2017 Fall Conference

NOVA's 2017 Fall Conference

The NOVA 2017 Fall Conference will be held at Tradewinds Island Resort in St. Pete Beach, Florida! The NOVA Conference is intended for both new and experienced veterans law practitioners. The seminar will increase your knowledge, confidence, and expertise in representing veterans before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In addition, your time may be credited to your jurisdiction’s CLE requirements. We hope to see you in St. Pete Beach!

Where & When

St. Pete Beach, Florida - October 12-14, 2017
Hotel: TradeWinds Island Resort

The NOVA Room Block Rate is $185 plus tax, per night, single or double occupancy, and is available two days prior and two days after the conference based upon room availability. Room reservations must be made by Sunday September 10, 2017 for this rate to be honored.

To book your room for the 2017 Fall Conference, please book your room online HERE or call 1-800-808-9833 and make sure to refer to the NOVA 2017 Fall Conference, to obtain the special group rate.

How to Register

Click HERE to register via our online form.

Click HERE to register using our hard copy forms.

Registration Cancellation Policy:
Before September 22, 2017...........75% of fee paid will be returned
On or After September 22, 2017......No Refund (Seminar Materials will be provided)

Fall Conference Special Luncheon - Friday October 13 - Registration Is Closed

NOVA will provide nine tables with seats available for attendees, where discussion will be led by experienced NOVA members and presenters on conference topics. Come interact with your colleagues and the presenter, discuss issues, and ask questions regarding the presenter's topic. The registration for this event is closed. Please contact NOVA office with any questions.


William G. Smith Scholarships - The Deadline for Scholarship Applications has now passed.

Scholarships have been created in memory of NOVA Founding Member William G. Smith, Esq., who provided leadership and support to countless practitioners in veterans’ law. Scholarships cover the cost of registration only and are available to individuals who are not financially able to attend, and who would not otherwise be able to attend the seminar due to financial hardship. These scholarships are designated for attorneys, non-attorney practitioners, law students, and also accredited veteran’s service representatives.

To apply for the William G. Smith Scholarship Award, the following information is required: Your name, address and email; year of graduation from law school, if applicable; current employer and position; provide a brief explanation of how you intend to use this training; indicate your VA accreditation date, if applicable; explain why you need financial assistance to attend a NOVA seminar; and indicate if you have the financial resources to cover the costs to attend the seminar (i.e., travel, lodging, food) should you be awarded a scholarship. The granting of scholarships as well as the number of recipients shall be at the sole discretion of the NOVA Board of Directors.

The deadline for Scholarship Applications has now passed.

Conference Materials

NOVA does not provide hard copies of the conference materials on site. A few weeks before the conference, you will receive an email (to the email with which you registered) with a link to download the seminar materials. Some attendees, knowing that NOVA does not provide hard copies on-site, choose to print these out for easy reference. You may also copy the materials to your laptop or tablet, should you plan to bring one to the conference. We recommend you save or print your materials prior to arriving at the conference.

Become an Exhibitor or Sponsor!

Display the resources you have to offer those who serve our nation's veterans! Among NOVA’s greatest benefits are our semi-annual seminars, held to ensure that our members have the best tools and latest information so they may better serve their clients.

*Exhibitors are responsible for hotel room reservations and cancellations.

Reserve Your Table Now!

Click HERE to access our Exhibitor Registration Form and learn more about how you can display the resources you have to offer those who serve our nation's veterans!  Questions? Contact us by clicking HERE.

Become a NOVA Sponsor

We are eager to work with you and help you publicize the resources you have available more effectively. By sponsoring one of the following events/items we offer at a NOVA Conference, your brand is sure to capture the attention of our attendees.

  • Power Strip Sponsor:    $4,000
  • Breakfast Sponsor:       $2,500
  • Name Badge Sponsor:  $2,500

Schedule of Events

Basic Session - Thursday October 12

   8:00 AM Welcome and Introduction to New Format
Kenneth Carpenter, Carpenter Chartered
   8:15 AM Client Intake
Matthew Hill, Hill & Ponton
   9:15 AM Analyzing the VA Rating Decision and Notice
Jonathan Greene, Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick
  10:15 AM
 10:30 AM  VBMS
Glenda Herl, Carpenter Chartered
  11:30 AM Representation Agreements
Robert Chisholm, Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick
 12:30 PM LUNCH (on your own)
   1:30 PM Requesting and Obtaining Records
Diane Boyd Rauber, NOVA
   2:30 PM Preparing Pleadings at the Agency
Timothy R. Franklin, Law Office of Sean Kendall
   3:30 PM BREAK
   3:45 PM Tracking Claims and Issues Panel
Christine Clemens, Finkelstein & Partners
   4:45 PM Questions and Answers Session
All Speakers Panel

Fall Conference - Intermediate Session - Friday October 13

  7:55 AM Welcoming Remarks
Glenda Herl, NOVA President
 8:00 AM Developing Lay Evidence
Sara Huerter, Carpenter Chartered & Virginia Girard-Brady, ABS Legal
 9:00 AM Reviewing the Compensation and Pension Exam Results
Zachary Stolz, Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick
10:15 AM Role of the Attorney Fee Coordinator and Fee Disputes
VA Speakers: Christa Shriber, Deputy Chief Counsel, VA Accreditation Program, Office of the General Counsel; Allison Zmetra, Program Analyst, VBA; John Lorenzani, Head Attorney Fee Coordinator (AFC)/Super Senior Veterans Service Representative (SSVSR), Roanoke VA Regional Office; and Emmett Willis, Jr.
Moderator & Participant: Robert Chisholm, Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick
 11:45 AM LUNCH - Attendees choose either box lunch with speakers (separate registration required) or on own
 1:00 PM Discussion with CAVC Judges
Chief Judge Robert N. Davis & Judge Michael P. Allen
 2:00 PM Analyzing a BVA Decision - Identifying Issues and Making Decisions About How to Proceed
Amy Kretkowski, Law Office of Amy Kretkowski
 3:00 PM BREAK
  3:15 PM Appeals Reform - New Choices for Veterans and What it Means for the Practitioner
Chris Attig, Attig|Steel, PLLC
  4:15 PM VSOs and the Veterans Bar: How Far Have We Come?
Christopher Clay, Disabled American Veterans
  5:30 PM NOVA Reception

Fall Conference - Advanced Session - Saturday October 14

 7:45 AM  NOVA Annual Membership Meeting & Board of Directors Election
 8:15 AM Legislative, Regulatory and Outreach Update
Diane Boyd Rauber, NOVA
 9:00 AM Recent Cases and How to Use Them in Your VA Practice
Kenneth Carpenter, Carpenter Chartered
 10:00 AM      BREAK
10:15 AM CONTINUED: Recent Cases and How to Use Them in Your VA Practice
Kenneth Carpenter, Carpenter Chartered
11:15 AM Ethics
John Tucker, Tucker & Ludin
12:15 PM LUNCH (on your own)
1:30 PM Case Study
Stacey-Rae Simcox, Stetson University College of Law
2:30 PM What to Do When Your Fee is Disputed
Kenneth Carpenter, Carpenter Chartered