As we head into summer, we'd like to offer a few reminders on scheduling: The Bureau will be closed on May 29, July 4 and September 4 for the Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day holidays. There will be no settlement approvals statewide June 12-15 during the Bureau's annual educational conference in Murfreesboro. … Continue reading School’s out!
By Judge Lisa A. Lowe, Knoxville Several months ago, a committee was formed within the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to examine the process of the issuance of the dispute certification notice. The committee consisted of judges, mediators and program coordinators. One of its goals was to ensure greater consistency with regard to which documents are … Continue reading In re Cooperation
By Attorney Richard Murrell Last week, Judge Robert Durham offered an overview of the Uninsured Employers Fund (UEF) provision within the Workers’ Compensation Law. As Judge Durham noted, an injured employee of an uninsured employer faces significant barriers to recovery and return to work. Even if the employer is solvent, very few have the cash … Continue reading Assisting Injured Employees who Work for the Uninsured, part two
By Judge Robert V. Durham, Cookeville Back in the old days -- you know, before 2014 -- injured employees of uninsured employers were, in the vast majority of cases, simply out of luck. While they might be able to obtain a judgment against their employers, it did little good, since the reason most uninsured employers … Continue reading The Uninsured Employers Fund: Making a Silk Purse from a Sow’s Ear
The Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board announced it will conduct its next set of oral arguments in Knoxville for the first time since the Board’s creation in 2014. First up at the June 22 arguments is Evans v. The Home Depot U.S.A, Inc., where the Court will review the grant of summary judgment favoring the … Continue reading Appeals Board to Hear Arguments in Knoxville
By Judge Robert V. Durham, Cookeville It is the fundamental rule of courtroom practice, pounded into the heads and hearts of litigators from the first day of law school, so basic that even those who received their legal education from Law and Order reruns know it is taboo -- when examining a witness in court, … Continue reading Ignoring the Elephant
By Judge Brian Addington, Kingsport I have always liked a hero. When I was in the seventh grade, I met one of Alvin York’s sons. He brought the MGM movie “Sergeant York” to my school, showed it, and also gave a talk about his dad. I was one of the few kids who knew about … Continue reading In re The Greatest American Hero
By Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer Spring is upon us once again, and it is time for the annual survey regarding the judges of the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims. We appreciated your input in last year’s survey and humbly ask for your follow up. Each of the 12 judges will be individually listed for … Continue reading How are we Doing?
By Judge Joshua Davis Baker, Nashville As all legal practitioners know, discovery is as common as a cold. As we also know, it can be laborious, time-consuming, frustrating and, at times, downright non-productive. However, like the mail, neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow can prevent it from happening. In the Court’s three-year history, the … Continue reading Discovery Dos and … please don’t do that!
By Judge Pamela B. Johnson, Knoxville “We’ll see.” It is a phrase so many of us heard as children and, if you’re like me, it is a phrase you now use with your own children. Q: “Mom, can we stop for ice cream?” A: “We’ll see.” Q: “Mom, can I buy a toy?” A: “We’ll … Continue reading Can I wait a year to refile after a dismissal without prejudice?
By Judge Audrey Headrick, Chattanooga As a working mom, I’m always thinking about time-saving ways that I can plan ahead for a meal. On a recent drive to work, I thought about my homemade lasagna that everyone in my family loves. Lasagna isn’t hard to make, and I’ve made my recipe so many times that … Continue reading You gotta eat!
Soon-to-be-Judge Deana Seymour’s mantra is short and simple: Try. Seymour will join the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims, sitting in Memphis, after her April 5, 2016 swearing-in. She is a partner at Rainey, Kizer, Reviere and Bell, PLC in Jackson, where she concentrates in workers’ compensation and tort litigation. Seymour’s first entry into the world … Continue reading Meet Deana Seymour
The Tennessee Workers' Compensation Appeals Board will hear oral arguments on May 4, 2017, at the Supreme Court Building in Nashville. First up on the docket is Bass v. The Home Depot. In the case, Clarence Bass alleged suffering hand and wrist injuries while moving a shopping cart. The central dispute at the compensation hearing … Continue reading Appeals Board Announces Oral Arguments
The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation announces the appointment of Deana Seymour as a trial judge on the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims. Ms. Seymour will sit in Memphis after her April 5, 2017 swearing-in. Currently one judge sits in Memphis: the Honorable Jim Umsted, who will be retiring the first week of April. Ms. Seymour’s … Continue reading Deana Seymour appointed to Tennessee Workers’ Comp bench
By Judge Thomas Wyatt, Chattanooga Arnold H. Glasow was a twentieth-century American writer known for one-line descriptions of practices that breed success in business. Among his most familiar quotes is the admonition to “live so that your friends can defend you, but never have to.” Although written for a non-lawyer audience, another of Mr. Glasow’s … Continue reading Learning the Limitations
By Judge Brian Addington, Kingsport About six years ago, I had the pleasure to meet a master bladesmith, Burt Foster. He is pretty famous, having appeared on various radio and television shows. He won an episode of “Forged in Fire,” and has routinely won other competitions against master bladesmiths. His knives are known all over … Continue reading In re: Flying Solo
By Jane Salem Welcome back to my recap of weighty Appeals Board decisions for the second half of 2016. Last week, I looked at a few compensation hearing appeals and started into the vast majority of the Board’s docket these days: expedited hearing appeals. Because there are so many, I won’t mention them all, but … Continue reading Appeals Board decisions from 2016, part two
By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville A very belated Happy New Year to year, and I hope 2017 is starting off well! I recently realized it has been quite some time since I last wrote about the Appeals Boards’ opinions. So, what follows is a two-part recap of some of the more significant Board rulings for … Continue reading A look back at the Appeals Board rulings 2016
By Judge Kenneth M. Switzer Welcome back to our discussion regarding the emerging themes from our recent listening sessions. As a reminder, Brian Holmes, Director of Mediation and Ombudsmen Services of Tennessee (MOST), and I visited each Bureau office in November and December to meet with practitioners and hear how the post-July 1, 2014 system … Continue reading Lessons Learned, Part Two
By Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer We took the show on the road. Beginning in Murfreesboro on November 15 and ending in Knoxville on December 14, Brian Holmes, Director of Mediation and Ombudsmen Services of Tennessee (MOST), and I traveled the state conducting “listening sessions” on the mediation and court system. We visited each of … Continue reading Lessons Learned from the Listening Tour