NAWCJ

October 2020 Member News



 

  • JUDGE CHARLOTTE BUSHNELL BIDS FAREWELL TO THE LOUISIANA OFFICE OF WORKERS’ COMPENSATION AFTER 27 YEARS OF SERVICE

 

There’s a saying that time flies when you’re having fun.  Well, time surely has flown by.  Out of law school, I served as law clerk for the 38th Judicial District Court in Cameron, Louisiana for the Honorable H. Ward Fontenot.  After clerking, I began a seven-year career as a Public Defender for the 14th and 38th Judicial District Courts in Calcasieu and Cameron Parishes.  I then made a giant leap of faith and became the Workers’ Compensation District Judge at District 3 in Lake Charles, Louisiana.  I served in that capacity for over 27 years.  I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to serve as a District Judge for the OWCA.  I am pleased to have been a part of a system that is so important to so many people. My retirement date, September 4, 2020 was the date I began the practice of law 36 years ago. I am thankful to the pioneers such as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for successfully breaking barriers that allowed women to become jurists.

To my successor, this is a rewarding position that requires hard work and dedication. Strive for excellence!  Working in the workers’ compensation system requires determination, persistence and the ability to work in harmony with members of the bar.  It allows one to help injured workers, employers, health care providers and the public at large.  The workers’ compensation community is a family.  Remember, Workers’ Compensation Judges play vital roles in addressing important and pressing issues involved in the workplace. On leadership, “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” (RBG)

 

 

  • THE GEORGIA STATE BOARD OF WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ANNOUNCES THE APPOINTMENT OF DIRECTOR AND APPELLATE JUDGE NEERA BAHL

 

On August 17, 2020 Georgia Governor Brian Kemp swore Neera Bahl into office as an Appellate Judge and Director of the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation.  Director Bahl joins Director Benjamin Vinson and Chairman Frank McKay on the Board.  The three-member Board constitutes the Appellate Division and is responsible for the administration of the Workers’ Compensation Act.  In their judicial capacity, the three members of the Board function as a three-judge appellate review panel called the Appellate Division. The Appellate Division hears and reviews cases appealed from an award of an Administrative Law Judge of the Trial Division.  The members of the Board work with an advisory council to develop policies and laws affecting workers’ compensation and each year, with the advice of the council, promulgates and adopts rules and regulations affecting workers’ compensation processes.

Neera Bahl comes to the Board with an extensive legal background.  Director Bahl interned at the Jimmy Carter Center in the Human Rights Division; worked as a Constituent Representative for U.S. Rep. Denise Majette, focusing on immigration issues; and served as law clerk for Fulton County Superior Court Judge Honorable Gail S. Tusan.  Judge Bahl became a member of the Georgia Bar in December 2004.  Prior to her appointment with the Board, Judge Bahl served as the named partner in Neera Bahl & Associates, which later became One Path Legal. Judge Bahl has served on the Boards of several Legal and Non-Profit Organizations.  She was appointed to serve on the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) by Governor Kemp in 2019.

Judge Bahl migrated to the United States from India in 1979 and has been married to her husband, Vijay Bahl, for forty years.  They have a son, Dr. Sumeet Bahl, who is an Interventional Radiologist in Brooklyn Hospital, NY, is married to their daughter in law, Gayatri Patel Bahl and they have a baby boy named Satya.   Judge Bahl likes to travel around the Globe having travelled in six Continents and forty Countries thus far. She loves nature walks, and is a regular practitioner of Meditation and Yoga.

Please join the Board in welcoming  Director and Appellate Judge Neera Bahl to the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation.