November 17, 2019
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Organizations mentioned/involved: National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP)
That court didn’t exist back in 1974, when Stichman, a Long Island native, graduated from the New York University School of Law. It wasn’t until he co-founded the National Veterans Legal Services Program in 1981 and then spent nearly a decade lobbying lawmakers that Congress created the CAVC as a court where veterans could appeal denied government benefits.
“Me and others,” Stichman said, regarding the lobbying effort. “I wasn’t solely responsible for it.”
Despite his humility, the CAVC asked Stichman to speak during its Nov. 14 event celebrating its 30th anniversary. The selection is no surprise, considering the hand Stichman has played in several crucial veterans rights’ cases over the course of his career.
Most recently, he’s helped veterans win the right to seek class action status at the CAVC, in a case that could see the Department of Veterans Affairs pay over $6 billion in improperly denied reimbursements for medical care at non-VA emergency rooms. The potential total would beat his previous high-water mark of $4.6 billion, paid out in retroactive benefits to Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange after litigation by the NVLSP.