In its Oct. 6 “
Pro Bono Spotlight,” Law360 noted the role Washington, D.C., partner
John Thompson played in securing passage of legislation to help U.S. military veterans
shield disability and other Veterans Administration benefits in bankruptcy
proceedings. The article explained how Thompson and a team of lawyers came
together “to help tweak the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and protect an important
stream of benefits for millions of Americans.”
McGuireWoods and its public affairs arm, McGuireWoods Consulting, worked
pro bono on the
Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need (HAVEN) Act. The law excludes VA benefits from being counted as disposable income when
determining eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, treating them the same as
Social Security benefits.
The Law360 article detailed how Thompson and a “Tiger Team” of
lawyers rallied bipartisan support for the measure, which was enacted in
August. Team member Jay Bender described Thompson as “a bit of a
legislative geek” who could recognize almost every senator the team saw as
they made the rounds on Capitol Hill.
The article also quoted the wife of a disabled veteran who described how
the new law will help the couple save $65,000 and shorten their debt
repayment period from five years to three years.
“We couldn’t have done it without the bill,” she said.