Bureau Announces Judge Reappointments

Abbie HudgensAbbie Hudgens, Administrator of the Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, announced today that she has reappointed seven judges to the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims. They are:

  • Kenneth Switzer, Chief Judge, Nashville
  • Brian Addington, Gray
  • Pamela Johnson, Knoxville
  • Lisa Lowe, Knoxville
  • Thomas Wyatt, Chattanooga
  • Allen Phillips, Jackson
  • Deana Seymour, Memphis.

“One of the most significant improvements to Tennessee’s workers’ compensation system was the establishment of the position of workers’ compensation judge,” Hudgens said.

“These judges—all specialists in workers’ compensation law—have demonstrated thorough knowledge of the law through well-written opinions. In addition, they have exhibited excellent judicial temperaments, been diligent in releasing prompt decisions, and most importantly, have shown impartiality, which was a key provision in the Reform Act, assuring that all parties coming to court are treated fairly.”

Hudgens based her reappointment decisions on the following:

  • Scores on evaluations of judicial writing by two outside experts;
  • Results from surveys of persons who have had interactions with the Court, both attorneys and self-represented litigants;
  • Responses from the legal community to a request for comments in the Court’s blog; and
  • Interviews with each judge.

Under the Workers’ Compensation Law, a judge is appointed by the Administrator for up to three terms of six years each. Terms begin on July 1 and expire six years later.

The present terms of these seven judges will expire on June 30, 2020. Hudgens reappointed them effective July 1, 2020, until June 30, 2026.

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