New Army Lawyer

The September Army Lawyer is online.

There are five articles of interest to MJ practitioners.

Army Review Boards and Military Personnel Law Practice and Procedure, this is by Jan Serene, he is a master of these issues so civilian practitioners can gain some good insight here.

Non-Deployable: The Court-Martial System in Combat from 2001 to 2009

Narrowing the Doorway: What Constitutes a Crimen Falsi Conviction under Revised Military Rule of Evidence 609(a)(2)?  Interesting, but, “Although witnesses with prior military or civilian convictions are less common in military practice;” I would suggest rare.  This is an issue that is so infrequent that you really need to sit down and do some current and in depth research.  I appreciate the nice listing as an attachment at the end, a good start. Of course something might not be admissible under this rule but admissible under another.

A View from the Bench: A Military Judge’s Perspective on Objections; a nice primer on the basics.  Now if we could just get counsel to follow it.  I would have liked a little more emphasis on the motions in-limine practice.  I use MiL aggressively.  I do this because I’m not always confident the prosecution will properly prepare their witnesses in advance of trial to avoid clearly objectionable matter, properly used they can restrict the prosecution case, and there are times (like an Article 32, UCMJ, hearing) that they can be educational for the client.  I will say that my preference is to cite the rule number rather than the type of objection.  Generally I prefer the members not know the specific objection.  So I think it is quite proper to say “object – 801.”  Say 801 so as not to confuse the MJ into thinking you want an R.C.M. 802 session.  I must say I wasn’t familiar with the “Gateway to Practice” program.  But that seems a good idea.  And of course you should always network with other counsel about the MJ if it is someone you have not practiced in front of.  They do it for us, we can do it for them.  If you are military counsel for a civilian counsel and you know that the civilian has not practiced in front of this MJ before (because you have asked to ensure a fully informed team), don’t be shy about giving up the gouge on the MJ.

The Case Review Committee: Purpose, Players, and Pitfalls.  Ah yes, the program intended to garner additional information for a conviction.  Anyone accused of something that may be in the FAP is well advised not to cooperate without first talking with counsel.  There is a great deal of misapprehension about what this program is among those “clients” of the program.  They seem to think it’s there to help them.  They don’t seem to realize the impact or import of an NCIS, CID agent being a member of the FAP/CRC.  They can say what they like, the CRC and FAP is an investigative arm of law enforcement and the command.  I do not see the article address a common problem.  The case is in FAP and the court-martial process and the accused is represented by counsel – yet the FAP and CRC continue their activities without consulting counsel.  Focus on page 49, Statements, after reading the authors discussion there should be no confusion that a person accused or suspected of something within FAP/CRC jurisdiction should be keeping their mouth tightly shut.