Major Hasan update – is this wise

Belton, Texas, solo John Galligan, who represents Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, says he has added a close relative of Hasan’s from out of state to the defense team as of Tuesday. Hasan, the Army psychiatrist who allegedly went on a shooting spree at Fort Hood on Nov. 5, is facing a possible court martial.

Galligan says he added the relative to make it possible for that relative to visit with Hasan for more than a few hours a week and to do so without being observed and possibly videotaped by Army investigators. Galligan declines to identify the relative. reports.

Is this wise in this case.  Mil. R. Evid. 502(a)(the attorney-client privilege) extends the privilege to:image Mil. R. Evid. 502 (b)(3) defines:image

There are situations where an attorney may want to place a family member (parent/sibling) or another person on the defense team.  I have done this on occasion.  However, I think it is a situation to be used sparingly and where it is actually for the purpose of “rend[ering] legal services.”  What we don’t know from the article is why the family member was placed on the defense team, except to allow for private visits.  If this is for private visits for the case then that is fine, but if it is a ruse merely to allow private visits between the accused client and a relative and to evade various restrictions is that proper and is it wise.

I’m certain Mr. Galligan has thought this through, and my comment should not be taken to mean that I think he’s doing something improper.  But for the purpose of discussion — previous reports raised the question of counsel being denied to Major Hasan while relatives were visiting, there are restrictions on private family visits, and we have the example of some civilian attorney’s who are under investigation/prosecution for allegedly communicating information from their client to terrorists.  Whether true or not, does this possibility in the Hasan case not raise a concern?

is it wise in this case to use a family member as part of the defense team?

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