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 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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