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Justice for Warriors Newsletter
December 2015

It's hard to believe another year has passed. NVLSP is extremely proud of what we have accomplished in 2015 on behalf of our veterans, service members, and their families. Each year we make progress towards our mission to ensure that every veteran receives the disability benefits they are owed by law. In this issue of our e-newsletter you will read about NVLSP's latest updates, achievements, and life-changing victories. Thank you for your continued interest in the work of NVLSP. It is because of supporters like you that our work on behalf of America's veterans and service members remains strong and purposeful. We wish you and your family a happy holiday season.


Bart Signature

Barton F. Stichman
Joint Executive Director    

Ron Sig

Ronald B. Abrams 
Joint Executive Director   
Equal Justice Works Fellow and NVLSP staff attorney Tiffany Kelley trains attorneys at Hunton & Williams to represent MST survivors
One-Year Program Update: Assistance for Survivors of Military Sexual Trauma

One year has passed since NVLSP launched a new program providing free legal representation to survivors of military sexual trauma (MST) whose disability claims for mental conditions, such as PTSD, were denied by the VA. This program is supported by a two-year Equal Justice Works fellowship, sponsored by Kirkland & Ellis LLP & Raytheon. Former Army Officer, attorney Tiffany Kelley is the fellow spearheading this project.

Over the course of the year, Ms. Kelley provided advice and consultation to over 200 survivors of military sexual trauma. She and other NVLSP staff have also recruited and trained over 60 attorneys to provide expert assistance to survivors of military sexual trauma. In total, NVLSP has placed 30 MST cases within the Lawyers Serving WarriorsŪ pro bono network of volunteer attorneys. Below is an example of one of these cases, which was successful in achieving justice for an Army veteran.
Recent Victory

Ms. W enlisted in the Army as a high school graduate in the 1980s, with hopes of one day becoming an Army officer. During her military training, she was forcibly raped several times by a senior leader in her direct chain of command. Her assailant intimidated Ms. W with the threat of an unfavorable discharge if she ever reported the assaults, and Ms. W believed these threats. The assaults left Ms. W with long-term trauma, and she has experienced severe mental health symptoms ever since. In 2011, after receiving counseling for PTSD, Ms. W filed a claim for service connection for her mental symptoms. Unfortunately, the VA denied her claim for PTSD because there was no evidence to support the occurrence of the assaults.

At this point, Ms. W requested assistance from NVLSP's MST program and NVLSP placed her case with a group of attorneys at Kirkland & Ellis. Under the guidance of NVLSP's Joint Executive Director, Ron Abrams, and the MST mentoring attorney, Tiffany Kelley, the Kirkland & Ellis attorneys worked with Ms. W to highlight evidence that indicated that the MST actually occurred, obtained a private medical examination and nexus opinion that provided an in-depth evaluation of Ms. W's condition, and interviewed lay witnesses that provided statements in support of Ms. W's claim. Additionally, these attorneys drafted a brief outlining the new evidence and attended a hearing at the VA Regional Office on her behalf.

Because of the assistance provided to Ms. W. through NVLSP's MST  program, the VA reversed the prior denial and granted service connection for PTSD with major depressive disorder effective December 2013.

NVLSP Accomplishments in 2015
Filed 330 appeals before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC). NVLSP averages over a 90% win-rate at the court.
Placed over 170 cases of veterans and service members with Lawyers Serving WarriorsŪ volunteer attorneys across the nation.
Over 700 attorneys and advocates participated in one of 24 webinars held in 2015.
Over 1,100 attorneys, veterans service officers, and advocates were trained in 12 states across the country.
$15 mil
Corrected over 300 errors made by the VA related to Agent Orange exposure, forcing the agency to pay veterans and their families over $15 million in benefits they were owed.
NVLSP's Seventh Annual Benefit Reception  
From left to right: Emily Wexler, attorney at Sidley Austin LLP, Bart Stichman, NVLSP Joint Executive Director, David Addlestone, NVLSP co-founder, Art Cummings, Chief Security Officer at General Electric, Congressman Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs and Ron Abrams, NVLSP Joint Executive Director

On November 19, 2015, NVLSP hosted its seventh annual benefit reception at The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel in downtown Washington, DC. The event was an opportunity to honor those who have made enormous contributions to improving the lives of our veterans and their families. Jeanne Meserve, former homeland security correspondent and anchor for CNN, served as the emcee for the reception, which was attended by more than 200 people.

The top sponsors for this year's benefit reception were:

Diamond: Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
Platinum: Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, Sidley Austin LLP, WilmerHale LLP
Gold: Covington & Burling LLP, Hewlett-Packard Company, Hunton and Williams LLP, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Latham & Watkins LLP, Merck, and Reed Smith LLP

Thank you to all of our sponsors, guests, and honorees for helping us organize a successful event. Your support allows us to continue our work to ensure that our nations veterans and service members receive the benefits they have earned through their service to our country.

New Video: Fighting for Earned Benefits


How does NVLSP work to ensure veterans receive the benefits they deserve? Check out our latest video which describes NVLSP's core competencies, and the ways in which we are able to make an extraordinary impact in the veterans community. 


NVLSP Overview
NVLSP: Fighting for Earned Benefits