Workers' Compensation Appoints Eight Judges Under New Administrative Court System

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Tennessee Department of Labor’s Division of Workers’ Compensation is announcing the appointment of their first eight workers’ compensation judges.

The Tennessee Legislature passed comprehensive Workers’ Compensation reform legislation last year. The reform created a new, administrative Workers’ Compensation Court within the Workers’ Compensation Division. The new judges will begin work prior to July 1, when the new law goes into effect.

“Workers’ Comp reform will result in a system that is fair to both employees and employers and will speed up the settlement of injury claims,” said Labor Commissioner Burns Phillips.

“This should result in more predictable outcomes.”

The appointees are as follows:

Brian Addington, Kingsport, attorney with the Division of Workers’ Compensation;
Joshua Baker, Nashville, administrative attorney and legislative liaison with the Division of Workers’ Compensation;
Lisa Knott, Knoxville, attorney with the Division of Workers’ Compensation;
Pamela Johnson, Knoxville, of counsel with the Leitner, Williams, Dooley and Napolitan law fim;
Allen Phillips, Jackson, partner with Waldrup & Hall;
Jim Umsted, Memphis, attorney with the Division of Workers’ Compensation;
Thomas Wyatt, Chattanooga, partner with Summers & Wyatt; and
Ken Switzer, an associate with the Howard Tate law firm, will be the chief judge.

The appointments were made by the Workers’ Compensation Division Administrator, Abbie Hudgens, and were selected from recommendations from the Workers’ Compensation Interview Committee, which was composed of representatives of employees, employers, and the legal community from all three grand divisions of the state. 




Georgia Department Of Labor To Host Recruitments In Dalton And Cartersville

The Georgia Department of Labor will host recruitments this month in Dalton and Cartersville for job seekers who qualify for OJT, a federal on-the-job training program to help get unemployed workers back into the labor force. The first recruitment will be held on  Thursday, March 12 , from  9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  at the GDOL’s Dalton Career Center at 1406 ... (click for more)

Storms And Cupcakes, Celebrities Headed To Rainsville For 2015 Excel Home And Garden Show

Excel Events Group will roll out the red carpet for a couple of celebrities that will be headlining the 2015 Excel Home and Garden Show at the Northeast Alabama Agribusiness Center. "America’s favorite baker, Gigi Butler, the founder of Gigi’s Cupcakes and the recent guest star of Undercover Boss will be joined by Reed Timmer of the hit reality series Storm Chasers." organizers ... (click for more)

Charles Hulsey, 19, Shot On Sylvan Drive During Drug Deal And Later Dies; Involved In Crash On North Market Street

Charles Hulsey, 19, was shot and killed Monday night. The preliminary police investigation indicates that during a drug transaction at 310 Sylvan Street, a fight broke out and Hulsey was shot once.  Husley then left in his vehicle later wrecking in the 700 block of North Market Street.  One other person involved in the crash was taken by ambulance to a local ... (click for more)

Tennessee Temple University To Close After Almost 70 Years

Tennessee Temple University, after almost 70 years in operation in Highland Park, is set to close after this semester. Trustees are set to vote on Tuesday morning to merge Temple with Piedmont International University of Winston-Salem, N.C. Students who are not graduating this semester would have the option to continue their education there. Bryan College in Dayton, Tn., and ... (click for more)

Tennessee Deserves Better Health Reform

Tennessee needs health care reform. Expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," was not the best solution for Tennesseans. That is why the vast majority of Tennessee legislators never publicly supported the plan defeated in a special legislative session in February.   It is important to distinguish health care from health insurance. As one physician ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Insult To Israel

I am deeply saddened that over two dozen members of Congress – all Democrats – will be boycotting a speech by Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, when he speaks in Washington tonight. I am also offended that the President of the United States will not receive Netanyahu prior to the speech – a customary gesture on such occasions – because he claims it is too close to ... (click for more)