By Judge Brian Addington, Kingsport I’m from the country and can slice the English language better than a butcher. I’m really bad when I read aloud. At home, I often try to read something to my wife, only to be stared at and told, “I didn’t understand a single thing you read.” At work, in … Continue reading Saying What You Mean and Meaning What You Say
The Appeals Board is looking for a staff attorney who excels in research and writing, among other strengths. Read more about the position here (scroll to "staff attorney").
By Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer, Nashville Great news: There’s one less document to file when preparing for trial in the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims. As of Oct. 1, you no longer need to file an amended Petition for Benefit Determination (PBD) to get the ball rolling on post-discovery mediation. For a little background, … Continue reading Court Tweaks Procedure for Setting Post-discovery ADR
By Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer, Nashville In the musical “1776,” after a long, arduous battle over the concept of the Declaration of Independence and the details of its wording, the document is finally ready for a vote. At this point John Adams, who has pushed for the Declaration the whole time, raises an objection to … Continue reading Details, Details
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Tennessee employers, you’re warned: Comply with the Workers’ Compensation Law, or be prepared to face serious consequences. The Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is making changes to its Compliance Program. The Bureau’s efforts include appointing new leadership, pursuing new initiatives and hiring additional staff to achieve its goals. As of Oct. 1, Amanda Terry now … Continue reading Bureau Redoubles Compliance Efforts, Names New Director
By Judge Robert Durham, Cookeville Cell phones. The term is so inadequate, it’s almost quaint. To call the portable computer in your purse or attached to your hip a phone is like calling an automobile a portable radio. Today, they are ubiquitous, and frankly it would be foolhardy to practice law without one. However, many … Continue reading But I’m Entitled to One Phone Call, Right?
By Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer, Nashville The Court uses scheduling orders to establish the pace in all cases headed for a hearing. We understand that litigation can be “the worst of times” when circumstances beyond your control stymie the preparation of your case. It is considerate when you let us know when things go … Continue reading A Tale of Three Cases
By Judge Dale Tipps, Murfreesboro Becoming a workers’ compensation judge included a few unexpected benefits. For instance, due to avoidance of ex parte communications, my phone rarely rings while I’m trying to draft that next order. Another pleasant surprise is how much I enjoy meeting folks during their settlement approval hearings. Most people don’t have … Continue reading Of Bears and Men
By Judge Pamela B. Johnson, Knoxville We live in a culture that likes to count and measure things. We budget our households, count our daily steps, and chart our children’s growth, while test scores measure their learning. I’m not immune. I often find myself mentally counting things, and I have developed my own set of … Continue reading The 411 on the SD1
By Judge Brian Addington, Kingsport As a child, I always dreaded the end of summer. My school granted me three and a half months of freedom and I loved to take every advantage of it. I spent all day outside as often as I could, running from friend’s house to house and totally enjoying myself. … Continue reading In Re Labor Day
The Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board plans to hit the road again soon for more oral arguments. On Wednesday, Aug. 30, the three-judge Board will travel to Memphis for the first time. First up there is Butler v. AAA Cooper Transportation, where the Board will take another look at idiopathic injuries and the willful misconduct … Continue reading Appeals Board Schedules More Arguments
By Judge Allen Phillips Lawyers often file briefs in advance of evidentiary hearings, some of which are very helpful toward clarifying the issues, highlighting the critical evidence and identifying the applicable law. Other briefs are not so helpful; in fact, the word "kafka-esque" comes to mind. It's that second category that inspired this post about … Continue reading I’ll be Brief…
Merriam Webster online defines an attorney as one whose profession is “to advise as to legal rights and obligations,” while an ombudsman is one who “investigates, reports on, and helps settle complaints.” Combine the two, and you’ve got the Bureau’s new Ombudsman Attorney Program, a resource separate from the Court of Workers' Compensation Claims for … Continue reading Bureau Announces New Resource for Self-Represented Litigants
By Sarah Byrne, Staff Attorney, Nashville When studying for the bar exam, I dreamed I was living in a glass house. All eyes were on me. Clearly, my mind was coping with fear of others’ judgments, since everyone whose opinion mattered knew I was sitting for the exam. Speaking of judgments, here is an important … Continue reading Where to file your Supreme Court Notice of Appeal
By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville; photos by Anna Sudberry, Communications Coordinator, Nashville Does the discovery rule as it relates to the one-year statute of limitations remain viable under the Workers’ Compensation Reform Act? Attorneys responded to vigorous questioning on this and other weighty legal issues from three cases at the most recent oral … Continue reading Appeals Board Examines Discovery Rule
By Judge Brian Addington, Kingsport It was not that long ago that Martin Conway ̶ we call him Marty ̶ came to work for the Bureau as a Specialist IV. Wait a second; it has been nine-plus years! My, how time flies. Marty came to the Bureau from Wimberly Lawson, a private law firm. He … Continue reading Good-bye and Good Luck
By Judges Joshua Davis Baker, Nashville, and Audrey Headrick, Chattanooga The federal government established a means for parties to settle medical benefits in what is termed a Medicare Set-Aside Arrangement or "MSA." These arrangements are submitted to and approved by Medicare (if you have the patience to wait long enough) and cover what is anticipated … Continue reading Settling Cases with Medicare Set-Aside Agreements
By Judge Dale Tipps, Murfreesboro I recently gave a presentation on practice tips at the Bureau’s annual Educational Conference. It was such a triumph that I’m going share some of it here. (“Triumph” means I finished on time and no one fell asleep.) Ask the Question. Specifically, ask the doctor. Many expedited hearings could be … Continue reading Ten Tips for Better Trial Practice
By Judge Brian Addington, Kingsport I grew up liking surfer music. I especially enjoyed the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean. In 1978, the movie “Deadman’s Curve” came out as an autobiographic tale about Jan and Dean. The song by that name reached number eight on the Billboard chart in April 1964; it is a … Continue reading In Re Deadman’s Curve