By Judge Brian Addington, Gray I like having fun. Through the years, I’ve had some great times with friends and family. I won’t tell who, but another judge on the Court of Worker’s Compensation Claims and I almost got thrown out of the University of Tennessee Law Library because our study group was laughing so … Continue reading It’s not that funny
By Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer, Nashville When the Court began operating in July 2014, we already had a set of “rules” called the Mediation and Hearing Procedures. These rules were prepared before any judges were appointed and any “new law” injuries occurred. They were based on the statute and anticipated how the process would … Continue reading Rules Reorganization is Under Way
By Judge Lisa Lowe, Knoxville On September 17, 2018, we celebrated Constitution Day. The Knoxville Barristers, which is the young lawyers division of the Knoxville Bar Association, always has a school community outreach program during Law Week. For years and years (yes, for so long that they were doing it, even when I was president … Continue reading Honoring the Constitution
By Judge Dale Tipps, Murfreesboro Judges in the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims spend a lot of time writing, thinking about writing, and learning about writing. We receive writing instruction at least a couple of times per year and regularly submit samples of our orders to outside writing experts for individual evaluation. The obvious idea … Continue reading Good writing matters
By Judge Robert Durham, Cookeville In my early days as a lawyer, I would often take up quill and parchment and walk next door to the Legal Aid office where I could obtain my own personal legal charity—access to an honest-to-goodness law library. Ah, the good old days. Row upon row of casebooks, digests, and … Continue reading Look, Ma, I’m on the World Wide Web!
By Judge Brian Addington, Gray, and Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville As we just celebrated Labor Day, and as we approach the 100-year anniversary of workers’ compensation in Tennessee, both are excellent reminders of the importance of the Workers' Compensation Law. As you know, workers’ compensation was conceived as the “grand bargain,” in that employees … Continue reading Between a rock and a hard place
By Penny Shrum, Clerk of Court, Nashville Has anyone else noticed that there are a lot of owl commercials on TV? Cold medicine, education, travel – apparently we need a wise owl to tell us what to do. It’s no wonder that I immediately thought of the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who … Continue reading It’s Who You Know
By Judge Brian Addington, Gray As summer winds up, soon we’ll be saying farewell to fresh corn on the cob. Sigh. I love corn: corn on the cob, popcorn, grilled corn with cheese, creamed corn, and plain old frozen or canned corn. My Nana could cook the heck out of corn. I used to fight … Continue reading Rough as cob, sweet as corn
By Penny Shrum, Clerk of Court, Nashville It’s been over six months since the Court’s electronic filing system, TNComp, went live. The Court has received 744 requests to access cases in TNComp since February. But only 35 cases have had attachments uploaded by parties through TNComp in that same time period. TNComp has lots of … Continue reading Let’s be TNComp buddies!
By Judge Marshall L. Davidson, Nashville Speak with Judge David F. Hensley for long, and he might just tell you that he is “from the coal fields of Kentucky and had a public education.” Do not be fooled. You also might notice his distinctive southern drawl. Do not be fooled by that, either. Judge … Continue reading Congratulations, Judge David Hensley!
By Judge Thomas Wyatt, Chattanooga Just as doctors rarely have professional relationships with healthy people, judges don’t often see cases where the workers’ compensation system works. From the judicial vantage point, I see the stakeholders in the workers’ compensation system -- injured employees, employers, carriers, medical providers and their attorneys -- as prone to adversarial … Continue reading When less is more
By Judge Amber Luttrell, Jackson Exciting news! We’re shaking it up (somewhat) in Jackson to better serve you. After informal polling of attorneys who routinely appear for settlement approvals in Jackson, we’ve decided to switch our Tuesday approval day to Mondays. Friday approvals will continue as usual. We realized that Tuesdays are very busy days … Continue reading Jackson Approvals Update
By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville When an employee exited a building, missed the single step to the ground and fell, is her resulting injury compensable under the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Law? The Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board examined that question at its most recent oral arguments. Paul Nicks, the Germantown attorney representing the employer, … Continue reading Appeals Board Considers causation in ‘single step’ and heart attack cases
By Jeff Francis, Assistant Administrator, Nashville The Bureau recently revised its General Rules. The revised rules took effect on May 31 and were designed to make claims handling more efficient and uniform. In summary, the revisions include: Carriers are now required to provide employers a copy of the Notice of Employer Rights and Responsibilities whenever a … Continue reading New General Rules Take Effect
By Judge Brian Addington, Gray We’ve finally settled into the new office in Gray. It’s been a pleasure to work in a new space for mediations, approvals and hearings for our Northeast Tennessee counties. As part of our long history of service to the public, we formerly offered settlement approvals in various cities throughout Northeast … Continue reading Settlement approvals to be held in Morristown
Congratulations to court staff in the Chattanooga office on an excellent article in the Hamilton County Herald.
By Judge Audrey Headrick, Chattanooga The Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims recently welcomed attorneys with Open Arms for coffee and conversation about the Court’s rules, processes, etc. We were pleased with attendance and the Straight Up feedback you gave us. Among the concerns you voiced was how to handle medical records. Let’s go Back in … Continue reading How will I know what to do with medical records?
By Judge Allen Phillips, Jackson Too often, practicing law seems as if one is simply “going through the motions,” trying to satisfy some arcane rule or practice. Recently, the Court held a series of coffee-talks to discuss issues, concerns and trends regarding the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims. Turnout was brisk, and feedback plentiful. In … Continue reading Going Through the Motions
By Chief Judge Kenneth Switzer, Nashville Our recent “Coffee with the Court” series raised several questions about the dispute certification notice, a/k/a the “DCN,” and its contents. As we all know, the DCN identifies the issues that will be before the Court. The DCN content is based on the parties’ discussions in mediation and should … Continue reading Solving the DCN Dilemma
By Judge Dale Tipps, Murfreesboro During the sixties (that’s the 1960s--yes, I was alive then), Rod Serling hosted the T.V show “The Twlight Zone.” The show revolved around strange plots with an ironic twist and a life-lesson conclusion. After telling us at the beginning that the main character had just entered the Twilight Zone, Rod … Continue reading Submitted for your Approval