By Hon. Pamela B. Johnson
Workers’ Compensation Judge (Tennessee)


On March 1-4, 2021, the NAWCJ will host a virtual “boot camp” for new adjudicators. The prospect of becoming an adjudicator of workers’ compensation disputes can be daunting. Whether a state refers to its adjudicators as  judges, commissioners, hearing officers, or some other title, they are expected to conduct fair hearings in an efficient manner and produce well-written decisions that have a significant impact on the citizens and businesses of that state.

The New Judges’ Boot Camp is designed to make that transition smooth.  The program is developed and geared toward newer adjudicators with three or less years of experience.  They will hear from sitting adjudicators, regulators, attorneys, and academics covering a wide range of topics that will impact your day-to-day work. The curriculum includes sessions discussing the origins of workers’ compensation laws, the transition from an advocate to an adjudicator, judicial writing, conducting hearings and handling discovery disputes, weighing evidence and ruling on objections, and dealing with unrepresented litigants.

The NAWCJ Board of Directors identified a need to provide training for new adjudicators, which cannot be fulfilled at the annual judicial college in Orlando.  This boot camp does not replace the annual judicial college, but it has and will serve a need for our members who are new workers’ compensation adjudicators.  Information regarding the agenda, program cost, and registration can be obtained from the NAWCJ website (  If you have any questions about the “boot camp,” please contact me at

To view the full New Judges’ Boot Camp brochure, click here.