2019 Military and Veterans Summit

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Monday, December 9, 2019

San Francisco War Memorial
Veterans Building, Room 206 & 210
401 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102

Online registration has closed. Limited space available for onsite registration.

Earn 4.0 Hours MCLE
Includes 1.0 Hour Recognition and Elimination of Bias

Schedule | Sponsors | Essential Info | Brochure | Reg Form

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Program Schedule

8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Registration Opens

Remember to come by the registration table to check in!

9:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. | Opening Remarks

Michael Blecker, Executive Director, Swords to Plowshares

9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. | Sexual Assault in the Military: Legal Problems & Remedies (1 Hour MCLE Credit)

Roughly one quarter of female service-members and one in ten male service members experience sexual assault. However, their options for legal redress are more limited than civilians’. This panel will discuss these barriers to justice, including the Feres doctrine’s bar on civil lawsuits against the military. It will also detail military processes for investigating sexual assault and describe the support services available to Military Sexual Trauma survivors.

Moderator: Justice Eileen C. Moore, California Court of Appeal


  • Danette Montoya, San Francisco VA Health Care System, San Francisco
  • LTC Adam Kazin, Chief of the Policy Branch of the Army‚Äôs Criminal Division
11:00 a.m . – 12:00 p.m. | LGBT Service-Members and Veterans Rights (1.0 Hour Recognition and Elimination of Bias)

Despite the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, discrimination against LGBT service-members is still rampant in the military. This panel will discuss the government policies and aspects of the military work environment that contribute to this discrimination. It will also describe efforts to stop this discrimination, such as litigation challenging the military transgender ban.

Moderator: Betsy Gwin, Harvard Law School


  • Robert Alexander, Swords to Plowshares
  • Peter Perkowski, OutServe/SLDN
  • Elizabeth Gill, ACLU of Northern California, LGBT & HIV Project
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Luncheon with Keynote Speaker

The program will include a luncheon presentation by Justice Ming W. Chin, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California and California Senator Thomas J. Umberg.

1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. | Discharge Upgrades: How to Restore Veteran Status and Benefits (1 Hour MCLE Credit)

Over 500,000 former service-members have other-than-honorable discharges, known as ‚Äúbad paper.‚ÄĚ In fact, the military is now issuing bad paper discharges at a higher rate than ever before. Service-members are often discharged due to behaviors stemming from traumatic experiences, such as assault or combat. Yet, under federal law, they do not qualify as ‚Äúveterans‚ÄĚ and are ineligible for VA benefits. This panel will describe the military‚Äôs discharge processes, including Court Martial proceedings, and how to petition the DOD for restoration of veteran status.

Moderator: Amanda K. Pertusati, Center for Veteran’s Advancement


  • Maureen Siedor, Swords to Plowshares
  • Margaret Kuzma, Connecticut Veterans Legal Center
  • Robert Muth, University of San Diego Law School
2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. | Veterans Law Judiciary

Speaker: Chief Judge Robert N. Davis, U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims

2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. | Federal Appellate and Class Action Litigation Panel (1 Hour MCLE Credit)

The last few years have brought considerable changes in the legal landscape for service-members and veterans. Class actions against the DOD and the VA are on the rise, and appeals cases are reshaping important precedent. This panel will discuss the latest litigation developments, as well as share strategies for bringing an effective case in federal court.

Moderator: Rose Carmen Goldberg, Formerly of Swords to Plowshares


  • Bart Stichman, National Veterans Legal Services Program
  • Michael J. Wishnie, Yale Law School
  • Adam Zimmerman, Loyola Law School
3:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Legislative Update

Speaker: Colonel Don Christensen, Protect Our Defenders

Swords to Plowshares

Brewer Law

Burnham Brown


Essential Information

Registration Fees

  • $100 for Litigation Section Members
  • $195 for Non-Section Members
    (includes enrollment in the Litigation Section for 2020)
  • $50 for Law Students (Non-attorney)
  • $85 for Government/Non-profit Lawyers

How to Register

  1. Register Online Here – Online registration has closed. Limited space available for onsite registration
  2. Mail completed registration and mail to:
    Program Registrations, CLA
    400 Capitol Mall, Suite 650
    Sacramento, CA 95814
  3. Email completed registration to In order to email your registration, credit card information is MANDATORY. Photocopies of checks will NOT be accepted.
  4. On-site registration will be on a space available basis. Call to confirm space availability.


In order to pre-register, your form and check, payable to California Lawyers Association, or credit card information, must be received by December 2, 2019.

Cancellations/Refund Policy

Cancellations and requests for refunds must be received in writing no later than Monday, December 2, 2019.


For registration information, call 916-516-1757. Telephone registrations will not be accepted. For program content and/or Section information, call 916-516-1750.

Special Assistance

For special assistance, please call 916-516-1750.

Program Materials

Registrants will receive a USB storage device with an electronic version of all program materials the day of the conference. Before the conference, registrants will receive a link with information on how to review and download the program materials. It may be helpful to review a program’s reference material before the class. Hard copy materials will not be available. This website is not available to the public, and access is given only to conference registrants. Late breaking supplemental materials not available before the conference will be added at a later date.

This event may be recorded. By attending this event, you consent to be photographed, filmed, and/or otherwise re-corded, and to any use, by the CLA, of your likeness, voice, and name in any and all media including social media. If you do not want your name or photo to be used, please let us know in advance. We cannot, however, honor requests to opt out of the use of your image or voice if you choose to ask a question during one of the event sessions.

The California Lawyers Association is an approved State Bar of California MCLE Provider.

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Select Section(s)

CLA Membership is $99 and includes one section. Additional sections are $99 each.