Fall Conference 2015

NOVA’s 2015 Fall Conference

The NOVA 2015 Fall Conference will be held at the Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago in Chicago, Illinois! The conference includes a one day New Practitioner Session scheduled for Thursday, October 8, 2015. The general seminar, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, October 9 & 10, is filled with a wide array of interesting and informative topics and presenters.

The NOVA Conference is intended for both new practitioners to the area of veterans’ law and more advanced 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. Please take advantage of our 20-year legacy and register today! We hope to see you in Chicago!

Your opinion is important to us, if you attended the New Practitioner Session, tell us what you think by clicking HERE. If you plan to attend the general session, please tell us what you think by clicking HERE.

Where & When

October 8-10, 2015
The Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago

NOVA's Hotel Room Block is Sold Out.

For a list of alternative accommodations in the area, please click HERE.


Registration Cancellation Policy:
Before September 18, 2015...........75% of fee paid will be returned
On or After September 18, 2015......No Refund (Seminar Materials will be provided)

William G. Smith Scholarships - Submit By August 7, 2015

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. To complete the scholarship application, Click HERE. 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 to submit a request for scholarship consideration is Friday, August 7, 2015.

Conference Materials

NOVA does not provide hard copies of the conference materials on site. If you have registered for the conference, you should have already received an e-mail to the address with which you registered with a link to access and 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.

Schedule of Events

Mr. Kenneth M. Carpenter, Esq. of Carpenter, Chartered will not be able to present at the New Practitioner Session on Thursday, October 8 due to a scheduling conflict. Mr. Carpenter will be representing NOVA before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on that day. The case being heard is NOVA's regulation challenge on the Standardized Notice of Disagreement (SNOD). Mr. Jonathan Greene, Esq. of Chisholm, Chisholm & Kilpatrick will substitute for Mr. Carpenter on the topic of "How to Determine Whether to Represent."

Thursday, October 8
New Practitioner Session

*Please be advised this schedule is subject to change.

7:30 a.m. Breakfast & Registration
8:15 a.m. Welcoming Remarks
8:30 a.m.
(60 min)
Walk Through A Claim
Presenter: John V. Tucker, Esq.
9:30 a.m.
(60 min)
Service Connection
Presenter: Drew N. Early, Esq.
10:30 a.m
(15 min)
10:45 a.m.
(60 min)
Evidence Development
Presenter: Brett Buchanan, Esq.
11:45 a.m. LUNCH (on your own)
1:15 p.m.
(75 min)
Downstream Issues
Presenter: Christopher Boudi, Esq.
2:30 p.m.
(60 min)
How To Determine Whether to Represent
Presenter: Jonathan Greene, Esq.
3:30 p.m. BREAK
3:45 p.m.
(75 min)
Attorney Fees at the Agency Level: When, Where, How and Other Considerations
Presenter: Robert Chisholm, Esq.
5:00 p.m. Questions & Answers Session
Panel: All Presenters

Friday, October 9
General Session

*Please be advised this schedule is subject to change.

7:30 a.m. Breakfast & Registration
8:00 a.m. Welcoming Remarks
8:15 a.m.
(120 min)
How To Use Recent Court Decisions
Presenter: Kenneth M. Carpenter, Esq.
10:15 a.m.
(15 min)
10:30 a.m.
(60 min)
Update From the VA
Presenter: Thomas J. Murphy, Director of Compensation Service, Department of Veterans Affairs (invited)
11:30 a.m. LUNCH (on your own)
1:00 p.m.
(60 min)
Heart Claims
Presenter: Arrica Canty, Legal Nurse Consultant
2:00 p.m.
(60 min)
Best Practices at The Regional Office
Presenter: Clarisse Creary, Decision Review Officer (DRO)
3:00 p.m.
(15 min)
3:15 p.m.
(60 min)
CAVC Discussion
Presenter: The Honorable Chief Judge Lawrence B. Hagel, U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
5:00 Reception & Social Hour


Saturday, October 10
General Session

*Please be advised this schedule is subject to change.

7:45 a.m. Breakfast & Membership Meeting
8:15 a.m.
(60 min)
Legislative Update
Presenter: Glenda Herl, Accredited Claims Agent & Diane Boyd Rauber, Director of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs, NOVA
9:15 a.m.
(90 min)
VA Claims For Compensation For a Disability From Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Presenter: Kenneth M. Carpenter, Esq.
10:45 a.m.
(15 min)
11:00 a.m.
(60 mins)
Presenter: Christa Shriber & Jonathan Taylor, US Department of Veterans Affairs
12:00 p.m. LUNCH (on your own)
1:30 p.m.
(60 min)
Justice Delayed, Justice Denied
Presenter: Professor Michael Allen, Stetson University
2:30 p.m.
(60 min)
Presenting Vocational Evidence In Your VA Appeal
Presenters: Maria Vargas MS, CRC & Ashley Johnson MS, CRC, Vargas Vocational Consulting
3:30 p.m. Closing Remarks
Michael Viterna, Esq.