During his time as a military justice practitioner, Mr. Capovilla has received praise from clients and military officials alike as one of the most talented and charismatic trial attorneys working in military law. Mr. Capovilla has been described as, “the best trial lawyer I have seen in my 18 years as a military attorney,” “an absolute natural in the courtroom,” and, “an exceptional advocate who is cool and calm under pressure.” Mr. Capovilla has dedicated his professional career to defending service members who defend America and he has made clear his strong belief that each and every service member who is charged with a crime deserves zealous and aggressive representation.
Consider this testimonial from a GCW client:
Tuesday, August 7, 2018.
“When my husband was accused of sexual assault by 2 of his colleague’s spouses at a party, it quickly became the worst time of our lives. My husband’s command immediately took the side of the accusers subsequently punishing him for his silence with an Article 15, stripping him of his hard-earned E7 stripe, as well as docking 2 months’ half pay and sending him to a separation board, requesting an OTH discharge. We decided to stay quiet, and in addition to the ADC appointed to him, we hired Mr. Capovilla immediately.
He was stunned to hear the details of my husband’s case, and I was impressed with his level of confidence to take on a case with 2 female accusers. It was clear from the beginning that he believed my husband and had our best interests at heart. He admitted it wouldn’t be easy, as having 2 accusers significantly increases chances of conviction, but he showed empathy for the injustice my husband was enduring and believed the truth would prevail.
Mr. Capovilla is extremely intelligent and quick-witted in and out of the courtroom. He embodies intelligence, charisma, confidence, humor and boldness. He made my husband’s accusers look like complete fools on the stand, pointing out all the inconsistencies in their stories, showing the board how they lied and colluded to try to end my husband’s 17-year career. After a legal process that drug on for 8 grueling months, that moment, was worth every penny we spent with Gapasin, Capovilla and Williams L.L.P. His closing statement was the best thing I’ve seen in life. The board members only convened for roughly 10 minutes before delivering a NOT GUILTY verdict.
I highly recommend Rob Capovila to anyone facing a court martial, separation board or any type of situation that brings you into a court room because that is where this man truly shines. He is extremely passionate about what he does and is a complete natural; he was definitely born to serve justice in the courtroom. Thank you, Rob, for saving my husband’s career and his retirement. Your services are priceless.”
Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Capovilla was an active duty Judge Advocate in the Army JAG Corps. While serving as a Judge Advocate, Mr. Capovilla was hand selected by Jag Corps leadership to work some of the most complex, difficult cases in the Corps. As a defense attorney, Mr. Capovilla worked on high profile cases that were covered by major news outlets such as CNN, ABC News, and Fox News. In addition to serving as a Trial Defense Services attorney, Mr. Capovilla gained valuable litigation experience as both a Trial Counsel and a Special Assistant United States Attorney. Having worked as a military prosecutor and defense counsel, Mr. Capovilla possess the experience, judgement, and skill to ensure that your rights will be protected throughout each and every step of the military justice process.
“In today’s military justice environment, Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, and Sailors alike are continuously and unjustly being prosecuted under the shadow of baseless accusations and incomplete investigations. Our nation’s warriors are forced to defend themselves and their characters in cases where the only evidence of wrong doing is one person’s word or version of the facts. These men and women watch their careers seamlessly fall apart as command and military law enforcement agencies care more about protecting their own careers than finding out the truth. Our nation’s heroes deserve better, they deserve the benefit of the doubt . . . they deserve to fight back.” Mr. Robert F. Capovilla
In 2012, Mr. Capovilla graduated from the Ohio Northern University’s Pettite College of Law. While in law school, Mr. Capovilla earned a reputation as one of the top oral advocates in his law school class where he was selected as a member of both the trial and appellate moot court teams. Mr. Capovilla was handpicked to represent his school in the most competitive trial advocacy competitions in the country and competed against the best advocates in the nation. It was during this time, that Mr. Capovilla developed his lifelong passion for courtroom litigation and criminal defense.
In order to gain the necessary experience to become a world-class criminal justice attorney, Mr. Capovilla specialized in criminal law while attending law school. In the summer of 2010 and the fall of 2011, he interned at the Lima City Prosecutor’s Office in Lima, Ohio. During this time, Mr. Capovilla gained firsthand experience in domestic abuse and assault cases. Mr. Capovilla, though just a second year law student, was expected to represent the government in court during preliminary hearings and contested trials.
In the summer of 2011, Mr. Capovilla was hired as a full-time intern by the West Virginia State Public Defender’s Office. In this capacity, Mr. Capovilla interviewed clients, conducted negotiations with state officials, and assisted the state of West Virginia in several complex criminal procedure issues on unlawful search and seizures. Following this experience, Mr. Capovilla was selected by the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office, located just outside Cincinnati, Ohio, to intern in the Criminal Law Appellate Division. Pursuant to this role, Mr. Capovilla co-authored dozens of legal briefs for the 12th District Court of Appeals and he conducted extensive research on complex criminal matters ranging from juvenile law to second degree murder.
Immediately after graduation, Mr. Capovilla was accepted into the United States Army Judge Advocate General Corps. After graduating from the Jag Corps Officer Basic Course, Mr. Capovilla served as the Ethics Advisor to the Commanding General, 2d Infantry Division, at Camp Red Cloud, Korea. Following that assignment, the 2ID Staff Judge Advocate appointed Mr. Capovilla as the chief of client services for the entire division. Pursuant to this role, Mr. Capovilla helped hundreds of soldiers with GOMOR and QMP rebuttals. He also drafted wills and helped advise soldiers during 15-6 and FLIPL investigations.
While serving in Korea, Mr. Capovilla was also appointed by the Military Judge as a Part-Time Military Magistrate. As a military magistrate, Mr. Capovilla’s function was to preside over pre-trial confinement hearings and to render decisions on whether probable cause existed to confine soldiers pending court-martial. He was also tasked with analyzing whether law enforcement had collected the necessary evidence to issue search authorizations or arrest soldiers for alleged wrongdoing. While assigned to 2ID, Mr. Capovilla also advised officers and commanders conducting AR 15-6 investigations, financial liability investigations, line of duty investigations, Article 32 investigations, summary courts-martial, officer and enlisted separation boards, and medical retention boards. During his time at 2ID, Mr. Capovilla was rated in the top 1 percent amongst his peers for performance and competency.
Mr. Capovilla was then assigned to the Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning, GA. Over the next two years, Mr. Capovilla served the Army in a dual capacity as Military Prosecutor and Special United States Attorney. As a both a military and civilian prosecutor, he litigated dozens of cases including sexual assault, theft, larceny, assault, domestic violence, DUI, AWOL, insubordination, and child pornography. Mr. Capovilla’s senior rater described him as the best and most experienced trial attorney in the OSJA and referred to him as a natural litigator and oral advocate with tremendous passion and work ethic.
A short time later, Mr. Capovilla began work as a Trial Defense Attorney for the Mississippi Valley Regional Defense Office. This region consists of Fort Benning, 7th Special Forces Group at Eglin AFB, the 75th Ranger Regiment, and Ranger Training Battalions located in Georgia and Florida and additional reserve and recruiting units in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and the U.S. Army South Area of Operations. In addition, Mr. Capovilla represented soldiers in Fort Polk, Fort Rucker, Fort Campbell, and Fort Buchanan. During this time, Mr. Capovilla advised on hundreds of Article 15s, Summary Courts-Martials, and administrative separations. Despite being the youngest defense attorney in the office at the time, Mr. Capovilla was hand selected by the JAGC to work as primary military counsel on the most high profile case in the entire region, which was a potential capital murder case out of Ft. Campbell, KY.
As a defense attorney, Mr. Capovilla has served as lead counsel on multiple cases responding to dozens of charges including sexual assault, sodomy, desertion, desertion during wartime, insubordination, sodomy, obstruction of justice, solicitation, fraternization, inappropriate relationship, adultery, premediated murder, attempted murder, and DUI, among others.
**Licensed to practice in ALL Military Courts and Member of the State Bar of Ohio.