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Executive Biographies

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Ronald Abrams

Joint Executive Director

Mr. Ronald B. Abrams is a Joint Executive Director of NVLSP. He is a graduate of the Temple University (B.A. 1969), and Temple University School of Law (J.D. 1973).

Mr. Abrams began his career in 1975 in the Philadelphia regional office of the Veterans Administration, serving first as an adjudicator and then as a member of the rating board. Mr. Abrams transferred to the VA’s Central Office in 1977 as legal consultant to the Compensation and Pension Service (C&P), where he was recognized as an expert in due process.

As legal consultant to C&P, Mr. Abrams helped to draft the VA Adjudication Procedures Manual M21-1. He wrote and interpreted regulations and directives to be followed by VA staff and others, and both drafted and commented on legislation on the VA’s behalf. As part of his work, Mr. Abrams was in charge of the C&P quality review section.  While at VA Central Office, Mr. Abrams conducted national training sessions in adjudication and due process for VA staff.

Mr. Abrams has appeared on national television and testified on many occasions before the U.S. Congress on behalf of the nation’s veterans. Mr. Abrams experience working for VA gave him great insight into the VA system.  He decided to employ this knowledge as an advocate with NVLSP.  Since joining NVLSP, he has conducted hundreds of training sessions for such organizations as the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs, National Association of County Veterans Service Officers, The American Legion, the Vietnam Veterans of America, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, AMVETS, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and many state and county departments of veterans affairs. He has also conducted training sessions for many state bar associations, the Legal Services Corporation, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

He is the former editor of The Veterans Advocate, a quarterly publication on veterans’ law and advocacy, editor of the Basic Training Course in Veterans Benefits and is a co-author and editor of The Veterans Benefits Manual.

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Barton Stichman

Joint Executive Director

Mr. Barton F. Stichman is a Joint Executive Director of NVLSP, which he helped found in 1980. After earning law degrees from New York University School of Law (J.D. 1974) and Georgetown University Law Center (LLM 1975), he has devoted his entire professional legal career to helping veterans and their families get the federal veterans benefits to which they are entitled.

Over the last 38 years, Mr. Stichman has represented veterans and their families before U.S. district courts, U.S. courts of appeals, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, the Department of Veterans Affairs, military department discharge review boards and boards for correction of military records. His litigation efforts have resulted in payment of more than four billion dollars in disability and death benefits to hundreds of thousands of disabled veterans and their families.  He currently supervises the litigation efforts of NVLSP’s staff.

A major part of NVLSP’s mission is to increase the pool of effective advocates available to represent veterans and their family members by training lawyers and non-lawyers and providing educational publications to them in veterans benefits law. Over his career, Mr. Stichman has trained thousands of non-lawyer accredited veterans service officers, lawyers, and law students in this area of law. Mr. Stichman helped organize and currently serves as a trainer for the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program, a federally funded organization which has recruited and trained more than 2,000 volunteer attorneys over the last 20 years to represent those who have appealed to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims without a representative.

Mr. Stichman is a co-author of The Veterans Benefits Manual, NVLSP’s 1900-page treatise on veterans benefits law that is published annually by Lexis Law Publishing and has been distributed to thousands of veterans service officers and lawyers. He is also a co-author of The Rights of Military Personnel, and NVLSP’s Military Discharge Upgrade Manual and has written articles on veterans benefits law appearing in the Administrative Law Review, The American University Law Review, The Federal Bar News and Journal, Clearinghouse Review, and the Legal Times.

Mr. Stichman served for more than a decade as a co-chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee of the Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice of the American Bar Association, and he served as president of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association from 2004-2005.

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Evelyn Anderson

Chief Financial Officer

Ms. Evelyn J. Anderson is the Chief Financial Officer and Secretary/Treasurer for NVLSP.  As CFO, Ms. Anderson is responsible for overseeing the financial and accounting function of NVLSP, works with the Board of Directors’ audit and investment committees, supervises business operations, IT, strategic planning, human resources, etc.  Prior to joining NVLSP in 1998, Ms. Anderson served as the director of finance for the Agent Orange Class Assistance Program, a class action court settlement administered by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  In this capacity, she managed the distribution of the settlement proceeds in the form of grants made to community-based organizations and higher learning institutions nationwide.

Prior to locating to the Washington, D.C. area, Ms. Anderson served as financial manager to various organizations in New York City.  Ms. Anderson is a graduate of Antioch College.

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Richard Spataro

Director of Training and Publications

Mr. Richard V. Spataro is the Director of Training and Publications for NVLSP. He is also the Director of Outreach and Education for the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program. Mr. Spataro joined NVLSP as a law clerk in 2004 and accepted a position as a staff attorney upon his graduation from law school in 2005. He was promoted to the position of senior staff attorney in 2013. He has represented hundreds of veterans before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and has also represented veterans before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, and VA Regional Offices. He trains advocates in veterans law and mentors attorneys who participate in NVLSP’s Lawyers Serving Warriors®Program and the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program. From November 2010 to August 2015, he was also the managing attorney of NVLSP’s Nehmer Lawsuit Division. During that time, he and his team of attorneys assisted thousands of veterans and their survivors obtain retroactive VA benefits for herbicide-related disabilities under the court orders in the class action Nehmer v. U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs. 

Before embarking on his legal career, Mr. Spataro served as a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy. He earned his commission through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program at Duke University. He spent four years on active duty, serving first as the Auxiliaries Officer of the USS Vella Gulf and then as the Navigator of the USS Mount Whitney. 

Mr. Spataro is a member of the Virginia and the District of Columbia Bars. From 2010 to 2013, he served as a Vice Chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee of the Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice of the American Bar Association. 

Mr. Spataro originally hails from Malone, New York. He is a graduate of Duke University (B.A., History, 1998) and American University, Washington College of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2005). He, his wife Jessica, and their two young children live in Springfield, Virginia.

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Staff Biographies

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Patrick Berkshire

Staff Attorney

Mr. Patrick A. Berkshire is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and has been a litigation staff attorney with NVLSP since July 2011. He primarily represents veterans, dependents, and survivors before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, but has also represented individuals before the Department of Veterans Affairs. Additionally, Mr. Berkshire mentors volunteer attorneys participating in the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program. Prior to joining NVLSP, Mr. Berkshire clerked for Judge Alan G. Lance, Sr. at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Mr. Berkshire is a graduate of the University of Idaho College of Law (J.D., 2009) and the University of Washington, Seattle (B.A., 2005).

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Katy Clemens

Staff Attorney

Ms. Katy Schuman Clemens has been a litigation staff attorney with NVLSP since December 2006. In that time, she has represented many veterans, dependents and survivors before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, VA Regional Offices, and the Board for Correction of Naval Records. Ms. Clemens also trains advocates in veterans law, and mentors attorneys participating in NVLSP’s Lawyers Serving Warriors® Program as well as the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program. Ms. Clemens has devoted significant time to the Nehmer v. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs lawsuit, as well as to issues facing military sexual trauma survivors.

Prior to embarking on her legal career, Ms. Clemens was a medical assistant at Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, and worked with survivors of domestic violence with the YWCA of Salt Lake City. While in law school, Ms. Clemens was an Ella Baker intern with the Center for Constitutional Rights, a law clerk with Break the Cycle, a Crowley scholar participating in a survey of educational rights for Roma children in Romania, and co-founder of the Student Hurricane Network. Ms. Clemens also volunteered as a sexual assault and domestic violence counselor with Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.

Ms. Clemens is an active member of both the Maryland Bar and the National Lawyers Guild, where she has served on the National Executive Committee. She is also a member of the Board of the Columbia Bands, Inc. Ms. Clemens is originally from Sykesville, Maryland, and is a graduate of University of Maryland, Baltimore County (B.A., English, cum laude, 2000) and Fordham Law School (J.D., magna cum laude, 2006). 

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Christine Cote Hill

Of Counsel

Ms. Christine Cote Hill is of counsel to NVLSP. She represents veterans and survivors before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and other federal courts and trains and supervises NVLSP staff attorneys. She devotes much of her time to mentoring and advising pro bono attorneys representing veterans and survivors through NVLSP’s Lawyers Serving Warriors® program, as well as pro bono attorneys representing appellants through the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program.  She also trains advocates in veterans law.

Ms. Cote Hill has also spoken on matters related to veterans disability benefits, including as moderator/panelist of the session, Navigating the National Personnel Records Center/Joint Services RecordsResearch Center: Requesting and Searching Official Records, during the Eleventh Judicial Conference of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.  She also served on the planning committee of the Twelfth Judicial Conference of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

Ms. Cote Hill joined NVLSP in July 2005. Prior to that, she worked as an appellate litigator with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of the General Counsel, Appellate Litigation Staff. During her tenure, she worked in the United States Senate for two years as a VA Congressional Liaison, and was selected for the agency’s Regulations Re-Write Task Force. She also served as associate counsel at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.

Before moving to the Washington, D.C. area, Ms. Cote Hill was an associate at a firm in Albany, New York, specializing in criminal defense and matrimonial law. She is a graduate of the Union College (B.A., cum laude, 1994) and Albany Law School (J.D., cum laude, 1996) Honors Law and Public Policy Program, and completed the Georgetown University Legislative Studies Program.

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Jill Davenport

Staff Attorney

Ms. Jill C. Davenport is a Staff Attorney with NVLSP. She is admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and is a member of the Virginia Bar. While in law school, Ms. Davenport served on the Alabama Law Review as an Articles Editor. She also volunteered in the Elder Law Clinic, clerked for a Family Law judge, and worked on significant Collective Action cases.

Ms. Davenport is a graduate of the University of Alabama (B.A., summa cum laude, Classics, 2011) and the University of Alabama School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2014).  She and her husband live in Arlington, Virginia.

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Daniella Furey

Training Associate

Ms. Daniella Furey joined NVLSP as a Training Associate in 2013.  She works with the rest of the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Team on organizing trainings for volunteer lawyers on behalf of the Consortium. Daniella has a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from Allegheny College (2010), went on to get her Masters of Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh (2012) and holds a Social Work license in Pennsylvania.  A native to Maryland, Daniella is dedicated to Veterans’ Issues and is committed to making a difference.

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Jennifer Grunewald

Staff Attorney

Ms. Jennifer Grunewald is an attorney in NVLSP’s Nehmer Lawsuit Division. Ms. Grunewald’s work focuses on ensuring Vietnam Veterans and their beneficiaries receive benefits for disabilities and death related to exposure to Agent Orange as a part of the class action lawsuit: Nehmer v.  U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Ms. Grunewald is a graduate of University of Maryland, College Park (B.A., Psychology, magna cum laude, 2006) and the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law (J.D., 2009). During law school she was a Notes and Comments Editor on the Maryland Law Review, a member of the Student Bar Association, and also worked as a law clerk at NVLSP. After graduating from law school she clerked for Judge Emory A. Plitt, Jr., at the Circuit Court for Harford County and went on to practice civil litigation before returning to NVLSP. Ms. Grunewald is a member of the Maryland Bar. She and her husband Glenn live in Baltimore, Maryland with their two dogs.

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Tiffany Kelley

Equal Justice Works Fellow

Ms. Tiffany P. Kelley is an Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by Raytheon Company and Kirkland & Ellis LLP.  Ms. Kelley’s project involves tackling the unmet legal needs of veterans who have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder due to military sexual trauma by creating a national pro bono pilot program to represent these veterans on their disability compensation claims to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Ms. Kelley is a prior service Army Intelligence Officer and former cadre member with a Warrior Transition Unit (a unit designed to help with the healing of Soldiers who are wounded, injured, or ill). Ms. Kelley is a graduate of American University, Washington College of Law (J.D. 2014) and Hampton University (B.A., magna cum laude, 2006). 

Ms. Kelley and her husband live in Rockville, MD with their two children.

www.equaljusticeworks.org

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Raymond J. Kim

Staff Attorney

Mr. Raymond J. Kim is a staff attorney with NVLSP. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar. He originally joined NVLSP in 2014 as a Bridge Fellow from the University of Michigan Law School. 

Mr. Kim is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Pomona College (B.A. 1999), the University of Texas at Austin (Ph.D. 2008), and the University of Michigan Law School (J.D. 2014). While in law school, Mr. Kim served as a volunteer in the school’s Environmental Crimes Project and also as a student attorney in the Criminal Appellate Practice clinic. In his free time, he enjoys following the Pittsburgh Pirates and painting scale miniatures.

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Caitlin M. Milo

Staff Attorney

Ms. Caitlin M. Milo is a Staff Attorney with NVLSP.  She is admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and is a member of the Maryland Bar.  While in law school, Ms. Milo served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Florida Coastal Law Review and was awarded the Scribes Legal Writing Award and Honorable Mention in the 2012 International Association of Defense Counsel’s Legal Writing Contest. Ms. Milo also interned at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida and clerked for Justice R. Fred Lewis at the Supreme Court of Florida and Judge Timothy Corrigan at the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

Prior to joining NVLSP, Ms. Milo completed an Equal Justice Works/AmeriCorps Fellowship with the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati, where she represented veterans seeking VA benefits and facing homelessness.  Ms. Milo was also an associate attorney at Mattar Veterans Advocates, a Buffalo, New York firm that assists veterans nationwide with their appeals for benefits.  Ms. Milo is a member of the National Organization of Veterans Advocates, Amicus and Litigation Committee and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association.

Ms.Milo is a graduate of James Madison University (B.A., summa cum laude with distinction, History, 2009) and Florida Coastal School of Law (summa cum laude, 2013).  She is an active member of the Junior League of Wilmington, an organization that supports local, low-income women and children.  She and her husband, a Navy veteran, live in New Jersey.

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Thomas Moore

Program Manager/Staff Attorney

Mr. Thomas (“Tom”) Moore is the Program Manager of NVLSP’s Lawyers Serving Warriors® project. He trains lawyers and non-lawyers in the areas of military and veterans law, and mentors attorneys representing service members and veterans. He also represents veterans before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. He is a co-author of The Veterans Benefits Manual (Lexis Law Publishing).

Immediately prior to joining NVLSP in 2007, Mr. Moore served six years on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. As a judge advocate, he served as a prosecutor, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, and defense counsel in the Republic of Korea and Virginia.  Mr. Moore has continued to serve in the U.S. Army Reserve as a Senior Defense Counsel, Inspector General, and International Law Officer.  Mr. Moore currently holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Mr. Moore is admitted to the Supreme Court of Virginia (2001). He is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and the Army Court of Criminal Appeals. He is accredited by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Amy F. Odom

Director of Litigation

Ms. Amy F. Odom is the Director of Litigation for NVLSP. She is admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and is a member of the District of Columbia Bar. As Director of Litigation, Ms. Odom represents veterans and survivors before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and other federal courts and trains, develops, and supervises other NVLSP staff attorneys. Ms. Odom’s practice also involves mentoring and advising pro bono attorneys representing veterans and survivors through NVLSP’s Lawyers Serving Warriors® program, as well as pro bono attorneys representing appellants through the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program.

Ms. Odom has served as the Treasurer of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association and as Vice Chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Veterans Affairs Committee.  She has spoken on matters related to veterans disability benefits on several occasions, including as a panelist with expertise in disability ratings for orthopedic conditions during the Twelfth Judicial Conference of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and as an expert on VA benefits for disabilities caused by military sexual trauma during the University of Missouri’s School of Law Veterans Clinic Symposium in 2014. Her publications include contributions to the 2011 and 2012 editions of the Veterans Affairs Chapter of the American Bar Association’s Developments in Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, as well as to several editions of NVLSP’s Veterans Benefits Manual.

Prior to joining NVLSP in 2008, Ms. Odom served as an attorney-adviser in the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Administrative Law Judges. She is a graduate of the University of Florida Levin College of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2006), where she competed on the school’s moot court team and served as a Public Interest Fellow with the Center for Government Responsibility. Ms. Odom also earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida (B.A., Political Science, cum laude, 2003).

Ms. Odom lives in Falls Church with her husband David, who is a veteran of the United States Navy.

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Costantino (“Dean”) Panayides

Managing Attorney, Nehmer Lawsuit Division

Mr. Costantino (“Dean”) Panayides is the Managing Attorney for NVLSP’s Nehmer Lawsuit Division. He joined NVLSP in 2011 and his work has primarily focused on the class action Nehmer v. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which provides retroactive VA benefits to Vietnam veterans and their surviving family members for disabilities and deaths that are associated with Agent Orange exposure. He leads a staff of attorneys and a paralegal who are tasked with ensuring that the VA is complying with the Nehmer Court’s Orders. As part of his work on the lawsuit, Mr. Panayides has communicated with over 3,500 class members, has identified hundreds of errors, and has written over 100 letters to the U.S. Department of Justice to correct violations committed by the VA under the lawsuit. His efforts have resulted in additional VA benefits of over $20 million for our nation’s veterans and their families. In addition to his work on the Nehmer class action, Mr. Panayides represents veterans and their survivors before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims where he has successfully advocated for the vacatur of Board of Veterans’ Appeals decisions that have denied VA benefits to our veterans and their families.

Mr. Panayides grew up in Brooklyn, NY and is a lifelong public servant. His interest in veterans’ issues stretches back to his time in high school when he served as an intern to then-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, handling constituent concerns from veterans and military servicemen and women. He graduated in 2007 from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, having majored in Philosophy, Politics and Economics with minors in Psychology and Classical Studies. He received his Juris Doctor in 2010 from Boston University School of Law where he served as an Articles Editor for the Review of Banking and Financial Law and represented indigent clients in criminal court as part of his school’s Criminal Law Clinic. During his summers in law school, Mr. Panayides interned for the New York County District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau and for the New York State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo. He is a member of the New York and the District of Columbia bars.

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William Puchnick

Staff Attorney

William L. Puchnick is a litigation staff attorney at NVLSP representing veterans, dependents, and survivors before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.  Mr. Puchnick is a member of the bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and  is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh (B.A. 1984, J.D. 1987).  He has also served two judicial clerkships with the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County Pennsylvania and the Superior Court of Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh.   Mr. Puchnick has nearly two decades of experience in the field of veterans’ law.  Prior to joining NVLSP, he has worked at both the Board of Veterans’ Appeals and VA’s Office of the General Counsel as a litigation attorney. 

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Ana Reyes

Director of Development

Ms. Ana Reyes oversees NVLSP’s development and philanthropic programs, helping donors and corporations contribute to NVLSP’s work helping veterans receive the disability benefits they’ve earned and deserve.  Ms. Reyes has more than fifteen years of experience in nonprofit fundraising and management.  She has effectively developed comprehensive fundraising strategies for national, regional and local organizations supporting civil rights; community services programs for those in need; and immigrant and refugee rights. 

Prior to coming to NVLSP, Ms. Reyes held senior development positions at Advancement Project, The Hispanic Committee of Virginia, Norwalk Community Health Center, and other institutions.  Ms. Reyes is a graduate of Columbia University (B.A., Political Science).

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David Sonenshine

Staff Attorney

Mr. David M. Sonenshine is a staff attorney with NVLSP’s Lawyers Serving Warriors® Project. He mentors and advises volunteer attorneys representing service members in the military’s Disability Evaluation System and before the Board for Corrections of Military Records. Mr. Sonenshine’s practice also involves representing veterans and survivors before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Prior to joining NVLSP, Mr. Sonenshine served three years on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. As a judge advocate, he served as a military prosecutor and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Mr. Sonenshine is a graduate of the University of Florida (B.A., with Honors, 1999) and the University of South Carolina School of Law (J.D., 2004). Mr. Sonenshine is admitted to practice in South Carolina and the District of Columbia. Mr. Sonenshine and his wife Joanne live in Arlington, Virginia with their two children.

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Richard Spataro

Director of Training and Publications

Mr. Richard V. Spataro is the Director of Training and Publications for NVLSP. He is also the Director of Outreach and Education for the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program. Mr. Spataro joined NVLSP as a law clerk in 2004 and accepted a position as a staff attorney upon his graduation from law school in 2005. He was promoted to the position of senior staff attorney in 2013. He has represented hundreds of veterans before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and has also represented veterans before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, and VA Regional Offices. He trains advocates in veterans law and mentors attorneys who participate in NVLSP’s Lawyers Serving Warriors®Program and the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program. From November 2010 to August 2015, he was also the managing attorney of NVLSP’s Nehmer Lawsuit Division. During that time, he and his team of attorneys assisted thousands of veterans and their survivors obtain retroactive VA benefits for herbicide-related disabilities under the court orders in the class action Nehmer v. U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs. 

Before embarking on his legal career, Mr. Spataro served as a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy. He earned his commission through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program at Duke University. He spent four years on active duty, serving first as the Auxiliaries Officer of the USS Vella Gulf and then as the Navigator of the USS Mount Whitney. 

Mr. Spataro is a member of the Virginia and the District of Columbia Bars. From 2010 to 2013, he served as a Vice Chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee of the Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice of the American Bar Association. 

Mr. Spataro originally hails from Malone, New York. He is a graduate of Duke University (B.A., History, 1998) and American University, Washington College of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2005). He, his wife Jessica, and their two young children live in Springfield, Virginia.

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Michael Spinnicchia

Staff Attorney

Mr. Michael Spinnicchia is a staff attorney in NVLSP’s Training Department. His work entails developing training programs and conducting training sessions for veterans service officers from all across the country. He has trained service officers on a variety of topics including Agent Orange-related claims, the new substitution regulations, and claims based on clear and unmistakable error. Before moving to the Training Department, Mr. Spinnicchia worked in NVLSP’s Nehmer Lawsuit Division where he assisted veterans and their survivors obtain retroactive VA benefits for their herbicide-related disability claims. Prior to joining NVLSP, he worked as a law clerk for the Gowen Group Law Office and as an associate counsel for the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.

Mr. Spinnicchia grew up in New York State’s Capital Region and graduated from Cornell University (B.A., Economics and Government, 2007) and the American University Washington College of Law (J.D., 2012).  While in law school, he was a Note and Comment Editor for the American University Law Review, a member of the Moot Court Honor Society, and a student attorney for his school’s General Practice Clinic.  He is a member of the Massachusetts and District of Columbia bars.  Before entering law school, he was a Legal Assistant for the law firm, Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York City.  Mr. Spinnicchia currently resides in Washington, DC.

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Lane Thompson

Program Manager/Staff Attorney

Ms. E. Lane Thompson is a program manager and staff attorney with NVLSP. Ms. Thompson focuses her time on ensuring members of the Sabo and Bargsley class actions obtain the benefits they are entitled to under the law, which include proper recognition of post-traumatic stress disorder through disability ratings and proper treatment of severance pay for combat veterans. Prior to joining NVLSP, Ms. Thompson worked as an attorney in the private sector. In addition to veterans’ affairs matters, Ms. Thompson has experience in complex commercial litigation, business transactions, and healthcare law. Ms. Thompson is a member of the Virginia and the District of Columbia Bars.

Ms. Thompson is a graduate of the College of William & Mary (B.A., Government and International Relations, cum laude, 2004) and the University of Texas at Austin School of Law (J.D., 2007). She is an active civic volunteer and contributes much of her spare time and energy to the activities of her local American Legion Post, where she is President of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit.  Ms. Thompson and her husband Eli live in Maryland with their three dogs, two birds, and cat.

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Stacy Tromble

Staff Attorney

Ms. Stacy Tromble is a Staff Attorney with NVLSP.   She is admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and is licensed to practice in the State of New York, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia.  Ms. Tromble is also a member of the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States and is admitted to practice in several federal districts.

Prior to joining NVLSP, Ms. Tromble was a senior associate in the government enforcement group of a large international law firm.  Her pro bono work at the firm focused on veteran and family law matters. Ms. Tromble earned her law degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo (J.D., summa cum laude, 2007).  She also holds a Master of Social Work degree with a mental health concentration.

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Bernadette E. Valdellon

Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow

Ms. Bernadette E. Valdellon is an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow at NVLSP assisting veterans in obtaining disability benefits related to their military service through NVLSP’s Lawyers Serving Warriors program.

Prior to joining NVLSP, Ms. Valdellon worked in the Middle East with military contingents from different countries to monitor peace treaty compliance. While earning her J.D. at Santa Clara University School of Law (2013, Certificate of International Law with Honors), she interned at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. She received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley (2007, Graduation with Distinction in General Scholarship). Ms.Valdellon is a member of the California Bar.

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