Presenter

Bernadette Valdellon

Ms. Bernadette E. Valdellon is a Staff Attorney at NVLSP assisting veterans in obtaining disability benefits related to their military service through NVLSP’s Lawyers Serving Warriors program.

Prior to joining NVLSP, Ms. Valdellon worked in the Middle East with military contingents from different countries to monitor peace treaty compliance. While earning her J.D. at Santa Clara University School of Law (2013, Certificate of International Law with Honors), she interned at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. She received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley (2007, Graduation with Distinction in General Scholarship). Ms. Valdellon is a member of the California and District of Columbia Bars.

Featured In:

  • Advocacy Strategies for Service Connection Claims based on Military Sexual Trauma (MST)

Thomas Moore

Mr. Thomas (“Tom”) Moore is the Program Manager of NVLSP’s Lawyers Serving Warriors® project. He trains lawyers and non-lawyers in the areas of military and veterans law, and mentors attorneys representing service members and veterans. He also represents veterans before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. He is a co-author of The Veterans Benefits Manual (Lexis Law Publishing).  Immediately prior to joining NVLSP in 2007, Mr. Moore served six years on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

Featured In:

  • CRSC and CRDP

JIll Davenport

Ms. Jill C. Davenport is a Staff Attorney in NVLSP’s litigation department, where she represents veterans and their survivors before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. She also mentors attorneys who volunteer for the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program, and is a co-author of the Veterans Benefits Manual, NVLSP’s 2,000-page treatise on veterans law published by LexisNexis.  Prior to joining NVLSP, Jill volunteered in the University of Alabama Elder Law Clinic, clerked for a Family Law judge, and worked on significant Collective Action cases.

Featured In:

  • Properly Evaluating Knee Disabilites

Alexis Ivory

Ms. Alexis Marie Ivory is a staff attorney with NVLSP.  She splits her time between developing training programs and conducting training sessions for veterans service officers and representing veterans and their survivors before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.  She is admitted to practice before the U.S Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and is a member of the Maryland State bar.

Prior to joining NVLSP, Ms. Ivory was counsel at The Board of Veterans’ Appeals, Department of Veterans Affairs.  During her tenure, Ms. Ivory was the VA representative at military bases in Japan and taught the VA portion of the Transition Assistance Program.

Ms. Ivory is from New York and is a graduate of The Catholic University of America (B.S. 2002), and The Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America (J.D. 2005).

Rick Spataro

Rick is the Director of Training and Publications for the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) and also serves as the Director of Outreach and Education for the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program. Rick has over a decade’s worth of experience in veterans law. In that time, he has represented hundreds of veterans before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. He also previously managed NVLSP’s Nehmer Lawsuit Division, where he assisted thousands of veterans and their survivors obtain retroactive VA benefits for their herbicide-related disabilities. Rick is also a co-author and editor of the Veterans Benefits Manual (VBM), NVLSP’s treatise on veterans law published by LexisNexis. Prior to embarking on his legal career, Rick served as a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy.

Featured In:

  • Heart Conditions
  • Rating Reductions and Severance

Mike Spinnicchia

Mike is a staff attorney in the National Veterans Legal Services Program’s (NVLSP’s) training department where he develops training programs for veterans advocates and presents on a variety of topics in veterans law, in addition to litigating cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Prior to joining the training department, Mike worked in NVLSP’s Nehmer Lawsuit Division where he assisted veterans and their survivors obtain retroactive VA benefits for their Agent Orange-related disability claims. Mike began his career in veterans law as an attorney at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. He is also a co-author of the Veterans Benefits Manual, NVLSP’s 2,000-page treatise on veterans law published by LexisNexis.

Featured In:

  • Clear and Unmistakable Error
  • TBI and PTSD Rating Issues
  • TDIU

Amy Odom

Amy is the Director of Litigation for the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP). She has represented hundreds of veterans and survivors before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, including many Gulf War Illness cases. In addition, she mentors attorneys who practice veterans law in the federal courts and is a co-editor of the Veterans Benefits Manual, NVLSP’s 2,000-page treatise on veterans law published by Lexis-Nexis.

Featured In:

  • Joint Evaluations
  • Presumption of Soundness and Presumption of Aggravation

Bart Stichman

Bart helped found the National Veterans Legal Services Project (NVLSP) in 1980 and currently serves as NVLSP’s Co-Director.  He has also served as the lead attorney in the Nehmer Agent Orange Class Action.

Featured in:

  • Agent Orange/Nehmer

Ron Abrams

Co-Director of the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) with nearly forty years of veterans law experience.

Featured in:

  • Tips on Winning IU Benefits at VA
  • Secondary Service Connection
  • Common VA Errors
  • Earlier Effective Dates