Yesterday, June 7, 2017, President Trump announced 11 new judicial nominees. Among those nominated were three judges for the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, also known as the CAVC or, simply, the Court.
While the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) is a part of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the CAVC is an independent federal court that is not a part of the VA. The CAVC reviews decisions made by the BVA.
The president’s CAVC nominees must be confirmed by the Senate to be appointed to the bench. CAVC judges are appointed to serve fifteen-year appointments.
Below we have copied the judge’s bios directly from the White House press release.
Michael P. Allen
If confirmed, Michael P. Allen of Florida will serve as a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Michael P. Allen serves as a Professor of Law and Director of the Veterans Law Institute at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida, where he teaches courses in civil and constitutional law, as well as veterans’ benefits law. Professor Allen is a recognized expert on the law of veterans’ benefits and has testified before Congress and published widely in the field. Before joining the Stetson law faculty sixteen years ago, Professor Allen spent nine years as a civil trial attorney at the law firm Ropes & Gray in Boston, Massachusetts. Professor Allen received his B.A. in American history and political science, summa cum laude, from the University of Rochester, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and his J.D. from the Columbia University School of Law, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.
Professor Allen’s 2009 article titled “The United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims at Twenty: A Proposal for a Legislative Commission to Consider Its Future” was quoted in the recent Monk v. Shulkin decision which requires the CAVC to hear class action lawsuits.
Amanda L. Meredith
If confirmed, Amanda L. Meredith of Virginia will serve as a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Amanda L. Meredith serves as the deputy staff director and general counsel of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, chaired by Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia. She previously served as general counsel to the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and as benefits counsel to Ranking Member Richard Burr of North Carolina and Ranking Member Larry Craig of Idaho. Prior to her service on the Committee, Ms. Meredith served as director of the Task Force for Backlog Reduction for the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and as a law clerk and executive attorney to Chief Judge Kenneth Kramer, United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Ms. Meredith received her B.S. from the State University of New York at Buffalo, summa cum laude, and her J.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo, magna cum laude, where she was a member of the Buffalo Law Review.
Joseph L. Toth
If confirmed, Joseph L. Toth of Wisconsin will serve as a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Joseph L. Toth is a veteran of the Judge Advocate General Corps of the United States Navy. In 2011, he served as a field officer in the Rule of Law Field Force Afghanistan (ROLFF-A), where he was stationed with the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division in the Zhari District of Afghanistan. In Zhari, Mr. Toth partnered with Afghan prosecutors to establish the rule of law in the district where the Taliban was formed, and he was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal for his service. He also served as Senior Defense Counsel in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where he defended Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guard personnel at courts-martial. Following his military service, Mr. Toth clerked for Judge Daniel A. Manion on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Judge Robert J. Conrad of the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina. Most recently, he served as an associate Federal public defender in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mr. Toth received his B.A. from the University of Chicago and his J.D. from the Ave Maria School of Law.