Justice for Warriors Newsletter
December 2020

We’ve come through a year like no other! We are mindful of the impact COVID-19 has had on all of our lives and the loss of loved ones to this terrible virus. We are also mindful of the senseless loss of Mr. George Floyd and many other victims of systemic inequality and racial injustice. 

NVLSP staff were nimble and innovated new ways to continue to serve those who served us. We held virtual clinics, online training webinars as well as our first virtual panel discussion, “The New Era of Class Actions in Veterans Law,” and we hosted our annual benefit online, “Fighting for Equity and Justice.”  You can read more about our 2020 highlights below and connect to the videos from our panel discussion and annual event.

We are grateful for your continued support. Without you, NVLSP's achievements this year would not have been possible.

Looking ahead, we believe the future success of NVLSP will be built on our resilience and our ability to effectively tackle whatever the future brings. We are hopeful for next year and we will build upon lessons learned this year to continue to champion for veterans, servicemembers and their families as well as to advance social justice and equitable treatment for all.

For this holiday season, we offer our best wishes to you and your families and a healthy 2021!

Bart Stichman, Executive Director
­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­2020 NVLSP HIGHLIGHTS
Filed over 600 appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. NVLSP averaged over a 90% win-rate at the Court. 
Over 4,100 attorneys, veterans service officers, and other advocates participated in a live webinar or other event in which we provided training.
Placed 400 cases of veterans and service members with Lawyers Serving Warriors® volunteer attorneys across the country and held our first virtual clinics.
In 2019-2020, NVLSP forced the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to pay more than $4.5 million in retroactive benefits to 114 survivors of deceased Vietnam veterans who suffered from diseases the VA conceded were the result of their exposure to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam.
On November 5, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled in favor of Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans and their survivors in response to the motion filed by NVLSP and pro bono counsel Paul Hastings LLP to enforce the 29-year old class action consent decree in Nehmer v. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This ruling could impact 2,000 to 15,000 veterans and their survivors and potentially result in each receiving an average of $28,000 in tax-free benefits. Ultimately, this decision could result in millions of dollars in relief to Blue Water Navy veterans and their survivors.

On November 10, 2020, Dechert LLP, in coordination with NVLSP, filed a class action complaint in the U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia, on behalf of former members of the Navy and Marine Corps who were subject to an unlawful Navy practice that resulted in the denial of military disability retirement benefits to more than 16,000 Navy and Marine Corps veterans for more than 15 years. This class action was supported by a grant from The Barbara McDowell and Gerald S. Hartman Foundation.
­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Thank you to everyone who joined our first panel discussion event, The New Era of Class Actions in Veterans Law, held on November 17, 2020.

If you were not able to view the event live, please click here for the recording.
­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­On November 19, 2020, NVLSP hosted its Twelfth Annual Benefit Event, Fighting for Equity and Justice. For the first time, the benefit event was held virtually. The evening was an opportunity to honor those who have made enormous contributions to improving the lives of our veterans and their families.

If you were not able to attend, you can enjoy the recording here. Also, check out our new overview video that debuted at the event.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­NVLSP continues its dedication to veteran law education by growing its webinar schedule in an effort to educate more veterans advocates on strategies for securing disability benefits for their clients. Experienced NVLSP attorneys will lead discussions on the following topic: 

NVLSP's Training & Publications program also offers: in-person training, the Online Basic Training Course, the Veterans Benefits Manual, and the VA Benefit Identifier App.
­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­RECORDED WEBINAR SALE
NVLSP would like to thank you for helping our veterans as their advocate. NVLSP has a comprehensive library of over 20 recorded webinars. For a limited time only, we are offering you 50% off on all recorded webinars!

Please use the following coupon code when checking out: HAPPYHOLIDAYS

Coupon code good through: January 3, 2021
Webinars are available for 72 hours after purchase
Erin Mee
­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Erin Mee is the Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney in NVLSP’s pro bono program Lawyers Serving Warriors®. Erin acts as the central contact between NVLSP’s pro bono team and the partner law firms and corporate legal departments. She works with the pro bono partners to coordinate the placement and monitoring of cases and special projects, developing clinic opportunities, and organizing trainings for volunteer attorneys.

Erin thoroughly enjoys working with the pro bono partners who bring enthusiasm and fresh perspectives to cases. She takes great pride in the knowledge that veterans and service members are receiving the best representation from the pro bono partners.

It is very rewarding for Erin when a veteran who has been fighting for many years finally receives the benefits or discharge upgrade they deserve. She appreciates being part of the process that enables veterans’ voices to be heard. COVID-19 has not slowed down Erin and the pro bono team. Working from home, Erin continues to place cases and projects and the team have become Zoom experts (plus, no DC commute!).

Erin joined NVLSP four years ago remains driven by NVLSP’s mission. For her, NVLSP is the key to helping veterans navigate a complex and overwhelming legal system. Erin’s interest in veterans issues is rooted in her family’s military service. Both her grandfathers fought in World War II and her brother is currently serving in the Army.

Outside NVLSP, Erin enjoys her home workouts and anything on the Bravo channel!
We hope this newsletter inspires you to become more active with NVLSP. If you want to help NVLSP do more for our veterans, here are a few suggestions.

  1. You can follow us on Twitter, connect with us on LinkedIn, and like us on Facebook.
  2. Help us promote our free App for veterans.
  3. Tell a friend about NVLSP.

We look forward to connecting with you again soon!