i. Ultimately, the written order of the judge controls. All orders must be properly typewritten and formatted.
ii. The judge should direct the parties preparing proposed orders or position statements to send a copy to opposing counsel (or unrepresented parties) by the same method (mail, e-mail, FAX) it is delivered to the judge. In addition, the judge should specify a time limit for any comments by opposing parties.
(c) If proposed orders or position statements are e-mailed, they should be e-mailed to the Office of Administrative Courts general e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org (Denver) email@example.com (Colorado Springs) or firstname.lastname@example.org (Grand Junction).