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Tennessee Workers' Comp Conference

Tennessee Workers' Comp Conference

Product Code: T18WC1F
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Tennessee Workers' Comp Conference

Coming to Nashville School of Law on Wednesday-Friday, November 7-9, 2018

This conference puts you in contact with judges from the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board and the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims, leading workers’ comp attorneys, representatives from the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, and other key players in the workers’ comp system.

Conference includes one day in which attendees may to choose to attend a track designed for attorneys or one designed for employers and others – or you may mix the tracks to better serve your needs. 

Topics will include: 

  • The medical and legal determinations of causation in a workers’ comp case 
  • Challenges faced by employers when dealing with social media in the workplace 
  • Tips on how to avoid the imposition of penalties 
  • A doctor’s perspective on the opioid epidemic 
  • Interplay between workers’ comp, the ADA, and the FMLA 
  • Termination and retaliation issues 
  • And more. 


When you attend, you will also access:

  • Expert insight from judges on the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims and the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board 
  • A panel discussion with attorneys and physicians on the medical and legal determinations of causation in a workers’ comp case 
  • An attorney track that includes a session on what’s new with Medicare set-asides; ethical issues arising during mediation; medical issues in a workers’ comp claim; the settlement process; “hot topics” from the plaintiff’s perspective; and a panel discussion featuring defense and plaintiff’s attorneys 
  • An employer track that covers issues on management of a claim from start to finish; the role of handbooks, policies, and training; accident investigations and responding to fraudulent claims; third party work injury claims; conducting effective surveillance; scope of employment issues; preventing workplace injuries; and handling the medical aspects of a claim 
  • A review of the latest cases from the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Panels, Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, and Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims 


YOUR CONFERENCE FACULTY:

WORKERS’ COMP JUDGES

Judge Marshall Davidson 
Judge Pamela Johnson 
Chief Judge Ken Switzer 

TENNESSEE BUREAU OF WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Troy Haley

WORKERS’ COMP/EMPLOYMENT LAW ATTORNEYS

Christopher Barrett, King & Ballow 
Leslie Bishop, Lewis, Thomason, King, Krieg, & Waldrop, P.C. 
Bob Boston, Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP 
Kitty Boyte, Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP 
Catherine Dugan, Peterson White, LLP 
Frank Gallina, Parker, Lawrence, Cantrell & Smith 
Howard M. Kastrinsky, King & Ballow 
Rockforde (Rocky) D. King, Egerton, McAfee, Armistead & Davis, P.C. 
Charles (Chuck) J. Mataya, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP 
Marshall McClarnon, Ponce Law 
Terrence L. Olsen, Olsen Law Firm 
Mallory Schneider Ricci, Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP 
Michael Russell, Russell Dispute Resolution, PLLC 
Steven N. Snyder, Jr., McAngus Goudelock & Courie 
Kenneth D. Veit, Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan PLLC 
Duane Willis, Morgan & Akins, PLLC

OTHERS

Wendy Fisher, Safety Compliance Manager with Tennessee OSHA 
Dr. Jeffrey Hazlewood, Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, subspecialty Board Certification in Pain Medicine 
Dawn Trojan-Randle, Claim Specialist at Brentwood Services 

Your Distinguished Faculty

Christopher J. Barrett

Christopher J. Barrett is an attorney in the litigation section of King & Ballow in Nashville, Tennessee. His practice focuses on employment law. Mr. Barrett has litigated cases involving FMLA, ADA, ADEA, and Tennessee Human Rights Actclaims through the motion for summary judgment stage of litigation and beyond. He has also been involved in King & Ballow's entertainment law section, and was a member of the trial preparation team that secured a $7.3 million dollar jury verdict in 2015's Williams v. Bridgeport Music, Inc. trial (lawsuit involving claim that the hit song "Blurred Lines" infringed on copyright held by heirs of Marvin Gaye). Mr. Barrett is a frequent presenter on employment law topics. Mr. Barrett is admitted to practice law in Tennessee and Connecticut. He earned his undergraduate degree from Saint Anselm College and his J.D. degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law. During law school, Mr. Barrett was a founding member of the Employment Law Society and interned with the Connecticut U.S. Attorney’s Office, where he worked with Civil Division attorneys on employment discrimination lawsuits.

   
Leslie Bishop

Leslie Bishop is a defense attorney and shareholder 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.

   
Bob Boston

Bob Boston is a partner with Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP in Nashville, Tennessee where he serves as the firm’s Lead Director and in numerous other leadership roles. Mr. Boston represents employers in labor and employment litigation and dispute resolution along with commercial and business entities in litigation of many types. Work includes that for retailers, domestic and international manufacturers, nationwide service providers and organizations within the healthcare industry, including hospitals and health systems, suppliers and payors of all kinds.

Mr. Boston is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel. He has been honored as one of Business Tennessee’s “150 Best Lawyers,” Memphis Magazine’s “Top 100 Attorneys in Tennessee,” Nashville’s “Lawyer of the Year” and has been recognized in five categories in The Best Lawyers in America for Labor & Employment, “Bet-the-Company,” Commercial litigation, Employment Law - management, and Labor Law - management. Additionally, Mr. Boston is a private and approved arbitrator for several associations, including the National Association of Securities Dealers and the National Futures Association. He has served as a Hearing Panel Committee Member of the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee; has chaired the Tennessee Bar Association’s Litigation Section, and he is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Nashville Bar Association.

Mr. Boston earned his J.D. in 1981, with highest honors, from the University of Tennessee College of Law where he graduated Order of the Coif. He earned his B.A. in 1979 from Vanderbilt University.

   
Katherine (Kitty) Boyte

Katherine (Kitty) Boyte is a defense attorney with Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP, 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.

   
Marshall L. Davidson, III

Marshall L. Davidson, III, graduated with honors from the University of Tennessee College of Law where he served on the Tennessee Law Review. He worked as a law clerk for the Tennessee Court of Appeals and the Tennessee Supreme Court and then spent time in private practice handling civil and criminal cases before serving as a Staff Attorney for the Tennessee Supreme Court for twenty-two years focusing primarily on civil appeals. Judge Davidson implemented and managed the Supreme Court’s system for handling appeals of workers’ compensation cases for roughly a decade. He has served as a Judge Advocate General Officer in the United States Army Reserves, taught at the collegiate and law school levels for many years, and has authored numerous law review and bar journal articles about appellate litigation and other legal topics. He is a Fellow in the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, is active in the American Inns of Court, and is a CASA training volunteer working with children who are the subject of abuse or neglect proceedings. In 2014, Judge Davidson was appointed by Governor Bill Haslam to the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board where he serves as Presiding Judge, the first person to serve in that role.

   
Catherine Dugan

Catherine Dugan, with Peterson White in Nashville, is a litigation attorney with more than 11 years of experience in insurance defense. She has handled claims from workers’ compensation to general liability to coverage, and has worked in private practice and in-house. For most of her career, Ms. Dugan’s focus has been on defending employers and insurance carriers in workers’ compensation claims, assisting her clients as they navigate necessary administrative procedures and defending claims through litigation, as necessary. She has tried cases before Courts throughout Tennessee and has successfully argued before the Tennessee Supreme Court Special Workers’ Compensation Panel. Another key focus of her practice is on training and education for employers and carriers, keeping her clients updated as the workers’ compensation law has evolved in recent years and advising on successful practices to avoid common pitfalls when a worker is injured. Ms. Dugan also enjoys lecturing and presenting at seminars and conferences on important issues facing the practice of workers’ compensation defense. She was chosen for the Tennessee Bar Association Leadership Law Program Class of 2014, and was selected as a Mid-South Super Lawyers® “Rising Star” in 2013.

   
Wendy Fisher

Wendy Fisher is Safety Compliance Manager with Tennessee OSHA.

   
Frank Gallina

Frank Gallina, with Parker, Lawrence, Cantrell & Smith in Nashville. Mr. Gallina has been practicing law in the Nashville area since 2004 and focuses his practice on workers' compensation and insurance defense, representing small businesses, and wills and estates. He received his BA from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, cum laude, and his JD from the University of Memphis, Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in both Tennessee and Kentucky. He is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association, Nashville Bar Association and Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society. He is also a founding board member of the non-profit corporation, Round Up for Nolensville, Inc., which assists those in need in the Nolensville area.

   

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.

   
Dr. Jeffrey E. Hazlewood

Dr. 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.

   
Judge Pamela B. Johnson

Judge Pamela B. Johnson was one of eight attorneys appointed to the newly established Tennessee Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims in May 2014. Judge Johnson currently hears cases pending before the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims in Knoxville. She is a member of the National Association of Workers’ Compensation Judiciary, Tennessee Bar Association, Knoxville Bar Association, and East Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in August 1997, and her law degree from the University of Memphis, Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in May 2000.

   
Howard M. Kastrinsky

Howard M. Kastrinsky is a Partner in the Employment and Discrimination Section of King and Ballow in Nashville. His practice areas are in all phases of Employment and Labor Law. He concentrates in the representation of management in all workplace-related matters, with an emphasis on employment discrimination. He advises employers and represents them before federal and state agencies in employment discrimination matters. He is also Co-Editor of King & Ballow's Employment Law blog, “Keeping You Posted.” He is a member of the Nashville Bar Association and the Tennessee Bar Association. He has been awarded the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating of "AV Preeminent," which is the highest level of professional excellence. Mr. Kastrinsky is admitted to practice in Tennessee, North Carolina, before the District of Colorado, the Tennessee Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First, Sixth, Seventh, and District of Columbia Circuits. He received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and his law degree, with honors, from the University of North Carolina School of Law, he was a member of the University of North Carolina Law Review and Order of the Coif.

   
Rockforde (Rocky) D. King

Rockforde (Rocky) D. King is a shareholder with Egerton, McAfee, Armistead & Davis, P.C., in Knoxville. He practices primarily in the areas of workers’ compensation, insurance defense, products liability, and personal injury. Most of his present practice is concentrated in the area of workers’ compensation, where he is an attorney for the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association. He was a founding member of the Coalition of Food Industry Defense Counsel (COFIC), a group that defends and promotes the food industry interests at both manufacturing and retail levels. He has worked closely with such industry leaders as Bush Brothers, Inc., Campbell Soup, Dole, Gerber, Heinz, Hormel, Kraft, Quaker Oats, and Star Kist. He is listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers®. Mr. King became board certified in civil trial law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, an American Bar Association accredited organization, in December 1995, and by the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization in February 1996. Before attending law school, he was a trainer with the University of Tennessee Athletic Department from 1977-1982, and was an authorized sports agent for the players’ associations of the NFL, NBA, and MLB for several years thereafter.

   
Chuck Mataya

Chuck Mataya has developed a focused practice of litigation and counseling in various areas of labor and employment law, including the defense of class and collective individual actions in both state and federal courts. Chuck acts as lead counsel for prominent employers throughout the United States in the counsel and defense of employment and labor claims, including claims of wrongful discharge, breach of an employment contract, illegal discrimination under the various federal and state laws, and myriad other areas of employment and labor law. These areas include issues and claims relating to the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and related state statutes, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), and obligations and issues relating to Executive Order 11246, including affirmative action obligations and the defense of enforcement actions brought by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). Chuck represents clients in various industries, but over the last decade he has developed a concentration in the representation of employers in healthcare, manufacturing, government contracting, and retail sales. He is a frequent lecturer on topics related to labor/management relations, including the ADA, drug testing and privacy issues, the FLSA, Anti-Harassment in the Workplace, Title VII, and discipline and discharge policies and procedures. Mr. Mataya has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for Employment Law-Management (2016-2018), Litigation-Labor & Employment (2015-2018), and Labor Law-Management (2015-2018). He has been included in Mid-South Super Lawyers® for Employment & Labor, Nashville (20120-2017); and in Chambers USA for Labor & Employment (2008-2009; 2014-2018). He was recognized in 2007's Nashville Business Journal's “Best of the Bar” publication for Employment & Labor, and was identified in Lawdragon 3000, a list that recognizes less than one percent of the legal profession.

   
Marshall McClarnon

Marshall 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 J.D. 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.

   
Terry Olsen

Terry Olsen practices Immigration & Nationality Law, and International Law. Mr. Olsen has served, and continues to serve the international community, and his clients’ interests in the United States, and internationally. He is the Chair of the Immigration Law Section of the Tennessee Bar Association, and is former Chair of the International Law Section of the Tennessee Bar Association. He is also a member of the Executive Council of the Tax Law Section of the Tennessee Bar Association. Mr. Olsen is an alumnus of William and Mary Law School.

Mr. Olsen has served as Chair of the Chattanooga Branch of the British American Business Group from 2012-2014, and he served as Chair of the World Trade Society of Chattanooga from 2004-2008. He has given immigration law seminars at the following universities: University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Southern Adventist University, Bryan College, Dalton State College, Oakwood University, the University of Alabama at Huntsville, National Taiwan University, and National Chung Hsing University.

By actively participating in government discussions of law and policy, Mr. Olsen is an active participant with the agencies governing immigration & international law issues, rather than being an observer on the sidelines.

   
Dawn Trojan-Randle

Dawn Trojan-Randle is a determined, focused and compassionate claims professional with over 25 years in the insurance industry. Dawn joined Brentwood Services Administrators, Inc. in July 2011. She is currently the designated adjuster for CompTrust AGC-TN, along with a zinc plant and two county municipalities in Tennessee. She has been responsible for complete investigations to include policy and causation issues, claim processing, litigation and medical management, and concluding workers’ compensation claims.

Previously, Dawn served as the Branch Manager for a local TPA for nearly 9 years managing Assigned Risk Workers’ Compensation claims along with Guarantee Fund claims. Dawn has worked for TPA’s handling large accounts involving full Risk Management as well as carriers. She has experience with workers’ compensation, occupational accident, personal and commercial automobile, personal and commercial property, personal and commercial liability, and E&O. She has handled claims for TN, KY, AL, GA, NC, SC, AK, TX and CA.

Dawn initially started her career with Old Republic Insurance in Lexington, KY. She transferred to TN in 1992 while working with American States Insurance and has remained in the area since that time. She has worked with many local, state and national level agencies and brokers and has developed many contacts within the workers’ compensation community over the past 20 years in TN. She has spoken at multiple functions on workers’ compensation related topics to include local, state and national level seminars.

Dawn obtained her Associates in Claims designation from the Insurance Institute of America in 1992. She has been an active member in the Mid-South Workers’ Compensation Association and served as president of that organization in 2000. She also served on the Board of Directors serving as the Executive Vice President for Kid’s Chance of Tennessee, a non-profit organization designed to provide scholarships to children whose parent or guardian were catastrophically or fatally injured in a work-related accident.

Dawn’s most recent accomplishment was serving with the Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation assisting with the changes in the current Rules and Regulations for Workers’ Compensation and Claim Handling Standards, and the development of the Adjuster Certification Program. She obtained her Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Certification in the first group of participants in November 2017.

   
Mallory Schneider Ricci

Mallory Schneider Ricci, with Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP, in Nashville, focuses her practice on assisting employers in defense of labor and employment matters in federal and state courts, as well as before administrative agencies. She represents a wide range of clients in a variety of employment matters, including alleged race, sex, age, and disability discrimination; wrongful termination claims; and state law claims. Ms. Ricci also assists employers in responding to administrative complaints and investigations before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She was named a “Rising Star” by Mid-South Super Lawyers® in 2016. Ms. Ricci was born in Shalimar, Florida, and received her undergraduate degree from Florida State University and her law degree from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, where she served as the Symposium Editor on the Cumberland Law Review. During law school, she competed on both the Mock Trial and Moot Court National Competition Teams. In recognition of her success and involvement in mock trial and moot court, she was inducted into the Order of the Barristers.

   
Michael L. Russell

Michael L. Russell is a Nashville based mediator and arbitrator. He serves as a neutral in employment disputes and other types of civil litigation.

Michael has a diverse legal background. He has tried jury trials for both plaintiffs and defendants, and he has appeared in courtrooms from New York to California. Prior to having a full time ADR practice, Michael was a partner in a small labor and employment firm that grew to a state-wide litigation boutique. He then became a partner in one of the oldest and largest firms in Tennessee, where he engaged in a nation-wide employment litigation practice. He now devotes his entire practice to being a neutral.

As a mediator, Michael has successfully mediated almost every type of civil action, from single party employment cases to nation-wide class actions. Because of his background in employment law, he is especially sought after by the labor and employment bar. His mediation experience, however, includes business disputes, law firm dissolutions, personal injury cases, traditional labor disputes, intellectual property matters, and consumer class actions.

Michael graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude from the University of Tennessee. He received his law degree from the University of Memphis, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and was a Humphreys Law Fellow. Michael also teaches at the Belmont University College of Law.

Michael is a well-regarded speaker and writer. He has published articles in the American Journal of Trial Advocacy, the University of Memphis Law Review, the Ohio Northern University Law Review, the Seton Hall Constitutional Law Journal, and Employee Rights Quarterly. His articles have been cited by courts, scholars, and in testimony before the United States Congress. He has lectured nationally and internationally.

Michael has served on the boards of numerous civic and non-profit organizations, including the University of Tennessee Alumni Association, the UT Alumni Legislative Council, the National Conference of Law Reviews, the TBA Leadership Law Alumni Association, and the TBA Leadership Law Steering Committee. He is an active member of the ABA Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee and was a co-founder of the Howell Edmunds Jackson American Inn of Court.

   
Steven N. Snyder, Jr.

Steven N. Snyder, Jr., with McAngus Goudelock & Courie LLC in Memphis, focuses his practice in the area of workers’ compensation. He was named a Mid-South Super Lawyers® “Rising Star” in 2014, 2015, and 2016. He received his BA from the University of Arkansas and his JD, magna cum laude, from the University of Arkansas School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in both Tennessee and Arkansas. He has been admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, Western Division, and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Eastern Division.

   
Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer

Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer was appointed to the Tennessee Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims in spring 2014 to serve as the Court’s first chief judge. In that role, he has led rolling out the new court, which officially opened its doors on July 1, 2014. Chief Judge Switzer oversees all court operations, in addition to handling a full docket of cases. In the past he spoke frequently on the subject of civil trial practice and Tennessee worker's compensation law at continuing education seminars and before business and community groups. At present he speaks exclusively on workers’ compensation and the new system.

   
Kenneth D. Veit

Kenneth D. Veit has been practicing law since 2003. Mr. Veit 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 also performs general insurance defense work including premises liability, auto liability, trucking liability, and construction.

   
Duane Willis

Duane Willis has 17 years’ experience in civil litigation, with a strong emphasis on general civil litigation defense matters including workers’ compensation, automobile and trucking liability, premises liability, and products liability. In addition, Mr. Willis has significant experience both at the state and federal levels on numerous employment law and black lung claims. Throughout his tenure as an attorney, Mr. Willis has successfully defended numerous claims in both bench and jury trials.

He has also successfully handled cases before the appellate courts of Tennessee, including the Full Tennessee Supreme Court. In 2012 Mr. Willis was solely responsible for the decision in Troy Mitchell v. Fayetteville Public Utilities, Supreme Court Case No. M2011-00410-SC-R3-WC, which changed the Tennessee state standard and revived the defenses of willful misconduct and willful failure to use a safety device.

Duane is licensed to practice law in Tennessee, Kentucky, and the Federal Courts for the Sixth Circuit, Western and Middle District of Tennessee. He has previously been a managing attorney for a large law firm, managing their Memphis and Nashville offices; and a partner with another firm in Nashville, Tennessee.

In addition to practicing law, Mr. Willis has presented seminars for clients, adjusters, and other attorneys on Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Laws, and edited portions of several workers' compensation volumes. He has been involved in the recent law changes regarding the new administrative claims system for workers' compensation in Tennessee, and continues to assist clients in making this transition.

   

Agenda

DAY 1 — WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, November 7

1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Tennessee’s Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims: Practices & Procedures 
Chief Judge Kenneth Switzer, Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims 
Judge Pamela Johnson,
Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims

The creation of the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims was a significant part of the 2013 reforms. Since that time, the number of trial judges has expanded to twelve; statutes, regulations, and rules have been tweaked a couple of times, and cases are now moving steadily through the trial system. This session will provide an update on the trial procedures and practices, including tips from the bench on trial practice, settlement approvals and closing medical benefits, what you can and cannot do by rule in the Court, and highlight some pitfalls to avoid.

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


2:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Break

2:45 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
Causation: Medical or Legal Determinations, Panel and Case Law Discussions 
Kitty Boyte, Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP, along with a panel of other attorneys and physicians

Causation is a key concept in Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Law that consists of both medical and legal components. Understanding what medical facts need to be expressed by the physician to support the application of the legal standard by attorneys and judges for medical causation will be the focus of a panel discussion. The panel, which will be led by Ms. Boyte and will include other attorneys and physicians, will explore situations such as work injuries that are the primary cause for a need for medical treatment but an underlying pathology already existed. The panel will discuss what findings must be present in an individual’s medical record to support a conclusion that factors other than work activity caused an injury or a need for treatment.

4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. 
Termination and Retaliation Issues 
Chuck Mataya, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLP

  • Recent case law 
  • Whistleblowers 
  • When is termination a legal option? 
    • Available leave? 
    • Unrelated employee conduct or policy violation 
    • Dealing with RIFs 
    • Wrongful termination 


DAY 2 — THURSDAY, November 8

 


ATTORNEY TRACK

8:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. 
Navigating the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board
Judge Marshall Davidson, Presiding Judge, Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board

The reforms to Tennessee’s Workers’ Compensation Act that took effect in 2014 included the creation of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. Now, four years later, the Appeals Board has rendered numerous decisions, initiated changes in legislation and regulations, and has updated its Practices and Procedures. In this session, Judge Davidson, the Presiding Judge of the Appeals Board, will discuss the proper procedure for appealing a decision of the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims and provide some practical advice for brief writing and oral argument, all of which is designed to help attorneys more easily and successfully navigate the appeals process.

9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
Interplay Between FMLA, ADA, and Workers’ Compensation 
Howard Kastrinsky, King & Ballow

Mr. Kastrinsky 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. 

  • Overlapping benefits 
  • Transitioning between benefits 
  • Keeping good records 
  • Common pitfalls in eligibility verification 


10:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Morning Break

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 
Ethical Challenges in Worker's Compensation 
Dawn Trojan-Randle, Claim Specialist, Brentwood Services Administrators, Inc. 
Duane Willis, Morgan & Akins, PLLC

With the current state of the ethics climate in America, we will take time for a review of ethical issues that can develop in a workers’ compensation claim from start to finish and how to best deal with them. 

11:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.
LUNCH *(lunch is included with registration)

12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. 
Penalty Program 
Troy Haley, Director of Penalty Program – Bureau of Workers' Compensation

Mr. Haley will discuss the penalty rules, give examples of penalty-worthy offenses, and offer an overview of recent revisions to the general rules and claims handling standards.

1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. 
The Workers’ Comp Settlement Process 
Rocky King, Egerton, McAfee, Armistead & Davis, P.C.

In this session, Mr. King will discuss: 

  • Determining the settlement range 
  • Types of settlements 
  • Settlement agreements 
    • What should be included? 
    • Period of time for which benefits are paid 
    • Critical language 
  • Pitfalls to avoid when settling cases 
  • Post-settlement issues 


2:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Afternoon Break

2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. 
Employment Law Update 
Christopher Barrett, King & Ballow Law Offices

In this session, Mr. Barrett will cover: 

  • Sexual Harassment in the #MeToo Era 
  • Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination 
  • Arbitration Agreements 
  • The Affordable Care Act: The Latest Developments 
  • Same-Sex Benefits Update 
  • Immigration Reform: What Businesses Need to Understand 
  • Other State and Federal Updates 


3:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. 
Medicare Set-Asides 2018 
Steve Snyder, McAngus Goudelock & Courie LLC

In this session, Mr. Snyder will cover: 

  • The Medicare Secondary Payer Statute 
  • When is approval required – CMS published thresholds 
  • Why obtain approval from CMS 
  • What if a case does not meet Medicare’s threshold amounts 
  • Allocating settlement funds when a settlement does not meet the threshold amount 
  • Use of rated age in an MSA 
  • Use of an annuity for MSA funding 
  • Terms of the MSA account 
  • Administration of a MSA account 
  • Medicare’s enforcement rights
     


EMPLOYER TRACK

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. 
Claims Management Tips for Employers 
Leslie Bishop, Lewis, Thomason, King, Krieg, & Waldrop, P.C.

Effective workers’ compensation claims management saves employers time, money and grief. Best practices in cost control strategies, plan design and program development positively impact the bottom line. Ms. Bishop will give an overview of how to manage a workers’ comp claim from start to finish and offer tips on how best to handle some issues that arise.

9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. 
Medical Issues and Their Role in a Workers' Comp Claim 
Frank Gallina, Parker Lawrence, Cantrell & Smith

  • Psychiatric and mental injuries 
  • Occupational stress claims 
    • Establishing stress claims 
    • Proving compensability 
    • Benefits available for stress claims 
    • Injury fund claims 
  • Work-related aggravations of pre-existing conditions 
  • Repetitive motion and related injuries 
  • Vocational rehabilitation 
    • Impact of injury upon the worker and “suitable gainful employment” 
    • Effective tools for dealing with injured workers 
    • Cost-effective rehabilitation 
    • The role of physical therapy 


10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. 
Workers' Compensation Updates
Dawn Trojan-Randle, Claim Specialist, Brentwood Services Administrators, Inc. 
Duane Willis, Morgan & Akins, PLLC

Find out about the new updates to workers’ compensation and what is required of the employer to assist the adjuster and defense attorney in best handling your claim. The most current updates will be covered as well as tips to ensure you are complaint with the new requirements.

10:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
Morning Break

10:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Interplay Between FMLA, ADA, and Workers’ Compensation
Howard Kastrinsky, King & Ballow

Mr. Kastrinsky 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. 

  • Overlapping benefits 
  • Transitioning between benefits 
  • Keeping good records 
  • Common pitfalls in eligibility verification 


11:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.
LUNCH *(lunch is included with registration)

12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. 
2018 Workers' Compensation Legislative & Case Law Update 
Catherine Dugan, Peterson White, LLP

In this session, Ms. Dugan will cover: 

  • New claims handling 
  • General rules 
  • Drug free workplace 
  • Adjuster certification, etc. 
  • Recent regulations 
  • 2018 statutes 
  • Case law update 


1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. 
Preventing Workplace Injuries 
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 are many and not as obvious as one might believe. Ms. Fisher will offer tips on preventing workplace injuries before they happen. 

2:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Afternoon Break

2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. 
The Role of Handbooks, Policies, and Training 
Mallory Schneider Ricci, Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP

In this session, Ms. Ricci will cover: 

  • Proper form and content 
  • How to handle updates and policy revisions 
  • Training supervisors and management to handle issues as they arise 
  • What not to include 


3:45 p.m. to 4:45 
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 current workers’ comp system.

 

DAY 3 — FRIDAY MORNING, November 9

8:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. 
If Not Opioids Then What? 
Dr. Jeffrey Hazlewood, Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, subspecialty Board Certification in Pain Medicine

The usage and appropriateness of opioids is now coming under great scrutiny, especially given the failure rates and poor outcomes in the injured workers. Dr. Hazelwood will discuss updates on the opioid crisis, understand when they are appropriate, and what to do to treat chronic pain when they have risks that outweigh benefits. Recommendations of alternative treatments, based on evidence based medicine, will be discussed. He will look at options such as manual physical therapy, acupuncture, cognitive behavioral therapy, yoga, H-wave units, better nutrition, sleep hygiene, and hemp oil. Real case examples will be used. There is still hope for these chronic pain patients!

9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
ICE is Knocking at the Door, and is not Going Away: How to Perform I-9 Compliance Self Audits, and Prepare for ICE Raids, and Inspections 
Terrence L. Olsen, Olsen Law Firm

In this session, Mr. Olsen will discuss:

  • Congressional Immigration Proposals 
  • New ICE Raid and Inspection Developments 
  • Current I-9 immigration audit and investigation practice & process 
  • The Nuts and Bolts of Conducting an I-9 Compliance Self Audit 
  • Strategies for I-9 Compliance and Corrections 


10:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Morning Break 

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 
Hot Topics in Wage and Hour Law 
Bob Boston, Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP 
Michael Russell, Russell Dispute Resolution, PLLC

Michael Russell and Robert Boston will provide their opinions from both plaintiff and defendant's side on employment law issues. Some issues discussed include: class action waivers, the new (or dead) overtime regulations, and the question of deference. 

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 
Scope of Employment Issues 
Kenny Veit, Leitner Williams Dooley Napolitan, PLLC

Mr. Veit will review the scope of employer liability issues, including who is covered under workers’ compensation and what injuries are compensable, including:

  • Idiopathic injuries 
  • Injuries occurring on the way to work or on the way home from work 
  • Injuries occurring as the result of the actions or conduct of a third party

 

Location

Nashville School of Law
4013 Armory Oaks Dr.
Nashville, TN 37204 

*Convenient access to 1-65 and 1-440 
* FREE PARKING 
* FREE WI-FI

Need directions? CLICK HERE

PRICING:

  • $547 (full program)
  • $477 (full program for additional attendees)
  • $347 (Thursday only)
  • $247 (Materials only)


Program At a Glance:

  • Full program is 15 hours – Day 1 (4 hours), Day 2 (6.75 hours), and Day 3 (4.25 hours).
  • Simultaneous tracks, one for employers and one for attorneys, on Thursday. 
  • Joint tracks (for both groups) on Wednesday afternoon and Friday morning. 
  • Pending 15 hours of CLE (14 hours of general and 1 hour of dual).
  • Registration begins at 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Wednesday, November 8.
  • The conference begins at 1:00 p.m. and concludes at 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday.
  • The conference begins at 8:00 a.m. and concludes at 4:45 p.m. on Thursday.


To sponsor this event, please contact Olivia Al-Sadi at OAl-Sadi@blr.com.

 
Our guarantee

Your 100% satisfaction is guaranteed. If for any reason you are not completely satisfied, simply let us know within 90 days, and we will issue you a complete refund.

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