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Rule 51: Procedures in Workers' Compensation Appeals.

Section 1. Referral to Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel.

Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-6-225(e)(3) and (4), (applicable to injuries occurring prior to July 1, 2014) and Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-6-225(a)(3) and (4) (applicable to injuries occurring on and after July 1, 2014), and subject to Section 2 of this rule, all workers' compensation appeals to the Supreme Court are hereby referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel to be heard and determined by the Panel in accordance with the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure, as if the appeal were being heard by the entire Supreme Court.

Section 2. Supreme Court's Discretionary Review.

Following the filing of the briefs in a workers' compensation appeal, the Supreme Court, on its own initiative, may enter an order directing that the appeal not be referred to the Appeals Panel in accordance with Section 1. In such cases, the appeal shall be placed on the Supreme Court's docket to be heard and determined by the entire Supreme Court in accordance with the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure. The exercise of the Court's review under this section is discretionary and generally will involve cases which present an unsettled or otherwise important issue of law.

Section 3. Supreme Court's Review Following Appeals Panel's Decision.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-6-225(e)(5)(A) (applicable to injuries occurring prior to July 1, 2014) and Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-6-225(a)(5) (applicable to injuries occurring on and after July 1, 2014) provide for the Supreme Court's review of any appeal referred to and determined by the Panel in accordance with Section 1 of this rule. In addition to the procedures set out in the respective statutes, the following procedures shall apply in such cases.

(a) If the Court grants review of the Panel's decision pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-6-225(e)(5)(A)(i) or (ii) (applicable to injuries occurring prior to July 1, 2014) or Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-6-225(a)(5)(A)(i) or (ii) (applicable to injuries occurring on and after July 1, 2014):

(1) the Court may, in its discretion, order the filing of supplemental briefs;

(2) the appellate court clerk, unless otherwise ordered by the Court, shall place the case on the Court's next docket for oral argument in the division in which the case arises, subject to a motion to expedite the case pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-6-225(f)(2) (applicable to injuries occurring prior to July 1, 2014) or Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-6-225(b)(2) (applicable to injuries occurring on and after July 1, 2014).

(b) If the Court denies a motion for review filed pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-6-225(e)(5)(A)(ii), (applicable to injuries occurring prior to July 1, 2014) or Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-6-225(a)(5)(A)(ii) (applicable to injuries occurring on and after July 1, 2014), the Court's denial of the motion shall be final; no petition for rehearing shall be available pursuant to Tenn. R. App. P. 39.

Section 4. Interlocutory & Extraordinary Appeals By Permission.

In workers' compensation cases involving an injury that occurred prior to July 1, 2014, applications for permission to appeal pursuant to Tenn. R. App. P. 9 or 10 shall be ruled upon in the first instance by the Supreme Court. Upon granting such an application, the Court, in its discretion, may refer the appeal to the Appeals Panel for determination on the merits. Following the Panel's decision in such an appeal, any party to the appeal may file a motion for review pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-6-225(e)(5)(A)(ii) (applicable to injuries occurring prior to July 1, 2014).

[Rule 51 added by Order October 8, 2009, and amended by Order dated July 27, 2015, effective July 1, 2014.]

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