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 2022 Judiciary College will be held at the World Center Marriott in Orlando from August 22-24. 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, the Exhibit Hall, and conference-wide social events. The WCI conference is one of the largest gatherings of workers’ compensation professionals in the United States. In addition to these great benefits, the biggest reward of attending the Judicial College is the fellowship with old colleagues and building new relationships with new colleagues.
The NAWCJ offers other educational opportunities, such as the quarterly virtual Lunch and Learn sessions and the New Judges’ Boot Camp, which takes place in the Spring. The Boot Camp offers 12 hours of instruction over four days. The program is open to all judges, but specifically targeted to judges with three or fewer years of experience.
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.
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 can be found on this website or feel free to contact me.
If you would like to become more actively involved with NAWCJ, please considering serving on one of our many committees. Committee chairs include – Lex & Verum Newsletter: Judge Doug Gott (KY); Website and Social Media: Judge Josh Baker (TN); Conference: Judge Shannon Bruno Bishop (LA) and Judge Catrice Johnson-Reid (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 Sharon Reeves (GA); and Long-Range Planning Committee: Judges Dana Plunkett (VA) and Steve Minicucci (RI).
I look forward to meeting you and working with you!
Shannon Bruno Bishop
Louisiana Workforce Commission – Office of Workers’ Compensation