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 development for practitioners who are appealing an unfavorable one from the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims or the Appeals Board to the Supreme Court:
The Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure now require parties to file Notices of Appeal directly with the Appellate Court Clerk (rather than the trial court) in the grand division office where the trial court sits within thirty days of judgment, effective July 1, 2017, but with a transitional grace period lasting into June 2018.
Please note: This rule only affects appeals of final compensation hearing orders or Appeals Board decisions where it reviewed a final compensation hearing order. If you are appealing an expedited hearing order or a final compensation hearing order to the Appeals Board, continue filing your appeal notices with the Clerk of the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims.
The Supreme Court’s grace period allows those who timely but incorrectly file a Notice of Appeal with the trial court clerk to correct the error by filing the date-stamped Notice from the trial court and a new Notice of Appeal in the correct office within twenty days from the thirty days permitted for filing the appeal . See Tenn. R. App. P. 4(a).
So, please don’t file your Supreme Court Notice of Appeal with the Clerk of the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims. But if you do, our Clerk will stamp your Notice of Appeal to indicate the date and time it was received and will return it to you. Then, you must file your returned Notice and a new Notice of Appeal with the Appellate Court Clerk in the grand division office where the trial court is located. Click here to view the addresses of the Eastern, Middle, and Western Grand Divisions of the Appellate Court Clerk.
Remember, you must include the date-stamped, returned Supreme Court Notice of Appeal from the trial court clerk to receive the additional twenty days for timely filing.
Please beware. Failure to file a new Notice of Appeal with the Appellate Court Clerk timely may result in your appeal being denied for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
Fear of that judgment will make any lawyer sweat. I’d rather live in a glass house or drive backwards down a busy highway with textbooks piled so high that I can’t move my legs or see the rearview mirror, which is that other dream I had while studying for the bar. Long story short – just don’t make me sit for that bar exam again. Once was enough.