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parties in Guzman until 5pm on Friday, May 1, 2009 to file briefs on the merits and to serve those briefs on opposing counsel in that case. We also will give any interested person or entity until 5pm on Friday, May 1, 2009 to file an amicus curiae brief and to serve that brief on all counsel in both the Almaraz and Guzman cases.2 Finally, we will give each counsel in the Almaraz and Guzman cases until 5pm on Thursday, May 21, 2009 to file a single consolidated reply brief that responds to all of the amicus briefs. These time limitations for filing mean that a brief must be received by the Appeals Board by the applicable deadline, and not merely posted by that deadline. (Cal. Code Regs., §§ 10845(a), 10230(a).) Untimely briefs will not be considered.

Preliminarily, in granting reconsideration, we conclude that our February 3, 2009 joint en banc decision constitutes a “final” order.3

A petition for reconsideration is properly taken only from a “final” order, decision, or award. (Lab. Code, §§ 5900(a), 5902, 5903.) Generally, a “final” order is one “which determines any substantive right or liability of those involved in the case.” (Rymer v. Hagler (1989) 211 Cal.App.3d 1171, 1180 (Rymer); Safeway Stores, Inc. v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd. (Pointer) (1980) 104 Cal.App.3d 528, 534-535 [45 Cal.Comp.Cases 410, 413] (Pointer).) Accordingly, where – as here – the Appeals Board grants reconsideration, rescinds the decision of the WCJ, and returns the matter to the WCJ for further proceedings and a new decision, the Appeals Board’s action generally is not deemed a “final” order. (Cf. Travelers Ins. Co. v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd. (Taylor) (1983) 147 Cal.App.3d 1033, 1036, fn. 3 [48 Cal.Comp.Cases 774, 775, fn. 3] (Taylor) (“a petition seeking review of a [WCAB] order which remands a matter to the trial judge for further proceedings is ordinarily premature”).)

However, an interlocutory WCAB decision may be deemed a “final” order if it determines a “threshold” issue. (Maranian v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd. (2000) 81 Cal.App.4th 1068, 1073- 1081 [65 Cal.Comp.Cases 650, 653-660] (Maranian); Aldi v. Carr, McClellan, Ingersoll,


The addresses for counsel are set forth beneath the service declaration at the end of this opinion.

3 We observe, however, that an Appeals Board decision need not be “final” for the Board to grant reconsideration on its own motion. (See Lab. Code, § 5911; see also §§ 5900(b), 5315.)

ALMARAZ, Mario & GUZMAN, Joyce


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