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1990 July

Court of Veterans Appeals Issues First Major Decision

By The National Veterans Legal Services Project

The U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals' decision in Erspamer v. Derwinski gives veterans advocates a way to force the VA to take action in adjudicating claims.

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Center Releases Report on the Impact of Energy Costs on the Poor

By The National Consumer Law Center

This recently completed study offers a state-by-state analysis of energy costs confronting low-income households in relation to the average income of those households.

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Challenges to the Focus on the Crisis Component of the Energy Assistance Program

By The National Consumer Law Center

In recent years. relatively little litigation has arisen with respect to state administration of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

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Supreme Court's Zebley Decision Will Greatly Expand Eligibility for SSI Childhood Disability Benefits and Medicaid

By Jon Stein & Richard P. Weishaupt

The Supreme Court's recent decision in Sullivan v. Zebley, finding SSA's refusal to consider the functional limitations of children when assessing their eligibility for SSI was "manifestly contrary to the statute," will affect hundreds of thousands of applicants.

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The First Year of Operating a Prisoners' Legal Services Program

Part II

By Robert C. Hauhart

This article, the second of two parts. describes the first year of operation of the Prisoners' Rights Program of the District of Columbia Public Defender Service, including the types and numbers of requests for assistance, practical problems encountered early on, and the results of an ongoing audit of the program's caseload. (Part I appears in the June 1990 issue.)

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The Feminization of Poverty

Has Legal Services Failed to Respond?

By Douglas J. Besharov

This article argues that legal services programs have not recognized and responded to the increased feminization of poverty and the related increased need for assistance in family law matters, due, in large part, to priority-setting processes dominated by lawyers.

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The Limits of the Elliott Doctrine

Preserving Civil Rights Claims in the Wake of a State Agency Decision

By Yolanda Carmen Vera & Brian Lawlor

With its 1986 decision in University of Tennessee v. Elliott, the Supreme Court continued to expand the boundaries of federal preclusion rules and their application to civil rights claims; Elliott was the first case in which the Supreme Court determined what preclusive effect should be given to findings of fact made by a state administrative agency, as opposed to a state court judgment, in a later suit in federal court asserting section 1983 claims.

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