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2015 Tennessee Workers' Comp Conference

2015 Tennessee Workers' Comp Conference - Materials Only

Product Code: T15WCM

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2015 Tennessee Workers' Comp Conference - Materials

Held in historic Franklin, Tennessee (just south of Nashville)
Thursday, November 19 & Friday November 20, 2015

Order your materials today from this information-packed conference!

This two-day conference featured judges from the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board and the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims, leading workers’ comp attorneys, representatives from the Department of Labor & Workforce Development, and other key players in the workers’ comp system

Program Highlights

  • Insight from judges on the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims and the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board
  • Comparison of cases and factual scenarios under the old and new law
  • Review of medical panels under the new law, hot topics in workers’ comp today, and the interplay between workers’ comp, the ADA, and the FMLA
  • Insight from Department of Labor and Workforce Development representatives on the drug-free workplace program, the new pain management rules, penalty-worthy offenses, and the ombudsman program
  • A doctor’s perspective on deterring abuse of pain medication in workers’ comp claims
  • Attorney track features a session on “dos and don’ts” when trying a case in the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims, how the new rules really work in practice, settlement options including MSAs, “hot topics” in workers’ comp from both the plaintiff’s and defense perspectives, ethical issues arising under the new law, and a panel discussion each day featuring defense and plaintiff’s attorneys
  • Employer track covers issues such as social media and the workplace, scope of employment, preventing retaliatory discharge after a workers’ comp claim is filed, proving affirmative defenses, claims management, why safety pays, and best practices in workers’ comp plans
  • Review of the latest cases from the Tennessee Supreme Court, Workers’ Compensation Appeals Panels, Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, and Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims


How was this seminar different?

  • Attendees heard from Judge Ken Switzer, the chief judge of the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims, and Judges Tim Conner and Marshall Davidson of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, and from Judge Pam Johnson of the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims.
  • Attendees heard about the impact of the 2014 changes, including how injuries are treated differently under the new law, how the new procedures and rules really work in practice, and what adjustments have been made to the physician panel process.
  • Attendees heard from Department of Labor and Workforce Development representatives on the employer penalty process, the drug-free workplace program, the new pain management rules, and the ombudsman/mediation program.
  • Employers got up to date on relevant issues, such as workers’ comp defenses, retaliatory discharge, scope of employment, social media in the workplace, and implementing a safety program, as well as practical tips for managing claims under the new law.
  • Attorneys got up to date on complex issues, such as settlement options, including MSAs, hear about “hot topics” from both the plaintiff’s and defense perspectives, and learn about ethical issues arising under the new law.
  • Attendees chose to attend a track designed for attorneys or one designed for employers and others – and were allowed to mix the tracks to better serve their needs.
  • Attendees participated in an interactive program, including panel discussions – where speakers welcomed questions and feedback.


Order your materials today from this two-day conference highlighting the comprehensive changes to the Tennessee workers’ compensation system.

Your Outstanding Faculty 

WORKERS’ COMP JUDGES
 

Judge Tim ConnerJudge Tim Conner is a judge on the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. He had practiced law with Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan PLLC, in Knoxville, since 1992 and had been a member of the firm since 1997. He concentrated his practice in the areas of workers’ compensation and general liability defense, including an emphasis on toxic exposure claims. He is a frequent lecturer on workers’ compensation issues in Tennessee. He became a Rule 31 Listed General Civil Mediator with the Tennessee Supreme Court in 2007. He was also an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee College of Law, teaching the course on workers’ compensation law. He received his B.A., cum laude, from Boston University and his J.D. from Wake Forest University.

 

Marshall DavidsonMarshall L. Davidson, III, is the Presiding Judge for the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, appointed to this position by Governor Haslam in 2014. After graduating with honors from the University of Tennessee College of Law, where he served on the Tennessee Law Review, Judge Davidson worked as a law clerk for Judge Houston Goddard on the Tennessee Court of Appeals and then Chief Justice Frank Drowota on the Tennessee Supreme Court. He then spent time in private practice, handling both civil and criminal cases before serving as a Staff Attorney for the Tennessee Supreme Court for 22 years, focusing on civil appeals. Under the supervision of the Chief Justice, Judge Davidson implemented and managed the Supreme Court’s system for handling appeals of workers’ compensation cases for part of that time. He has served as a Judge Advocate General Officer in the United State Army Reserves, was an adjunct professor at Middle Tennessee State University for 11 years, and has been on the faculty of the Nashville School of Law since 1992, teaching torts and advanced legal writing. 

 

Pamela JohnsonJudge Pamela B. Johnson is a judge on the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims. She was previously Of Counsel with Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan PLLC in Knoxville, where she focused her practice in the areas of workers’ compensation defense, personal injury defense, premises liability defense, products liability defense and construction liability defense. She represented various individuals, employers, businesses and insurers in matters of civil liability, including workers’ compensation defense, premises liability defense, personal liability defense, products liability defense, and construction liability defense. Her practice included an active trial and appellate practice as well as an administrative practice before the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

 

Chief Judge Ken SwitzerChief Judge Ken Switzer, of Nashville, is chief judge of the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims. He previously practiced law at Howard Tate in Nashville, where he focused his practice in the areas of workers’ compensation, employment discrimination, personal injury, medical malpractice, and products liability defense. He received his B.A., cum laude, from David Lipscomb College and his J.D. from the University of Louisville.



DEPARTMENT OF LABOR & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT


Troy Haley
is the Administrative Attorney, Legislative Liaison, and Director of the Penalty Program for the State of Tennessee’s Division of Workers’ Compensation. He has been with the  Department of Labor & Workforce Development since 2007, where as a Workers’ Compensation Specialist he conducted hearings and issued determinations regarding temporary disability and medical benefits, reviewed and approved workers’ compensation settlement agreements, and mediated workers’ compensation disputes. Since June 2014, he has served as counsel for the Division of Workers’ Compensation and liaison for the Division and the governor’s office. He is a Nashville native and a graduate of Stratford High School in east Nashville. He received his B.A. degree from David Lipscomb College, his M.A. degree from Tennessee State University, and his J.D. degree from the University of Memphis. He has been licensed to practice law in Tennessee since 1992. He has been a Rule 31 mediator since 2008. Prior to his state service, Mr. Haley worked as staff counsel for a title insurance company and was also in private practice.

 

Brian Holmes is Director of Mediation and Ombudsman Services for the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation in the Department of Labor & Workforce Development.

 

Robert SnyderRobert B. Snyder, M.D., is Medical Director for the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation in the Department of Labor & Workforce Development. Dr. Snyder retired from his active medical practice with Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance. He is a graduate of Belmont University and Wayne State University of Medicine. During his active career he was president of the Vanderbilt Orthopedic Society and president of the St. Thomas Hospital medical staff. Dr. Snyder has also participated in Orthopedic Overseas’ medical education project in Peru. For many years Dr. Snyder has been on the Bureau’s Medical Cost Containment Committee and is a past chair of the committee.


April VerdoniApril Verdoni is with the Office of Mediation and Ombudsman Services for the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation in the Department of Labor & Workforce Development.




Lance WheatonLance Wheaton is Program Coordinator for the Tennessee Drug-Free Workplace Program for the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation in the Department of Labor & Workforce Development. He is responsible for overseeing the day to day program activities including approving applications, giving presentations to groups considering joining the program, and responding to their questions. Mr. Wheaton was promoted to Program Coordinator in October 2008, a little over a year after he started working for the Department, after the previous Program Director retired. Prior to this assignment, he served as the Program Coordinator for the Medical Impairment Rating (MIR) Registry.


WORKERS’ COMP ATTORNEYS
 

Mary Dee AllenMary Dee Allen has been a member in the Cookeville office of Wimberly Lawson Wright Daves & Jones, PLLC, since 2003. She has been a practicing trial attorney since 1992, handling primarily workers’ compensation defense and employment discrimination defense, in state and federal courts and administrative agencies. She obtained an Associates Degree in Nursing from Union University in 1988, a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Union University in 1989, and a JD from the University of Memphis in 1992. She is Legislative Co-Chair of the Upper Cumberland Society of Human Resource Management. Mary Dee has an AV Preeminent® Rating - which is the highest possible rating given by Martindale-Hubbell, the leading independent attorney rating entity.


Fred BakerFred Baker has been a member in the Cookeville office of Wimberly Lawson Wright Daves & Jones, PLLC, since 2001. His practice includes an emphasis in workers’ compensation and employment discrimination defense, as well as ADA and FMLA compliance. He is the editor of the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Handbook, 5th Edition, published by M. Lee Smith Publishers, a division of BLR®, and he is on the Advisory Board for the Tennessee Workers’ Comp Reporter. He was selected as a Rising Star in 2012, 2013, and 2014 by Super Lawyers. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, summa cum laude, from Transylvania University and his law degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Tennessee.


Leslie BishopLeslie Bishop is a defense attorney with the Nashville office of Lewis, Thomason, King, Krieg, & Waldrop, P.C. She is responsible for all aspects of a general defense litigation practice, with an emphasis in workers’ compensation and employment law. Her employment practice ranges from representation of employers at state agencies to trial on all employment issues. She currently serves as co-chair of the firm’s Workers’ Compensation Practice Group. She joined the firm from the Tennessee Department of Labor Workers’ Compensation Division where she supervised the Knoxville Regional Office which covered 19 counties. She has served as a member of the Governor’s Task Force charged with reform of workers’ compensation laws in the State of Tennessee. She has been a certified Mediator and has successfully participated in over 1,000 mediations, primarily workers’ compensation disputes.

 

Kitty BoyteKatherine (Kitty) Boyte is a defense attorney with Constangy, Brooks & Smith in Nashville. She has, over the past 20 plus years, successfully guided many of the largest employers of middle Tennessee through workers’ compensation and employment law issues. She has litigated workers’ compensation cases in well over half of the 95 counties in the state of Tennessee. She is a frequent speaker to workers’ comp insiders and insurers on a national level, and is a guest lecturer on workers’ compensation at the Nashville School of Law. She is also heavily involved in legislative changes to the workers’ compensation system in Tennessee, and previously served as a member of the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council.

 

Gregory GrishamJ. Gregory Grisham recently rejoined Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan PLLC in its Nashville Office from Jackson Lewis PC where he was a shareholder in the Memphis Office. Mr. Grisham has represented employers in state and federal trial and appellate courts and before administrative agencies and arbitrators in 27 states in workplace law matters. He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States District Courts for the Western, Middle and Eastern Districts of Tennessee, the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas, and the United States Courts of Appeals for the Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits. Mr. Grisham was selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America® for Labor and Employment Litigation in 2013 and 2014. Mr. Grisham was recognized as a Mid-South Super Lawyer in 2006, 2007 and 2013 by Law & Politics Magazine® and received an AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating in 2006, the highest rating given to attorneys, from Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. Grisham is a member of the Tennessee Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He is a also a member of the Tennessee Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section) and serves on the Executive Council of the TBA Federal Practice Section and on the Public Education Committee; the Nashville Bar Association (Labor and Employment Committee; Fee Dispute Committee); The Federalist Society (President, Memphis Lawyers’ Chapter, 2000-2014, Member of The Executive Committee of the National Labor and Employment Practice Group 2006- , and a leader of The Federalist Society’s Tennessee State Court Project); and The Federal Bar Association (President Memphis/Mid-South Chapter (2012)). He is a 1997 graduate of Leadership Collierville where he also served as Secretary for the Leadership Collierville Board of Trustees from 1997-2000. Mr. Grisham was selected in 2008 as a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America, a national honorary society of trial attorneys. Mr. Grisham was a Member of the Tennessee Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission from 2011 to 2014. Mr. Grisham is a frequent speaker and author on workplace law topics. He received a B.S. in Business Administration from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1983 and an MBA from The University of Mississippi in 1984. Mr. Grisham graduated with Honors from the Cecil C. Humphreys’ School of Law of the University of Memphis in 1989 where he was a staff member of the University of Memphis Law Review and was admitted to the Tennessee Bar the same year.

 

Sean Antone HuntSean Antone Hunt is the owner of the Memphis boutique insurance defense law firm, The Hunt Law Firm, where the two person law firm brings a unique team format to insurance and business clients for their litigation needs. For the past 20 years, he has practiced in the areas of construction litigation, products liability, personal injury, workers’ compensation, and insurance defense. Mr. Hunt has lectured at seminars on his areas of expertise and has conducted several in-house presentations on workers’ compensation issues for his firm’s clients. He earned his B.S. degree in civil engineering from Tennessee State University and his J.D. degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law. Mr. Hunt is a member of the American, Tennessee, Memphis, and National (Ben Jones Chapter) bar associations; The Mississippi Bar; and the State Bar of Georgia. He is licensed to practice law in Tennessee, Georgia and Mississippi. Mr. Hunt’s firm provides defense for clients all over the state of Tennessee and parts of Mississippi and Georgia. He is currently the immediate past chair of the Memphis Bar Association’s Technology Section, an Executive Committee member of the Tennessee Bar Association’s Construction Law Section, and a member of the Memphis Bar Association’s Communications Committee.


Stephen F. Libby is a partner with Libby & Nahmias, where he manages the firm with an emphasis on workers’ compensation, personal injury, construction, commercial litigation, and family law. Mr. Libby is a graduate of the University of Memphis and earned his J.D. degree from the Cecil C. Humphreys School at Law at the University of Memphis. He is a member of the Memphis Bar Foundation. He also is currently licensed to practice law in the states of Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas.


Mary Beth MaddoxMary Beth Maddox is a defense attorney with Franz, McConnell & Seymour LLP in Knoxville. Upon her graduation from law school in 1994, she joined a private practice in Knoxville and eventually went to practice with Frantz, McConnell & Seymour, LLP in 1998, where she became a partner in 2003. Her current civil litigation practice focuses primarily on workers’ compensation, tort and employment defense. She is also listed as a Rule 31 certified family law mediator in the State of Tennessee. She serves as a Member at Large for the Knoxville Bar Association and chairs its work/life balance committee. She is Chair of the Florence Crittenton Agency Board and previously served on the Board of Character Counts! Knoxville. She is serving on the steering committee of the Tennessee Bar Association’s Leadership Law program for 2011-2012.

 

Marshall McClarnonMarshall McClarnon, with Ponce Law in Goodlettsville, handles workers’ compensation, personal injury, auto accident, premises liability, and products liability cases. Prior to joining Ponce Law in December 2013, he worked as a plaintiff’s attorney for six years. Mr. McClarnon grew up in Gallatin, Tennessee. He attended Lambuth University in Jackson, Tennessee, where he graduated cum laude with a double major in history and political science. While an undergraduate, Marshall served as president of his chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and studied abroad at Regent’s University London. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor from Southern Illinois University Law School in Carbondale, Illinois. He is licensed to practice law in Tennessee and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. He became an attorney because he wanted to help people and provide equal access to the law and court system. He volunteers with the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition Citizens Workshop that helps immigrants navigate the citizenship application process. 

 

Kenneth VeitKenneth Veit is a defense attorney with Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan PLLC in Nashville. He has been practicing law since 2003. He practices civil litigation in several areas of insurance defense. While in law school, Mr. Veit was a member of Phi Delta Phi, served on the Moot Court Board and was a member of the Jessup International Moot Court Team. Mr. Veit is a member of the American Bar Association, Tennessee and Nashville Bar Associations, Kentucky Bar Association, ALFA International, Defense Research Institute, and Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association. He has extensive workers’ compensation defense experience at administrative, trial and appellate levels, he has engaged in general insurance defense work, he has represented insurance companies in the defense of uninsured motorist actions, and he has represented insurance companies in subrogation actions. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mr. Veit graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminal Justice from the University of Tennessee in 1997. Mr. Veit received his J.D. from the University of Memphis in 2003. 

 

Elaine YoungbloodElaine M. Youngblood is of counsel with the Nashville law firm of Ortale, Kelley, Herbert & Crawford. Her area of practice is defense work, both in civil litigation in state and federal court, as well as defense of workers’ compensation cases. During her career, Ms. Youngblood has handled a variety of cases dealing with tort litigation and workers’ compensation litigation. She has extensive trial experience, both jury and non-jury, in cases involving premises liability, insurance, products liability, vehicular accident, and workers’ compensation. Ms. Youngblood is a fellow in ABOTA, membership for this honorary organization requires trial both in state and federal Court of more than 100 jury cases. She also is a fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America. Ms. Youngblood earned her B.A. degree from Wake Forest University and her J.D. degree from Albany Law School. She is a member of the Nashville and Tennessee bar associations. Ms. Youngblood is currently the chair person for the Fee Dispute Committee of the Nashville Bar Association, and has served in that capacity for the last ten years. She also is a member of the State Bar Fee Dispute Committee and helped draft legislation relative to fee disputes. Ms. Youngblood is an honorary member and fellow of the Nashville Bar Foundation.



OTHERS

Wendy Fisher is Safety Compliance Manager with Tennessee OSHA.


Dr. Jeffrey HazlewoodDr. Jeffrey E. Hazlewood practices physical medicine and rehabilitation in both Lebanon and Murfreesboro and is an Associate Staff member of the University Medical Center in Lebanon. After receiving his medical degree from the University of Tennessee, Memphis, he completed his residency at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. A Fellow of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Dr. Hazlewood is Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation with a subspecialty Board Certification in Pain Medicine. He is a member of the Medical Impairment Rating Registry and has received training on the Fifth and Sixth Editions of the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. His society memberships include The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the American Association of Electrodiagnostic Medicine, the Tennessee Medical Association, the American Medical Association, and the Rotary Club. Dr. Hazlewood is an experienced speaker on various aspects of pain management.


Christine “Chris” McEvoy is the Injury Specialist, handling workers’ compensation claims for Volkswagen Group of America at their Chattanooga Manufacturing Operation, since 2010. She previously enjoyed a 29-year career in the insurance claim industry – 25 years in management, first for Prudential, in Boston and San Diego, then Transamerica, in Los Angeles, and most recently, for Provident Life & Accident/UNUM, in Chattanooga. She has a bachelor’s degree in Humanities from the University of Tennessee of Chattanooga and many years’ experience with all manner of insurance claims and law, as law as mid-level people development and management.

2015 Tennessee Workers' Comp Conference: Full Agenda

ATTORNEY TRACK – DAY ONE (THURSDAY)

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Workers’ Comp Update
Fred Baker, Wimberly Lawson Wright Daves & Jones 

Mr. Baker will review the latest decisions from the Tennessee Supreme Court, the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Panels, the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, and the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims.


9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Tennessee’s New Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims: Practices & Procedures
Chief Judge Ken Switzer, Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims 

  • Petition for benefit determination
  • Dispute certification notice
  • Initial hearings
  • Expedited hearings
  • Discovery
  • Time requirements
  • Settlements

 
10:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Morning Break


10:15 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Navigating the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board
Presiding Judge Marshall Davidson, Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board 

Judge Davidson will walk you through practice and procedure guidelines in the appeals board and highlight some pitfalls to avoid.


11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
View From the Bench: Dos & Don’ts at Trial
Judge Pam Johnson, Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims 

Judge Johnson will offer attorneys some “dos and don’ts” for trying a case in the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims.


12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. LUNCH *(Lunch is included with registration)


1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Panel Discussion on New Law and Procedures
Fred Baker, Wimberly Lawson Wright Daves & Jones, moderator
Mary Dee Allen, Wimberly Lawson Wright Daves & Jones
Mary Beth Maddox, Franz, McConnell & Seymour
Marshall McClarnon, Ponce Law
Kenny Veit, Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan

The panel will discuss and entertain questions regarding the new court system and the 2014 changes.


2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Medical Panels Under the New Law
Fred Baker, Wimberly Lawson Wright Daves & Jones 

Mr. Baker will discuss the adjustments that have been made to the physician panel process.


3:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Afternoon Break
 


3:15 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Treatment Guidelines Update
Robert B. Snyder, M.D., Medical Director, Bureau of Workers’ Compensation 

Dr. Snyder gives an overview of the treatment guidelines, formulary, and new pain management rules, which will be implemented on January 1, 2016.


4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Penalty Program Update
Troy Haley, Director of Penalty Program 

Mr. Haley will discuss the newly-adopted penalty rules and give examples of penalty-worthy offenses.


4:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Settlement Options (Including MSA Considerations)
Sean Antone Hunt, The Hunt Law Firm 

  • Mediation strategy
  • Liens
  • Medicare set-aside (MSA) considerations and Medicare Secondary Payer Act (MSPA) requirements
  • Determining the value of the claim


ATTORNEY TRACK – DAY TWO (FRIDAY)

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Treatment of Chronic Pain Patients: Deterring Abuse
Dr. Jeffrey Hazlewood, Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 

  • Urine drug screens – types of tests (point of care testing vs. confirmation testing; urine vs. blood vs. oral vs. hair testing)
  • State monitoring database
  • Pill counts
  • Opioid agreements
  • Genetic testing
  • Appropriate use of pain management guidelines


9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Hot Topics in Workers’ Comp: The Plaintiff’s Perspective
Marshall McClarnon, Ponce Law 

Mr. McClarnon will discuss some “hot” topics which plaintiff’s attorneys are dealing with under the new law.


10:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Morning Break
 


10:15 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
How the Process Under the New Law Really Works
Mary Beth Maddox, Franz, McConnell & Seymour 

Ms. Maddox will discuss how the new rules, which have been in use since July 2014, really play out – not what they say but how the new process truly works. She will also touch on the "opt-out" proposal which the legislature is considering.


11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Interplay Between Workers’ Comp, ADA, and FMLA
Mary Dee Allen, Wimberly Lawson Wright Daves & Jones

Ms. Allen will discuss how workers’ comp laws interact and affect two other employment-related areas – the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act – and will offer tips on how to comply with the unique requirements of each law.


11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. LUNCH *(lunch is included with registration)


1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Ethical Obligations Under the New Law
Mary Beth Maddox, Franz, McConnell & Seymour
Steve Libby, Libby & Nahmias 

  • Rules of Professional Conduct
  • Communication with other parties
  • Attorney fees
  • Lawyer liability


2:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Panel Discussion on New Law and Procedures
Fred Baker, Wimberly Lawson Wright Daves & Jones, moderator
Mary Dee Allen, Wimberly Lawson Wright Daves & Jones
Steve Libby, Libby & Nahmias
Mary Beth Maddox, Franz, McConnell & Seymour
Elaine Youngblood, Ortale, Kelley, Herbert & Crawford 

The panel will discuss and entertain questions regarding the new court system and the 2014 changes.


2:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Afternoon Break


3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Circuit/Chancery Court vs. Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims
Kitty Boyte, Constangy, Brooks & Smith 

Ms. Boyte compares and contrasts the distinctions under the old law (pre-July 2014) and the new law (post-July 2014) in filing a workers’ compensation claim in circuit or chancery court or in the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims.


4:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Hot Topics in Workers’ Comp: The Defense Perspective
Elaine Youngblood, Ortale, Kelley, Herbert & Crawford 

Ms. Youngblood will discuss some “hot” topics in workers’ comp today, including issues related to permanent total disability, permanent partial disability, computation of benefits, average weekly wage considerations, and reopening/modifying a workers’ comp claim.


4:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Update on Ombudsman and Mediation Services
Brian Holmes, Director of Mediation and Ombudsman Services
April Verdoni, Mediation and Ombudsman Services 

Mr. Holmes and Ms. Verdoni gives an overview of the Ombudsman Program that permits any party that is not represented by legal counsel to request the services of a workers’ compensation ombudsman.


EMPLOYER TRACK – DAY ONE (THURSDAY)

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Tennessee’s New Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims: Practices & Procedures
Chief Judge Ken Switzer, Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims 

  • Petition for benefit determination
  • Mediation requirements
  • Dispute certification notice
  • Initial hearings
  • Expedited hearings
  • Discovery
  • Time requirements
  • Settlements


9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Workers’ Comp Update
Fred Baker, Wimberly Lawson Wright Daves & Jones 

Mr. Baker will review that latest decisions from the Tennessee Supreme Court, the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Panels, the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, and the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims.


10:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Morning Break


10:15 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Navigating the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board
Judge Tim Conner, Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board 

Judge Conner will walk you through practice and procedure guidelines in the appeals board and highlight some pitfalls to avoid.


11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Update on Tennessee’s Drug-Free Workplace Program
Lance Wheaton, Program Coordinator, Drug-Free Workplace Program 

Mr. Wheaton reviews the ins and outs of Tennessee’s Drug-Free Workplace Program.


11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Retaliatory Discharge
Mary Dee Allen, Wimberly Lawson Wright Daves & Jones 

An employee is terminated after he or she files a workers’ comp claim. Ms. Allen will discuss what is required to establish a claim for retaliatory discharge, how an employer can defend such a claim, and what factors an employer should consider before firing an employee who has filed a workers’ comp claim.


12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. LUNCH *(lunch is included with registration)


1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.
Social Media and the Workplace
Greg Grisham, Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan 

Mr. Grisham discusses some of the unique challenges faced by employers in dealing with social media in the workplace.


2:15 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Scope of Employment Issues
Sean Antone Hunt, The Hunt Law Firm

Mr. Hunt will review scope of employer liability issues, including who is covered under workers' compensation and what injuries are compensable. 


3:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Afternoon Break
 


3:15 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Comparing Scenarios/Workplace Injuries Under the Old and New Law
Kenny Veit, Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan 

Mr. Veit will compare and contrast workplace scenarios and injuries occurring under both the old law (pre-July 2014) and the new law (post-July 2014).


4:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Treatment Guidelines Update
Robert B. Snyder, M.D., Medical Director, Bureau of Workers’ Compensation 

Are you unsure about the efficacy and appropriateness of the treatments and drugs being recommended and prescribed in workers’ comp claims? Are certain drugs being over-prescribed? Are there better options? Dr. Snyder will discuss the impact treatment guidelines, formulary, and new pain management rules, which will be implemented on January 1, 2016, will have on claimants and outcomes and outline present progress in Tennessee in its implementation of medical treatment guidelines and the present status of the progress on the rules.


4:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Medical Panels Under the New Law
Fred Baker, Wimberly Lawson Wright Daves & Jones 

Mr. Baker will discuss the adjustments that have been made to the physician panel process.


EMPLOYER TRACK – DAY TWO (FRIDAY)

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Claims Management: Minimizing Costs and Maximizing Efficiency
Leslie Bishop, Lewis, King, Krieg & Waldrop 

Ms. Bishop will give an overview of how to manage a workers’ comp claim from start to finish. 


9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Treatment of Chronic Pain Patients: Deterring Abuse
Dr. Jeffrey Hazlewood, Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 

  • Urine drug screens – types of tests (point of care testing vs. confirmation testing; urine vs. blood vs. oral vs. hair testing)
  • State monitoring database
  • Pill counts
  • Opioid agreements
  • Genetic testing
  • Appropriate use of pain management guidelines


10:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Morning Break


10:15 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Why Safety Pays
Wendy Fisher, Safety Compliance Manager, Tennessee OSHA 

Creating and maintaining a safe and healthful workplace is an opportunity to “make” money. The costs associated with workplace accidents and diseases are many and not as obvious as one might believe. Companies that are most successful manage workplace safety and health in a similar manner to that of production and quality. Ms. Fisher will detail the direct costs of common workplace injuries and explore some of the hidden costs that an employer may overlook.


11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Assembling a Great Workers’ Compensation Plan
Chris McEvoy, Injury Specialist, Volkswagen Group of America 

Ms. McEvoy will share her insights into what makes a great workers’ compensation plan and will offer tips on best claims management practices that have been successfully implemented  at Volkswagen.


11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. LUNCH *(lunch is included with registration)


1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Penalty Program Update
Troy Haley, Director of Penalty Program 

Mr. Haley will discuss the newly-adopted penalty rules and give examples of penalty-worthy offenses.


1:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Update on Ombudsman and Mediation Services
Brian Holmes, Director of Mediation and Ombudsman Services
April Verdoni, Mediation and Ombudsman Services 

Mr. Holmes and Ms. Verdoni will give an overview of the Ombudsman Program that permits any party that is not represented by legal counsel to request the services of a workers’ compensation ombudsman.


2:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Circuit/Chancery Court vs. Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims
Kitty Boyte, Constangy, Brooks & Smith 

Ms. Boyte compares and contrasts the distinctions under the old law (pre-July 2014) and the new law (post-July 2014) in filing a workers’ compensation claim in circuit or chancery court or in the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims.


2:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Afternoon Break


3:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Hot Topics in Workers’ Comp
Elaine Youngblood, Ortale, Kelley, Herbert & Crawford 

Ms. Youngblood will discuss some “hot” topics in workers’ compensation today, including issues related to permanent total disability, permanent partial disability, computation of benefits, average weekly wage considerations, and reopening/modifying a workers’ comp claim.


3:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Proving Affirmative Defenses
Mary Beth Maddox, Franz, McConnell & Seymour LLP 

Ms. Maddox will discuss some of the affirmative defenses that can be raised to defeat a workers’ comp claim, including willful misconduct by the employee, an employee’s drug use or intoxication, and the statute of limitations.


4:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Interplay Between Workers’ Comp, ADA, and FMLA
Mary Dee Allen, Wimberly Lawson Wright Daves & Jones

Ms. Allen will discuss how workers’ comp laws interact and affect two other employment-related areas – the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act – and will offer tips on how to comply with the unique requirements of each law.

Sponsor

The 2015 Tennessee Workers' Comp Conference is proud to present this year's sponsor:

 

http://www.hrhero.com/img/Leitner Williams New Logo.jpg

 

Exhibitor

Interested in becoming a Sponsor or Exhibitor?
Contact Rachel Mayo at 615-661-0249, ext. 8013
Visit www.scribd.com for Exhibitor information. 

 

 
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