Tag: August

Single Judge Application; the Board did not discuss the veteran’s contention that the RO’s request improperly described the contents of the record, constrained the August 2012 VA expert’s view of the file, and thereby essentially tainted the medical opinion; The Board is obligated to ensure that it provides appellants with fair process in the adjudication of their claims. See Smith v. Wilkie, 32 Vet.App. 332, 337 (2020) (citing Thurber v. Brown, 5 Vet.App. 119 (1993); Bernard v. Brown, 4 Vet.App. 384, 392-94 (1993)); In Smith, this Court held that the principle of fair process applies throughout the process of evidentiary development and is implicated when “the Board fails to procure a medical opinion in ‘an impartial, unbiased, and neutral manner’ when the opinion request contains a Board member’s own negative linkage opinion or otherwise suggests that an examiner should reach a predetermined conclusion.” Id. at 337-38 (citing Austin v. Brown, 6 Vet.App. 547, 551-52 (1994));
Dolbin v. McDonough, No. 21-2890(DATED: August 26, 2021); Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (VAIMA); Under VAIMA, appeals in RAMP are docketed in the order that they are received on a dedicated docket. Pub. L. No. 115-55, § 4(b)(3)(B)(i)(II), 131 Stat. 1105, 1121; VAIMA makes clear that RAMP operates independently of the existing “legacy” appeals system. Pub. L. No. 115-55, § 4(b)(1), 131 Stat. at 1120 (“The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may, under subsection (a)(1), carry out a program to provide the option of an alternative appeals process”); The Act also clearly sets out a first-come, first-served docketing system for RAMP appeals; Section 4(b)(3)(B) requires the Board to “maintain fully developed appeals on a separate docket than standard appeals” and to “decide fully developed appeals in the order that the fully developed appeals are received on the fully developed appeal docket.” Id. § 4(b)(3)(B)(i)(I)-(II), 131 Stat. at 1121;