Congressman Greg Steube Joins LSC’s Veterans Task Force for Inaugural Field Hearing

September 16, 2020

WASHINGTON – Rep. Greg Steube (FL-17) and leaders from law, health care and veterans services will join the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) on Monday, September 21, for the inaugural field hearing of LSC’s Veterans Task Force. The virtual hearing will begin at 11 a.m. EST. 

Civil legal assistance for veterans is of vital importance. LSC’s 2017 Justice Gap Report found that 71% of low-income households with veterans or other military personnel had experienced a civil legal problem within the past year. The most recent U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs annual survey of homeless veterans found that four of their top twelve unmet needs involve legal assistance. An additional four of the highest unmet needs frequently have a legal component.

For veterans struggling with foreclosures, evictions, wrongful denials of benefits and other problems, local legal aid offices act as a critical gateway for help. Nearly 1.7 million veterans are eligible for LSC-funded legal aid.

LSC's Veterans Task Force is working to increase access to justice for veterans. Monday’s field hearing will explore how legal aid can remove barriers to veterans’ well-being and financial stability. 

LSC Board Chair John G. Levi and DLA Piper Pro Bono Partner Lisa Dewey will offer opening remarks. DLA Piper is providing financial and logistical support to the Task Force. LSC Board Member and Task Force Co-Chair John G. Malcolm will also provide remarks. Rep. Greg Steube (FL-17) will share his thoughts on the importance of access to justice for the country’s veterans.

The first panel, "Putting It All Together: How Coordinated Services Improve Outcomes for Veterans Experiencing Challenges," will examine how the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center and the VA Connecticut’s Errera Community Care Center effectively partner to improve outcomes for veterans receiving treatment. The panelists include Debbie Deegan, Director, Errera Community Care Center Firm, VA Connecticut Healthcare System; Darren Pruslow, Supervising Attorney, Connecticut Veterans Legal Center; and Dr. David Rosenthal, Medical Director of the Homeless Patient Aligned Care Team, VA Connecticut and Assistant Professor of General Internal Medicine, Yale Medical School. LSC President Ronald S. Flagg will moderate the discussion and DLA Piper Partner Jim Brogran will introduce the panelists.

The second panel, "Building Strong Community Networks for Veterans," will look at community network models to identify best practices for connecting veterans to the services they need. The panelists include John Boerstler, Executive Director, Combined Arms; Nan Heald, Executive Director, Pine Tree Legal Assistance; Francisco “Cisco” Martinez, a veteran and client of Mission United of Broward County; Stephen Moss, Partner, Holland & Knight; and Zach Zarnow, Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network and Project Manager, Illinois Equal Justice Foundation. Lara Eilhardt, Senior Attorney, Office of the General Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs, will serve as moderator and DLA Partner Rich Hans will introduce the panelists.

The final panel, “Separating from the Military and the Policy Implications of ‘Bad Paper,’” will examine how discharge classification decisions affect veterans’ access to the VA and other benefits. The panelists include Bryan Thompson, Staff Attorney, Office of General Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs; Dana Montalto, Veterans Legal Clinic, Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School; and Major Stephen Stokes, Staff Judge Advocate, Idaho National Guard. LSC Senior Assistant General Counsel Stefanie Davis will serve as moderator and DLA Partner Isabelle Ord will introduce the panelists.  

To join the hearing via Zoom, use meeting ID 933-4690-5328 and passcode 524372. The event will also be livestreamed on LSC’s Facebook page. You can follow the conversation on Twitter with #LSCveterans.

See the full agenda for the hearing below:  

Monday, September 21, 2020
Veterans Task Force Field Hearing
11:00 am -4:00 pm EST

 

11:00 am Welcoming Remarks

John G. Levi, Chairman, Board of Directors, Legal Services Corporation; Partner, Sidley Austin LLP

Lisa Dewey, Pro Bono Partner, DLA Piper 

Veterans Task Force Update and Program Overview

John G. Malcolm, Board Member, Legal Services Corporation; Co-Chair, Veterans Task Force

Remarks

The Honorable Greg Steube (FL-17)

11:45 am Putting it All Together: Coordinated Services Improve Outcomes for Veterans

Debbie Deegan, LCSW, ACSW, CPRP, Director, Errera Community Care Center Firm, VA Connecticut Healthcare System

Darren Pruslow, Supervising Attorney, Connecticut Veterans Legal Center

Dr. David Rosenthal, Medical Director of the Homeless Patient Aligned Care Team, VA Connecticut; Assistant Professor of General Internal Medicine, Yale Medical School

Moderator: Ronald S. Flagg, President, Legal Services Corporation

1:45 pm Building Strong Community Networks for Veterans

Francisco“Cisco”Martinez, Veteran Client of Mission United of Broward County

John Boerstler, Executive Director, Combined Arms

Nan Heald, Executive Director, Pine Tree Legal Assistance

Stephen Moss, Partner, Holland & Knight

Zach Zarnow, Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network Project Manager, Illinois Equal Justice Foundation

Moderator: Lara Eilhardt, Senior Attorney, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 2:55 pm Separating from the Military and the Policy Implications of “Bad Paper”

Dana Montalto, Veterans Legal Clinic, Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School

Major Stephen Stokes, Staff Judge Advocate, Idaho National Guard

Bryan Thompson, Staff Attorney, Office of General Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs

Moderator: Stefanie Davis, Senior Assistant General Counsel, Legal Services Corporation

3:55 pm Closing Remarks

Ronald S. Flagg, President, Legal Services Corporation 

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 132 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.