Recent Events

FBA Reception for Judge Advocates Big Success

The Eastern District of PA Chapter and the Vets and Military Law Section hosted a reception for Judge Advocates at Ft Indiantown Gap Community Club on Saturday July 21, 2018. 3d Cir VP Frank McGovern spoke to the attendees about the benefits of the FBA .Participants represented several branches of service, both Army and Air, active-duty Soldiers from Fort Detrick and Fort Drum, U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers, and professionals from ten states in the National Guard including Georgia, Wisconsin, Vermont, and Oregon.

“This event offered an opportunity to receive updates,” explained Past National FBA President and U.S. Army Col. Robert DeSousa, staff judge advocate for Pennsylvania, “It also allowed for the opportunity to collaborate between all components of the staff judge advocate community."

Presenters provided updates on topics including: separations and discharges, noncommissioned officer development, and the Office of Special Investigations.

Speakers at the event included: U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Anthony Carrelli, Adjutant General of Pennsylvania; U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Daniel Hill, National Guard Advisor to the Judge Advocate General and U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Christian Rofrano, Chief Counsel National Guard Bureau.

“This was a great opportunity for staff judge advocates to learn, network and build professional relationships. There is a lot of wisdom and experience in this room,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Philip Botwinik, staff judge advocate for the Georgia National Guard.

The event was recorded for Pennsylvania staff judge advocates who are presently deployed with the 28th Infantry Division in support of Operation Spartan Shield in Kuwait.

The Pennsylvania National Guard is one of the largest and most deployed National Guards in the nation.

Jobs for JAGs Seminar at Jenner & Block

The Veterans and Military Law Section recently co-sponsored, with the Judge Advocates Association, the annual Jobs for JAGs seminar. The all-day seminar was held on November 30 in the conference room at the Washington offices of Jenner & Block. It was well attended by over 70 judge advocates who will be retiring or separating from the service in the near future. These JAGs received instruction on topics such as dressing for success, resume writing and interviewing techniques. Also they participated in panel discussions on various opportunities for employment in the public and private sectors. A highlight of the day-long proceedings was a luncheon address by retired MG William K. Suter, USA,, a former deputy judge advocate general of the Army who later went on to serve as the Clerk of the United States Supreme Court.

The FBA has been involved with the Jobs for JAGs seminar since the program was started by the Pentagon Chapter nearly 25 years ago. It is held on an annual basis and routinely attracts a large number of judge advocates.

2017 Veterans Consortium Silver Anniversary Awards Banquet

Bob DeSousa and Carol Scott attended the Veterans Consortium Awards Banquet Wednesday, October 4, in Washington, DC on behalf of the Veterans and Military Law Section. Mr. DeSousa represented Honorary Host Committee Member and FBA President Kip Bollin.

Annual Meeting and Convention

The Veterans and Military Law Section was once again one of the best represented sections at the 2017 Annual Meeting and Convention in Atlanta, GA.

An Overview of Veterans Litigation for General Practitioners

The Federal Bar Association's Veteran and Military Law Section and the Federal Bar Association's Puerto Rico Chapter put together the first ever all day seminar on Veterans Administration, Ethics and Discharge Upgrade issues.  Only a top-notch, intriguing, informative, seminar could captivate and engage an audience of about 100 people - while being set ocean front on the San Juan, Puerto Rico, tropical paradise, and that is exactly what Robert DeSousa, the Chair of the Veterans and Military Law Section, and Mariano Mier-Romeu, the President of the Puerto Rico Chapter were able to orchestrate.  The speakers imparted valuable knowledge and the connections made were invaluable.  Jim Richardson, David Myers, Deborah Mitchell and Robert Chisholm each impressed upon the audience members the importance of persistence, ethical challenges and obligations, and strategies for providing the best, most comprehensive advocacy skills to potential and current clients.

Winners of the Federal Litigation Section Sholarships and Veterans Pro Bono Consortium Scholarships

Midyear Meeting

The Veterans and Military Law Section had the most leaders of any section represented at the FBA's Midyear Meeting on March 18 in Washington, D.C.! 

Executive Power in the Age of Trump

The Eastern District of Pennsylvania Chapter held a CLE on “Executive Power in the Age of Trump” on February 9, 2017, at the federal courthouse in Philadelphia.  Despite a snowstorm that morning, turnout was strong, and audience participation was lively.  Members of the panel included, pictured from left to right, Michael Moreland (professor at Villanova University Widger School of Law), moderator William M. McSwain (partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP and president of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Chapter), Mark Rahdert (professor at Temple University Beasley School of Law), and Scott Coffina (senior deputy chief counsel to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie).

Widener University Veterans Day Ceremony

The Veteran’s and Military Law Section (VMLS)  of the Federal Bar Association in conjunction with Widener Commonwealth Law School hosted a CLE and Veteran appreciation ceremony at Widener’s Harrisburg Campus on Veteran’s Day.  FBA member Jon Crisp was the key CLE presenter and Past National President and VMLS Chair Bob DeSousa was the Master of Ceremonies.

Nov. 2 CLE at University of Maryland School of Law

The Veterans and Military Law Section and the Maryland State Bar Association Cosponsored a CLE at the University of Maryland on November 2, 2016. The panel, including (from L-R)  Michael May, Esq.,  J. Michael Lawlor, Esq., Michael Stone, Esq.  presented on Cultural Competency and how to talk to a client who is a veteran of the armed forces. May and Lawlor are private practitioners and veterans of the war in Vietnam. Mr. Stone is an attorney with the Homeless Persons Representation Project specializing in veterans law.

8th Annual Veterans Legal Assistance Conference

Co-sponsored by the Veterans and Military Law Section and the Maryland Chapter, June 3, 2016 at the University of Baltimore School of Law.

2016 Mid-Year Meeting

Five leaders of our VMLS along with Christian Adams, Chair of Sections and Divisions at the 2016 Mid-Year Meeting held in Washington, D.C.


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