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Ballot Available for 2023-24 Election: Votes due by 9/8/23

Please send an email to cavcbarassoc@gmail.com with your vote; please indicate the names of the candidates you are voting for, as well as your name in the body of the email, with "Election Ballot" in the subject line.


Only dues-paid members may vote. CAVC employees utilizing a Group Membership do not have voting privileges.

Completed ballots must be received via email by Friday, September 8, 2023, by 5:00 p.m. ET. Election results will be announced at the Annual Meeting on Wednesday, September 13, 2023.


OFFICERS

President-Elect (Vote for no more than one):


____ James R. Drysdale, Senior Appellate Attorney, VA Office of General Counsel


I’m James Drysdale, and I would be honored to have your vote. After graduating cum laude from DePaul University College of Law in 2008, I joined VA’s OGC. I currently serve as a Senior Appellate Attorney in OGC’s Court of Appeals Litigation Group, and I have represented the Secretary as lead counsel in over 1,400 appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. In 2022, I completed the Leadership VA Fellowship, VA’s premier enterprise-wide leadership development program.

In 2021, I was elected to the Board of Governors of the CAVC Bar Association. As chair of the IT committee in 2022, I oversaw the design and launch of the CAVC Bar Association’s new website, cavcbarassociation.org. As a member of the programming committee, I have twice moderated the annual “VA Update” panel discussion with senior VA leaders. As President, I would embrace the role of a servant-leader and work tirelessly to increase the value of your membership. The CAVC Bar Association offers engaging and useful educational programs, and I would work to expand opportunities to earn CLE credit for those programs. The CAVC Bar Association also offers a variety of volunteer and networking opportunities, and I would work to ensure that such opportunities are available for all our geographically diverse members. Finally, I would continue to improve the CAVC Bar Association’s IT capabilities to streamline communication, membership renewal, and event registrations. These efforts would all be aimed at growing and connecting our membership to enhance the practice of Veteran’s law.


____Write In:___________________________


Secretary (Vote for no more than one):


____ Christopher Casey, Counsel, Board of Veterans’ Appeals


For the past year, I have had the pleasure of serving as the Secretary of the CAVC Bar Association. As Secretary, I have diligently performed my duties of attending and keeping minutes of the Board of Governors monthly meetings. I have also served as a member of the Law School Outreach Committee. As an employee of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals since 2017, I have also sought to foster a strong connection between the Board and the greater veterans law community. I am seeking re-election so that I may continue this work.

Prior to working at VA, I worked for the Social Security Administration for about three years, and before that I worked for about three years in the private sector, engaged in civil litigation and criminal defense. I graduated from William and Mary Law School in 2009.


____Write In:___________________________


Treasurer (Vote for no more than one):


____ Tom Susco, Senior Law Clerk for Chief Judge Margaret Bartley, Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims

I have had the pleasure of serving the Bar Association as Treasurer for the past 3 years. In that role, I have worked with the rest of the Board of Governors and with outside parties to make sure that the Bar Association remains fiscally sound and that the Bar Association's financial responsibilities are completed. I have worked to ensure that the Bar Association remains a good steward of membership dues and that it has long-term financial security and stability. I have enjoyed my time serving the Bar Association and would like to continue as Treasurer for the upcoming year. Outside the Bar Association, I have been a law clerk for the Honorable Margaret Bartley since August 2017, serving as her senior law clerk since December 2019. Prior to my time at the Court, I worked at the Board of Veterans' Appeals for 4 years. I graduated from Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis in December 2011. I also hold a doctorate of physical therapy and worked as a physical therapist for 7 years prior to pursuing a legal career.


____ Write In:__________________________


BOARD OF GOVERNORS (Vote for no more than three):


____ Jeffrey Price, Appellate Attorney, NVLSP

Jeffrey Price is an ideal nominee for an at-large position with the CAVC Bar Association Board of Governors.

Jeff is currently an appellate attorney with the National Veterans Legal Services Program. Prior to starting with NVLSP, Jeff was a partner at a litigation firm in Texas. He also volunteered with The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program, where he secured remands for multiple clients.

In addition to bringing his years of litigation knowledge and experience to the Board of Governors, Jeff would bring a personal passion for veterans law to the BOG from his military service in the Army National Guard. Jeff’s father was a Vietnam Veteran who was exposed to Agent Orange and his untimely passing from the effects of that deadly herbicide impacted Jeff and his family deeply and motivated Jeff towards his career helping veterans and their survivors.


Additionally, Jeff has already been active with the Veterans Law Journal. He has been helping with the VLJ since he joined the CAVC Bar Association in early 2022. In addition to writing several articles for the VLJ, he has also served as an assistant editor and led the effort to prepare and publish an annual index of the precedential decisions summarized in the VLJ. Jeff is excited for the chance to be elected as an at-large member of the Board of Governors and hopes to serve the BOG with the same enthusiasm and passion he brings to his practice.

____ Morgan MacIsaac-Bykowski, Associate Director of the Veterans Law Institute and Staff Attorney and Adjunct Professor for the Veterans Advocacy Clinic at Stetson University’s College of Law

Like most people in this field, I am extremely passionate about veterans law. I thoroughly enjoy teaching law students how to navigate the complexity of this area of law through real-world application. In addition to representing veterans and working with law students, I have written articles and legal updates for various publications, including the American Bar Association Health Law Section Magazine and the CAVC Bar Veterans Law Journal, on which I serve as the Editor in Chief. I actively participate in numerous amici curiae efforts with the National Law School Veterans Clinic Consortium (NLSVCC) and have worked on several Federal Circuit and Supreme Court briefs. I was recently elected to the National Law School Veterans Clinic Consortium Board and remain active in the academic community of veterans law practitioners.


I appreciate the opportunities the CAVC and CAVC Bar offer to law students and feel strongly that a member of the academic community should have a “seat at the table” in the CAVC Bar Association. I would be honored to take that seat.


I received my B.S. from Florida Southern College and my J.D. at Stetson University College of Law.



____ Mark R. Leventhal, Appellate Attorney, VA Office of General Counsel

I am very interested in serving as a Governor-at-large as I have an extremely keen interest in veteran’s law and want to ensure that the CAVC Bar Association prospers as a top-notch, first-class organization.


Mark Leventhal is an appellate attorney with VA’s Office of the General Counsel (OGC). Prior to joining OGC, he practiced complex commercial litigation in the private sector for many years. While practicing law in the private sector, he had articles published in both The Licensing Journal and in the China Economic Review. He graduated cum laude from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and graduated magna cum laude from Temple University School of Law. During law school, he was a member of the Temple Law Review, and was a summer law clerk for a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the Honorable Jane R. Roth. He is a native of the Philadelphia area. He enjoys working out, and has run 23 full marathons, and 58 half marathons.


____ David B. LeBlanc, Appellate Attorney, VA Office of General Counsel


My name is David LeBlanc, and I am an appellate attorney in VA-OGC, CALG. I am nominating myself for one of the open Governor-at-large vacancies.

I am a former Marine Reservist from Southwest Louisiana. I recently moved to Alexandria with my fiancée from New Orleans where I served as an Assistant District Attorney for over three years. I’m an avid runner, kayaker, and disc golfer. I am also a perpetual student of the law, politics, and geography.


I am interested in being a Governor-at-large because I would bring a nuanced perspective to the Board; I believe the programs and services the CAVC Bar Association provides are important; and I would like to serve the profession in a meaningful way.


I would bring a nuanced perspective because not only am I new to Veterans Law, and eager to learn, I served myself. So, I understand veteran and military culture in a meaningful way. I also practiced criminal appellate litigation in state and federal court previously, which could be beneficial to the conversation around our formulating policy. Further, the Bar Association is making an impact on the lawyers engaged in this field through its programs, and I would like to be part of that. Finally, I have a desire to serve on the Board to give back not only to the Office of General Counsel, but to the other members of the Bar who have been so professional and kind to me.


Thank you for your consideration.


____ Caitlin Biggins, Staff Attorney, CAVC Central Legal Staff


Caitlin would welcome the opportunity to engage with the Bar Association as a Governor-at-large. Caitlin is currently a staff attorney for the Court's Central Legal Staff (CLS). During her tenure in CLS Caitlin has been a part of the Trends Team since 2020, served as CLS ambassador for interns visiting the court, participated in the problem development for the National Veteran's Law Moot Court Competition, and will serve as panelist for the AMA panel at the Bar Association's upcoming Bench and Bar conference. In addition, Caitlin volunteers as a guest speaker for undergraduate law classes to encourage participation in the field of veterans' law and mediation.


Prior to working with the CAVC's CLS office, Caitlin served as an attorney-advisor at the Board of Veterans Appeals from 2015 to 2019. During her time with the Board, Caitlin worked on the specialty case team focusing on education claims. Caitlin received her undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland in and her law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law.

Due to her work engaging with the Rule 33 process, Caitlin has a unique appreciation and insight of the value of all members of the Bar working together. She has found that the Bar's collaborative events offer a great way to foster and continue positive relationships amongst participants. Caitlin seeks to further her participation with the Bar Association as a Governor-at-large.


____ Andrea MacDonald, Associate Director, Education & Programs, Bergmann & Moore


I’ve been practicing veterans law for more than a decade, both at VA and now for the private bar. Specifically, I worked at the Board for six years in various roles, including decision-drafting attorney, in the office of quality review, and on the team that drafted regulations to implement the AMA. For the last four years I’ve been at Bergmann & Moore representing Veterans in appeals before the Court, as well as conducting trainings for the firm internally and for our VSO partners. I would like to serve on the Bar Association to meet more fellow practitioners and foster ongoing collaboration. I believe we can all serve our nation’s veterans better when we understand the perspective of all parties involved.


____ Krista Johnson, Attorney Advisor, Board of Veterans’ Appeals


I feel the combination of my extensive management experience and sincere passion for helping veterans will help me be successful in this role. I have worked as an Attorney for the Board of Veterans’ Appeals since July 2020. Since my time at BVA, I have been actively involved in Leadership Initiative, a volunteer employee association, holding co-chair positions on both the Service Committee and the Remote Leadership Committee. In addition, I have participated in the Aspiring Supervisors Program, organized and directed a care package initiative for deployed troops, served as a designated mentor for 2 new attorneys, and received a “Helping Hand” award for my willingness to help others and my team spirit. Prior to my time at BVA, I owned and operated a nationwide marketing/staffing agency that assisted clients with experiential marketing needs, including organizing and directing grand opening events, in-store samplings, and on-premise activations. This role allowed me to actively participate in creating and implementing a wide variety of marketing initiatives, from inception to completion. I am eager to be more involved in CAVC and would be honored to be a part of such a stellar team!


____ Thomas Barnes, Appellate Attorney, VA Office of General Counsel


I am interested in the position of “governor-at-large” because I wish to strengthen further our small, but crucial, legal community. I believe that sincere and civil discourse, clarity and efficiency in the rules, and productive and inclusive gatherings are all cornerstones of a quality bar. Not just as a governor-at-large, but also as a veteran, I will work with my colleagues to continue growing this association.


I have practiced Veterans’ Law for four years, working at the Veterans Affairs Office of General Counsel’s Court of Appeals Litigation Group. I graduated from the University of Baltimore, School of Law, cum laude, in 2017. While at Baltimore I served as president of the veterans and military law student association, and conducted investigations into academic dishonesty as a representative on the school’s honor board. I began working on an MBA while contracting in Afghanistan in 2012, and completed the degree in 2014. Prior to pursuing higher education, I served in the United States Marine Corps from 2007 to 2011, during which time I deployed with the 6th Marine Regiment to Al-Anbar, Iraq, and was eventually honorably discharged as a sergeant. Thank you for your consideration.


____ Write In:___________________________


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