Spring Conference 2016

NOVA’s 2016 Spring Conference

To access NOVA's Spring 2016 Conference Brochure, Click HERE.

The NOVA 2016 Spring Conference will be held at the Tropicana Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada! The conference includes a one day New Practitioner Session scheduled for Thursday, March 10, 2016. The general seminar, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, March 11 & 12, 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 Las Vegas!

Where & When

March 10-12, 2016
Hotel: Tropicana Las Vegas

The NOVA Room Block Rate is $145 plus tax, per night, single or double occupancy, and is available 2 days prior and 2 days after the conference based upon room availability. Room reservations must be made by 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, February 9, 2016 for this rate to be honored.

To book your room for the 2016 Spring Conference, please click HERE.

How to Register

Registration is now closed.

Registration Cancellation Policy:
Before February 19, 2016...........75% of fee paid will be returned
On or After February 19, 2016......No Refund (Seminar Materials will be provided)

William G. Smith Scholarships - Submissions Now Closed.

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 has passed.

Conference Materials

NOVA does not provide hard copies of the conference materials on site. If you are registered for the conference, you should have received an e-mail to the address with which you registered with a link to download the seminar materials on Wednesday February 24. If you did not receive this email, please contact NOVA Staff.

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.
Our seminars are taught and led by skilled practitioners who are currently active in representing Veterans and are designed for both new practitioners to the area of Veterans’ law and more advanced practitioners. NOVA's access to senior officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Courts enriches our history of hosting some of the most prominent speakers in the field.

*Exhibitors are responsible for hotel 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.  

  • WI-FI Internet Access:  $5,000
  • Power Strip Sponsor:    $4,000
  • Breakfast Sponsor:       $2,500
  • Name Badge Sponsor:  $2,500


Schedule of Events

*This program is subject to change

Thursday March 10, 2016

7:30 a.m. Breakfast & Registration
8:00 a.m. Welcoming Remarks
8:15 a.m.
(90 min)
Overview of a VA Claim
Presenter: Sara K. Hill, Esq.
9:45 a.m.
(60 min)
Service Connection
Presenter: Drew N. Early, Esq.
10:45 a.m
(15 min)
11:00 a.m.
(60 min)
Downstream Issues
Presenter: Chris Attig, Esq.
12:00 p.m. LUNCH (on your own)
2:00 p.m.
(60 min)
When to Hire an Expert
Presenter: Jonathan Greene, Esq.
3:00 p.m.
(60 min)
How To Select Cases
Presenter: Daniel Smith, Esq.
4:00 p.m.
(15 min)
4:15 p.m.
(60 min)
How to Run a VA Practice
Presenter: Robert Chisholm, Esq.
5:15 p.m. Questions & Answers Session
Panel: All Presenters


Friday March 11, 2016

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. BREAK
10:30 a.m
(60 min)
Update From the VA
Presenter: Thomas J. Murphy, Director of Compensation Service, Department of Veterans Affairs
11:30 a.m.
(15 min)
Congressional Update
Presenter: Rep Dina Titus (D-NV-1), Ranking Member, House Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs (DAMA)
11:45 a.m. LUNCH (on your own)

1:15 p.m.

(60 min)

Concurrent Sessions:

Lay Evidence Can Win Your Case
Presenter: John V. Tucker, Esq.

And You Thought Your Client Was a Veteran (Impact of Military Discharges on VA Disability Claims)
Presenter: Barry Allen, Colonel, USAFR - Retired JAG
2:15 p.m.
(60 min)
Concurrent Sessions:

Environmental Exposures In Operations Iraqi & Enduring Freedom
Presenter: Kerry Baker, Accredited Claims Agent

The Veterans Benefits No One Knows About: TSGLI
Presenter: Dan Rector, Esq.& Heather Spielmaker, Esq.
3:15 p.m. BREAK
3:30 p.m. CAVC Discussion
Presenter: The Honorable Judge Alan G. Lance, Sr., CAVC
5:00 p.m. Reception & Social Hour


Saturday March 12, 2016

7:45 a.m. Breakfast & Awards Ceremony

8:15 a.m.

(60 min)

Concurrent Sessions:

Legislative, Regulatory & Outreach Update
Presenters: Glenda Herl & Diane Boyd Rauber, NOVADRO Hearings - Practical Tips & Representation
Presenter: Robert Goss, Esq.
9:15 a.m.
(90 min)
The Veteran Experience and the Future of the Appeals Experience
Presenter: James Ridgway, Board of Veterans Appeals
10:45 a.m. BREAK
11:00 a.m
(60 min)

Concurrent Sessions:

Presenter: Rebecca Wanee, Esq.

Agents Exam
Presenter: Allen Gumpenberger, Esq.

12:00 p.m. LUNCH (on your own)

1:30 p.m.

(60 min)

Concurrent Sessions:

How to Maximize Effective Dates With Informal Claims
Presenter: Kenny Dojaquez, Esq.

Appeals to the Federal Circuit
Presenter: Zachary Stolz, Esq.
2:30 p.m.
(60 min)
Concurrent Sessions:

1151 Claims
Presenter: Kenneth M. Carpenter, Esq.

The Growing Traumatic Brain Injury Scandal
Presenter: Benjamin Krause, Esq.
3:30 p.m. Closing Remarks

*This program is subject to change