Williams & Connolly Partner Steve Raber Among Lead Attorneys Filing Petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims

July 2016

Lawyers, Fellows in the American College of Trial Lawyers, filed a petition on July 21, 2016 with the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims seeking an order requiring the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to eliminate unconstitutional delays in the VA appeals system. Included within its mission, the American College of Trial Lawyers is a leading advocate for improvements in the administration of justice in the United States.

The American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) recently adopted an initiative to assist veterans in navigating the process of appealing denials of benefits before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. ACTL Fellows are highly experienced trial attorneys who were shocked by the obstacles and delays involved in getting through the VA appeals system.

The Petition is filed on behalf of veterans against Robert A. McDonald, Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Fellows in the American College of Trial Lawyers drafted the mandamus petition and represent the Petitioners on a pro bono basis. Steve Raber joins two other College Fellows acting as lead attorneys in filing the Petition. Working with Steve on the case are partner Tom Hentoff and associates Liam Montgomery and Luke McCloud.

The Petitioners are veterans whose claims for veteran’s benefits have been denied by the VA in whole or in part. The VA has failed to process their appeals to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals in a timely manner.

The Petitioners ask the Court to hold that the VA’s delay in processing appeals violates the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution and is contrary to the Secretary’s statutory duties.

The American College of Trial Lawyers invites other veterans to join the Petition. Interested veterans may obtain information about joining by contacting VeteransPetition@wc.com.

For more information, see the ACTL press release regarding the filing and a copy of the Petition.

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