General Mattis and Rep. Panetta Take Part in LSC Veterans Task Force Hearing

November 9, 2020

WASHINGTON – Rep. James Panetta (CA-20) and leaders from law and veterans services will join the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) on Tuesday, November 10, for the second field hearing of LSC’s Veterans Task Force. General Jim Mattis, former Secretary of Defense and current Senior Counselor at The Cohen Group, will provide recorded remarks. This virtual event, scheduled to commemorate Veterans Day, will begin at 11 a.m. EST. 

LSC Board Chair John G. Levi and Patrick Murphy, former Acting Army Secretary and current Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of WorkMerk, will provide welcoming remarks. Murphy was the first Iraq war veteran elected to Congress and currently serves on LSC’s Veterans Task Force. They will be joined by Rep. Panetta, who was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He has served as a board member of the Veterans Transition Center where he focused on ending veterans’ homelessness and was also instrumental in the opening of Monterey County’s first Veterans Treatment Court. Mark Crowley, General Counsel, U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, will provide an update on the committee’s work.

Following that, Robin Honeycutt will share his experience as a veteran and a graduate of the Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court, a hybrid drug and mental health court that serves veterans who are struggling with addiction or mental illness by diverting them from the traditional criminal justice system into a specialized court.

DLA Piper Partner Isabella Ord, a member of the Veterans Task Force, will also offer remarks. Her firm is providing financial and logistical support to the Task Force. LSC Board Member Abigail Lawlis Kuzma, Co-Chair of the Veterans Task Force, will update attendees on the Task Force’s work and mission.

The event features three panels.

The first, “Serving Justice-Involved Veterans,” will examine the most common interaction points veterans have with the justice system. In addition to Honeycutt, the panelists include Judi A. Green, Veterans Justice Outreach Specialist, Veterans Health Indiana; Joshua Martini, Veterans Health Indiana client; Chief Blair Myhand, Clayton North Carolina Police Department; Judge Robert T. Russell, Jr., Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court; and Swapna Yeluri, Senior Staff Attorney, Economic and Healthcare Security Practice, Legal Counsel for the Elderly. The panelists will identify successful diversion strategies and best practices for reentry planning and services. Stefanie Davis, LSC’s Senior Assistant General Counsel, will serve as moderator.

The second panel, “A Primer on Veterans Service Organizations,” will review the “big six” veterans service organizations (VSO) and explain how they have served as the bedrock of the veteran claims process. Panelists will also discuss the vast number of small VSOs and review how attorneys serving veterans can best work with these organizations. The panelists include Joe Badzmierowski, Director of Field Services, Paralyzed Veterans of America; Chuck Bosko (U.S. Army, 1SG, Ret.), Veterans Service Officer, Appeals Specialist, Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs; and Daniel Nagin, Clinical Professor of Law, Vice Dean for Experiential and Clinical Education, and Faculty Director of Wilmer Hale Legal Services Center & Veterans Legal Clinic, Harvard Law School. LSC President Ronald S. Flagg will moderate the discussion.

The final panel, “Pro Bono Engagement Strategies,” will focus on identifying best practices and effective strategies for engaging pro bono attorneys to provide legal assistance to veterans. Speakers will highlight unique pro bono programs. The panelists include Rochelle Bobroff, Pro Bono Director, National Veterans Legal Services Program; Holly Christian, Pro Bono Manager, Staff Attorney, Swords to Plowshares; Celeste Como, Associate General Counsel, Verizon; Jesse Medlong, Associate, DLA Piper; and Alexandra Srsic, Attorney, Bay Area Legal Services and Team Leader, Major General Ernest A. and Marilyn Bedke Veterans Law Center. DLA Piper Partner Richard F. Hans will serve as moderator.

Lieutenant General David D. Halverson (U.S. Army, Ret.), Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cypress International Inc., will provide closing remarks. He is Co-Chair of LSC’s Veterans Task Force.

The event will be livestreamed on LSC’s Facebook page. You can follow the conversation on Twitter with #LSCveterans.

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.