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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Taking Point! Blog

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
May
18
When appellate courts review the decisions of lower courts – or in administrative law where a Court like the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) reviews the decisions of the BVA, an administrative tribunal – they use “… 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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