the BVA 2020 annual report identified a series of legal areas that they kept getting wrong, “such as: New and Material Evidence/New and Relevant Evidence; Traumatic Brain Injury; Lay Evidence; Presumption of Soundness and Aggravation; and AMA Refresher”.
BVA 2020 annual report
The Office of Knowledge Management (KM) ensures that Board employees receive the training needed to provide Veterans with legally accurate and timely decisions. In FY 2020, KM created targeted and agile legal training for employees based on identified QR trends. KM offered legal training on topics such as: New and Material Evidence/New and Relevant Evidence; Traumatic Brain Injury; Lay Evidence; Presumption of Soundness and Aggravation; and AMA Refresher. Legal trainings were adjusted to address new outcomes from CAVC and the Federal Circuit. KM partnered with VA’s OGC Ethics Specialty Team to provide live Hatch Act training.
The Board’s Office of Quality Review (QR) has a case review system that aims to identify objective errors that fall outside the bounds of judicial discretion in a uniform and consistent manner. Judicial discretion applies to numerous aspects of the decision process. Legitimate differences of opinion as to the outcome of an appeal, the interpretation of the law, the application of the law to the facts, or the assessment of the weight and credibility of the evidence are matters subject to the exercise of judicial discretion and generally do not fall within the definition of “error.” To maintain the statistical validity of the case review system, QR is