Episode 009: “To the Best of my Knowledge” – The case against attorney use of VA Form 21-4138.

In a recent court appeal, the VA was relying on the unsigned and unsworn statement of a random government bureaucrat. This bureaucrat was “testifying” to the lack of existence of any evidence that my client was exposed to the herbicide agent orange. The statement provided no legal foundation: no identification who the bureaucrat was, the source of his knowledge, the basis for his expertise, etc. It was, in the end, a self-serving memorandum used by a government agency that has often allowed the phrase “non-adversarial” to mean “lack of any legal structure”. For too long, we advocates have been complicit in this practice – we have come to rely on the “informality” of the VA claims process and failed to insist on proving our client’s cases to their optimum using basic and sound evidentiary principles. A perfect example of this is  VA Form 21-4138: the most worthless VA form in the VA’s entire catalog. On…

Read more detail on Recent Administrative Law posts –

This entry was posted in Administrative law and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply