In 1974, Terry Heggeness and Clifford D. Sweet, III, founded the Law Offices of Heggeness & Sweet, A Professional Corporation. Their goal was to offer high quality and cost effective legal services to Southern California employers and their workers’ compensation insurance carriers with respect to work-related injuries before the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, the United States Department of Labor, their related appellate courts, and the Supreme Court of California.
Heggeness & Sweet, A P.C., continued to grow and prosper. Additional shareholders, Robert LaBerge, John Muller, and Hernan Cetina were added.
In 2007, the Firm changed its name to reflect the transition from the founding members to the current management team. Margot Simington and Joseph Patrico were chosen to lead the Firm into the future, along with shareholders Linda Condra, and Sean Hermanson.
On July 31, 2007, the Articles of Incorporation were officially amended and the name Heggeness, Sweet, Simington & Patrico, A P.C. was chosen to reflect the new era of management.
The firm of Mentz, Finn & McDowell, A P.C. was founded in 1964 and also specialized in the defense of workers’ compensation claims. MFM provided high quality and cost effective legal services to Northern California employers and their workers’ compensation insurance carriers. On June 1, 2010, MFM merged into HSSP to create a statewide workers’ compensation law firm dedicated to providing the highest quality defense at a fair and reasonable cost. Our Bay Area Office is managed by firm Shareholder Thomas M. Finn.
HSSP believes in a team approach to managing workers’ compensation litigation. This has been a foundation in our success over the years. We maintain a close working relationship with our clients in order to ensure swift and efficient resolution of claims. This approach combined with the respect gained from clients, present parties and workers’ compensation judges has allowed us to successfully defend workers’ compensation cases for the past four decades. The Firm is one of the preeminent workers’ compensation defense firms in California. HSSP has three Southern California offices serving San Diego, Imperial, Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties. We have two Northern California offices which services the jurisdictions extending from San Francisco to Sacramento and Fresno to Eureka. The Firm regularly represents clients at the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board District Offices in Anaheim, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Marina del Rey, Oakland, Pomona, Riverside, San Diego, Salinas, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Ana, Santa Rosa and Van Nuys, as well as their branch offices.
HSSP clients include numerous insurance carriers representing a large variety of employers as well as permissibly self-insured employers. The Firm has also represented state-wide industry organizations such as the California Self-Insurers Association in the capacity of amicus curiae in important cases before the State of California Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court. The national legal publication Martindale-Hubbell has given the Firm its highest ranking of A-V for ethics and professional competence. HSSP has been selected by AM Best as Recommended Insurance Attorneys.
HSSP’s civil litigation unit was formed to meet client litigation needs and to complement our well-established and widely recognized workers’ compensation unit. This unit offers legal services in civil litigation arising from workers’ compensation matters, including subrogation claims and fraud. HSSP has successfully represented employers and carriers in action filed against medical and other professionals for unfair business practices.
HSSP strives to maintain a cutting edge position within the workers’ compensation community. Firm attorneys have helped shape the workers’ compensation legislation of the past years, always with a clear concern for employer rights. HSSP provides legal services to assist employers and carriers comply with requirements of newly enacted legislation and offer advice and counsel in developing employer/insurer programs designed to cut workers’ compensation costs.
HSSP has created customized Medical Provider Networks on behalf of a number of its self-insured and insurance carrier clientele. The Firm has represented clients with regard to the negotiation and implementation of MPN’s and Return to Work Programs, resulting in significant cost savings.
All Firm shareholders have completed the post graduate educational requirements and have successfully passed the full day written examination in workers' compensation law administered by the California State Bar to earn a Certificate of Specialization in Workers’ Compensation Law. HSSP associates are strongly encouraged to achieve certified specialist status. Consequently, HSSP has one of the highest percentages of Workers’ Compensation Specialists on staff in the State.
HSSP is also committed to providing continuing education to its clients and the workers’ compensation community at large. The Firm is one of only a handful certified by the State of California to provide Workers’ Compensation Legal Specialization credits. HSSP provides its clients with customized training sessions to assist the claims professionals with their mandatory training credits and practical knowledge. In addition, HSSP maintains up-to-date web pages which provide insight and legal analysis into the latest workers' compensation developments, along with practical advice on claims handling strategies.
Upon receipt of a litigation assignment, all matters are immediately reviewed by a firm Shareholder, and assigned to a member of the Firm for handling. Client requests for specific attorney assignments will, of course, be honored. The Firm will send written acknowledgment of a litigation assignment within three working days. The responsible attorney will prepare a detailed initial file evaluation letter setting forth specific recommendations for litigation management and an aggressive plan of action. All client specific handling guidelines are followed.
It is the philosophy of the Firm that the attorney’s role is to provide the client with an evaluation of the range of potential exposure of the claim and with recommendations for claims management, including settlement recommendations. HSSP strictly adheres to the principle that all claims management decisions and settlement authority comes solely from the client.
The materials within this Web site have been prepared for general informational purposes only. They are not legal advice and should not be used as such. Transmission of this information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to constitute legal advice or to substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney licensed in your state. Heggeness, Sweet, Simington & Patrico, A P.C. is unwilling to assume the representation of clients from those states where the marketing material does not comply with State Bar requirements and where the client is generated as a result of that communication.
To learn more about how we can help you with your case, please contact us today!
Heggeness, Sweet, Simington & Patrico, A P.C.
4180 Ruffin Road
San Diego, CA
Phone (858) 874-2100
6180 Quail Valley Court
Phone (951) 656-1944
600 West Santa Ana Boulevard
Santa Ana, CA
Phone (714) 550-1133
1633 Bayshore Highway
Phone (650) 350-1908
210 Capitol Street, Suite 1
Phone (831) 676-3255