President’s Page

Welcome to the website for the National Association of Workers’ Compensation Judiciary

The National Association of Workers’ Compensation Judiciary was founded in 2009 to provide educational opportunities for workers’ compensation adjudicators at the trial and appellate level throughout the United States.  Since its founding, NAWCJ has hosted an annual Workers’ Compensation Judiciary College in Orlando, Florida, in conjunction with WCI’s (Workers’ Compensation Institute) Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference.

The 2021 Judiciary College will be held at the World Center Marriott in Orlando from December 12-15.  Admission to the Judiciary College is restricted to adjudicators, and includes three days of educational instruction targeted to adjudicators, as well as social events.  Registrants are also admitted to all WCI seminars and workshops, its Exhibit Hall, and conference-wide social events.  But the most valuable take-away are the relationships you will forge with fellow judges  – relationships that will support you professionally and personally for years after the closing gavel of the College.  Mark your calendars now for this not-to-be-missed event!

Other educational opportunities include a Virtual New Judges’ Boot Camp which offers 12 hours of instruction over four days: March 1-4, 2021.  Any judge with three or fewer years of experience   –  or those who just want a “fresh eyes” perspective  –  will want to sign up today!

NAWCJ also collaborates with other workers’ compensation organizations, such as SAWCA (Southern Association of Workers’ Compensation Association) and the IAIABC (International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions) to present joint judicial programs throughout the year.

As President of NAWCJ for the 2020-2021 term, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from so many talented and dedicated jurists, including my fellow officers: Immediate Past President Bruce Moore (KS), President-Elect Shannon Bruno Bishop (LA), Secretary Sheral Kellar (LA), and Treasurer/Past President Michael Alvey (KY).   All are committed to providing the highest quality judicial education available.

Ours is a unique area of the law.  There are common themes from state to state, but each state’s statutes, rules, and regulations have evolved in response to the mix of industries and occupations unique to each state.  Despite those differences, the issues we face as adjudicators are often similar.  And although we are called many titles  –  judges, administrative judges, hearing officers, and commissioners  –  we all aim to ensure that workers’ compensation claims are fairly and promptly heard and decided, based on the facts and applicable laws, free of bias or inappropriate influence.  We are better prepared to achieve that goal through the continuing judicial education, exchange of ideas, and professional support of colleagues available through NAWCJ.  Ours is the only source of workers’ compensation-specific education and training provided by adjudicators for adjudicators.

Please consider becoming a member of NAWCJ.  The greatest strength of our organization is its diversity  – judges and administrators from around the country.  A membership application is found on this website and in each issue of Lex & Verum, our monthly newsletter.

If you would like to become more actively involved with NAWCJ, please considering serving on one of our many committees.  Committee chairs include –  Newsletter: Judge LuAnn Haley (AZ) and Judge Doug Gott (KY); Website and Social Media: Judge Josh Baker (TN); Conference: Judge Shannon Bruno Bishop (LA); Curriculum: Judge Ken Switzer (TN); Scholarship: Judge Jennifer Hopens (TX); Community Service: Judge Suzette Carlisle (MO); Moot Court: Judge Wes Marshall (VA); New Judges’ Boot Camp: Judge Pam Johnson (TN); Collaboration: Judge Scott Beck (SC); Recruitment: Judge Frank McKay (GA); and Long-Range Planning Committee: Judge Bruce Moore (KS).

Please join us in NAWCJ’s mission.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Deneise Turner Lott
Administrative Judge
Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission