2018 Spring Conference

NOVA's 2018 Spring Conference

To access NOVA's 2018 Spring Conference Brochure, CLICK HERE!

The NOVA 2018 Spring Conference will be held at Loews Coronado Bay in San Diego, California! 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 San Diego!

Where & When

San Diego, California - March 15-17, 2018
Hotel: Loews Coronado Bay, San Diego

The NOVA Room Block Rate is $225 plus tax, per night, single or double occupancy, and is available three days prior and three days after the conference based upon room availability. Room reservations must be made by Tuesday February 13, 2018 for this rate to be honored. To book your room for the 2018 Spring Conference, please click HERE or call 1-800-235-6397 and make sure to refer to the NOVA 2018 Spring Conference, to obtain the special group rate.

The NOVA room block at Loews Coronado Bay is full. Please refer to this list of hotels in the area for alternative accommodations. 

How to Register

Click HERE to register via our online form!

Click HERE for our hard copy forms!

Registration Cancellation Policy:
Before March 2, 2018...........75% of fee paid will be returned
On or After March 2, 2018......No Refund (Seminar Materials will be provided)

William G. Smith Scholarships - The deadline to submit a scholarship application 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 scholarship application deadline for Spring Conference 2018 has now passed. Please consider applying for our Fall Conference in DC.

Conference Materials

NOVA does not provide hard copies of the conference materials on site. A week 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

*This program is subject to change*

For more detailed descriptions of the presentations, please reference our conference brochure above.

Thursday - March 15, 2018

7:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast & Registration
8:00 a.m. Welcoming Remarks & Introduction
8:15 a.m. Establishing Direct Service Connection
Presenter: Jenna Zellmer
9:15 a.m. Establishing Entitlement to Increased Compensation
Presenter: Art Gage
10:15 a.m BREAK
10:30 a.m. How to File a Reopened Claim for Benefits
Presenter: Dan Smith
11:30 a.m. Did VA Assign the Correct Effective Date for My Client's Award of Benefits?
Presenter: Christine Clemens
12:30 p.m. LUNCH  (on your own)
1:30 p.m. How to Identify a Pending Claim
Presenter: Matthew Hill
2:30 p.m. Writing a Notice of Disagreement and Substantive Appeal
Presenter: Angela Drake
3:30 p.m. BREAK
3:45 p.m. Introduction to Toxic Exposures
Presenter: Kerry Baker
4:45 p.m. Q&A With All Speakers


Friday - March 16, 2018


7:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast & Registration
8:00 a.m. Welcoming Remarks & Introduction
8:15 a.m. Establishing Secondary Service Connection
Presenter: Amy Kretkowski
9:15 a.m. Writing Additional Argument to the Board
Presenter: Todd Wesche
10:15 a.m BREAK
10:30 a.m. Appeals Reform Panel
Presenters: Chris Attig, Kenneth M. Carpenter, Glenda Herl & Sean Kendall
12:00 p.m. LUNCH (on your own)
1:30 p.m. Remedies
Presenter: Zachary Stolz
2:00 p.m. Writing to Win at the Agency and Court
Presenter: Barbara Cook
3:00 p.m. BREAK
3:15 p.m. Medical Opinions in Toxic Exposure Claims
Presenter: Dr. Victoria Cassano
4:15 p.m. Accessing VA's Electronic Records Systems
Presenter: Glenda Herl

Saturday - March 17, 2018

7:45 a.m. NOVA Awards Ceremony
8:15 a.m. Legislative, Regulatory, & Outreach Update
Presenter: Diane Boyd Rauber
9:00 a.m. Recent Cases and How to Use Them in Your VA Practice
Presenter: Kenneth M. Carpenter
10:00 a.m. BREAK
10:15 a.m. Continued: Recent Cases and How to Use Them in Your VA Practice
Presenter: Kenneth M. Carpenter
11:15 a.m. Remarks from Chairperson of the
Board of Veteran's Appeals, Cheryl L. Mason
11:45 a.m. LUNCH (on your own)
1:00 p.m. Ethical Dilemmas Unique to the Practice of Veterans Law
Presenter: John Tucker
2:00 p.m. Case Study
Presenter: Robert Chisholm
3:00 p.m. Closing Remarks


*This program is subject to change*