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!
We'll continue the revised procedure for everyone's safety and reevaluate around St. Paddy's Day.
It's that time again: time for holiday cheer and settling cases before the New Year. To better serve you and your clients during this busy season, Judges Luttrell and Phillips of the Jackson office are expanding their settlement approval hearing days to any weekday in the month of December. To request a December approval hearing, … Continue reading Jackson Office Expands Settlement Approval Days
It's been over six months now since we've made the change to allow for all settlement approval hearings to occur by phone, for everyone's health and safety. Looking ahead, at least for the next two months, the altered procedure will remain in place. We'll revisit this for 2021 in mid-December. Please be careful. Percy Warner … Continue reading Telephone Approvals to remain for the rest of the year
Thanks for your continuing cooperation with our revised settlement procedures due to the pandemic. Photo by Kim Weaver, Legal Assistant and devoted gardener, Knoxville.
We'll be closed on Friday for the July Fourth holiday. The Court holds its semi-annual Judicial Meeting on July 16 and 17, and no one will be available to approve settlements. We wish you a safe and happy holiday.
While states and cities commence reopening at various paces, we have determined that we will continue conducting settlement approvals by telephone through July. By most accounts, the new, temporary process is working well and keeping everyone safe at the same time. We will reevaluate this decision in the coming weeks and let you know what … Continue reading Telephonic settlement approvals to continue through July
By Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer, Nashville We are now completing our fifth week of all telephonic settlement approvals. As a previous post stated, the hearings are going very well. The Governor has now relaxed the stay-at-home directive. Attempts are being made to restart businesses and return to “normal” while keeping some common-sense restrictions in … Continue reading The Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims and Settlement Approvals–Optimistic but Cautious
By Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer, Nashville “Workers’ compensation is a very important field of the law, if not the most important. It touches more lives than any other field of the law. It involves the payments of huge sums of money. The welfare of human beings, the success of businesses, and the pocketbooks of … Continue reading Updates from the Trial Court and Appeals Board
By Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer, Nashville We’re working remotely but still doing our best to provide top-notch customer service in line with the mission statement of the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims. Just yesterday, Governor Lee announced that state employees who are currently working from home should continue doing so through April 24. So … Continue reading Staying the Course