CAAA is very saddened by the passing of former WCAB commissioner Frank Brass last week.
With over 40 years of experience as a workers' compensation attorney, he had a special place in our hearts having begun his career under the tutelage of Lowell A. Airola, one of CAAA's founding members. He quietly retired from his commissioner position in 2018 after serving the workers' compensation community in that role for 17 years.
"Frank was loved by everyone at the WCAB," said WCAB Commissioner Marguerite Sweeney. "This is a sad time for us. He took time with each of us, always kind and interested, always smart, funny and insightful."
Dan Windler, a staff attorney and colleague at the WCAB, shared fond memories of Brass in an email to coworkers that he shared with CAAA.
"He was truly a fantastic human being," Windler wrote. "His unassuming and incredibly pleasant disposition and laconic deliberation notes really belied the fact that he knew his stuff and was very passionate about his work at the WCAB. Time and time again I underestimated Frank, going to his office trying to change his mind about something or other, and when I showed up, he knew the case cold and was more than happy to defend his position... It was an honor to know him."
A few other facts Sweeney emphasized were that he deeply loved his wife, Sharlyne "Shar" Palacia, his two sons and their families.
"Frank was quintessential San Francisco, born and raised," said Sweeney. "He loved the city and knew it backwards and forwards, and almost everyone in it. He was an extraordinary man. He won't be forgotten."
We send our condolences to his family, friends, work colleagues, and the greater workers' compensation community.