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. 




GKH Announces Honors For Brittany Faith

Brittany Thomas Faith, of the law firm of Grant, Konvalinka & Harrison, P.C., has been elected by her peers as secretary of the American Immigration Lawyers Association Mid-South Chapter and as a   member of the Association’s executive committee. The Mid-South chapter is a sub-chapter of the national Association that consists of lawyers in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, ... (click for more)

HHM CPA Firm Adds Lowe To Dealership Services Group

Chattanooga CPA firm Henderson Hutcherson & McCullough announces Scott Lowe has joined its Dealership Services Group, bringing over 20 years of experience. “Scott’s experience working as the chief financial officer for a large automotive group equips him with a unique skillset,” said HHM partner Travis Horton. “This experience coupled with his public accounting background ... (click for more)

County Commission Gives Up Fight On $900,000 In Discretionary Funds

County Commission members have given up the fight for the annual $900,000 in discretionary funds. Commission Chairman Chester Bankston said there was not enough money available after requests from a number of agencies and departments were cut to balance the budget without a tax increase. Commissioner Sabrena Smedley said the fact that commissioners can no longer allot the ... (click for more)

Athens, Tn., Man Killed And Several Others Injured In 2 Wrecks Near Ooltewah Exit Of I-75

One person was killed and several others injured in two wrecks early Wednesday morning on I-75 northbound at exit 11.   The victim was James Newman, 66, of Athens, Tn.   Northbound lanes were closed while emergency crews worked both accidents. Traffic was rerouted to Old Lee Highway to avoid the accident scene.   Traffic was backed up for an extended ... (click for more)

A Disturbing Trend At Exit 11 - And Response (2)

So, am I the first to notice a trend?   How many wrecks does exit 11 need before anyone asks "whats up with that?"  I have lost count of the wrecks that continue to happen, even after last year's awful loss of life (which I believe 51 percent of the blame should fall on the THP officer on duty).  The problem with this section of interstate are sight lines ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What You Leave Behind

Randy Travis, one of the best at singing country songs that has ever been, had a song about three people who got killed when an 18-wheeler missed a stop sign. There was a farmer and a teacher, a hooker and a preacher on this bus and Randy tells us: “One's headed for vacation, one for higher education, An' two of them were searchin' for lost souls.” In that wonderful song, the ... (click for more)