Caring. Effective. Efficient.

» Judge Mary J. Schoelen

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: 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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Coffee w/Chris: Is there enough air in your law firm's tires? (11-19-2018)

Today’s video starts off with an overview of a recent precedential decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in the case of Moody v. Wilkie, Cause No. 16-1707. Click here to read the CAVC’s panel decision in&n… 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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FCOA Precedent Alert: Saunders v. Wilkie, #2017-1466 (A Veteran can service connect stand-alone pain)

What is the Deep Issue in the Case? This case involves the question of whether a veteran can service connect stand alone pain as  a disability for the purposes of VA disability compensation.  The basic VA disability compensation statute is clear: t… 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: 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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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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PRECEDENTIAL CAVC CASE ALERT: King v. Shulkin (16-2959)(Extra Schedular Rating)

  What is the Deep Issue in the Case? Extra-schedular consideration should be considered “where the schedular evaluations are found to be inadequate.” 38 C.F.R. § 3.321(b)(1) (emphasis added). The herring loss rating criteria are la… 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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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

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Taking Point! Blog

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
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
Sep
3
The Business of Law – its not something we really think about until we need to know something about it. Every time I’ve needed to find a lawyer who can help me understand the law, argue a point in a motion or brief, or figure out the pra… Read More

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