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TN Workers’ Compensation Appeal Rules

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Last Updat­ed on Jan­u­ary 4, 2024 

Revised Workers’ Compensation Appeal Rules in Tennessee (as of December 2023)

Minor Changes:

  • Removed out­dat­ed ref­er­ences to statutes and pro­gram rules.
  • Clar­i­fied con­tents of the record (appeals are decid­ed based on what’s in the record).
  • Added require­ments for attor­ney with­draw­al dur­ing an appeal.
  • Con­sol­i­dat­ed and clar­i­fied brief­ing requirements.
  • Clar­i­fied pro­ce­dure if a case is removed from the dock­et after oral argu­ment was scheduled.

Major Changes:

  • Dis­putes about the record: If there’s a dis­agree­ment about what’s includ­ed in the record on appeal, either par­ty can file a motion: 
    • Before dock­et­ing notice: with the Court of Work­ers’ Com­pen­sa­tion Claims.
    • After dock­et­ing notice: with the Appeals Board to send the case back to the Court for resolv­ing the dis­pute.
  • Sum­ma­ry Appeals: The Appeals Board can now decide cer­tain appeals quick­ly (sum­mar­i­ly) under lim­it­ed circumstances: 
    • Appeals of orders relat­ed to con­tin­u­ances, sched­ul­ing orders, or motion to amend sched­ul­ing orders.
  • State­ments of the Evi­dence: No more joint statements! 
    • Appeal­ing par­ty sub­mits a state­ment sum­ma­riz­ing tri­al tes­ti­mo­ny to the judge.
    • Oth­er par­ty can object, amend, or sub­mit an alter­na­tive state­ment with­in 5 days.
    • Judge decides which state­ment is fair and accu­rate for the record.
    • No state­ment if par­ties can’t agree and no tran­script is available.
  • Appeal­ing Remand Orders: If the Appeals Board sends a case back to the Court with instruc­tions for a final order, and a par­ty wants to appeal that final order: 
    • First file a notice of appeal with the Appeals Board.
    • Then, request the Board to skip usu­al appeal steps and quick­ly decide the appeal (sim­i­lar to “sum­ma­ry appeal”).
  • Rule Sus­pen­sion: In rare cas­es, the Appeals Board can sus­pend any rule (except fil­ing dead­lines) for fair­ness and jus­tice reasons.

Important Notes:

  • These changes apply to all appeals filed after Decem­ber 21, 2023.
  • The Court of Work­ers’ Com­pen­sa­tion Claims los­es most pow­er over a case once a notice of appeal is filed. Any motions or set­tle­ments must go through the Appeals Board.
  • The revised rules aim to address pro­ce­dur­al delays and make the appeals process fair­er and more efficient.

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