Effective Strategies for Written and Oral Advocacy Before the VA (VSO)

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Presenter: Rick Spataro

Length: 112 Minutes

Recorded: March 2021


Webinar Description:

Although the VA claims process is technically non-adversarial, a veteran is much more likely to be granted benefits if his or her advocate can clearly and persuasively explain why the veteran is legally entitled to those benefits. This “argument” may be provided with the application for benefits, to a higher-level reviewer, or to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. It may be offered in writing, orally at a hearing or informal conference, or both in writing and orally. Therefore, it is critical that veterans advocates know how to find relevant legal authority, draft well-organized and persuasive written arguments, and present a compelling case at a VA hearing.

Unfortunately, many advocates are not given sufficient training on how to identify controlling law, draft written arguments, and present cases at VA hearings. They are given basic instruction, but are often left to figure it out mostly on their own. In this webinar, we will provide detailed guidance to advocates about the best ways to research veterans law, draft a written argument, and present a case at a VA hearing.

This webinar will cover:
• How to find in publicly available resources the statutes, regulations, court decisions, and other legal authority relevant to the issues in a case
• How to best organize a written argument explaining why a veteran is legally entitled to the benefits the veteran is seeking or why the VA erred in its development of the case
• Numerous tips that will keep your written presentations focused, clear, and persuasive
• Best practices for preparing for VA regional office and Board of Veterans’ Appeals hearings
• How to provide an effective presentation at both video/virtual and in-person hearings, including how to handle difficult situations
• How to address evidence unfavorable to a claim in both written argument and at a hearing
• How to use NVLSP’s Veterans Benefits Manual to research issues for written arguments and hearing presentations
• And more!