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National Veterans Legal Services Program Newsletter

 Justice for Warriors



It's been a busy summer at the National Veterans Legal Services Program. We have been hard at work screening cases, training attorneys and advocates, and representing veterans and active duty military personnel.


In this newsletter you will learn more about:

  • one of our clients who received unexpected benefits
  • CAVC Judge Meg Bartley, a former NVLSP senior staff attorney
  • a remarkable contribution from one of our corporate partners
  • one of our dedicated attorneys

NVLSP remains in the forefront of creating a safety net for veterans who have been unable to obtain the benefits to which they are entitled. We take great pride in our record of achievement. Why? Because every legal victory means that another veteran will receive the physical and mental healthcare they critically need.


Thank you for helping NVLSP make a difference in the lives of these brave men and women and their families.    





National Veterans Legal Services Program



P.S. - Stay tuned for more information about our upcoming annual benefit reception as well as some big news regarding our newest class action!



An Unexpected Benefit for a Vietnam Veteran   


During his four years of service in the Marine Corps, AF rose to the rank of Sergeant and distinguished himself by earning a Good Conduct Medal. While serving in Vietnam, he was exposed to Agent Orange and later developed coronary artery disease, a form of ischemic heart disease.  


Upon learning of the new VA regulation linking ischemic heart disease to Agent Orange exposure, AF decided to file a claim with the VA for service-connected disability benefits for this condition. In early 2011, the VA awarded him disability benefits for his heart disease; however, there was a problem. The VA assigned him an incorrect effective date for these benefits. It was at this point that AF reached out to NVLSP's Nehmer Lawsuit Division for free legal assistance.


NVLSP's attorneys helped AF understand complex VA benefit rules. After performing an in-depth analysis of his VA claims file, the attorneys found the evidence needed to prove that his heart disease's effective date was incorrect. NVLSP's attorneys filed a complaint with the VA and Justice Department about the error on AF's behalf.



[READ MORE]      


  NVLSP Senior Staff Attorney Fills Vacancy on the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims 


LongtimMeg Bartleye NVLSP senior staff attorney Meg Bartley was nominated by President Obama in June 2011 to fill a vacancy on the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC). Bartley was confirmed for a 15-year term by the Senate on May 24, 2012. 


Although it was difficult to say goodbye to one of our longstanding attorneys, we at NVLSP are excited and hopeful that the backlog of cases before the Court will hopefully grow smaller, thanks to the appointment of additional judges.


"We know that Meg Bartley will work alongside the other judges to reduce the backlog and review cases judiciously and fairly," said Bart Stichman, Joint Executive Director of NVLSP. "She has been an invaluable and hard-working member of our team at the National Veterans Legal Services Program for 17 years."





NVLSP receives $140,000+ worth of computer equipment thanks to Hewlett-Packard


Advocates working at the National Veterans Legal Services Program got a big boost in efficiency recently with the donation of $140,000 worth of computer equipment from Hewlett-Packard.  


The donation has already made a difference in staff morale and efficiency. "Our staff attorneys work tirelessly to help veterans around the country who were wrongfully denied the benefits to which they are entitled. Having up-to-date technology in place makes their jobs a little easier and will help NVLSP assist more veterans," said Bart Stichman, Co-founder and Joint Executive Director of NVLSP.


Hewlett-Packard's donation of computer equipment helps NVLSP make better use of technology through a generous in-kind donation that includes three new file servers, 15 laptops and 30 desktop computers with monitors using Windows 7.  




Meet-the-Attorney: Tracy E. Connor


Tracey Connor

Tracy E. Connor is the Pro Bono Coordinator for the Lawyers Serving Warriors project of the National Veterans Legal Services Program. She assists NVLSP's partnering firms and corporate legal departments in the delivery of high quality pro bono services to United States military service members and veterans.


She has worked in the area of disabilities rights and mental health parity throughout her undergraduate and law school years, and returned to similar issues when she joined NVLSP in 2008.


For Tracy, choosing to become an attorney was as much about pursuing a career in law as it was about pursuing a career in social justice. When describing her career choice, she says, "I saw that law was a very powerful tool for change. It was clear that legal work was a way to make systems-level change, rather than always running around and picking up the pieces of harm already done."







"Honoring Service and Sacrifice"

A benefit reception for the National Veterans Legal Services Program


Thursday, November 8, 2012

St. Regis Hotel - Astor Ballroom & Terrace

6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.


Join us on November 8th for a benefit reception to support the programs of the National Veterans Legal Services Program. This annual event honors military service members and their families and recognizes individuals, institutions, 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 NPR's Tom Gjeltin, a seasoned correspondent who has covered a wide variety of global security and economic issues.


Tickets and sponsorship opportunities will be available for purchase beginning in September.



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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