SERVING THOSE WHO SERVED: NEW YORK STATE BAR
OFFERS PROGRAM ON HOW TO REPRESENT MILITARY VETERANS
Expert Panels Explore Growing Legal Needs,
Impact of Military Culture and Opportunities to Help
Addressing a growing need for veterans’ legal services, the New
York State Bar Association’s Special Committee on Veterans is
presenting a daylong program on preparing attorneys to represent
military veterans and active service members.
Experts will provide valuable insight into the culture of veterans
from military experience, to physical and psychological issues faced by
veterans, including post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and
homelessness and its impact on veterans’ legal needs.
The program will take place on Tuesday, January 24, between 9 a.m.
(registration) and 5:30 p.m. It is part of the New York State Bar
Association’s 135th Annual Meeting at the Hilton New York in
Manhattan and is open to State Bar Association members and nonmembers.
The Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program qualifies for 5 credit
hours in professional practice and 1 credit hour in ethics.
The session will highlight the success of the Buffalo Veterans
Treatment Court, the first in the nation; describe the veterans benefit
claims process; and address ethical issues involved in representing
veterans. Information will be provided about the free civil legal
services for qualifying veterans and their families through legal
services organizations and some local bar associations.
State Bar President Vincent E. Doyle III of Buffalo (Connors &
Vilardo) has made addressing the unmet legal needs of veterans a
priority of the State Bar. In 2011, he created the Special Committee on
Veterans to explore these needs and to recommend solutions. The
committee’s final report is expected to be issued in April.
President Doyle said, “More than 1 million veterans call New
York state home and that number is growing. After risking their lives
for us, too many of our brave military men and women come home facing
issues that seem overwhelming. This program will teach New York
attorneys how to help ensure that veterans do not suffer because of
their service, but instead get the legal help they deserve.”
The program includes:
9:50 – 10:00 a.m.: Introductory remarks
10:05 – 11:05 a.m.: “Understanding Military Culture and
Its Impact on Veterans’ Legal Needs”: Led by experienced
clinicians and attorneys, this panel explores military culture,
post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, depression and
their impact on providing effective legal representation to veterans.
Moderator: Karen Hennigan, co-chair, NYSBA Special Committee on
Veterans. Panelists: Tina Atherall, executive vice president, Hope
For the Warriors; Carol Davidson, director, Samaritan Village,
Inc; Col. Charles M. Grinnell, 7th Legal Support Operation; and John G.
Powers (Hancock Estabrook).
11:05 a.m. – 12:05 p.m.: “Ethical Issues that May
Arise in Representation of Veterans”: Speaker: Perry D. Krinsky
12:15 – 12:45 p.m.: “Understanding Veterans’ Rights
Under USERRA”: Speaker: Greg T. Rinckey, (Tully Rinckey).
12:45 - 1:45 p.m.: Luncheon speaker: Jack L. Rives, former
Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Air Force, the first military
attorney to serve in the three-star rank as lieutenant general. He is
currently executive director of the American Bar Association.
1:45 - 3:15 p.m.: “A Primer on Veterans Benefit Claims”:
Speaker: Katrina J. Eagle, immediate past president of National
Organization of Veterans’ Advocates.
3:15 - 4:15 p.m.: “An Introduction to Veterans Courts and
Veteran Court Members”: The panel will discuss the veterans’
court model and some of the support services provided by the VA.
Moderator: Michael C. Lancer, co-chair, NYSBA Special Committee on
Veterans. Panelists: Judge Robert T. Russell, Jr., Buffalo Veterans
Treatment Court, and Jack O’Conner, mentor coordinator,
Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court.
4:25 – 5:30 p.m.: “Overview of Legal Services for
Veterans Provided by Legal Services Organizations and Bar
Associations”: Panelists: Carol Bockner, director of Pro Bono
Initiatives, City Bar Justice Center; Ellen C. Schell, counsel/director
of Military Families Project, The Legal Project; John G. Powers (Hancock
Estabrook); Lillian M. Moy, executive director, Legal Aid Society; and
Timothy J. Fennell, (Amdursky Pelky Fennell & Wallen).
The CLE fee will be waived for attorneys who agree to represent a
veteran pro bono in a civil legal matter referred through an identified
bar association program, volunteer lawyers project, veterans clinical
program or legal services provider. For lawyers who wish to register
online, go to www.nysba.org/veterans2012. For more
information on the Annual Meeting including complete event schedule,
registration and fees, go to www.nysba.org/AM2012.
More than 5,000 attorneys are expected to attend the weeklong Annual
The 77,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest
voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in
NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION, ONE ELK STREET, ALBANY, NY 12207 PH: (518) 463-3200 SECURE FX: (518) 463-5993