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 BV… 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 I’l… 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. 9… 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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Taking Point! Blog

Oct
26
If you are an agent, VSO, or attorney, you have a tough decision under AMA when the BVA issues a denial of your client’s benefits. On one hand, you can file a supplemental claim. On the other, you can file an appeal to the US Court of Ap… Read More
Jun
3
I really can’t take it anymore. I’m sure many like you feel the same way. Every time another child with a military weapon ambushes a school full of children, I am overwhelmed with emotions that have no outlet. I can’t even process… Read More
May
27
  While on our way to the nutcracker audition at the local theatre I asked my 9-year-old daughter how her day went at school. “It was okay.  We had another active shooter drill.  When the drill started, I had to run behind and under my teacher… Read More
May
23
After years of exploring different fields, I’ve found purpose-driven work here, at Attig | Curran | Steel.   There are a lot of variables in the experience of “happy.” It is difficult to keep it continuous.  Do I feel happy when my kids… Read More

Read the "Taking Point!" Blog

Recent Cases

This case involves the BVA judge’s inadequate reasoning of a denial of a veteran’s claim for an increased rating for PTSD.   The appeal was resolved through a joint motion to remand. ISSUE ON APPEAL TO THE CAVC (BVA overlooked evidence… Read More
This case involves the BVA judge’s inadequate reasoning of his denial of a veteran’s past-due benefits in a claim for an increased rating due to an increase in the severity of the veteran’s PTSD. The appeal was resolved through a jo… Read More
This case involves the BVA’s failure to comply with a Veterans Court Order in a January 2020 Memorandum Decision. The appeal was resolved through a joint motion to remand. ISSUE ON APPEAL TO THE CAVC (BVA fails to comply with Veterans Court Ord… Read More

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