By:  Hon. Suzette Carlisle, Ph.D.
Administrative Law Judge
Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation


NAWCJ presidents devote their time, vision, energy, and creativity to the advancement of the organization, as members, committee chairs, secretary, treasurer, president-elect, and as president.  After years of service, the fast and furious pace abruptly ends at the end of their presidency.  Or does it?  Over the past year, we caught up with four past presidents to find out what they have been doing since leaving office.  Judges Lott, Moore, Alvey, and Hopens have remained active with NAWCJ and in the communities they serve.   Today, we visit with the Honorable Shannon Bruno Bishop from Louisiana.  Like her predecessors, she remains committed to NAWCJ and her community.  This is her story.

  1. Please state your full name and title.  Shannon Bruno Bishop, District Judge.
  1. What is your current work status? I currently serve as the District Judge at the Office of Workers’ Compensation in Harahan, Louisiana.
  1. Please state a brief history of your career, i.e., positions and dates. After law school, I practiced Plaintiff’s work in Mississippi, then I moved home to Louisiana where I worked as an insurance defense lawyer.  After Katrina, I began working at the Louisiana Workforce Commission, Office of Workers’ Compensation as an attorney/mediator.  After nine years, I became a District Judge, where I currently serve.  However, for a two-year period during that time, I had the opportunity to serve as Chief Judge.
  1. How did you become acquainted with the NAWCJ? Three months after taking the bench, my Chief Judge suggested I attend the NAWCJ Judicial College.  It was a great experience, and I quickly became involved with various aspects of the organization.
  1. In addition to being a past president, what leadership roles have you held in the organization, and when? As a member of the NAWCJ, I have served in the following positions:

– President 2021-2022
– Board of Directors 2018 – 2024
– Lex and Verum Editorial Committee 2016 – 2021
– Adjudicators’ Hall of Fame Nominating Committee 2021
– Judicial College Curriculum Committee 2018
– Judicial College Conference Chairperson 2019 – 2024
– Parliamentary/Planning Committee 2019

  1. List an achievement, event, or person you believe made a significant contribution to the organization’s history during your tenure with the organization. There are so many wonderful adjudicators who have contributed to the organization’s history.  These individuals have molded the organization into what it is today.  I am thankful that my Chief Judge (current NAWCJ President, Sheral Kellar) introduced me to the organization.  I have had the pleasure of serving on various committees and the Board of Directors since 2016, but the most memorable experience was being inducted into the NAWCJ Adjudicator’s Hall of Fame.  I am a member of the NAWCJ, and I participate in its activities because it is something I truly enjoy.  I cherish the experiences and enjoy every aspect of the organization.  Being recognized for my work and achievements is something I will always remember.
  1. Do you believe the organization remains relevant today? Yes, I believe the NAWCJ is a very relevant organization.
  1. If so, in what way? The NAWCJ is a networking vehicle that connects judges from across the country.  Members can always pick up the phone or shoot an e-mail to a fellow judge across the country to share ideas about workers’ comp issues in their jurisdictions.  I have made so many connections and even more friends through this organization.  The relationships are ones that I cherish, even when I may only see my colleagues once a year.  We come together as though we had lunch just days earlier.  The NAWCJ also provides continued learning opportunities through the New Judges’ Bootcamp, Lunch and Learn seminars, and the Judicial College.  The programs are always interesting and relevant to issues I encounter in Louisiana.
  1. How can members get more involved with the organization? To become more involved with the NAWCJ, members should participate in the educational opportunities and reach out to committee members to obtain more information about joining the various committees.
  1. How can the board do more to reach members and expand membership? The Board has taken steps to increase membership and involvement by creating a Long-Range Planning and Membership Committee.  This is a huge step in expanding membership and increasing involvement in the organization’s activities.
  1. Is there anything you would like to add about the organization, yourself, etc? My career as a workers’ compensation judge would not be as enjoyable if it were not for the NAWCJ.  I truly meant every word of what I said earlier.  I highly recommend that Workers’ Compensation adjudicators make every effort to be involved with the NAWCJ.