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National Veterans Legal Services Program Newsletter

 Justice for Warriors



This summer we are sizzling hot --- not just because of the record-breaking temperatures outside--- but because we are on a winning streak!


Victories have a way of validating and strengthening one's convictions. Here at the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP), we are passionate about helping veterans. After all, where would America be without the sacrifices of the men and women in the Armed Services?  We are more determined than ever to continue fighting to ensure that the government keeps its promise to our nation's 25 million veterans, active duty personnel, and their families.


Our hard work is paying off. Through our nationwide network of more than 95 law firms and corporate legal departments, we have been able to garner monumental success in our efforts to help veterans and service members with their benefit claims through individual representation and class actions and all at no charge to veterans or their families.


We are pleased to share with you some of our most recent successes. Feel free to forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues.


Historic Class Action Settlement Victory for Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans  

On July 29th, NVLSP held a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC to announce a historic settlement victory for disabled veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Bart at Press Conference

Bart Stichman, Joint Executive Director of the National Veterans Legal Services Program, addresses the news media at the National Press Club on July 29, 2011


The settlement obtained by NVLSP and pro bono co-counsel Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in the class action lawsuit Sabo v. United States will benefit thousands of veterans who were medically discharged due to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) between 200 3 and 2008, but were denied the benefits to  

which they were legally entitled.


"These veterans served our country in time of war, but have waited 3 to 8 years to receive the disability benefits which they've earned for their service," said Bart Stichman, Joint Executive Director of NVLSP, which filed the class action lawsuit in 2008 along with Morgan Lewis. "Today, a terrible wrong to our nation's war veterans is being righted."


"For more than a thousand military families, today's settlement brings some well-deserved peace of mind," added Jim Kelley, lead partner for the team at Morgan Lewis, who along with colleagues at NVLSP and in-house counsel at HP and Pfizer provided free legal counseling to veterans who sought to opt into the class action lawsuit.




 Life After Two Tours 

Army Sergeant WH served two tours in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. WH was an integral part of a team that operated high technology cannon artillery weapons systems. Following a live fire exercise conducted in preparation for his first deployment, WH injured his back while carrying a piece of ammunition. Despite constant pain from this injury, WH still deployed with his unit to Iraq. 


During his two deployments to Iraq, WH participated in numerous combat patrols seeking out enemy combatants. WH was regularly exposed to blasts from improvised explosive devices and mortar rounds. On one occasion, WH was knocked unconscious from a mortar round that exploded within 40 or 50 yards from him. WH sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that causes him to have severe and incapacitating headaches on a daily basis. WH also suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other physical injuries as a result of his combat experiences. 


In June 2010, WH submitted an application for Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) to the U.S. Army Human Resources Command. CRSC is an extra tax-free benefit for eligible retired veterans with combat-related injuries. By this time, WH had already applied to NVLSP's Lawyers Serving Warriors program (LSW) for free legal representation and after LSW evaluated his case, he was assigned a volunteer attorney, Geoffrey Tobias, from the law firm of Ober Kaler




A National Guardsman's Journey

Sergeant MA, an Army National Guardsman since 1982, was mobilized for a tour of combat in Iraq in 2006. While deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, MA suffered musculoskeletal injuries to his spine, left knee, and shoulder as the result of a mortar round that detonated extremely close to him. MA received treatment while in Iraq and was able to complete his combat tour despite the worsening affects of his physical injuries. Unfortunately, the struggle for MA had only just begun. 


When MA returned from Iraq, he remained on active duty to receive treatment for his combat-related injuries. MA spent most of 2008 recovering from his injuries and waiting to be processed through the Army disability evaluation system. In January 2009, MA was released from active duty without being evaluated to determine whether he was physically fit for military service. This was contrary to Army regulations and policy that requires National Guard and Reserve soldiers to remain on active duty until they can be evaluated for military fitness. MA was returned to his National Guard unit without any continuing medical care from his active duty providers. It was at this point that MA reached out to NVLSP's Lawyers Serving Warriors program (LSW) for free legal assistance with his case. LSW reviewed MA's case and placed it with volunteer attorney Bruce Robertson from the law firm of Garvey Schubert Barer 


Meet-the-Attorney: Thomas Moore  

Mr. Thomas ("Tom") Moore is the Program Manager for NVLSP's
Lawyers Serving Warriors program (LSW). He trains lawyers and non-lawyers in the areas of military and veterans law, and mentors attorneys representing service members and veterans. He also represents veterans before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. He is a co-author of The Veterans Benefits Manual(Lexis Law Publishing). 


Tom Moore - cropped

Thomas Moore, Program Manager for NVLSP's Lawyers Serving Warriors program

Immediately prior to joining NVLSP in 2007, he served six years on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. As a judge advocate, he served as a prosecutor, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, and defense counsel in the Republic of Korea and Virginia. Mr. Moore is currently a Major in the U.S. Army Reserve, serving as a senior defense counsel.


Mr. Moore is admitted to the Supreme Court of Virginia (2001). He is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and the Army Court of Criminal Appeals. He is accredited by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.


A native of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, Mr. Moore is a graduate of Dickinson College (B.A., 1991) and George Mason University School of Law (J.D., 2001). Tom, his wife, Laura, and daughter, McKinley, live in Derwood, MD.  


"Serving Those Who Serve Us"

A benefit reception for the National Veterans Legal Services Program


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Capital Hilton - Congressional Room

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. 


Join us on November 9th for a benefit reception to support the programs of the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP). This annual event honors military service members and their families and recognizes individuals, law firms and service organizations whose pro bono work has made a major contribution to NVLSP's mission. Our special guest for the evening will be The Honorable Lanny A. Breuer.  


Sponsorship opportunities and individual tickets will be available for purchase beginning in September.

National Veterans Legal Services Program


The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) is an independent nonprofit organization that has worked since 1980 to ensure that the U.S. government keeps its pact with our nation's 25 million veterans and active duty personnel by providing them the federal benefits they have earned through their service to our country.

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