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Bar Association of San Francisco Member Benefits: Publications

SFAM: Veterans Justice CourtSan Francisco Attorney Magazine: Summer 2014

Cover Stories

  • Veterans Struggle for Dignity - A National Shame (461KB PDF)
    Leroy MacKlem is a ninety-year-old World War II veteran who was injured during military service in North Africa and Sicily. In 1944, MacKlem was awarded veterans disability benefits by the Veterans Administration (VA), but six years later the VA terminated his benefits after concluding that the earlier decision was erroneous. In 2006, he appealed the decision and the VA regional office agreed that it was wrong and that he was entitled to back benefits. However, instead of paying those benefits, the VA spent several years appealing that decision in multiple forums. Eventually, Latham & Watkins got involved, representing MacKlem in connection with an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In 2012, in a remarkably fast, forty-eight-hour decision, the court rejected all of the VA’s arguments. As a result, MacKlem is set to receive nearly $400,000 in back benefits.


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