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» VA Advocacy Skills

Does the VA Duty to Assist require giving to veterans a copy of their C&P opinions?

One of our clients’ cases, Martinez v. Wilkie, No 17-1551, was recently set for a panel decision by the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC).We are not yet sure if there will be supplemental briefing or oral argument at this time. I… Read More
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Episode 009: "To the Best of my Knowledge" - The case against attorney use of VA Form 21-4138.

In a recent court appeal, the VA was relying on the unsigned and unsworn statement of a random government bureaucrat. This bureaucrat was “testifying” to the lack of existence of any evidence that my client was exposed to the herbicide ag… Read More
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Episode 007: "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (Challenging VA Medical Examiner's Competence)

In today’s episode of the VA Form 21 Podcast, I am going to teach you how to become a better advocate by challenging the VA Medical Examiner’s competence – or at least rebutting the presumption of competence in your client’s B… Read More
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Case Review: 17-0304, Burgess v. Shulkin (Federal appellate court commands professional work product)

What is the Deep Issue in the Case? Very generally stated, the VA has a duty to notify the veteran of the elements of his claim for service connection and the evidence that might prove those elements. 38 USC 5103(a). The VA repeatedly denied service… Read More
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16-2259: Chavez v. Shulkin

What is the Deep Issue in the Case? A veteran has a burden to present and support a claim for benefits with facts, and not pure speculation or remote possibility. Fagan v. Shinseki, 573 F.3d 1282 (Fed. Cir. 2009) . A VA C&P Exam report must rest… Read More
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VA RAMP (Appeals Reform) Creates 3 New "Appeal" Options. (Part 2 of 5)

This post is Part II of a 5-part series on the VA RAMP (Appeals Reform) system.  Here are the topics for each of the 5 parts of the series – as they are published, links will appear to direct you to each part:  Part I (Click here to Read Part… Read More
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Case Review: 16-2407, Samantha Unell (Proving Nehmer Effective Date)

What is the Deep Issue in the Case? The effective date of a veteran’s claim for a “covered herbicide disease” depends on whether (1) VA denied the claim for the covered herbicide disease between September 25, 1985, and May 3, 1989,… Read More
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An Introduction to VA RAMP (VA Appeals Reform)

This is the first in a series of posts about the VA RAMP Appeals Reform Program, which will be implemented beginning in 2018. THIS IS CRITICAL TO NOTE: Technically, VA RAMP refers to the VA pilot program to implement the Veterans Appeals Improvement… Read More
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Categories: VA Advocacy Skills

VA Form 21 Blog: VA Advocacy Skills

You have certainly heard the story of Noah and the ark? He saved the world and all the animals from a devastating flood.Let me tell you why Noah was able to do what he did. Noah had a vision or, perhaps, an insider tip that flood was on the way. He k… Read More
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Categories: VA Advocacy Skills

Your Complete Guide to the CAVC: the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

CAVC Court Background.  The United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) was created on November 18, 1988, by Public Law 100-687. The CAVC is not a part of the Department of Veterans Affairs — the CAVC is a federal court and part… Read More
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Recent Cases

This case involves the special, and very powerful, Nehmer effective date rules.  Mr. Greene, the veteran, sought an effective date for his service connected coronary artery disease. He argued his effective date should go back to 2006, the first clai… Read More
This case involves the BVA’s rejection of a theory of service connection by aggravation for a back condition. The BVA refused to service connect the veteran’s back injury, which he argued was aggravated by service-connected knee and hip i… Read More
  This case involves a veteran who served in the Air Force from 1953 to 1957. During service, he injured his back on a flight line, and has repeatedly tried to service connect the injury since leaving service in 1957. Each time, the claim was de… Read More

See More Appellate Results

VA Form 21 Blog

Sep
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Earlier this year, I tested an idea – what if a group of lawyers grabbed a virtual cup of coffee every Monday morning and chatted about their progress building a profitable law firm that prioritizes the attorney’s well being? Thos… Read More
Sep
6
If you hear the phrase, lawyers with a purpose, what is your immediate reaction? Do you roll your eyes? Yawn? Close this page and find something else to read? I’ll be honest, the first time a business coach told me that my law practice… Read More

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