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Veterans Law 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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Precedential CAVC Alert: Quinn v. Wilkie (17-4555)

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.” When a veteran has a BVA hearing, and seeks another hearing after the BVA decision is vacated and remanded… Read More
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Federal Circuit Precedent Alert: Shea v. Wilkie (scope of an informal VA claim)

WHAT IS THE DEEP ISSUE? In determining whether or not a veteran’s formal claim for one condition raised an informal VA claim for a second condition, the CAVC must ensure that the BVA liberally construes the record to determine if the vetera… Read More
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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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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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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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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 BV… Read More
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Coffee w/ Chris: The Supreme Court takes on Agent Orange (11-5-2018).

Coffee w/ Chris: (Monday, November 5, 2018) The Supreme Court takes on Agent Orange. It is not often that the Supreme Court takes up a veterans disability claim. This past Friday, SCOTUS granted cert in a case called Gray v. Wilkie. The question… Read More
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Recent Cases

This case involves the application of a duplicitous legal standard by the BVA to a veteran’s TDIU appeal, in what is called a “reasons and bases” error by the Board of Veterans Appeals. While it favored a VA C&P medical opinion… Read More
This case involves several issues but centered around two: the veteran’s entitlement to increased TBI (Traumatic-Brain-Injury) and migraine ratings.  ISSUE ON APPEAL TO THE CAVC (TBI & Migraine Ratings). The veteran in this case was in a c… Read More
ISSUE ON APPEAL TO THE CAVC: PTSD rating higher than 50-percent. The veteran appealed to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) seeking a PTSD rating higher than 50-percent. The VA had performed a VA C&P examination and opinion in January 2019. Rely… Read More

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Taking Point! Blog

Sep
1
By: Yalitza Ledgister, writing for “The Bridge” One day my son came home from school and, pointing to his brown arms, asked, “Mom, why can’t I have white skin?”  After the initial shock and parent-fail slap wore off, I… Read More
Jul
24
Even as protestors march across bridges across the nation, from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Golden Gate, history teaches us that America is resistant to acknowledging the persistent racism that plagues this country and even worse, resistant to do… Read More
Jun
26
“I am a Black man who jogs” was written by Augustus Turner, Mr. Turner retains all copyright to the image and content; it is republished here with his permission. Augustus Turner is a husband, a father, a soldier, and an attorney.… Read More
Sep
30
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

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