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).
What Every Lawyer Should Know About Benefits for Military Veterans and Their Families
There are over 20 million veterans of the United States military who are potentially eligible for a broad array of benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA benefits are not limited to compensation for service-connected injuries, but include pensions, educational benefits, mortgages, insurance, health services, and burial benefits. Many of these benefits and services are not only available to veterans, but are also available to family members, such as surviving spouses and minor children, whether or not the veteran has previously filed a benefits claim. Attorneys providing legal services to the general public should be aware of the VA benefits available to – and the potential impact of VA regulations on – their clients.
This course provides attorneys unfamiliar with the VA benefits system with a basic understanding of the VA claims and appeals process and the fundamental tools to assist their clients in identifying whether they may be eligible for VA benefits. In addition, attorneys will learn how changes, such as the death or incompetency of a veteran receiving VA benefits, can affect clients, including their rights to control their own finances and appoint their own guardians. Two experienced practitioners will share insights on how VA views attorney-client relationships, VA’s authority to override attorney-in-fact designations, and when to refer a VA benefits matter to an experienced practitioner. The course will also include a 1 hour discussion of ethical issues in advising veterans and their survivors.
DOUGLAS J. ROSINSKI, ESQ.
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.
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.
Prof. John P. Freeman
Professor John P. Freeman is the John Campbell Professor Emeritus in Business and Professional Ethics. He is also a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at USC Law School. He joined the USC law faculty in 1973 and retired in 2008. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Notre Dame, and received an LL.M. in 1976 from the University of Pennsylvania Law School where he studied as a Graduate Fellow in the Center for Study of Financial Institutions. Four times the students at USC Law School have voted him the Outstanding Faculty Member award. He has received various service awards, and served for years as one of the four public members on South Carolina=s Judicial Merit Selection Commission.
Professor Freeman started law practice in 1970 with the Jones Day law firm and, and subsequent worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission, where he served two summers as a special counsel analyzing mutual fund issues. He taught corporate and securities law, and legal ethics for over 30 years, and has testified as an expert witness or served as trial counsel in various legal malpractice lawsuits, ethics proceedings, and investment-related cases. Professor Freeman has written and lectured extensively on ethics, malpractice and business-related matters, and for 19 years wrote a regular column on professionalism topics for the South Carolina Lawyer. Most recently, Professor Freeman has been addressing as a writer and commentator certain problems with the way some mutual fund sponsors conduct their business, as well as the subject of judicial independence.
9 a.m. What Every Lawyer Should Know About Benefits for Military Veterans and Their Families
Douglas J. Rosinski
Katrina J. Eagle
10 a.m. Mid-morning break
10:15 a.m. What Every Lawyer Should Know About Benefits for Military Veterans and Their Families
Douglas J. Rosinski
Katrina J. Eagle
11:15 p.m. Ethical Issues in Working With Vets and Their Families
Professor John Freeman
12:15 p.m. Adjourn