Details, Details

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.

unalienable3At this point John Adams, who has pushed for the Declaration the whole time, raises an objection to Jefferson’s use of the word “inalienable” and insists that they change it to “unalienable.” This dispute fits well with the story line; I don’t know whether it actually happened or it’s just Broadway entertainment. The word in the final version is “unalienable.” But when I look in my Webster’s II Dictionary, only “inalienable” appears. So I suppose Jefferson was right.

In our administration of Workers’ Compensation Law in Tennessee, we get caught in the details sometimes and forget to look closely at some of our documents. Thank goodness you’re kind enough to send us reminders. We sincerely appreciate that.

Recently, two lawyers e-mailed to point out that our Explanation of Benefits form did not contain the new $10,000 figure for burial expenses in the death-benefits section. We have begun the process to correct this, and the revised form should be online by the time you read this blog.

Another astute practitioner pointed out that our doubtful and disputed settlement agreement template contains a social security paragraph that the statute does not require. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-6-207(6). Duly noted. That template will be changed.

We all need someone to glance over our shoulder sometimes to tell us what we missed. Thanks for bringing these concerns to our attention.

1776By the way, even though Jefferson and Adams fought over the wording of one of the greatest documents ever written, they were good friends. And in what seems like a Hollywood ending, but is not, they both died on July  4, 1826 – exactly 50 years after the signing of the Declaration.

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