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Suspicions Confirmed!



From BVA congressional testimony on the CVAC judges’ retirement program in 1998:

Judge STANDEFER. I might just explain very briefly our organization. And that is, we're divided into four decision teams, and the four teams are: Board members and their support staffs—that is, the attorneys who help them prepare decisions; out of my office then, we have what is called a Litigation Support Unit, the two are separate—that is, the Decision Teams are separate from the Litigation Support Unit. Our General Counsel's Group 7, from time to time, in defending the Secretary of Veterans Affairs before the Court will consult with our litigation support unit seeking advice as to the best defense. We give them that advice, but that's all it is.

Mr. FILNER. Wait, wait, wait—you give them advice as to their best defense?

Judge STANDEFER. If they seek it.

Mr. FILNER. You just made the decision, presumably negative to the party, and then you're going to be involved in advice to the attorney who now takes the case to defend the decision?

Judge STANDEFER. If they seek that advice, we will give it to them based on our expertise.

Mr. FILNER. I don't have enough time here right this second, but that seems to me, again, as a layman and not an attorney, that if I were a litigant here, and I knew that the folks who just made an adverse decision on me were then involved in dealing with the next level of argument, it would seem to me that I would not be getting a fair deal here.

And, Mr. Chairman, I would like—I'll come back to it in another question round—but I would like to introduce in the record a packet of materials that, I assume, the later testifiers will refer to, a packet of correspondence between DAV and the VA, memos from the Litigation Support Division to the attorney for the VA. There are pages of very minute discussions of reactions to a draft decision line-by-line going over the matter. This is not just expurgating a record or presenting the record of decision. This is detailed advice. And it is put in a very disrespectful way, the first thing from your Litigation Support Division said refers to the veteran: ''Did this guy have two accidents in 1981 or did he only have one?''

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The BVA is a board, not a court. The CVAC is an Article I court, not a part of the VBA. What the hell's going on here?

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that's how the government works at all levels.

When you consider how congress treats our rights, the record that you quoted does not carry any surprises.

And, 'nothing' will come out of it.

U.S. Government 101.


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