By Judge Lisa A. Lowe, Knoxville We use certain words to mean certain things. Sometimes we use a word or phrase out of habit, without really thinking of the meaning or implication. For example, those involved in Tennessee workers’ compensation cases are familiar with what we have called “doubtful and disputed” settlements. “Doubtful” means uncertainty … Continue reading Templates Revised for Disputed Cases: No Doubt
By Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer, Nashville A quick reminder that the Court returns to in-person settlements this week across the state at our regional courtrooms. In addition, we remind of the following remote locations, with dates and contact information. Judge Addington: Hamblen County, first Wednesday each month from 9 a.m. Eastern Time to noon … Continue reading Remember to Set Approvals at Remote Locations
By Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer, Nashville The days are numbered for telephone settlement approvals. In just a few short weeks, we’ll return to in-person settlement approvals, on April 4, 2022. We announced this previously and promised a more detailed article once we ironed out the wrinkles. So here we go. In-person is the rule; … Continue reading Returning to In-Person Settlements
We’re pleased to announce a return to in-person settlement approvals on April 4, 2022! As practitioners know, each of the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation eight offices has a lengthy history of individual procedures for settlement approvals. So, we’re ironing out the details among the various offices. We’ll share them in a future post once we’re … Continue reading Returning to In-Person Settlements
The Appeals Board granted a motion to continue the oral arguments in Braden v. Mohawk Industries. Those arguments will now be held on February 7. Also, here's the docket for the January 25 arguments, if you want to observe. They will begin at 8:30 a.m. Central Time. In addition, no settlement approvals will take place … Continue reading Update about oral arguments; and settlements next week
We're still proceeding with all scheduled telephone settlement approvals, today and tomorrow, despite the weather and closure of state offices. Photo by Judge Deana Seymour, Memphis.
By Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer, Nashville Reportedly, I’m of Greek heritage. I don’t speak Greek, and I don’t know the Greek alphabet. But if it has the same number of letters as the English alphabet, we’ve at least reached the fifteenth letter. (Does that mean when we get to Zeta, the pandemic must be … Continue reading COVID, the Greek Alphabet, and Settlements
By Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer, Nashville We’ve tried this once before. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” is a well-known phrase. I thought, where did that phrase originate? It’s amazing how a search of this phrase is attributed to different people: Robert the Bruce, king of Scotland in 1314 (picture Mel … Continue reading Second Verse, Same as the First
By Judge Brian Addington, Gray No, I’m not Lionel Richie. Just your local workers’ compensation judge. I used to see many of you often, when we had settlements in person, but we’ve had telephone settlements for over a year now. Which leads to me wonder why we still have problems connecting on the phone. Here … Continue reading Hello, Is it Me You’re Looking For?
By Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer, Nashville “Surprised by Hope” is a book by well-known theologian, Tom Wright. An interesting read if you’re so inclined. I, too, am “surprised by hope"--the hope that someday soon we can get back to the normality of in-person settlements. That normality seems to be ever-moving forward, as the virus … Continue reading Surprised by Hope
First, we promised we'd check in regarding the continuation of telephone settlement approvals at the end of June. It's July now. As previously announced, we plan to begin in-person approvals across the state after Labor Day, but each office will develop its own hours and protocols. These will be posted in the future as soon … Continue reading Just a couple things…
By Judge Lisa A. Lowe, Knoxville Judge Lisa Lowe The Big Ears Festival is a concert held in Knoxville each spring that, according to The New Yorker, “combines elements of jazz, rock, folk, classic, and electronica.” The New York Times called it “one of the world’s greatest music bashes,” and the Wall Street Journal said … Continue reading Court Holds our own “Big Ears Festival”
Sarah Byrne By Sarah Byrne, Staff Attorney, and Penny Shrum, Clerk of Court, Nashville A time to plant, a time to reap Any denizen of Tennessee knows our weather is almost as mercurial and unpredictable as 1960s America. It’s hard to tell what season it is: summer one day, and winter the next. Typically, Tennessee … Continue reading Seasons Change, and So Do We
By Jane Salem, staff attorney In March 2020, my colleague Sarah Byrne and I suddenly were tasked with scheduling telephone settlement approval hearings in the Nashville office. The new responsibility has had an unforeseen but pleasant consequence: we’ve gotten to know some of your staff members better. A very small number was a little prickly … Continue reading Don’t Throw Your Paralegal Under the Bus
We are cautiously optimistic about returning to in-person approvals. But for now we must maintain hearing settlements by phone for obvious reasons. We’ll check back with you sometime after the solstice. Be patient and above all safe, friends. Thanks. Photo by Szabu00f3 Viktor on Pexels.com
By Judge Lisa Lowe, Knoxville Judge Lisa Lowe Epictetus, a Greek philosopher, said we have two ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we talk. Stephen Covey said most people do not listen with the intent to understand—most people listen with the intent to reply. We at the Court of … Continue reading Can You Hear Me Now?
By Judge Pamela Johnson, Knoxville; Judge Dale Tipps, Murfreesboro; and Judge Josh Baker, Nashville Can you teach old dogs new tricks? We believe you can and must when it comes to settling your case in the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims. Sadly, Mimi Tipps has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. A landmark change took place approximately … Continue reading Consider these Settlement Tips from the Coworkers
The Governor has closed state office buildings in some Tennessee counties on February 16 due to inclement weather. However, if you have a previously scheduled telephone hearing on that day, including a settlement approval, it is still going to proceed. Most Bureau employees are working remotely and will be on the job, including court staff … Continue reading Telephone Hearings are on for February 16, 2021
By Judge Robert Durham, Cookeville In this new world we have to share with COVID-19, many of our traditional ways of doing things have been challenged or even eliminated. One of those is in-person settlement approvals, which simply aren’t feasible while social-distancing. However, the Court’s duty remains to see that injured workers understand what their … Continue reading Phoning it in
Due to the Nashville bombing of AT&T technical equipment location, normal telephone service for settlement approvals has been interrupted. PLEASE NOTE THE SETTLEMENT CALL-IN NUMBERS FOR THIS WEEK ONLY FOR THE NASHVILE JUDGES: Judge Josh Baker – 423-634-0163 Chief Judge Kenneth Switzer – 855-543-5041 All attorneys with approvals this week must contact the injured workers … Continue reading ALERT!