U.S. Army Veteran
In a case referred by the National Veterans Legal Services Program, Sidley represented a veteran who was medically separated from service due to a back injury after nine years of service. Post-discharge, a military review board determined that he was evaluated fairly. The distinction between a “medical separation” and a “medical retirement” has significant monetary and non-monetary ramifications for a veteran. A multi-office Sidley team challenged the military board’s decision under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in federal district court in D.C., arguing that the seriousness of his injury warranted a medical retirement and that the board’s rationale for denying the retirement was unsupportable. The district court agreed, holding that the decision was arbitrary and capricious — a difficult standard in any matter, but particularly where a court is asked to second-guess military personnel decisions. The court remanded the matter to the military board to re-evaluate.
Veterans Advocacy Project / U.S. Army Veteran