experienced military law representation

Military cases

Navigating the intricate landscape of military law demands seasoned professionals with a profound understanding of case law, statutes, and regulations governing military personnel. At our firm, two of our three lawyers are not just civilian attorneys; they are certified judge advocates with extensive experience practicing in military jurisdictions worldwide. Having served as prosecutors, defense counsel, trial judges, and appellate judges, our team possesses unparalleled familiarity with both the military justice and administrative systems.

Our expertise

1. Trials

We represent clients at all phases of the military justice system. We have experience representing clients at general courts-martial (felony-type courts), special courts-martial (misdemeanor-type courts), and summary courts-martial (a unique military court), as well as preliminary hearings under Article 32, Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

Servicemembers being tried by court-martial are entitled to an assigned military defense counsel provided without charge by the service (called “detailed counsel”). However, they also may hire civilian counsel at their own expense. Our lawyers are experienced in representing servicemembers from the very beginning of their cases. We conduct a thorough investigation of the facts and the applicable law, which helps us negotiate with the command to prevent charges, or get charges dismissed or reduced. If the case proceeds to trial, we are prepared to take on the Government at every turn. We represent enlisted and officer members at courts-martial around the globe.

2. appeals

After a court-martial conviction, servicemembers have a right to ask a military appellate court to consider whether they got a fair trial. Their case files are sent to the appropriate service Court of Criminal Appeals: the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals (AFCCA), Army Court of Criminal Appeals (ACCA), Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals (CGCCA), or Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals (NMCCA). After the service court decides the case, the losing party may petition the highest military court, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) (formerly the Court of Military Appeals, or COMA) for discretionary review.

Servicemembers are entitled to a free military appellate defense counsel who will be assigned to the appeal, but may hire civilian counsel if they so choose. Our lawyers have extensive experience researching and preparing the written briefs submitted to the Courts, as well as orally arguing cases at all of these appellate courts.

3. administrative matters

Sometimes when servicemembers are accused of misconduct, the military attempts to “fire” them by involuntarily administratively separating them (officers are processed this way at Boards of Inquiry (BOIs)). In some situations, this is done just by submitting paperwork. However, under many circumstances, including when the servicemember has enough years of service or where the command attempts to separate the servicemember with an Other than Honorable Discharge, a hearing may be required. Our lawyers are experienced in handling these contested administrative separation hearings and work hard to get a favorable result. This could be retention in the service or a more favorable characterization of service than the command seeks.

We also handle other administrative matters including, but not limited to discharge upgrades, medical separation processing, promotion and non-selection for promotion issues, security clearance matters, and fitness report/performance evaluation appeals.

Significant military cases

Below you will find real examples of our lawyers making a difference in people’s lives. We have fought at trial, on appeal, or in a writ of habeas corpus for each individual or organization listed, among many others. Each case is different, and we cannot predict or guarantee a result in any particular case. However, below are examples of some of the most difficult cases we have handled:

  • Petition for relief granted, overturning airman’s discharge and reinstating her to active duty (Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records, Washington, D.C.)
  • Client cleared by military investigation of murder and civil rights violation (Camp Pendleton, California)
  • Court-martial, rape charge dismissed at trial after motion to suppress granted (Fort Hood, Texas)
  • Court-martial, acquitted at re-trial of rape (Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, Texas)
  • Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, attempted premeditated murder conviction reversed on appeal (Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa, Japan)
  • Court-martial, twenty-seven specifications of criminal charges dismissed after Article 32 preliminary hearing (Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, Texas)
  • Court-martial, homicide of Iraqi prisoner charge dismissed after 6 day Article 32 preliminary hearing (Camp Pendleton, California)
  • Court-martial, acquitted at trial of violating a direct order, dereliction of duty, and false official statements (Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California)
  • Court-martial, twelve specifications of distribution of controlled substances, false statement, and obstruction of justice dismissed on first day of trial, acquitted of four specifications of violating a direct order, dereliction of duty, and conduct unbecoming an officer (Fort Polk, Louisiana)
  • Court-martial, acquitted of rape and indecent acts (Fort Polk, Louisiana)
  • Court-martial, client originally charged with murder of Iraqi civilians, withdrawn after 8-day Article 32 hearing; four specifications of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon, and reckless endangerment, dismissed with prejudice on first day of trial (Camp Pendleton, California)
  • Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, carnal knowledge and sodomy with a child convictions reversed on appeal for unlawful command influence, charges dismissed on retrial (Hill Air Force Base, Utah)
  • Application for relief granted, overturning demotion of senior Staff Noncommissioned Officer in Texas Air National Guard and restoring retirement pay at his highest rank (Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records, Washington, D.C.)
  • Investigation of Army officer for allegation of rape, no charges filed (Fort Hood, Texas)
  • Court-martial, acquitted at trial of all charges and specifications of sexual assault and conduct unbecoming an officer (Marine Forces Reserve, New Orleans, Louisiana)
  • Discharge upgraded from “under other than honorable conditions” to “uncharacterized” (Naval Discharge Review Board)
  • Discharge upgraded from “under other than honorable conditions” to “general, under honorable conditions” (Naval Discharge Review Board)
  • Court-martial, sexual assault charges not referred to trial after Article 32, UCMJ pretrial hearing/investigation (Joint Base Andrews, Maryland)
  • Court-martial, preliminary hearing officer determined no probable cause; still referred to court, military judge dismissed rape charge with prejudice based on constitutional speedy trial violation (Hill Air Force Base, Utah)
  • Guilty findings with respect to sexual assault charge set aside based on factual insufficiency, resulting in an appellate acquittal (Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals)
  • Guilty findings with respect to sexual assault charge set aside based on legal error, charges dismissed after a lengthy Article 32 preliminary hearing on retrial (Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals)