There is a lot at stake during a court-martial. The verdict of the case could influence your career, your paycheck, your dignity, and even your family. To protect your life and loved ones, you need to hire the most competent and experienced lawyer that you can. Luckily, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), you have the right to choose a lawyer with whom you are comfortable and confident, whether that person is a civilian lawyer or a military defense lawyer. “Why should I hire a civilian lawyer?” you might be wondering. “How will their services differ from those of a free military defense lawyer?” Scroll down to learn a bit more about your options.
Why Should I Hire a Civilian Lawyer?
Most military defense lawyers do not have the trial experience needed to create a strong case. They often jump from job to job, from defense to prosecution, learning a little about everything but mastering nothing. In fact, because it's frowned upon, JAGs rarely choose to be defense lawyers for more than eighteen months. Eighteen months is simply not enough time to gain the experience needed to competently defend someone in a court-martial. As a result, many JAGs are not skilled in the art of cross examination or oral arguments, critical pieces of the job.
On the other side of the equation, prosectors are gaining skills and experience as the JAG Corps works to improve the current state of military justice. JAG often reserves its most experienced lawyers for prosecution, leaving defense cases to the lower-level, inexperienced attorneys. As a result, now more than ever, it is crucial that you find a lawyer with years of quality experience so that you're prepared for a strong prosecution.
Civilian lawyers tend to be more passionate about their cases. Unlike JAG defense lawyers, who will be paid regardless of your case's outcome, a civilian lawyer will invest their time and energy for a favorable outcome because your win is also their win. More importantly, a civilian lawyer knows that his or her reputation hinges on successes and failures in the courtroom. Your lawyer should see you as a person worth fighting for, not simply another case file. Finally, remember that a military defense lawyer is a permanent employee of the agency prosecuting you. In some cases, their loyalty to other military members could subtly influence how they handle your case. A civilian attorney, on the other hand, offers a broadened and unbiased perspective.
– – – – –
Lastly, remember that you can always accept your appointed military counsel and hire a civilian lawyer. Your JAG can offer assistance to your civilian attorney, giving you a stronger and more diverse defense.
If you're looking for a top-quality military lawyer, contact Newsom & Gapasin. Whether you're under investigation or facing a court-martial, our experienced and aggressive law firm would be happy to help. We focus on winning tough cases, some of which have been reported on by national media outlets like CNN, Fox News, Time, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. For more information, please give us a call at 1-(888) 919-8265 , send an e-mail to [email protected], or click here to contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!