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FAQ: Uniform Guidelines for Preparation of Hearing Exhibits

To aid attorneys and unrepresented parties in the preparation of exhibits for consideration in hearings, the Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) developed the Uniform Guidelines for Preparation of Hearing Exhibits

This webpage presents the Guidelines in a question-and-answer format.

The Guidelines last updated to reflect agency rulemaking that took effect March 15, 2023.


To view the answer to a question, click on the corresponding link to the question below.

What agency rule governs the sharing and filing of exhibits?

Iowa Administrative Code rule 876—4.19 governs prehearing procedure in cases before the agency, including the deadlines for the parties to exchange exhibit lists and intended exhibits, file exhibits with the agency on the Workers’ Compensation Electronic System (WCES), and file motions to exclude or objections to intended exhibits.

To view agency Iowa Administrative Code chapter 876—4, which governs contested cases before the agency, click here.

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How do you organize treatment records?

Treatment records shall be organized by provider.

Each provider's records shall be chronological.

Providers shall be organized in chronological order.

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what do you do if authentication of a treatment record is in dispute? 

Medical treatment records, before and after the alleged injury, are not to be offered separately by each party unless authentication of a record is in dispute. All such treatment records shall be contained in a separate joint exhibit.

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 May you include X-rays or other imaging films as exhibits? 

No X-rays or other imaging films are allowed absent a showing that such will be helpful to the deputy in addressing the disputed issues and such films do not require expert medical interpretation.

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How do you offer medical and vocational opinion reports? 

Medical and vocational opinion reports may be offered separately by the parties.

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 Is a table of contents required?

Any party submitting exhibits, including joint exhibits, shall include a table of contents.

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 How do you label exhibits?


The claimant shall identify his or her exhibits numerically (e.g., 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.)


The defendant(s) shall identify their exhibits alphabetically (e.g., A, B, C, D, etc.)

Second Injury Fund

The Second Injury Fund shall use double alphabetical references (e.g., AA, BB, CC, DD, etc.)


Joint exhibits shall be identified numerically, preceded by the letters “JE” (e.g., JE1, JE2, JE3, JE4, etc.).

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How do you number the pages of exhibits?

Each page of every exhibit shall be numbered with the appropriate exhibit numbering or lettering and the page number.

Page-numbering shall be consecutive across exhibits.

  • Example of Claimant’s Exhibits:  1-1, 1-2, 1-3, 2-4, 2-5, 2-6, 3-7, 3-8, etc.
  • Example of Defendants’ Exhibits:  A-1, A-2, A-3, B-4, B-5, C-6, etc.
  • Example of Joint Exhibits:  JE1-1, JE1-2, JE2-3, JE3-4, JE4-5, JE4-6, etc.
  • Example of Second Injury Fund Exhibits:  AA-1, AA-2, BB-3, CC-4, DD-5, etc.

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Can you highlight exhibits?

Highlighting is permitted, but not required.

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How do you submit handwritten evidence? 

Any handwritten evidence shall be legible or shall contain a typewritten translation initialed by the original author of the handwritten evidence.

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May you submit duplicates of documents? 

No duplicate pages or documents shall be included.

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 How do you submit audio or video evidence?

Any audio or video files shall not exceed 500 MB for each filing.

Any audio or video files shall use MP3 or MP4 format and be submitted with a virus-scanned USB drive. Mail the virus-scanned USB drive, with an enclosure idenitfying the case name and number and "Attention:" to the presiding deputy, to the following address:

Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation
150 Des Moines Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309

Be sure to take appropriate steps to allow time for the USB drive to be delivered to the presiding deputy before the date of hearing.

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What are the page limits for exhibits?

Page limits for exhibits will be enforced and are as follows:

  • 50 pages per party for individual exhibits; and
  • 100 additional pages for joint exhibits.

The requesting party’s hearing time will be used to determine the relevancy of proposed exhibits that exceed these limits.

The submission of extensive medical treatment records may not be allowed when only the extent of permanent disability is in dispute. A deputy in his or her discretion may allow a party, or parties, to exceed the above-stated page limits upon a showing of good cause.

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Must you provide paper copies of exhibits to the presiding deputy at the hearing?

If the agency holds an in-person hearing, paper copies of all proposed exhibits must be provided to the presiding deputy workers’ compensation commissioner at the start of the hearing.  This requirement is in addition to the electronic submission of proposed exhibits pursuant rule 876 IAC 4.19(3)(d). The presiding deputy may require the parties to provide paper copies of exhibits for a hearing held using internet-based video.

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Must a witness participating by telephone or internet-based video have access to exhibits?

If a witness testifies by telephone or internet-based video, the witness must have access to all hearing exhibits during testimony.

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What should you do if you have an issue or question relating to the Guidelines?

If questions or issues relating to the Guidelines arise, email the presiding deputy, with counsel for and representatives of all opposing parties cc'd. Exceptions to the Guidelines may be granted on a case-by-base basis. Emailing the presiding deputy allows the deputy to consider your issue and, if appropriate, conduct a status conference to determine if an exception is warranted.

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Who must file the Shorthand Reporter Identification form and when?

Within seven days after the hearing, a completed Shorthand Reporter Identification Form shall be filed by defendant(s) unless otherwise ordered by the presiding deputy.

This filing shall contain the name, firm name, email address, business address, and telephone number of the certified shorthand reporter present at the hearing. To view, download, and complete the Shorthand Reporter Identification form, click here.

Failure to file the completed Shorthand Reporter Identification Form within seven days after the hearing will result in revocation of the responsible party’s e-filing capabilities in the case.

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