NOVA News & Notes – June 22, 2017

NOVA News & Notes

ICYMI: Recently Discussed on the Forums

Information Exchange Forum - VA has new fax coversheet for evidence

New Practitioner's Forum - Level 7 clearance

Law Office Practice Tips Forum - Will VA accept electronically signed documents?


NOVA 2017 Spring Conference Videos Now Available to Purchase on NOVA's Website – BUY NOW!

The presentations from NOVA's 2017 Spring Conference in San Antonio are now available for purchase as a package and select videos are offered individually.

Click HERE to Buy Now!


Upcoming NOVA Webinar - Business Series Part IV: How to Manage Your Growing Practice - Register Today!

NOVA will hold its next webinar – How to Manage Your Growing Practice – on Wednesday August 30, 2017 at 2PM ET. Many advocates new to VA practice take a “Field of Dreams” approach to growing their firm: “If you practice, veterans will come.” Without a realistic marketing plan, you can find yourself with too many cases and clients. It often takes three years to win your client’s case, and it is easy to end up with a docket of cases that limit your ability to grow your practice and experience.

In Installment #4 of the “New Practitioner Business Webinar Series,” Chris Attig will show you how to create a law firm marketing plan that will help you find the right clients and cases to build a successful law practice - on the shoe-string budget of a new VA law practice. Attig | Steel, PLLC has represented veterans at all levels of the VA claims process since 2007. Joining NOVA in 2010, Chris has become a regular presenter at NOVA conferences, and serves on the Board of Directors. He has also instructed Veterans in “DIY” claims preparation through his popular Veterans Law Blog and his series of Veterans Law eBooks and Training Videos.

To register for this webinar, please click HERE.


How to Fight a VA Rating Reduction or Benefits Severance Webinar Is Now Available for Purchase on NOVA Website

Join Christian McTarnaghan and Zachary Stolz of Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick for a discussion of the differences between proposed and actual rating reductions or severances, your client’s due process rights, and when and how to disagree with these actions. Christian discusses relevant case law and manual provisions on these topics, particularly regarding VA’s requirement to consider the entire veteran’s history before reducing a rating and whether improvement is under the ordinary conditions of life. He provides practical advice on when and how to request a hearing, how to counsel clients on the possibility of reduction, and when an attorney can get fees in these cases.

Click HERE to Buy Now!


NOVA Board of Directors Nomination/Election Notice 2017 (Term 2018-21)

In accordance with NOVA’s bylaws, the terms of one-third of the members of its Board of Directors expire at the end of each year. This year’s election of Board members will be conducted at the annual Membership Meeting to be held in St. Pete Beach, Florida on October 14, 2017 at 7:45 a.m. ET.

In order to serve on the Board, an individual must have been a Sustaining Member in good standing for the three years preceding his or her nomination and must be either admitted or accredited to practice before either or both of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Other membership categories are not eligible to serve.

Board members serve a three (3) year term beginning on January 1st of the year following election.

Board membership requires commitment both of time and resources as you represent other NOVA members. Board members are expected to be active participants in NOVA. They are required to attend Board meetings, seminars, and conference calls. The Board meets in-person at the Spring and Fall seminars and for a two-day planning meeting, bi-monthly by phone, and on an ad hoc basis. Members cover their own expenses, including travel, lodging, and meals for all seminars and meetings.

Anyone interested in serving, and meeting the minimum requirements, must inform the Secretary of his or her desire to be a candidate for election no later than August 8, 2017. Thereafter, the Secretary will solicit additional information from each candidate. The Board shall select by majority vote a number of candidates to appear on the ballot equal to the number of positions on the Board to be filled at the upcoming election. The Board will then announce its selections to NOVA’s membership. Thereafter, additional nominations must be endorsed with the names of at least ten (10) Sustaining Members and submitted to the Secretary. Each such nominee will appear as a candidate on the ballot.

Each candidate may provide a written statement supporting his or her candidacy. Such a statement must be submitted to the Secretary. The Secretary will distribute the written statements to the Sustaining Members prior to balloting. A candidate wishing to speak to the membership at the annual meeting prior to balloting shall be allowed up to five (5) minutes to do so.

Any Sustaining Member in good standing who will not be attending the Membership Meeting may request an absentee ballot from the Executive Director. An absentee ballot may only be cast by members who will not be in attendance. The completed absentee ballot must be submitted to the Secretary and received no later than five (5) days prior to the Membership Meeting.

The nomination and election process will follow this schedule:
July 1, 2017:   The Secretary will begin accepting nominations
August 8, 2017:  Open nominations close
August 22, 2017:  The Board will announce its selection of candidates
September 14, 2017: Deadline for accepting additional nominations
September 18, 2017: The Secretary will announce the slate of candidates
September 22, 2017: Due date for candidate’s statements
September 24, 2017: Last day to request absentee ballots
October 9, 2017: Due date for absentee ballots
October 14, 2017: Election held and results announced

Nominations, candidate’s statements, or questions may be directed to the Secretary, Todd M. Wesche, at

Requests for absentee ballots may be directed to the Executive Director, Diane Rauber, at

Completed absentee ballots must be signed and sent by U.S. mail and addressed to:

Todd M. Wesche, Esq.
P.O.Box 350038
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33335-0038