Name: Joshua Davis Baker
Formal title: Workers’ Compensation Judge
How long have you been in your current position? 6 years
Where is your office located? Nashville, Tennessee
How many judges are in your office? 2
How many workers’ compensation judges are in your state? 12 Workers’ Compensation Judges and 3 Appeals Board Judges.
What is your caseload? It fluctuates. I hear expedited hearings for temporary disability and medical benefits, compensation hearings for permanent disability benefits, motions of all kinds, and settlement hearings—lots and lots of settlement hearings.
Are you required to apply the Rules of Evidence in hearings and decisions? Yes
Do you rule from the bench? No, even though sometimes I want too! All our decisions are written and edited several times before issuance.
What did you do before you became a judge? I served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Tennessee, and then an Administrative Attorney and Legislative Liaison for the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Before that I worked in the electronics industry.
What do you like about judging? The people—which has made Covid-19 challenging.
What do you do to relieve stress of judging? I read a lot and take a lot of walks.
Are you active in the legal community? I was before I became judge but not after.
Are you active in your community? Not anymore there either. Before I became a judge I was a member of the dreaded trustees committee at my church and a board member at my kids’ daycare.
Tell us about your family: I have been married for two years and have two daughters.
What are your hobbies: Reading and playing with my dogs. I also love to cook and fancy myself an amateur carpenter.
What do I see as the value in association with NAWCJ? I think the ideas that come through in meetings and the friendships forged in the group are of the greatest value. Also, the resources available through the networking and website, which I am working to improve upon, are of great help.
Do you have any words of wisdom you would like to share: As I always tell my kids, “No matter what happens, don’t lose your cool.”