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Overview of the VA Compensation & Pension Adjudication Process
featuring Katrina Eagle and Doug Rosinski
presented by
The South Carolina Bar-Continuing Legal Education Division
 
Live at the
Bar Conference Center
1501 Park Street
Columbia, SC 29202
 
About the Seminar
This program qualifies for 4.0 MCLE credit hours, including 1.0 LEPR credit hour.

There are more than 2o million veterans of the United States military who are potentially eligible for benefits administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  Over 1 million have already applied; more than another million are expected to do so in the next year.  This tidal wave of claims has swamped VA creating a many year backlog and contributing to an error rate some estimate at over 80%.  Coupled with the lingering effects of over a century in “splendid isolation” from judicial review, veterans seeking benefits face a broad array of legal challenges.  The result is a rapidly expanding practice area for attorneys with a wide range of training and experience.
 
This course provides attorneys and non-attorney practitioners with a basic understanding of the VA claims and appeals process and the fundamental tools to navigate the maze of applicable laws and regulations. Douglas J. Rosinski and Katrina J. Eagle two experienced practioners in this field will share insights on how VA processes an application, decides a claim, the keys to a successful interaction with VA decision makers, the path of an appeal of an adverse decision, and how to obtain attorney’s fees.  The material will also discuss ancillary, but increasingly important issues, including fiduciary matters, incarcerated veteran issues, and survivor rights.  The course will also include a 1 hour discussion of ethical issues in representing clients in a “non-adversarial” system. 
 
This seminar consists of VA Training required to represent veterans in the VA CLAIMS AND APPEALS PROCESS.  (You MUST BE ACCREDITED WITH VA PRIOR TO ATTENDING THE PROGRAM in order for the training to count either for certification or recertification.  AN ACCREDITATION APPLICATION PENDING APPROVAL WILL NOT SUFFICE.) 
 
Note:  Attorneys who are signing up for the VA Training: if not accredited, accreditation needs to be APPROVED BY VA'S OFFICE OF GENERAL COUNSEL prior to attending the seminar.
 
Any attorney who discusses VA benefits with clients must be accredited through the VA. Attorney accreditation
requires the following: (1) Application (VA Form 21a) submitted to the Department of Veterans Affairs – Office of General Counsel; (2) Self-certification regarding admission information to practice before any other court, bar, or State or Federal agency; and, (3) Determination of character and fitness (absent credible information to the contrary, the General Counsel will presume an attorney’s character and fitness to practice before the VA if an attorney’s membership is in good standing with the state bar). Within twelve (12) months of initial accreditation, an attorney must complete a CLE course approved by the state bar for a minimum of three (3) hours. Attorneys shall certify completion of the initial CLE requirement and submit the relevant information to the Office of General Counsel. The full text can be found at 38 C.F.R. §14.629(b) (1).
*In order for this course to qualify for the 3 hour CLE requirement you must have filed the necessary application
and self-certification and have received approval from the VA.
 
Agenda
9 a.m.          Overview of the VA Compensation and Pension Adjudication Process
11 a.m.         Mid-morning Break
11:15 a.m.    Overview of the VA Compensation and Pension Adjudication Process – continued
12:15 p.m.   Ethical Issues of Representation in a “Non-adversarial System”
1:15 p.m.     Adjourn
 
About the Speakers
KATRINA J. EAGLE
KATRINA J. EAGLE represents veterans nationwide in a wide array of issues involving benefit entitlements by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Her only clients are veterans and their family members, and she advocates for them before all 58 VA Regional Offices, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC), as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
 
Ms. Eagle has presented oral argument as veterans' counsel and amicus curiae in cases at the CAVC. Noteworthy cases include Harvey v. Shinseki, 24 Vet. App. 284 (2011) (sanctioning VA Secretary for failure to handle appeal expeditiously) and Freeman v. Shinseki, 24 Vet. App. 404 (2011) (holding that veteran beneficiaries now have same right to appeal fiduciary appointment as any other VA decision affecting benefits). In February 2012, she presented testimony to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs’ Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations in the matter of “Reforming the VA’s Flawed Fiduciary System.”
Ms. Eagle also has extensive experience training veterans service representatives, attorneys and other veterans’ advocates, and is a frequent speaker before state bar associations, veterans service organizations and at legal seminars.
Ms. Eagle received her B.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University in 1993 and her J.D. from the George Mason University School of Law in 1999. She is admitted to practice law in California, Maryland, and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
When not representing veterans, Ms. Eagle enjoys chasing after her two children and her yellow Lab, Wilson. She also dabbles in triathlons and marathons (13 to date) in her copious spare time.
 
DOUGLAS J. ROSINSKI
Mr. Rosinski concentrates his practice on veterans rights and benefits.  He has litigated cases on behalf of veterans and their families before the Department of Veterans Affairs regional offices, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, federal district court, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, and state courts.  Mr. Rosinski has been an Adjunct Professor of Law and lectures and trains on veterans law, VA benefits, and related litigation techniques throughout the country.  Mr. Rosinski has discussed veterans’ issues in national and local media, including 60 Minutes, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and numerous local outlets. 
 
Mr. Rosinski earned a Bachelor of Science, with distinction, in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Rochester in 1981 and a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1997.  He is admitted to the bar in Georgia, South Carolina, and the District of Columbia, various federal jurisdictions, the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and the United States Supreme Court.  He is a member of the American Bar Association, American Nuclear Society, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Federal Bar Association, and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. 
Mr. Rosinski is a veteran of the United States Navy Submarine Force where he earned silver and gold dolphins, and was qualified as a nuclear engineering officer.