Military Law Blog
While in NY recently, I had the privilege of appearing on the radio show Valor Radio, which covers military and veteran’s affairs. We discussed a wide range of military legal topics, including the Bowe Bergdahl trial, the case involving the Judge Advocate General of the Navy, VADM Crawford, the contempt proceedings against BG Baker, and … Read more
If I choose the wrong attorney to defend me, can’t I just later appeal the court-martial claiming that I had a bad defense counsel?
The claim that you received ineffective assistance of counsel (IAC) is an appeal that can be made following a court-martial. However, this claim must come with evidentiary support. It is not an easy claim to make and for that reason it often is not a successful argument on appeal. Counsel are presumed competent, and the … Read more
CAAF decides Power Bars should not get you court-martialed, reversing the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals.
In August, I posted a blog about the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals decision in United States v. Pugh. See https://courtmartial3.wpengine.com/can-power-bars-get-court-martialed/. Major Pugh was charged with use of drugs, and willful dereliction of duty by consuming Strong and Kind bars, both of which contain hemp seeds, in violation of AFI 90-507. Major Pugh was … Read more
Just because there is a search warrant doesn’t mean they can search whatever they want! CAAF to hear my argument this week.
This week I am set to argue in front of the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) on behalf of my client, Captain Eppes, an Air Force officer. In this case, special agents of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) went beyond the scope of a search warrant when they searched … Read more
If at some point in your military career a commander has filed a written reprimand or non-judicial punishment in your permanent file, chances are it is still sitting in your file. It interferes with promotion and sometimes may prevent you from getting a fresh start everywhere you go. It is a problem and there is … Read more
Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces upholds judge’s suppression of cell phone evidence due to Fifth Amendment violation.
Army Sergeant (SGT) Mitchell was accused of using his cell phone to harass his wife. After SGT Mitchell was escorted to the military police station, he was read his rights. SGT Mitchell invoked his 5th Amendment right to an attorney. However, two hours after invoking his right to counsel, the police asked SGT Mitchell to … Read more
On August 25, 2017, the Department of Defense announced clarifying guidance to the Military Discharge Review Boards and Boards for Correction of Military Records for Veterans who petition for either an upgrade or a correction to their discharges based on mental health conditions, such as PTSD and TBI, that existed at the time of discharge … Read more
AFCCA finds judge erred in not admitting evidence of consensual sex following alleged sexual assault.
Recently, on 16 August 2017, the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals (AFCCA) reviewed a military judge’s decision to exclude evidence under M.R.E. 412 in United States v. Leonhardt. In this case, a female Air Force Academy cadet accused 2LT Leonhardt, a male Air Force Academy cadet, of raping her after inviting her back to … Read more
Army Court of Criminal Appeals determines that counsel have only one chance to object during closing argument.
Recently, on 5 July 2017, the Army Court of Criminal Appeals (ACCA) held that appellant, Sergeant (SGT) Kelly waived his right to claim on appeal that the government argued improperly when his defense counsel failed to object to the argument at the court-martial. In this case, SGT Kelly was accused of sexually assaulting a female … Read more
Navy-Marine Court of Criminal Appeals holds that victim’s right to not be excluded from an Article 32 hearing has limits.
Recently, in A.M. v. United States and Densford, the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals (NMCCA) reviewed a claim from an alleged sexual assault victim that she was excluded from parts of the preliminary Article 32 hearing in violation of Article 6b of the UCMJ. Under Article 6b(a)(3), the alleged victim of a UCMJ offense … Read more