Beware trial defense counsel

The CAAF has decided United States v. Moss.

The decision involves jurisdiction to appeal to CAAF for a Soldier who was AWOL at trial, apparently AWOL at the time the case was heard at ACCA, and AWOL at the time her appellate defense counsel petitioned CAAF.

Read the case.  It may be wise for trial defense counsel to amend the standard pre-trial advice of appellate rights to fit into the Moss decision.

Chief Judge Baker’s dissent correctly points out potential pitfalls for the trial defense counsel, as well as appellate counsel, in regard to some ethical issues.

Unfortunately, because of the dismissal, we won’t have any guidance for the trial practitioner on some serious issues when representing an AWOL client while in absentia.

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