The Wall Street Journal Quotes Wiggin and Dana Federal Circuit Brief in Veteran's Appeal

January 4, 2016

The Wall Street Journal recently quoted from a Wiggin and Dana amicus brief in an article about a case that could reshape how federal courts handle military veterans' appeals of disability. As the Journal noted, "A group of veterans who have each waited more than a year to have disability claims reviewed say they are being denied a right granted to most Americans – the ability to team up and bring class-action lawsuits to fight grievances." Under current rulings, veterans fighting disability decisions mount their appeals one at a time, even if they raise identical issues. And it takes an average of four years for the appeals to be resolved.

While several amicus briefs urged the Federal Circuit to find that the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims has the power to aggregate claims, the WSJ chose to mention just one of them, the brief filed by Wiggin and Dana on behalf of two of the VA's former top lawyers. The story concluded with a quote from our amicus brief: "The pool of applicants for benefits is getting bigger and sicker than ever."

The article (requiring a WSJ subscription) is available here.

The Wiggin amicus brief on behalf of two of the VA's former top lawyers was submitted by Jonathan Freiman, Chair of the Wiggin and Dana Appellate and Complex Issues Practice Group, as well as Lora Johns and Jennifer McTiernan, both of whom worked for the Veterans Legal Services Clinic as students at Yale Law School before coming to Wiggin and Dana. The Federal Circuit is expected to render a decision in the second half of 2016. Other than the amicus brief in this case, Mr. Freiman currently has three pending patent-related appeals in the Federal Circuit.