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CCK Presents at Spring 2024 National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates Conference

Michael Lostritto

March 8, 2024

Updated: March 12, 2024

CCK Presents at Spring 2024 National Organization of Veterans' Advocates Conference (NOVA)

With the number of veterans disability claims and appeals reaching record highs in 2023, top veterans law firms and advocates gathered this weekend in Washington, D.C., for the National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates (NOVA) 2024 Spring Conference.  The nation’s largest veterans law firm, Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD — which has been involved in leading and supporting NOVA since the organization’s early years — delivered opening remarks and led presentations on critical topics for veterans’ advocates in 2024.

What Is NOVA?

The National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates is a not-for-profit educational membership organization comprised of attorneys and other advocates who serve the disabled veteran community.  Full-time law students, VSOs, professors, and those who are authorized to practice before VA and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims can pursue a membership.  NOVA is committed to directing its support and educational resources to those who are recognized by VA as being able to represent veterans and their families.

NOVA hosts two conferences each year where members get together to learn about the latest news and best practices in the industry.  Conferences are led by some of the most experienced practitioners in the field of veterans law.  NOVA conferences host informational sessions and presentations that explore basic to advanced topics in veterans law.  These conferences may also provide Continuing Legal Education credits, which are education requirements that attorneys from certain states must complete each year.

The Spring 2024 conference was held in Washington, D.C., from March 7-9. During the conference, CCK played a significant role, leading presentations and sharing its expertise to help empower other veterans’ advocates in their service to veterans.

CCK and NOVA: A Partnership to Benefit Veterans

For over two decades, CCK has worked with NOVA to provide resources and support to fellow veterans’ advocates. As CCK celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, the country’s largest veterans law firm is proud to look back on years of helping fellow advocates grow and thrive.

CCK Presents at Spring 2024 National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates ConferenceMembers of CCK at NOVA 2023.

From 1999 to 2004, one of CCK’s founding partners, Robert Chisholm, served as NOVA’s president.  His work on behalf of NOVA resulted in the 2006 amendment to 38 U.S.C. § 5904 that allowed veterans to hire an attorney to help them earlier in the VA benefits process.  Chisholm was inducted into the NOVA Hall of Honor in April 2016, in recognition of a lifetime of dedication, service, and leadership in the field of veterans law.

“For a public interest firm like CCK, NOVA is a special opportunity each year,” says Chisholm.  “This is a chance to reconnect with our peers and recenter on our shared mission of improving the lives of veterans who made profound sacrifices for our country.”

In addition to Chisholm, many other CCK partners and attorneys have participated annually at NOVA conferences.  The firm has presented on topics that range from representing veterans before the CAVC to navigating the electronic Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS).  Through its presentations, CCK attorneys have extended their expertise and knowledge to other veterans’ advocates with the goal of improving access to the disability benefits that veterans need and deserve.

CCK Partners and Attorneys Present to Spring 2024 NOVA Conference

The 2024 Spring NOVA Conference was held at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., located two blocks away from the White House.

On March 7, CCK partner Zachary Stolz opened the 2024 Spring NOVA conference with welcoming remarks. Stolz is Co-Chair of the NOVA Seminar Planning Committee and a former member of the Board of Directors.  Later in the conference, Stolz and fellow CCK partner Jenna Zellmer engaged in an oral argument for the NOVA audience in the case of Alexandra M. Jackson v. Denis McDonough (No. 22-3528).

Amy Odom, the Appellate Strategy Coordinator at CCK, presented with Amy Kretkowski on a two-part series discussing “Recent Court Cases and How to Use Them.”  Amy is a recurring panelist for NOVA, where she typically provides updates and analysis of recent case law.

On the second day of the conference, CCK partner Brad Hennings presented on the topic: “BVA Hearings: Why to Avoid Them and How to Navigate the Process if You Choose One.”  Hennings is currently a member of NOVA’s Congressional Committee.  Immediately prior to joining CCK, Hennings served as a Veterans Law Judge at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA), making him an invaluable resource for insights into Board cases.

Finally, CCK’s Christine Clemens presented on the “ABC’s of Service Connection” on the final day of the conference. Clemens was named a partner at CCK in 2023 and currently serves as Chair of NOVA’s Regulation Comment Committee. Clemens has served on NOVA’s Board of Directors since 2019. She currently holds the position of Vice President and formerly served as Secretary.

About CCK

Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD is one of the most vigorous law firms in the country in the field of veterans law, with 300 years of combined experience among its attorneys and over 75 VA-accredited representatives. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the public interest law firm has represented 15,000+ veterans and dependents before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and recovered more than $1 billion in benefits.  CCK has argued many precedential cases at the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, impacting thousands of veterans’ claims.

CCK is also known for its complex disability and insurance litigation practice, with a national reputation in the areas of long-term disability insurance, life insurance, and ERISA litigation.

About the Author

Bio photo of Michael Lostritto

Michael joined CCK in September of 2016 as an Attorney, was named Supervising Attorney in 2021, and now serves as a Managing Attorney. His practice focuses on the representation of disabled veterans before the Department of Veterans Affairs and the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

See more about Michael