Georgia Military Law and VA Accreditation Symposium '12

Recorded November 1, 2012

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:


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

Distinguished Guest Speakers

    Will A. Gunn, General Counsel for the Department of Veterans Affairs, was sworn in May 26, 2009. Mr. Gunn is a retired Air Force colonel, having served as a military lawyer in the Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps.

    A native of Fort Lauderdale, Mr. Gunn graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with military honors in 1980. He is a 1986 cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, he was elected President of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, the nation’s oldest student run legal services organization. In 1990, he was selected as a White House Fellow and served in the Executive Office of the President in the Office of Cabinet Affairs. He also has a Masters of Laws degree in Environmental Law from the George Washington University School of Law and a Masters of Science degree in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Mr. Gunn retired from the military in 2005 and was named President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington where he led one of the largest affiliates of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. In 2008, he founded the Gunn Law Firm to provide representation to military members and veterans in a range of administrative matters.

    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.


  • Wm. John Camp, Westmoreland, Patterson, Moseley & Hinson, Warner Robins; Chair, Military/Veterans Law Section, State Bar of Georgia

  • Norman E. Zoller, Coordinating Attorney, Military Legal Assistance Program, State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta

  • Patricia D. Shewmaker, Shewmaker & Shewmaker, LLC, Atlanta

welcome and program overview

  • Wm. John Camp

  • Norman E. Zoller

  • Patricia D. Shewmaker


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

Introduction to the Georgia Department of Veterans Services

  • George Canavaggio, Sr. Claims Counselor, Ga. Dept of Veterans Services, Decatur

  • Belinda A. Wise, USN, RET, GSDVS/Claims and Appeals Officer, Atlanta

Upgrade to Discharges

William E. Cassara, Attorney at Law, Evans

VA Claims procedures and VA Attorney Fees

Victoria L. Collier, Collier & St. Clair, LLP, Decatur

Status of U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims

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

Status of General Counsel Operations at VA (Professionalism)

Will A. Gunn, General Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC

Status of Georgia's Military Legal Assistance Program

Norman E. Zoller

Representation before the VA

Patricia A. Hooks, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Suwanee

Basic Eligibility for VA Benefits

Eric A. Ballinger, Law Office of Eric A. Ballinger, Canton

VA Appeals, VA Compensation, VA Attorney FeE

Douglas E. Sullivan, Stephen A. Friedman and Associates, PC, Atlanta

Status of the Military and Veterans Law Section

Wm. John Camp

Overview of MEB/PEB process

D. Kent Shelton, D. Kent Shelton, P.C., Austell

Case Law and Statute Update

Drew N. Early, Shewmaker & Shewmaker LLC, Atlanta