Save the Date: Upcoming Events
* June 22, 2014 - Korean War Memorial Washing Membership Activity - Korean War Memorial, Washington, D.C.
July 24, 2014 - Quarterly Happy Hour, City Club of Washington
August 17, 2014 - Korean War Memorial Washing Membership Activity, Washington, D.C.
Membership survey available online! If you are a current member of the Bar Association, please fill out this survey to help enhance the membership experience.
Transcripts of recent Bar Association programs
"Best Practices and Common Pitfalls at the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims" - May 6, 2014
Audio file of presentation
Rules 33 Sample Order
US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims - Procedural Requirements for Staff Conference
“The Veterans History Project” – April 8, 2014
A project of the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress, the Veterans History Project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. The archive is made up of the individual narratives of over 90,000 American veterans.
Ms. Megan Harris, Senior Reference Specialist, provided an overview of the Veterans History Project and detailed some specific collections that engage issues of interest to the Bar Association, including PTSD, benefits, adjustment to civilian life and the impact of service on families.
Audio file of presentation
Veterans History Project Presentation Slides
“Understanding Practice before the Board of Veterans' Appeals"– February 5, 2014
A panel presentation discussing the ins and outs of practice before the Board of Veterans' Appeals. Panel members provided an overview of the Board, detailed what to expect at a hearing, and covered unique aspects of practice before the Board and current challenges facing practitioners and the Board.
Audio file of presentation
Board hearing process presentation
Perspectives on the DSM 5 for Veterans Law Practitioners" - September
Doctors Brian Marx and F. Barton Evans presented
on changes in the newest version of the American Psychological Association’s
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and what
they mean for the diagnosis and evaluation of post-traumatic stress
(PTSD) and other trauma-related mental conditions. Read
"Understanding Medical Causation Evidence: A Conversation with the Experts" - CAVC Bar Association Program following the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Twelfth Judicial Conference - April 12, 2013
A panel of distinguished medical experts, moderated by James Ridgway, President of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association, answered common practice questions surrounding medical evidence and issues of causation. Some topics addressed were the differences between forensics and patient care, fact versus opinion, research design and its limitations, and the art of application of medical knowledge to a specific case.
Written Transcript of the Medical Causation Panel
More on the Court of Appeals for Veterans' Claims Twelfth Judicial Conference in the Summer 2013 Veterans Law Journal
Representing Incarcerated Veterans” – March 20, 2013
Panelists in this program discuss how to navigate the federal prison
system when representing incarcerated veterans; VA’s related duty
to assist; and whether there is due process in VA’s withholding
of an incarcerated service-connected veteran’s benefits - March
A Look Inside the Veterans Service Organizations: Claims, Advocacy,
and Beyond” –
February 20, 2013
This program discusses the role of Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs)
in the VA claims representation process, and the many other services
and programs they provide for veterans and their families - Febuary
16 Teams Participate in the Fifth Annual National Veterans Law Moot Court Competition
On November 16 and 17, 2013, law students from around the country converged in
Washington, D.C., to take part in the fifth annual National Veterans Law Moot
Court Competition (NVLMCC). Co-sponsored by the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans
Claims (CAVC), the CAVC Bar Association, and The George Washington University
Law School (GW Law), this year's NVLMCC drew 16 teams from 10 law schools. The
two-person teams addressed two issues in the fictional Supreme Court case Yossarian
The Stetson University College of Law team of Jeremy Bailie and Kevin Crews won
Best Team, beating the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) School of Law team of
Cory Foglesong and Brett Vasicek in the final round. Stetson and UDM bested teams
from Georgetown University LawCenter and Chicago-Kent School of Law in the semifinal
Stetson also won Best Petitioner's Brief; Best Respondent's Brief went to Germese
Gee and Nathan Chan of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Dustin Karrison of the
Chicago-Kent College of Law was named Best Oral Advocate.
The competitors' briefs and the Saturday preliminary and quarterfinal rounds
at GW Law were judged by nearly 40 volunteer members of the CAVC Bar Association,
including CAVC attorneys, VA attorneys, and experienced veterans law private
practitioners. GW Law also hosted a reception for the competitors, coaches, and
judges Saturday afternoon.
The Sunday semifinal rounds at the CAVC were judged by Gregory O. Block, Clerk
of the Court for the CAVC, Laura Eskenazi, Executive in Charge and Vice Chairman
of the Board of Veterans' Appeals, and Aniela Szymanski, President Elect of the
CAVC Bar Association and an attorney at Bergmann & Moore, LLC. The final
round was judged by CAVC Judges Mary Schoelen, Margaret Bartley, and William
The 10 participating schools this year were The John Marshall Law School, Thomas
M. Cooley Law School, Stetson University College of Law, South Texas College
of Law, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, The George Washington University
Law School, Georgetown University Law Center, the University of Missouri School
of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law, and Drexel University Earle Mack School
An in-depth feature article on the National Veterans Law Moot Court Competition
will appear in the Winter 2013-14 edition of the Veterans Law Journal.
from the President - Fall 2013
Membership year 2013-2014 is upon us! I am thrilled
to be serving as president of the Bar Association over
the next year, and continuing the legacy that my
hard-working predecessors have left. My goal for the
next year is to maintain the momentum of the last few
years. We aim to have regular educational, social,
and service programs; deepen our outreach to law
schools regarding the field of veterans law; and
continue production of the Veterans Law Journal.
Moreover, the Bar Association will continue to
sponsor, participate in, or advertise programs for
veterans law practitioners, to include our partnership
with the Federal Circuit Bar Association to make more
programs accessible through the internet.
In the coming year, the Bar Association will be
involved with a number of events. Given that there
will not be a Judicial Conference in 2014, we are
planning to hold an all-day CLE event focused on the
practice of veterans law in late spring or early summer
2014. We welcome input on which aspects of
veterans law practice would be most beneficial at this
seminar, so if you have suggestions, please let us
We also have numerous upcoming programs before
then. November 16-17 brings the National Veterans
Law Moot Court Competition, which is a collaborative
effort of the CAVC Bar Association, the Court of
Appeals for Veterans Claims, and the George
Washington University Law School. Hosted every
fall in Washington, DC, the competition brings
together teams of students from around the country
to argue cutting-edge veterans law issues before
panels of distinguished practitioners and judges.
Please consider volunteering for this fantastic event.
Later in the fall or early winter, the Bar Association
will also be hosting a screening of the documentary
The Invisible War, followed by commentary from VA
In addition to the above programs, the Bar Association
is continuing its sponsorship of happy hours in
Washington; the next one will held on December 5,
2013, at the City Club of Washington. Our recent
happy hours have featured a wide spectrum of
practitioners from the Court, the private bar, the
veterans service organizations, the BVA, and VA’s
Office of General Counsel. We expect continued
great turnout, and we will provide a
wonderful spread of hors d’oeuvres for all who attend.
The Bar Association will also be working with the
National Parks Service again to volunteer to wash both
the Vietnam Memorial Wall and the Korean War
Memorial in the summer of 2014.
I must also mention our outreach activities. We
continue to publish the quarterly Veterans Law
Journal, which is available on our website.
Importantly, we also continue to expand our student
outreach program by presenting our Introduction to
Veterans Law presentation, not only to local law
schools, but also around the country, including events
at Yale, the University of Missouri, Iowa, Penn State
and, soon, the University of San Diego
Ultimately, the work we do for our members is all
accomplished by volunteers, without the assistance of
any full-time staff, such as those found at most larger
associations. While our Board of Governors is
fantastic, the best way to provide more service is to
have more contributors. Therefore, we are always
looking for more assistance from non-Board members.
If you have something to contribute, new ideas for
programs, or a willingness to take on a discrete task,
we want to hear from you!
So if you have not yet joined or renewed for this
year—or if you know someone who needs to—now is
the time. For the membership form and rates, visit
Bradley W. Hennings
President, CAVC Bar Association
New to our website!! You may now apply for bar association
membership or renew your membership and make payment online. Click
here to complete the on-line membership application/ or renew you
Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association
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Washington, DC 20044-7992
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