Case Law (Veterans Law Cases)

Case law refers to precedential (sets a precedent)1 opinions by federal courts of appeal, which for veterans disability claims are these three courts:

  • Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
  • Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • Supreme Court of the United States

Precedential opinions by these courts are binding (must be followed) by lower courts and the Board of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

Case Law - Table of Contents - (Veterans Law)

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Case Law - Pending Veterans Law Cases

I created a new page for National Organization of Veterans Advocates, Inc. v. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, which I had discussed here as a pending case, but the Federal Circuit issued its opinion on 8 December 2020.

For concise information on this very important case, please see the new page:

NOVA v. Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Recent Case Law - Veterans Law Court Decisions

Francway v. Wilkie (Fed. Cir. 2019) 

This precedential, en banc2 Federal Circuit decision clarified the VA's obligation to demonstrate a medical examiner's competence, if a veteran raises the competency issue before the Board of Veterans Appeals.

The Court's opinion has three implications for VA examiners. [Read more ...]

Veterans Law: Historically Important Cases

This section lists historically important court opinions in veterans law.

Gilbert v. Derwinski, 1 Vet. App. 49 (1990)

Gilbert v. Derwinski (1990) is a Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) case decided in 1990, soon after the Court was created by Congress. The case is important for two reasons. [Read more ....]


1.Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed. (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, March 2007), ("precedential, adj. 1. Of the nature of or constituting a precedent; providing a guide or rule for subsequent cases.")

2. Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed. (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, September 2017), ("en bancadv. and adj., Law [chiefly U.S.]. A. adv. With all ... of the judges of a court present; before or by the full bench. A sitting en banc is typically held by an appeal court in order to review decisions made by a panel of its members. Some courts [e.g. the Supreme Court of the United States] traditionally hear all cases referred to them en banc.")

Veterans Law Library

I highly recommend the Veterans Law Library, which is the best source of continually updated veterans law information—law review articles, case law, legislative proposals and new statutes, VA regulatory changes, and more. 

See also ...

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