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Boelzner Serves as Panelist for Veteran’s Law Symposium

Veteran’s Benefit Group practice attorney, David E. Boelzner, served as a panelist for the first Veteran’s Law Symposium, “Serving Those Who Serviced,” at the University of Richmond School of Law on November 8, 2013. He will also contribute an article to an issue of the Law School’s Journal of Law and the Public Interest dedicated to veteran’s issues, to be issued in the spring.

The Symposium, co-sponsored by the Journal and the Veteran’s and Military Law Association of the Law School, began with a keynote address by Virginia’s junior senator, Tim Kaine, who serves on the Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees and thus has significant involvement in veteran’s affairs. Senator Kaine spoke on three veteran-related issues that are currently challenging Congress: the VA claims adjudicatory backlog, the problem of sexual assaults in the military and the tendency of presidents to circumvent Congress in carrying out war powers. He also spoke about some legislation he has introduced to address problems of veterans returning to a tough job market.

The first of two substantive sessions focused on the VA claims system and was moderated by David Boelzner, who began by explaining the claims and appeals processes and describing some of the problems.  American Legion representative Michael Higgins addressed VA’s Fully Developed Claims initiative, noting that it did help speed claims along, essentially because the claimants were doing VA’s work for it.  John Paul Cimino described law school clinical programs and other student activities to assist veterans.

The second session was moderated by Robert Barrett of the Virginia Bar Association’s Veterans Issues Task Force, with assistance from Heather Hays Lockerman, and focused on various avenues to assist veterans outside the claims system, including specialized courts impaneled to address veteran issues outside the ordinary litigation system and through cooperation among judges and social assistance organizations.