Tod M. LeavenPartner
Tod M. Leaven was born into a family of service, both his grandfather and father served abroad in the United States Army. He went to elementary school in Asheville and returned to Asheville with his parents after graduating high school. Tod served in the United States Army from 1998 to 2004, including the initial Kosovo Occupation with the 501st Military Intelligence Battalion, 1st Armored Division, and the Iraq War with the 3rd Squadron of the 7th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division.
After his years of service, he graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of North Carolina at Asheville in 2006 and graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 2010. In law school, he served on the North Carolina Journal of Law and Technology as a staff member and as Editor-in-Chief. Tod practiced in Raleigh before returning to Asheville to work with a civil litigation firm. He joined Grimes Teich Anderson in 2014 to develop its Veterans practice.
Tod's areas of practice include Veterans' disability compensation, benefits for dependents, military discharge upgrades, VA healthcare benefits, extended care programs, education and rehabilitation, USERRA and FMLA protections for service members, assistance with Veteran-owned businesses, and wills and estates. His prior civil litigation experience includes community association law, real estate, construction, trade secrets, unfair and deceptive trade practices, copyright, business disputes, collections, negligence, medical malpractice, civil rights, and Americans with Disabilities Act claims. His transactional experience includes estate planning, trademarks, copyright, business governance advising non-profit corporations, and document review and drafting for community associations. Tod has represented both Plaintiffs and Defendants in state and federal court. He has also appeared before the North Carolina Industrial Commission.
Tod was selected for inclusion in the 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 North Carolina Super Lawyers Rising Stars® list for Military and Veterans Law.
Tod has authored and co-authored numerous publications ranging from Veterans and military affairs to intellectual property. He frequently gives lectures and CLEs on the many facets of Veterans law, specializing in advanced techniques for Veterans disability compensation. He founded and still runs the annual GTA Homeless Veteran Legal Clinic, which provides free legal services to homeless Veterans in Western North Carolina. He has been an active member and line officer with the Disabled American Veterans, Department of North Carolina. He is a member of local, state-wide, and national Veterans' advocacy groups; is an active member of the Buncombe County Bar Association’s Pro Bono Committee; and is a member of the local board of the Selective Service System. Tod currently serves as a board member on the Asheville City Noise Ordinance Appeals Board.
Tod, his wife Jessica, and their daughters Eleanor and Abigail live in Asheville.
J.D., University of North Carolina School of Law, 2010
B.S., University of North Carolina at Asheville, 2006
Summa Cum Laude, Biology Department Distinction, Outstanding Scholarship in the Humanities Award
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, 2011
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 2015
U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, 2011
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina , 2010
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, 2011
U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, 2011
Accredited to practice before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 2011
28th Judicial Bar Association
Member Since: 2012
North Carolina Bar Association
Member Since: 2011
Council Member and Chair of Communications Committee, Military and Veterans Law Section, 2017-present; Military Issues Committee, Young Lawyers Division, 2011-2013; Military & Veterans Affairs Committee, 2015-2017
Grimes Teich Anderson Homeless Veterans Legal Clinic
Member Since: 2016
Founder and Lead Supervising Attorney, 2016-present
The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program
Member Since: 2017
Volunteer Attorney, 2017-present
Buncombe County Veterans Treatment Court
Member Since: 2014
Steering Committee, 2015
North Carolina Veterans Legal Representation Network
Member Since: 2011
Advisory Committee, 2011-2017
Disabled American Veterans
Member Since: 2013
Senior Vice Commander; 2nd Junior Vice Commander, Department of North Carolina, 2017-2018; Junior Vice Commander, NC Post 02, 2015-2017; Legislative Committee Chair, NC Post 02, 2013-2015
Veterans of Foreign Wars
Member Since: 2011
Judge Advocate, Post 9100, 2011-2012
North Carolina Journal of Law and Technology
Member Since: 2008
Staff, 2008-2009; Editor-in-Chief, 2009-2010; Board of Advisors, 2010-2015
Asheville Lyric Opera
Board of Directors, 2012-2015; Nominating and Governance Committee Chair, 2013-2015
Asheville City Noise Ordinance Appeals Board
Member Since: 2015
Board Member, 2015-present