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VA Form 21 Blog

The VA Form 21 Blog is unlike any resource out there — because it is designed and written specifically for attorneys, advocates, VSOs, and agents, it is a valuable tool you can use to shape, build and grow a law practice representing veterans and their surviving spouses. My goal is your goal: to give you the tools to become a powerful advocate for veterans. Learn more about the VA Form 21 Blog

VA Form 21 Blog: The Business of Veterans Law

Before we get into a discussion about the business of veterans law, let me make some candid points about the business of law in general. Anybody can hang out a shingle and start a small law firm representing veterans.  There are so many resources av… Read More
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Categories: The Business of Law

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

VA Form 21 Blog: Legal Updates

When I represent a veteran before the VA Regional Office or BVA, I build my client’s case based on the current law as I understand it. My Notice of Disagreement is shaped by the legal errors that the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC)… Read More
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Replace yourself from the ground up.

“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
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Categories: The Business of Law

Cracking the Code on Lawyer Wellness.

“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
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Categories: Lawyer Wellness

PRECEDENTIAL CAVC CASE ALERT: Buffington v. Wilkie (17-4382).

What is the Deep Issue in the Case? This case involved one issue, framed in 3 ways. In this case, the veteran was receiving disability compensation from the VA when he returned to active military service. His VA benefits were automatically te… Read More
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How to Talk to an Attorney When Seeking Representation in VA claims.

In the past decade or so, Attig | Steel has talked with thousands of veterans seeking help with their VA Claims and Court Appeals.  During that time, we have reviewed all kinds of VA claims, at all stages of appeal, and communicated with Vetera… Read More
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PRECEDENTIAL CAVC CASE ALERT: Martinez v. Wilkie (17-1551)(38 USC 5103A, the Duty to Assist and C&P Opinions)

What is the Deep Issue in the Case? This case had two issues: one statutory and the other constitutional. Issue#1: 38 U.S.C. §5103A(a)(1) requires the Secretary “assist a claimant in obtaining evidence to substantiate the claim.” The… Read More
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How the BVA misapplies the Presumption of Soundness.

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Reviewing the Record Before the Agency (RBA) may be the most important thing you do in your CAVC appeal.

Every appeal to the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) begins by filing a Notice of Appeal with the CAVC. Shortly after receiving a Notice of Appeal, the CAVC assigns a docket number. The CAVC Docket Number is the reference number th… Read More
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3 common errors in BVA "continuity of symptomatology" decisions.

If I could write a list of the most common errors in BVA decisions, erroneous continuity of symptomatology decisions would top the list. Read More
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Federal Circuit Precedent Alert: Sucic v. Wilkie (definition of "children" in substitution statute)

What is the Deep Issue in the Case? Claimants eligible to receive accrued benefits upon the veteran’s death are, in order of eligibility, the veteran’s spouse, “the veteran’s children” and the veteran’s depende… Read More
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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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About the "VA Form 21” Blog

Written by attorneys, for attorneys, VSOs and agents, the VA Form 21 Blog will keep you current on changes in veterans law, teach you the advocacy skills you need to get better results for your client, and teach you the business skills you need to operate a financially viable law firm representing veterans.