Thanks to a jab from RealityCheck. Let’s parse the current defense information release from LTC Lakin’s defense counsel.
His previous civilian attorney complicated his case and is partially responsible for two of these charges by advising LTC Lakin to refuse to report to his superior officer.
I posted a while back about the TMLUTB defense. I think the two charges referred to above are the harder on which to establish a TMLUTB defense. I think it would be harder to convince members that the order to report needed the advice of counsel. But . . . .
I and my colleagues frequently get calls from our clients under investigation or pending charges who are told to report to the commander. The client wants to know what to do. “Don’t go” is the wrong advice. The basic advice is to go, because otherwise it is an orders violation. What you then tell the client is to remind the commander you are represented by counsel and have nothing to say about the allegations. Oftentimes a quick phone call or email can resolve what the meeting is about and serve as a reminder about impromptu interrogations. I suspect that’s the advice the current defense counsel would have given, and possibly they might have gone to the meeting with LTC Lakin.
I stick by my analysis that the defense won’t work. As to mitigation under R.C.M.1001, maybe. But I think that only works up to a point.
The defense team is now working to minimize the damage caused by this inappropriate legal advice and return LTC Lakin to his family quickly and with his medical career intact.