Caring. Effective. Efficient.

» Judge Margaret Bartley

FCOA Precedent Alert: Cook v. Wilkie (Can a veteran have more than one BVA hearing?)

What is the Deep Issue in the Case? 38 U.S.C. §7107(b) (2012) requires “[t]he Board shall decide any appeal only after affording the appellant an opportunity for a hearing.”  On remand from the Veterans Court, the veteran asked for a new BVA he… Read More
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Monday Morning Coffee with Chris: Do THIS when you get back from a Legal Conference.

    What to do when you get back from a Legal Conference? I just returned home from a multi-day legal conference: this time the Fall Conference for the National Organization for Veterans Advocates (NOVA) in Washington, D.C. Here’s what IR… Read More
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CAVC Docket Update: Appeals Submitted for CAVC Panel Decision and Oral Argument (June 2018)

In June 2018, it appears that the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) has set 1 case for Panel Decisions and 4 cases for Oral Argument and Panel Decision.  I do my best to seek out and find all cases submitted to a CAVC Panel or set for Oral… Read More
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Episode 005: CAVC Oral Argument: Simmons v. Wilkie (16-3039)(CAVC Application of Harmless Error Rule)

General Overview of Harmless Error law. The major question in this case is how the CAVC should apply the harmless error rule when it might involve making findings of fact. The Court stated in its supplemental briefing order that it “…has… Read More
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PRECEDENTIAL FCOA CASE ALERT: Bly v. Shulkin (17-1287)(EAJA petition deadline at CAVC)

What is the Deep Issue in the Case? This case involves the deadline to file an EAJA Petition at the CAVC. The Equal Access to Justice Act (“EAJA”) requires applications for attorney fees must be filed within 30 days of a court’s fin… Read More
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PRECEDENTIAL CAVC CASE ALERT: Harvey v. Shulkin (16-1515)(Lawyer as Medical Expert)

What is the Deep Issue in the Case? The Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims has laid out clear standards for determining the adequacy of a VA expert opinion in a VA disability compensation claim. Accord, e.g., Monzingo v. Shinseki, 26 Vet.App. 97 (2… Read More
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PRECEDENTIAL CAVC CASE ALERT: Foreman v. Shulkin (14-3463)(VA PTSD Effective Date)

What is the Deep Issue in the Case?  The general effective date rule says that the later of the date entitlement arose and the date of the claim for benefits is the effective date for a VA PTSD claim.  38 C.F.R. §3.400.  When a liberalizing rule… Read More
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PRECEDENTIAL CAVC CASE ALERT: Marcelino v. Shulkin (16-2959)(Service Connection of Obesity)

What is the Deep Issue in the Case? The  Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims shall have exclusive jurisdiction to review BVA decisions; however, the Court may not review the schedule of ratings for disabilities adopted under 38 USC 1155 –… Read More
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Case Review: 16-3390, Roberts v. Shulkin (BVA Failed its Duty to Assist)

What is the Deep Issue in the Case? Evidence in the record before the VA may raise notice of pertinent medical records and trigger the duty to assist the appellant to locate and obtain the records. Ivey v. Derwinski, 2 Vet.App. 320 (1992). Before he… Read More
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Recent Cases

This case involves the BVA’s dismissal of a veteran’s claim for an earlier effective date for his service-connected post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) based on clear and unmistakeable error. Our client appealed the Board’s decision to th… Read More
The cause number of this appeal, and the veteran’s name, have been withheld to protect the veteran’s privacy. In this case, the BVA denied an increased rating of 70% to a veteran for his service-connected PTSD. The BVA also found the vete… Read More
This case involves a veteran’s appeal to the BVA seeking service connection for arthritis.  The veteran served in the US Air Force from 2005 to 2006. He injured his knee and other parts of his body when required to move heavy appliances into a… Read More

See More Appellate Results

VA Form 21 Blog

Aug
12
“I can’t take a day off or a vacation. Someone has to get the work done.”  If you are a lawyer and that is the reason you are not taking a vacation, or at least a day off, then you are bailing water from a sinking ship. Working to keep… Read More
Aug
9
“To be a good lawyer, one has to be a healthy lawyer.”  So begins an August 2017 report from the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being. The problem with this statement, however, is that it is a false comparison. Some of… Read More

Read the VA Form 21 Blog