NLSVCC and Mizzou Law School Veterans Clinic File Amicus Brief in Important Class Action Appeal for Veterans

March 6, 2019

In Monk v. Wilkie, plaintiff Conley Monk filed an action seeking class certification for veterans based on the extraordinarily long time it takes VA to adjudicate disability appeals. Monk sought to represent veterans who have waited longer than one year for their appeal to be decided. The Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) originally denied Monk’s request for class certification. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that the CAVC does have the authority to certify and adjudicate class action lawsuits. Following remand, the CAVC ruled that the Monk case presented too many individual issues for class certification. Following this decision, Monk appealed again to the Federal Circuit. The National Law School Veterans Clinic Consortium and the Mizzou Law School Veterans Clinic filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiff that focuses on the history and purpose of Subsection (b)(2) of Federal Rule of Procedure 23, addresses key tenets in federal veterans’ benefits law, and demonstrates that other procedures, including precedential opinions, do not provide relief to veterans. The parties are awaiting a decision by the Federal Circuit on the appeal.