By Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer, Nashville During April, I toured the state’s three largest cities and attended “Coffee with the Court” conducted by the local Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims’ offices. The purpose of these coffee-talks was to listen to lawyers and other stakeholders discuss issues they face daily. I took copious notes. The … Continue reading Lessons Learned from “Coffee with the Court”
By Chief Judge Kenneth Switzer, Nashville In the Broadway play “1776” about the events leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams and his wife, Abigail, have a repeating dialogue by letter where each describes what's happening in their lives. Abigail needs pins for sewing, and John needs saltpeter for making … Continue reading Is Anybody There?
By Judge Audrey Headrick, Chattanooga Do you love Wikipedia? Perhaps you’re a loyal reader of The Onion? Maybe you even cite to Wikipedia in briefs as a source for medical diagnoses/procedures or utilize it as a dictionary to define terms? If so, I have three cautionary words for you: Don’t. Do. It! Yes, I know … Continue reading Stick with the old reliables
In June 2014, a group of fresh-faced workers’ compensation judges in Tennessee – none of whom had actually heard a case yet – developed a set of rules for the newly minted Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims. They relied on their lengthy collective experience as trial attorneys and specialist 4s to come up with a … Continue reading Changing the Rules
By Judge Joshua Davis Baker, Nashville The General Assembly recently passed SB1967/HB1978 concerning “marketplace platforms,” which the law defines as a business offering “an online-enabled application, software, website or system that enables the provision of services by marketplace contractors to third-party individuals or entities seeking services.” A marketplace platform provides a forum for third parties to … Continue reading New Law Addresses Marketplace Contractors and Platforms
How well do you know the Rules of Professional Conduct? Test your knowledge during the Ethics Bowl breakout session at the upcoming Bureau Educational Conference on Friday, June 8, at 8 a.m. at the Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro. Yes, 8 a.m.! – a great time to sharpen your ethics skills before a relaxing weekend. Bring … Continue reading Dude, Let’s Go (Ethics) Bowling
By Judge Thomas Wyatt, Chattanooga If you were a child of the 1950s and ‘60s, you probably grew up watching Larry, Moe and Curly (or Shemp), otherwise known as the Three Stooges. Younger lawyers may not have enjoyed this enrichment during their formative years since, as I understand it, more modern and enlightened parents banned Three … Continue reading Educational Conference to Spotlight Critically Acclaimed Ethics Film
Find out at the upcoming Bureau Educational Conference in Murfreesboro. Staff Attorneys Jane Salem, Court of Workers' Compensation Claims, and Elizabeth Vines, Appeals Board -- huge "outlaw country" fans -- will host "Outlaws and Angels: Tips for Success in Your Workers' Compensation Case." They'll offer their views from beside the bench... when the recording is … Continue reading Are you an Outlaw or an Angel?
By Judge Brian Addington, Gray In the summer of 1981, my family moved from Kingsport, Tennessee, to Grundy, Virginia. Grundy is located in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia. We only lived for a few months in Kingsport while my dad sought a church to pastor. Before that, we lived in Nashville for four years. The … Continue reading Remembering Fraterville
By Judge Thomas Wyatt, Chattanooga I could’ve named this article as I did because I was a Boy Scout. More pertinent to its purpose, however, I gave it this name because I was a trial attorney for 32 years. The motto resonates with me. I recently did a little research about the famous Scouting motto … Continue reading Be Prepared!
By Judge Pamela B. Johnson, Knoxville Recap: In my last blog post discussing the Statistical Data Form, I discussed the importance of the form. As a reminder, the Bureau analyzes data collected from the statistical data form and reports the relevant data to the legislature annually. To collect this information, the employer must file a … Continue reading UPDATE: The 411 on the new SD-2
By Penny Shrum, Clerk of Court, Nashville It's been two months since the Court’s electronic filing system, called TNComp, went live! This previous post describes the TNComp system, which allows parties to view and upload filings on a particular case. The Court has received 224 requests to access cases in the TNComp system since February. Only … Continue reading Achieving TNComp Validation
To all self-represented parties/lawyers who have tried a case within the last year: Last week, you should’ve received a survey asking you to provide feedback based on your experience with the Tennessee Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims. If you’ve already completed the survey, thanks for taking the time to provide us with your valuable feedback, … Continue reading Please Give us your Feedback
By Judge Robert Durham, Cookeville When conducting settlements, we’re sometimes called upon to consider the four factors that might impact the disability benefits employees may receive if they’re not back to a pre-injury wage. To be honest, it is a cut-and-dried affair in most cases. The biggest question is usually whether or not employees lost … Continue reading Thinking about the Fourth Factor
By Chris Acuff, Statistical Research Analyst, Nashville We actually don't know what the survey says -- yet. As part of the Tennessee Court of Workers' Compensation Claims' efforts to continually improve the hearing and settlement process for all parties, the Bureau of Workers' Compensation will be distributing a brief questionnaire to assess customers' experiences with … Continue reading The Survey Says…
The Tennessee Court of Workers' Compensation Claims is hosting "Coffee with the Court" at three locations in April. Yes, we really will serve coffee! The goal is to answer your questions and to listen to your constructive criticism and suggestions. We hope to listen more than we speak. Please mark your calendars now and plan … Continue reading You’re invited!
The Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board recently set four cases for oral argument in Knoxville on April 26. Starting at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time, the Board will take up Yeaman v. Kindred Health Care, where the Court denied a motion to dismiss for failure to prosecute. Afterward, counsel will argue whether the Court properly held … Continue reading Appeals Board Sets Knoxville Oral Arguments, Revises Rules
By Judge Brian Addington, Gray As spring break approaches, I started thinking about a topic that’s close to my heart: travel. I love to travel and experience new places, people and food. I love to return from a successful trip and share my experiences with others, encouraging them to travel there, too. I’ve enjoyed trips … Continue reading Safe Travels
By Judge Robert V. Durham, Cookeville As we crawl toward spring (I don’t care what the calendar says; February is never the shortest month) and leave the possibility of snow behind, I am reminded of the part of the Workers’ Compensation Act that has always intrigued me the most: the exemption for voluntary “ski patrolpersons” … Continue reading Skiing on Thin Ice
By Judge Brian Addington, Gray (formerly of Kingsport) It was a new experience when I walked in the door at 1908 Bowater Drive in Kingsport, Tennessee in late 2004 for the first time. What used to be a Greyhound bus station, unemployment office, car parts store and church now served as the Bureau’s Northeast Tennessee … Continue reading Precious Memories and a Bright Future