How Things Have Changed

By Judge Brian Addington, Gray

I came to work for the Workers’ Compensation Division is Kingsport in 2008. I was hired as a workers’ compensation specialist 4, mediating cases before they could go to court.

As time passed, the workers’ compensation specialist 4 job expanded from handling my own cases and mediations, to signing off on other specialist orders, to waiving the benefit review conference requirement, handling discovery motions, and issuing penalties. As the law was changed in 2013 to start the Court in 2014, I prepared to apply for a judgeship. 

The application process was lengthy, and the interview process intense. All the candidates went through multiple public interviews and one-on-one interviews with Abbie Hudgens, the former administrator. In our last meeting, she offered me the job.

Chief Judge Kenneth Switzer came to visit with me in Morristown after his appointment, and we talked about our visions of what the court would be. That same summer, the first eight judges met, wrote our rules, and underwent judicial training at the Bureau’s educational conference.

Building the new office.

Something exciting happened in 2016, when it was announced that the Northeast Tennessee was going to get a new building. What was even greater was that we were going to have input on what the office layout would be and where it would be located. Our old office was cramped and dark inside. We asked for sufficient space and better lighting in the new office. Thankfully, we got windows! And a nice roomy courtroom.

The new office in Gray, Tennessee.

It’s hard to believe, but in March 2023 we will have been in the new office for five years.

Which leads me to the real reason for this article: to thank all those that have had a part in building our office, furthering our office, and using our office through the years.

We are planning to have a fifth anniversary party in March 2023 and hope that you can attend, celebrate, and fondly remember the changes that have happened since July 1, 2015. The date and time will be announced later.

The fifth anniversary party will take place in March 2023. Spring will be here before we know it.

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