DAN BURTON joined National Organization of Veterans' Advocates, Inc. .
Dan Burton is a Texas licensed Attorney certified to represent Veterans before the U. S. Department of Veteran Affairs since 2012. He is also admitted to practice before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and the United States District...see more
Dan Burton is a Texas licensed Attorney certified to represent Veterans before the U. S. Department of Veteran Affairs since 2012. He is also admitted to practice before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Dan served for 20 years in the U. S. Marine Corps as a Judge Advocate and KC-130 Aviator. He has represented Marines and Sailors at Special and General Courts-Martial, Administrative Discharge Boards and the Naval Discharge Review Board. In addition to his part-time practice representing Veterans at the VA Regional Office level, before the Board of Veterans Appeals and before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, Dan is also a Boeing 717 Captain for a major airline.June 25, 2020
NOVA has decided to forego a live event in Cincinnati this fall and will host a virtual event. see more
As announced at yesterday’s mini-conference, after consideration of member feedback and given the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, NOVA has decided to forego a live event in Cincinnati this fall. NOVA has reached an agreement with the Hyatt Regency that allows us to reschedule in Cincinnati for fall 2022.
We will host a virtual event in October! We are currently reviewing online platforms that can provide a more robust experience. Stay tuned for more details later this summer!
Of course, like you, we are anxious to meet again in person. We are already considering how we might alter future conference formats to accommodate any ongoing effects of the virus in alignment with recognized health practices. We certainly hope to be together in Fort Worth in spring 2021!
Thanks to all of you for your support. We are here to support you in your representation of our nation’s veterans in the days and weeks ahead.
Diane Boyd Rauber
The landmark Supreme Court ruling Monday... see more
Stars and Stripes - The landmark Supreme Court ruling Monday that a prohibition against sex discrimination also extends to gay and transgender people does not affect service members or Pentagon policy. However, lawyers and LGBTQ advocates believe the ruling could impact current lawsuits challenging Pentagon policy by making its ban harder to defend.
In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that employers who fire people for being gay or transgender violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII protects an individual from being discriminated against by an employer based on their race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The court ruled that the mention of “sex” applies to individuals who are gay or transgender.
“Because discrimination on the basis of homosexuality or transgender status requires an employer to intentionally treat individual employees differently because of their sex, an employer who intentionally penalizes an employee for being homosexual or transgender also violates Title VII,” according to the court’s decision summary.
Monday’s landmark ruling affects employees across the country, but not the military. Courts previously have ruled that Title VII does not apply to uniformed military personnel, Rachel VanLandingham, a law professor at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles and a former Air Force judge advocate, said in an email.
“It’s a judicial exemption ostensibly based on military discipline that Congress hasn’t bothered to correct,” she wrote.
The Pentagon’s 2019 transgender policy does not allow individuals who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria to enlist in the military nor to continue to serve as their preferred gender without a medical certification or waiver. Gender dysphoria is the medical condition associated with individuals who do not identify with their birth sex.
In May, a transgender Navy officer was the first service member to receive a waiver to serve in their preferred gender since the policy was put in place.
The Defense Department referred questions about the Supreme Court decision and its transgender policy to the Justice Department. The DOJ “has no comment,” a spokesman said in an email.
The Supreme Court ruling also will not apply directly to the four federal lawsuits challenging the transgender policy because they are based on the Constitution’s equal protection clause and not the Civil Rights Act, according to Jennifer Levi, the Transgender Rights Project director at GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders.
However, the Supreme Court ruling still will have an impact on the transgender policy, she said.
“It is absolutely going to be influential because that principle that’s articulated in today’s case — that discrimination against someone for being transgender is sex discrimination — will then apply to the court’s analysis in the case under the constitutional equal protection challenge that’s been brought in those cases,” Levi said.
There is reason to believe that the courts will rule the same way, Levi said, and it is highly unlikely the Defense Department will be able to defend the ban.
Because the court’s ruling does not apply, it makes the military “an outlier amidst a national consensus that arbitrary discrimination is harmful and wrong,” Aaron Belkin, the director of the Palm Center, said in a prepared statement Monday.
“With transgender workers protected by federal law in all other sectors, the military’s transgender ban is now even harder to defend,” he said. The Palm Center is a nonpartisan research institute analyzing military personnel policies, particularly regarding the LGBTQ community.
Peter Perkowski, the legal and policy director for Modern Military of America Association, said the court’s decision gives the organization hope “that justice will prevail in our lawsuit challenging the transgender military ban.”
The association is a LGBTQ nonprofit that currently represents six service members in a lawsuit challenging whether the ban is constitutional.
“Make no mistake: The Supreme Court has ruled that discrimination against LGBTQ people is discrimination based on sex. That truth applies regardless of context. At the end of the day, what matters for military service is whether or not you are capable and qualified, not your gender identity,” Perkowski said in a prepared statement.
In accordance with NOVA’s bylaws, the terms of one-third of the members of its Board of Directors... see more
In accordance with NOVA’s bylaws, the terms of one-third of the members of its Board of Directors expire at the end of each year. This year’s election of Board members will be conducted at the annual Membership Meeting to be held via virtual meeting on October 23, 2020 at a time to be determined for a term of (3) years of 2021-2023.
To serve on the Board, an individual must have been a Sustaining Member in good standing for the five (5) years preceding his or her nomination, with active participation in NOVA, and must be either admitted or accredited to practice before either the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or both. Other membership categories are not eligible to serve.
To ensure that all Board members can exercise independent judgment in all matters coming before the Board, no more than one person employed by or affiliated with the same entity, for employment or business purposes, may serve on the Board at the same time. Should the situation arise where more than one member of or member elect to the Board have such employment or business relationship, the entirety of the Board members unaffiliated with that entity shall determine a resolution by a majority vote. Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit a Board member or member-elect from engaging in business referral arrangements, acting as co-counsel, or similar arrangements, or otherwise being a member of or participating in professional or social organizations.
Board members serve a three (3) year term beginning on January 1st of the year following election.
Board membership requires commitment both of time and resources as you represent other NOVA members. Board members are expected to be active participants in NOVA. They are required to attend Board meetings, seminars, and conference calls. The Board meets in-person at the Spring and Fall seminars and for a two-day planning meeting, bi-monthly by phone, and on an ad hoc basis. Members cover their own expenses, including travel, lodging, and meals for all seminars and meetings.
Anyone interested in serving, and meeting the minimum requirements, must inform the Secretary of his or her desire to be a candidate for election no later than July 30, 2020. Thereafter, the Secretary will solicit additional information from each candidate. The Board shall select by majority vote candidates to appear on the ballot equal to the number of positions on the Board to be filled at the upcoming election. The Board will then announce its selections to NOVA’s membership. Thereafter, any additional nominations must be endorsed with the names of at least ten (10) Sustaining Members and submitted to the Secretary. The required timeframes are specified below. Each such nominee will appear as a candidate on the ballot.
Each candidate may provide a written statement supporting his or her candidacy. Such a statement must be submitted to the Secretary. The Secretary will distribute the written statements to the Sustaining Members prior to balloting. A candidate wishing to speak to the membership at the annual meeting prior to balloting shall be allowed up to five (5) minutes to do so.
Any Sustaining Member in good standing who will not be attending the Membership Meeting may request an absentee ballot from the Executive Director. An absentee ballot may only be cast by members who will not be in attendance. The completed absentee ballot must be submitted to the Secretary and received no later than five (5) days prior to the Membership Meeting.
The nomination and election process will follow this schedule:
July 1, 2020 The Secretary begins accepting nominations July 30, 2020 Open nominations close August 25, 2020 The Board announces its selection of candidates September 23, 2020 Deadline for accepting additional nominations September 24, 2020 The Secretary announces the slate of candidates October 2, 2020 Due date for candidate's statements October 3, 2020 Last day to request absentee ballots October 18, 2020 Deadline for receipt of absentee ballots October 23, 2020 Election held and results announced
Nominations, candidate’s statements, or questions, may be directed to the Secretary, Christine Clemens, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Requests for absentee ballots may be directed to the Executive Director, Diane Boyd Rauber, at email@example.com.
Completed absentee ballots must be received no later than October 18, 2020. They should be sent by email to: Christine Clemens: firstname.lastname@example.org.
CpageFebruary 26, 2018
Meghan McNamer posted an articleContent planned for the NOVA Spring 2020 Conference with a focus on the AMA and recent case updates. see more
NOVA - Join experienced NOVA members as they focus on important issues facing you in your practice TODAY! We are providing some of the content planned for the NOVA Spring 2020 conference, with a focus on the AMA and recent case updates. We have applied for CLE approval for this program. Cost is $99 for members and $199 for nonmembers!
1:00 – 2:00 pm:
Opting Into AMA Or Staying The Course In Legacy: Factors To Consider When Advising Your Client - Glenda Herl, Carpenter Chartered, and Virginia Girard-Brady, Esq., ABS Legal Advocates, P.A.
Under the AMA, a veteran can choose to leave the legacy appeals system and opt into the new system upon receipt of a statement of the case (SOC) or supplemental statement of the case (SSOC). These practitioners will discuss the factors that influence their advice to clients about whether they should opt into AMA or stay in the legacy system, and examine specific case examples.
2:15 - 3:15 pm:
Case Law Update - Barbara Cook, Esq., Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick
Barb will review cases decided by the CAVC and Federal Circuit and discuss how you can use them to more effectively represent your client.
3:30 – 4:30 pm:
The Supplemental Claims Process And Interaction Between Legacy And AMA Cases – Jessica Cleary, George Sink, P.A., and Anne Linscott, Hill & Ponton
In the new appeals process, "supplemental claims" replace "reopened claims" previously employed in the legacy system. If filed within a year of a rating decision, a supplemental claim can preserve the client's original effective date. Beyond the one-year period, a supplemental claim is used to "reopen" the claim and can be used when a legacy appeal has become final. Join our presenters as they explain the process of filing supplemental claims and how they apply in both the AMA and legacy systems.
For more information and to sign up, please click HERE.
Maximizing VBMS Access and Ancillary Benefits will be covered in webinars later this year. see more
NOVA has announced two more webinars for 2020:
July 15: “Maximizing VBMS Access: Little-Known Tools to Enhance Your Practice” presented by Kelsey Craveiro, Esq. – Click Here for More!
September 16: “Ancillary Benefits: Understanding VA Benefits Beyond Compensation and Pension” presented by Diane Boyd Rauber, Esq. – Click Here for More!
CpageMay 22, 2018
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