Judicial Reappointments Announced

Abbie Hudgens, Administrator of the Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, announced that she has reappointed four judges to the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims. They are: Robert Durham, Cookeville; Audrey Headrick, Chattanooga; Amber Luttrell, Jackson; and Dale Tipps, Murfreesboro.

“The judges on the Court of Workers’ Compensation play a pivotal role in providing parties with a workers’ compensation dispute a consistent and fair judicial process,” Hudgens said. 

“These four judges possess the qualities needed to ensure such a process. In addition to having a strong background in Tennessee’s workers’ compensation law, for the past six years they have provided well-written opinions, exhibited excellent judicial temperaments, and consistently released prompt decisions that would be a credit to any court. Most importantly, they have shown impartiality to all parties, which is the foundation for a fair system.”

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 judges will expire on June 30, 2027. Hudgens reappointed them effective July 1, 2021, until June 30, 2027.

Time flies! The reappointed judges are, left to right, Robert Durham, Audrey Headrick, Amber Luttrell and Dale Tipps. On their left is Justice William Koch, now the president/dean of the Nashville School of Law. In 2015, Justice Koch swore them in.

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