Seminar Number



Registration Fee:


Registration Fee:




OCTOBER 16, 2013

State Bar of Georgia Headquarters
104 Marietta St. NW • Atlanta

Coastal Georgia Office - State Bar of Georgia
18 E. Bay St. • Savannah

South Georgia Office - State Bar of Georgia
244 E. Second St. • Tifton

Prerequisite Form:
All attendees must complete and submit a VA Form 21a to the Department of Veterans Affairs as a prerequisite of the accreditation process. Simply go online and print a copy of the form for your use at:

CLE Hours:
6.5 CLE Hours including 1.5 Trial Practice Hours

Military Legal Assistance Program, State Bar of Georgia;
Military/Veterans Law Section, State Bar of Georgia

Distinguished Guest Speakers:

Chief Judge Bruce E. Kasold was appointed as a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims by the President of the United States on December 13, 2003. Judge Kasold took the oath of office on December 31, 2003. He became Chief Judge on August 7, 2010.

Before his appointment to the bench, Judge Kasold served as Chief Counsel for the Secretary of the Senate and Senate Sergeant at Arms. In that non-partisan position, he advised Senate leaders on general legal matters and issues at the forefront of the of the nation's political landscape, including the electoral college, impeachment of the President, and historical management of an evenly divided Senate.

Prior to working in the Senate, Judge Kasold was a commercial and government contracts litigation attorney with the law firm Holland & Knight. Judge Kasold is also a retired United States Army Lieutenant Colonel, with service in the Air Defense Artillery and Judge Advocate General's Corps.

Patricia Hooks, JD
Regional Counsel Office of General Counsel

Patricia Hooks serves as Regional Counsel for Region 5, which is comprised of Georgia and South Carolina. She provides leadership and direction for a team of 17 attorneys and support staff. Ms. Hooks leads her team providing quality legal advice, representation and training for five Veterans Health Administration medical centers, two Veterans Benefits Association Regional Offices and other VA facilities and operations within Region 5.

From 2004 through 2007, Ms. Hooks served as Regional Director of the Southeast Region, U.S. Department of the Interior, NPS. In that role, she provided leadership, direction and supervision for legal, policy and management issues for approximately 3,000 employees and managed a budget of over $300 million. Ms. Hooks collaborated closely and spoke publicly on programs with Federal, state and local elected officials for nine southeastern states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Drew N. Early, Program Co-Chair; Chair Military/Veterans Law Section, State Bar of Georgia; Shewmaker & Shewmaker LLC, Atlanta
Patricia D. Shewmaker; Program Co-Chair; Shewmaker & Shewmaker, LLC, Atlanta
Norman E. Zoller, Program Co-Chair, Coordinating Attorney, Military Legal Assistance Program, State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta

Registration and Continental Breakfast (All attendees must check in upon arrival. A jacket or sweater is recommended.)

Welcome and Program Overview
Drew N. Early
Patricia D. Shewmaker
Norman E. Zoller


Representation before the Veterans Administration
George E. Bradford, Jr., Office of Regional Counsel, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Decatur


Basic Eligibility for VA Benefits
George E. Bradford, Jr.


VA Claims procedures, Appeals, and VA Attorneys Fees
Douglas Sullivan, McElreath & Stevens, LLC, Atlanta




Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
Victoria L. Collier, The Elder & Disability Law Firm of Victoria L Collier, P.C., Decatur

Update from the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
Hon. Bruce E. Kasold, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, Washington, DC

Lunch (Included in registration fee)

Legal Clinic Overview and Update
Cary S. King, Jacobs & King, LLC, Atlanta

Status of General Counsel Operations at VA
Patricia A. Hooks, Regional Counsel, Georgia and South Carolina, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Regional Counsel, Decatur

Overview of Georgia Department of Veterans Services
GA DVS Representative
MLAP Overview and Update
Norman Zoller
Case Law and Statute Update
Drew N. Early

Breakout Session i

Disability Compensation and VA Rating Tables
Drew N. Early

Structuring a VA Practice
Douglas Sullivan


Breakout Session Ii

VA Pension

Patty Elrod Hill, The Elrod-Hill Law Firm, LLC, Peachtree Corners

Other VA Benefits
Victoria H. Watkins, Attorney at Law, Marietta

Question and Answer session