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Denver, CO Martial Law Blog

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Choosing a Military Defense Attorney in a High Profile Case

When do I need a military defense lawyer with public relations experience?

A skilled military court-martial defense attorney will be able to help not only an individual charged with an isolated incident, but also service members charged as part of an alleged widespread criminal operation in which multiple service members are charged.

In fact, when a high-profile case comes along, service members need a defense attorney experienced with both military law and public relations to prevent their right to a fair trial before an impartial decision-maker from being jeopardized by being portrayed negatively by the media.

Everything about the Navy's breaking “Fat Leonard” investigation suggests that the scandal could be big and sensationalized and that those service members snagged in its net could be unfairly pre-judged by the public.

First, the investigation is big in name. As if to conjure images from an organized crime movie, it's been dubbed the "Fat Leonard" investigation--named after Leonard "Fat Leonard" Francis, reputed owner of a husbanding business known as Glenn Defense Marine Asia.

Second, it is big in scope-- 482 names were turned over by the Department of Justice to the Navy’s Consolidated Disposition Authority. Of the 318 cases reviewed so far, 48 reportedly have “substantiated allegations” and 164 are still pending review.

Finally, it is big in reach as evidenced by the recent charges leveled against a former destroyer squadron commander and career surface warfare officer.

Specifically, between January, 2011 and April, 2012, the former commander allegedly "accepted gifts, free or reduced-price hotel accommodations, and the services of prostitutes" in exchange for providing Fat Leonard "intelligence on business competitors and for advance notice of Navy ship movements."

The charging document reportedly includes charges of:

  • conspiracy (bribery of other navy officials, graft of other navy officials, and dereliction of duty);
  • violation of a lawful order;
  • conduct unbecoming;
  • graft;
  • bribery.

The officer reportedly faces up to 14 1/2 years in prison if convicted on all charges and will have to decide whether to have his case heard by a military judge or a jury.

When court-martial charges threaten your reputation, career, finances, benefits, and your very freedom, don't trust your defense to the often inexperienced and overworked attorney from the free defense counsel. Choose an independent civilian military defense attorney with the passion, time, resources, and experience to mount an aggressive defense on your behalf.

If you are, or believe you might be, facing a military court-martial, the experienced civilian military defense attorneys at Elkus, Sisson, & Rosenstein, P.C. will vigorously defend you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

From our offices in Denver and Colorado Springs, we represent service members of all ranks and in all branches--anywhere in the world.


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