M. John Condello

Veterans Legal Analyst, M. John Condello is an attorney and veterans services officer. He serves with Diane C. Haar, Attorney at Law, and Veterans Legal Assistant Doug Zeman in meeting the VA advocacy needs of Veterans throughout Hawaii and the Pacific.

John's background is in the law, counseling and social work, ministry, and land search and rescue service.  As a young man, John served in the Civil Air Patrol (Aux. U.S.A.F.) trained under the United States Air Force in the State of Washington for land search and rescue operations.

Afterward, John attended Seattle University, spending his junior and senior years with the South West Youth Service Bureau (SWYSB).  He managed a caseload of juvenile justice diversion clients and created a choice-based crime prevention program, which was presented in assembly format to Seattle Public Schools students in grades K-12.  Over ten thousand students were served during the life of the program.  At Seattle University, John studied inter-religious dialogue, philosophy, and law, graduating Cum Laude with a degree in Criminal Justice/Police Science.

Prior to law school, John was a Senior Investigative Social Worker with the State of Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), where he focused on drug-affected infants and families. John championed the rights of his fellow workers and his clientele. However, after having served drug-addicted and dual-diagnosis clients for many years and through many changes in the law, John recognized that the laws were inept, which led directly to John's application to Gonzaga Law School in Spokane, Washington.  

At Gonzaga Law School, John worked with the University Legal Assistance (ULA) clinic where he made contact with Coeur d'Alene Tribal Elders, and in concert with his professors, became the first group to offer legal services to the People of the Coeur d'Alene Nation focusing on intense advocacy in Tribal, State, and Federal forums.  Today, Native American Legal Advocacy remains a part of Gonzaga Law School. In addition, John served as an extern for a Superior Court Judge where he helped form the first drug court in Seattle.  John graduated Cum Laude from Gonzaga University Law School.  

After passing the bar examination, John entered the University of Washington Law School and School of Marine Affairs Law and Marine Affairs program. Once there, he completed a study of the overlapping marine regimes in Washington between State, Federal, and Tribal regulatory authorities to assist intergovernmental planners set out on a course to make new marine protected areas in Washington State. He also earned his L.L.M.

After law school, John returned to his earlier work and joined the Seattle Public Defense firm, Society of Counsel Representing Accused Persons (SCRAP). Once there, John represented impoverished persons and those “at risk.” Including those languishing in jails with severe mental illness. This included Veterans, and John quickly learned how to navigate the Department of Veterans Affairs benefits system, connecting Veterans with needed services to address their Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other conditions at the root of their incarceration.  

Needing to relocate to Hawaii to care for a family member, John began working as a veterans services officer at the Hawaii Office of Veterans Services (OVS). He initially served as the “Roving Counselor,” traveling throughout the state, serving OVS offices around Hawaii, training new staff, and mentoring them into the practice of Veterans Services.  He also conducted outreach and served Veterans on Molokai and Lanai building caseloads there, as well.  His specialty while he was at OVS was Veterans Appeals, and he argued and won hundreds of appeals at the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA). Additionally, as an agent for the State of Hawaii, John claimed the bodies of deceased Veterans with no one else to claim them and arranged for their burial with military honors at the Punchbowl Cemetery of Hawaii and State Veterans' cemeteries throughout Hawaii. He became ordained as a chaplain to hold services for these men and women. Appointed to Senior Counselor (Veterans Services Coordinator) by the governor in 2013, John received the Honor of Manager of the Year from the State of Hawaii Department of Defense in 2020. He retired from the OVS in 2022, coming to join Hawaii Disability Legal Services where he remains dedicated to serving Veterans in the Pacific and ensuring they get the benefits they earned through their service.

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Hawaii Disability Legal Services, LLLC is committed to helping you obtain Social Security, SSI, and Veteran's Disability in Hawaii, the Pacific Territories, the Philippines, and other countries in the Pacific Region.

We offer a free consultation. We will gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience.

There is no fee until our attorney gets you benefits. You don't have to do this alone.