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Issue-spotting For Veteran Legal Issues CLE

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Date(s) - 03/09/2020
8:30 am - 1:00 pm

Pisgah Legal Services


Join local experts to learn what to look for regarding Social Security, and where to send the veteran if you suspect he or she is not getting the benefits they should be receiving.

8:30-9- Registration and Light Refreshments

9-10- Brandon Wilson: Resources for Indigent Veterans in NC
This topic will include housing opportunities, emergency money, transportation, and other resources, both government and private, available to indigent Veterans in Western North Carolina.

10-10:15 Break

10:15-11:15 Brian A. Buchanan: Social Security Law and Issue Spotting for Veterans
This topic will cover the general basics of Social Security and what to look for with Veterans.

11:15-11:30 Break

11:30-12:30 John Wesley Brooker: Healthcare Benefits for Veterans
This topic will include the requirements for VA healthcare and how the VA often turns away qualifying Veterans, especially Veterans with less than honorable discharges.

Brandon Wilson:

Brandon Wilson is currently serving as an Assistant Director of Service Coordination for the Veterans of the Carolinas with Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM) and is the Network Director for NC Serves Western. Prior to these roles Mr. Wilson worked for Vaya Health where he worked to bring awareness and coordination between the community and the Mental Health fields outside the Veterans Administration to better serve Veterans and their families. Previous to this position, Brandon held many positions with the North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to include Regional Veterans Service Officer, State Training Coordinator and Deputy Director of Division of Veterans Affairs. During his time in Raleigh, Brandon served on the NCDVA Senior Leadership Team and was instrumental in the transformation and restructure of agency and creation of new NC cabinet level agency of Military and Veterans Affairs, as well as the NC4Vets Resource Guide. As the State Training Coordinator Mr. Wilson created a new training platform for VSO’s which led to a 42% increase in Fully-Developed Claims leading all organizations at the VARO. He began his career as the Director of Veterans Services with Haywood County in 2009, where he implemented several new programs and non-profits to address veterans and their family members.

Brandon is a combat Marine who served in the infantry during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has served as an advisor to the Haywood County Veterans Council, NC State Veterans Commission, NC Veterans Council and served on many local and National VA committees and sub-committees. He currently serves on the state committee for Veterans with SAMHSA, the state steering committee for NC STRIVE and the Mayors Council for Veterans in Asheville, NC. Brandon is married to his wife Sara and has two daughters Daisy and Anna and resides in Waynesville, NC.

Brian A. Buchanan:

Born in 1965 in Huntington, West Virginia, Brian grew up in Spruce Pine, North Carolina.  Brian’s mother was a nurse and his father was a doctor in Spruce Pine who ran a clinic, worked in the hospital emergency room, made house calls to people in need. Brian often accompanied his parents when the house calls were after hours. Growing up in a home where taking care of others was so important continues to inspire Brian in his work representing injured and disabled people.

In the mid-1990’s, before he began representing injured people, Brian worked for an insurance defense firm in Greensboro where he amassed considerable experience in injury litigation and wrongful death. His civil litigation experience, in both state and federal courts, includes auto and trucking accidents, negligence, premises liability, product liability, eminent domain, railroad employee injuries, construction, and business disputes. He has also presented cases before the North Carolina Supreme Court and the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Brian also devotes a considerable part of his practice to representing disabled people in hearings with the Social Security Administration.

Brian’s past legal and volunteer work includes being an attorney advocate for the Mitchell County Guardian Ad Litem program from 1998-2015. Since 1995 he has been a volunteer attorney for Mitchell County Animal Rescue and he has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity in Mitchell and Yancey Counties. He has served on numerous boards including the YMCA, United Way, Spruce Pine Montessori School, and the Spruce Pine Community Hospital Ethics Committee.  He has been the Town Attorney for Bakersville, North Carolina since 1995.

Brian has a son, Jay and a daughter, Annie Jo. He and his wife Carla live in Burnsville and attend Higgins United Methodist Church.

John Wesley Booker:

John W. Brooker joined the Carolina Law faculty in 2018 following over 20 years of active duty service in the U.S. Army. He directs the Military and Veterans Law Clinic and teaches a variety of courses in the national security law field. His teaching and research interests include military criminal law, veterans law, national security law, and public international law. He is a renowned expert on the issues surrounding military discharge characterization. In addition to teaching and lecturing on this topic throughout the world, Brooker was the lead author of Beyond T.B.D., a book-length article that serves as the definitive treatise on the impact of military discharge characterization on veterans benefit eligibility. He has been awarded the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.

A native of Durham, North Carolina, Brooker attended Carolina Law pursuant to the U.S. Army Funded Legal Education Program. Following law school, he held in a variety of positions in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Most recently, he served for two years as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate for U.S. Army Africa / Southern European Task Force in Vicenza, Italy. Previously, Brooker served as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate for III Corps and Combined Task Force — Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), where he was a key leader on the deployed team that provided legal advice for military operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). His previous academic appointment was as an Associate Professor at The Judge Advocate General’s School, U.S. Army, in Charlottesville, Virginia. In that role, he created the school’s Wounded Warrior and Veterans Law portfolio.

This CLE is pending approval for three hours of general CLE credit.


Registrations are closed for this event.