College of Law Hosts the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims for Live Oral Arguments 

The College of Law hosted the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in the Melanie Gray Memorial Courtroom on Thursday, October 27.

Professor Elizabeth Kubala, Executive Director of the Betty & Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic, Vice Dean Keith Bybee, and Gregory Block, Clerk of the Court delivered opening remarks for the event. 

During the live oral argument, a three-judge panel held oral arguments on a current case, Encarnacion v. McDonough (No. 21-1411). The case involved the interpretation of federal regulations that guide adjudication of a widow’s entitlement to disability benefits. 

Hosting the active court provided students, faculty and staff, alumni, and the local legal community with an opportunity to learn about veterans’ benefits, federal practice and administrative law.

As part of the CAVC visit, Court Judges also met with students to discuss judicial opinions and appellate advocacy. Professor Andrew Greenberg moderated the panel. Following this event, Block moderated a career panel including the attorneys from the VA’s Office of General Counsel, the attorneys representing the appellant, and the judicial law clerks at the Court. 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims is a national court of record, established under Article I of the Constitution of the United States. The court has exclusive jurisdiction to provide judicial review of final decisions by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, an entity within the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

The court provides veterans an impartial judicial forum for review of administrative decisions by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals that are adverse to the veteran-appellant’s claim of entitlement to benefits for service-connected disabilities, survivor benefits, and other benefits such as education payments and waiver of indebtedness.