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Fight for Those Who Fought for Us: Representing Veterans Before the VA, BVA, CAVC and DoD (2020 Military & Veterans Law Section CLE)

8:25        Welcome and Introductions

8:30        Practice Before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC)

Tod M. Leaven, Grimes Teich Anderson LLP, Asheville

When a claimant believes the Board of Veterans' Appeals erred in its decision, the CAVC has exclusive jurisdiction to review the case. Explore factors the Court takes into consideration during its review.

9:30        Break

9:40        Appeals Modernization Act (AMA) Reform

Matthew I. Wilcut, Deuterman Law Group, Greensboro

Navigate the disability compensation application and appeals procedures following implementation of the AMA on February 19, 2019.

10:40      Break

10:50      Electronic Access to Veterans' Records‡

Christopher J. Stevens, Deuterman Law Group, Winston-Salem

Review how to obtain a personal identity verification (PIV) card- a prerequisite for gaining remote electronic access to use systems for client documentation. Learn to navigate two systems in particular, the Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS) and the Compensation and Pension Records Interchange (CAPRI).

11:50      Lunch Break

12:20      Compensation and Pension (C&P) Exams

Tod M. Leaven, Grimes Teich Anderson LLP, Asheville

Learn how to prepare your client for a C&P exam and how to remove a bad exam from a veteran's claim file.

1:20        Break

1:30        Downstream Issues

Matthew I. Wilcut, Deuterman Law Group, Greensboro

Discover what your client needs to know after they have been granted service-connected compensation benefits and understand the importance of your continued advocacy.

2:30        Break

2:40        Combat After Combat

John W. Brooker, UNC School of Law, Chapel Hill

Recent changes in veterans law, including law and policy surrounding the characterization of military discharges, present an opportunity for attorneys to help former servicemembers. Hear about the Fairness for Veterans Act of 2016 and the subsequent Department of Defense implementing guidance, as well as trends in military discharge upgrade cases.

3:40        Break

3:50        Project 100,000 and the New Standards Men

Robert R. Davis, Law Offices of Robert R. Davis PLLC, Charlotte

Hear about the 1960s initiative launched by the U.S. Department of Defense, how to tell if your client was in the program and what it means for participants who received less-than-honorable discharges.

4:50        Adjourn

‡ Indicates portion providing Technology Training credit

Thank you

Thank you for joining us for Fight for Those Who Fought for Us: Representing Veterans Before the VA, BVA, CAVC and DoD (2020 Military & Veterans Law Section CLE)!


  • John W. Brooker

    John W. Brooker joined the Carolina Law faculty in 2018 following over 20 years of active duty service in the U.S. Army. He directs the Military and Veterans Law Clinic and teaches a variety of courses in the national security law field. His teaching and research interests include military criminal law, veterans law, national security law, and public international law. He is a renowned expert on the issues surrounding military discharge characterization. In addition to teaching and lecturing on this topic throughout the world, Brooker was the lead author of Beyond T.B.D., a book-length article that serves as the definitive treatise on the impact of military discharge characterization on veterans benefit eligibility. He has been awarded the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.

    A native of Durham, North Carolina, Brooker attended Carolina Law pursuant to the U.S. Army Funded Legal Education Program. Following law school, he held in a variety of positions in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. Most recently, he served for two years as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate for U.S. Army Africa / Southern European Task Force in Vicenza, Italy. Previously, Brooker served as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate for III Corps and Combined Task Force — Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), where he was a key leader on the deployed team that provided legal advice for military operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). His previous academic appointment was as an Associate Professor at The Judge Advocate General's School, U.S. Army, in Charlottesville, Virginia. In that role, he created the school's Wounded Warrior and Veterans Law portfolio.

    Click here for more information about John.

  • Robert R. Davis

    Robert R. Davis started the Law Offices of Robert R. Davis to handle veterans' benefits and military record correction issues. Robert began his career clerking for U.S. District Court Judge, Joseph J. Farnan, Jr., in Delaware and then practiced complex corporate litigation before moving to Charlotte in 2006.

    Robert received his juris doctor from William and Mary and also received a Master's Degree in Public Policy. Robert earned his undergraduate degree from Appalachian State University.

    Robert's law firm is located in Charlotte but represents clients throughout the United States and overseas.

    Click here for more information about Robert.

  • Tod M. Leaven

    Tod M. Leaven is a Veteran of the United States Army and a partner at Grimes Teich Anderson, practicing Veterans Law. He is currently an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law, teaching Veterans Benefits and assisting in its Military and Veterans Law Clinic.

    Tod lives in Asheville, NC, but his practice is nationwide.

    Click here for more information about Tod.

  • Christopher J. Stevens

    Christopher J. Stevens is an attorney at The Deuterman Law Group in Winston-Salem. His area of practice is representing military veterans in their claims for VA disability compensation. He is accredited to practice at the VA and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. He is currently the Secretary for the NCBA Military and Veterans Law Section.

    Christopher earned his juris doctor from the UNC School of Law. He graduated from Appalachian State University with a bachelor of science in business administration, double majoring in economics and marketing.

    Click here for more information about Christopher.

  • Matthew I. Wilcut

    Matthew I. Wilcut a 2006 graduate of Appalachian State University and a 2013 graduate of Elon University School of Law, has joined the Deuterman Law Group's Veterans Disability Benefits practice. He has been working on behalf of disabled veterans across the state since 2014, first as a volunteer with NC VetsCorp, an AmeriCorps program, and later as a staff attorney in the veterans practice group of Legal Aid of North Carolina. As part of his duties as staff attorney, he was also the supervising attorney for Duke Law's Veterans Assistance Project.

    While he works with veterans from all eras and with all conditions, Matt has sought to earn experience in cases specifically related to unreported military sexual trauma (MST) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many of his clients served in the military decades ago and have lived with the untreated psychological and physical effects of their traumas since that time. Matt chose to pursue this particular focus because he realized there were fewer avenues of obtaining expert assistance for veterans with these types of claims.

    While in law school at Elon, he volunteered with the Innocence Project and was a student representative and solicitor on the Honor Council. He also served as a street law coach for a local middle school and was a member of the faculty selection committee.

    Beyond his day-to-day work, Matt is active in organizations that focus on improving access to justice for veterans. He is vice chairman of the Military & Veterans Law Section of the N.C. Bar Association. He has helped operate multiple free legal services clinics for homeless veterans at Stand Down events in Greensboro, Durham, Raleigh and elsewhere across the state.

    Matt was admitted to the N.C. State Bar in 2013 and earned his VA accreditation in 2014. He was admitted to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in 2016.

    Click here for more information about Matthew.

November 19, 2020
Thu 8:25 AM EST

Duration 8H 25M

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