Monday, July 25, 2011

#Tennessee Offers Online Legal Help!

Tennessee servicemembers and veterans (along with everyone else) may use the state's new OnlineTNJustice website to access volunteer lawyers online! Some restrictions apply - see OnlineTNJustice for details.

For more help in Tennessee, see

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The CFPB and JAGs: partnering to protect servicemembers

Hollister K Petraeus taking charge!
The battle to defend servicemembers and their families from financial sharks has a new development. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Judge Advocate Generals are organizing a partnership for action under the leadership of Holly Petraeus, CFPB’s Assistant Director for the Office of Servicemember Affairs.:

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau And Military’s Top Uniformed Lawyers Release Joint Statement Of Principles
July 6, 2011
Partnership Between CFPB and the Offices of the Judge Advocate Generals Will Help Better Protect Servicemembers and their Families from Unlawful Acts and Practices

WASHINGTON – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Judge Advocate Generals of the United States Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard today announced an agreement on a Joint Statement of Principles to provide stronger protections for servicemembers and their families in connection with consumer financial products and services.
The Judge Advocate Generals and the CFPB, among other things, will work together to identify potential violations of federal consumer financial laws and establish a single point of contact within the CFPB’s Enforcement Division that will allow members of the Judge Advocate Generals’ Corps to share information on consumer complaints from servicemembers and military families. In addition, the Offices of the Judge Advocate Generals and the CFPB – including its Office of Servicemember Affairs and Enforcement Division – will create a formal working group with the goal of achieving a coordinated response to unlawful conduct targeted at servicemembers and their families.
“I have worked for years trying to protect military families from predatory practices and to help raise awareness of the unique financial challenges they face – and I know the Judge Advocate Generals have been on the front lines in each of those fights,” said Hollister K. Petraeus, CFPB’s Assistant Director for the Office of Servicemember Affairs. “Servicemembers and their families sacrifice a great deal for our country and they deserve advocates who will use every available resource to protect them from financial threats. Through this partnership and our other efforts, we will work to make sure that the days of military families being easy targets for predatory practices and unscrupulous lenders are a thing of the past.”
“Too often our Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen are targeted by predatory lenders and they become victims of unfair financial practices,” said the Judge Advocate Generals in a joint statement. “This agreement recognizes the crucial role financial readiness plays in mission readiness and we look forward to partnering with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to vigorously protect servicemembers and their families from unlawful acts or practices by providers of consumer financial products or services.”
The Judge Advocate Generals and CFPB officials met today to discuss the following goals set forth in the Joint Statement:
  • Protecting servicemembers and their families from unlawful acts or practices by providers of consumer financial products or services, including through enforcement actions where necessary;
  • Creating mechanisms that enable the Offices of the Judge Advocate Generals to provide input on the Bureau’s efforts to improve the marketplace for servicemembers, their families, and law-abiding businesses;
  • Finding ways to work together as efficiently and effectively as possible to address concerns raised by servicemembers and their families about consumer financial products or services; and
  • Working with other offices in the Department of Defense to support improved financial literacy training for servicemembers and their families.
The Joint Statement of Principles was signed by: Hollister K. Petraeus, Assistant Director for the Office of Servicemember Affairs, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Richard Cordray, Assistant Director for Enforcement, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Lieutenant General Dana K. Chipman, The Judge Advocate General, United States Army; Major General Vaughn Ary, Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant, United States Marine Corps; Vice Admiral James W. Houck, The Judge Advocate General, United States Navy; Lieutenant General Richard C. Harding, The Judge Advocate General, United States Air Force; and Rear Admiral Frederick J. Kenney, The Judge Advocate General, United States Coast Guard.
Learn More:

Friday, July 15, 2011

Brain Study Seeking Veterns Injured after 1/1/2002

Pass The Word ... Do You Know A Recent Veteran With A Concussion Or Brain Injury ?

The Saint Louis University Advanced Neurosurgical Innovation Center (SANIC) is currently conducting research to determine whether the brains of persons with and without traumatic brain injury differ in a meaningful way when viewed with state-of-the-art brain imaging.

The study will involve two days of participation, which will include neurocognitive tests (tests of brain function), brain imaging, and a neurological evaluation. Participants will be paid $300 ($150/day) for their time and will receive copies of their brain imaging at no cost.
You may be eligible to participate in this study as a subject with brain injury if:
  • You have suffered a concussion or traumatic brain injury
  • Your injury occurred after January 1, 2002
  • You are a male at least 18 years of age
The hope is that the results of this study will help confirm the diagnosis of concussions and mild brain injuries and validate tools for the diagnosis and treatment of concussions and brain injuries. The research is sponsored by a grant from the Department of Defense.
If you are interested in participating, please call (314) 977-8560.
For more information, visit the TBI study website.

See Also:
I might also support female veterans who otherwise qualify to contact the study and ask to participate. Most likely they will at first refuse, but the scientists have to be put on notice that women are worth studying too!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Texas Legal Services Center’s Veterans’ Legal Assistance Project - CLE programs!

Advocates Serving Veterans is a service offered as a part of Texas Legal Services Center’s  Veterans’ Legal Assistance Project. The series will include several FREE 1 hour teleconference CLEs on a variety of topics of interest to Volunteer and Legal Services attorney serving low income veterans. 
Although they may have a Texas flare, these CLE are free to Legal Services Attorneys anywhere who are seeking to serve veterans, or to Pro Bono Attorneys serving veterans through a non-profit group or LSC organizations. 
Currently scheduled CLEs include:
  • July 11, 2011 12:00-1:00 CST- Family law, including child support
  • July 25, 2011 12:00-1:00 CST- Unemployment Insurance
  • August 8, 2011 12:00-1:00 CST- Expunctions
  • August 22, 2011, 12:00-1:00 CST- Consumer Utility Rights
 Attorneys interested in attending telephone CLE programs should contact the TLSC Veterans Legal Assistance Project at 1-512-637-5417 for dial-in codes and more information. 
More Topics and Dates Will Be Forthcoming!
More information:
About Lone Star Lawyers for Lone Star Veterans
LSLA honors Texas veterans and service members by prioritizing their unique civil legal needs through our initiative, “Lone Star Lawyers for Lone Star Veterans”. We engage LSLA staff, community partners and pro bono attorneys to provide free legal services, advocacy and education to veterans and service members. LSLA is the fourth largest legal service organization in United States; we provide free civil legal services to low income individuals and families who have immediate civil legal needs but cannot afford an attorney. LSLA offers a broad range of free civil legal services to qualifying individuals, including family matters, child advocacy, education and civil rights, public benefits, health care access, consumer issues, home ownership, tenants’ rights, employment, estate planning, probate matters and disaster relief. LSLA serves one-third of Texas, its service area spans 76 counties throughout Texas and Arkansas and includes Fort Hood, Houston and Waco, regions which have high concentrations of veterans and military families.

Additional free continuing legal education programs in support of veterans are listed at

Friday, July 8, 2011

VA Petitions for Rehearing in PTSD Case

Veterans for Common Sense reports on their PTSD lawsuit against the VA:

"On Friday, July 1, 2011, the Department of Veterans Affairs filed a petition for rehearing en banc with the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  VA's petition asks the Court of Appeals to assign a panel of eleven judges to rehear and revisit the issues previously addressed in the May 10, 2011, decision of a three-judge panel at the Court of Appeals.
That prior decision ruled, in favor of VCS and Veterans United for Truth, that VA is violating the Constitutional right of veterans to timely mental health care and service-connected disability compensation.   VCS and Veterans United for Truth have not yet filed a response to VA's petition.
The Lancet medical journal mentioned the VCS / VUFT court decision showing that VA mental health care was heavily criticized.
The San Diego Union Tribune discusses the landmark Appeals Court opinion in hopes "that the judiciary's scathing critique will spur Congress and the President to help disabled veterans immediately."
USA Today also cites the court case showing individual veterans struggles with the claims backlog." 

More Information: 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Log Cabin Republicans v. USA - Official Court Site

The 9th Circuit has created a webpage aggregating information about the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" case Log Cabin Republicans v. USA.
According to the page:
Due to the level of interest in this case, this site has been created to notify the media and public of procedures and rules for admission to proceedings, as well as access to case information.
The court is providing a special e-mail announcement service that anyone can join. Subscription is free, open to anyone, and you may subscribe or unsubscribe (join or leave) at any time.  For additional information, click here.
Here are direct links to the documents currently on the website as of 7/7/2011; for later-added documents, see Cabin Republicans v. USA.

Date Filed
Document Title
07/06/2011Order Lifting Stay
05/27/2011Appellee's/Cross-Appellant's Reply in Support of Motion to Lift Stay
05/20/2011Appellants'/Cross-Appellees' Response to Motion to Vacate Stay of Injunction
05/10/2011Appellee's/Cross-Appellant's Motion to Vacate Stay of Injunction
04/29/2011Appellants'/Cross-Appellees' Reply Brief
04/04/2011Amicus Brief by Servicemembers United
04/04/2011Amicus Brief by Forum on Military Chaplaincy et al.
04/04/2011Amicus Brief by The Palm Center
04/04/2011Amicus Brief by Asian American Justice Center et al.
04/04/2011Amicus Brief by LAMBDA Legal Defense and Education Fund et al.
03/31/2011Amicus Brief by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
03/30/2011Appellee's/Cross-Appellant's Answering Brief
03/04/2011Amicus Brief by Foundation for Moral Law
03/04/2011Amicus Brief by The Church of God of Prophecy Chaplaincy Ministries, et al.
03/04/2011Amicus Brief by The National Legal Foundation
02/25/2011Appellants' Opening Brief
01/28/2011Order denying motion to hold appeals in abeyance and resetting briefing schedule
01/18/2011Order temporarily suspending briefing
01/14/2011Appellants'/Cross-Appellees' Reply to Response to Motion to hold appeals in abeyance
01/13/2011Appellee's/Cross-Appellant's Amended Response to Motion to hold appeals in abeyance
12/29/2010Appellants'/Cross-Appellee's Motion to hold appeals in abeyance
12/01/2010Order granting in part joint motion to expedite
11/24/2010Joint motion to expedite case
11/19/2010Motion to expedite case
11/12/2010Supreme Court Order Denying Application to Vacate Stay
11/01/2010Order Granting Stay
10/25/2010Appellee's Motion to Exceed Page Limit on Response to Emergency Motion for Stay
10/25/2010Appellee's Response to Emergency Motion for Stay
10/20/2010Opposition to Request for Temporary Stay