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
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