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Client Background Data Sheet

Sometimes there is a great ‘lead’ in details a busy defense counsel may not have time to ferret out personally. 

We use the attached court-martial data sheet in private practice.  It may prove very useful to military counsel as well.  

   ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

  1. Full name:
  2. Age:
  3. Rank/pay:
  4. SSN:
  5. What is your organization and job specialty?
  6. First Sergeant or LPO’s name and duty phone:
  7. Commander’s name and duty phone:
  8. Are you a religious person? Do you attend services? How often?
  9. Who and where is you chaplain, or clergyman?
  10. Enlistment date?
  11. Expiration of enlistment date:
  12. Total years of service:
  13. Please tell of your tours and dates (be specific on combat dates).  List your jobs at each tour:
  14. Current supervisor’s name and phone:
  15. Spouse’s occupation, work phone, and address:
  16. Parent’s name(s):   a)Are both living?    Yes    No
  17. Were your parents ever divorced or separated?   If so what was your age at the time?
  18. Were you raised by someone other than your parents?  List their name, address, relationship to you and phone:
  19. Parent’s occupation: Mother:    Father:
  20. List the names of all brothers and sisters, the age of each, phone number, address, occupation, and education.
  21. List all schools you have attended and location.  List graduation dates.
  22. Did you quit high school or college? Why?
  23. Are you presently taking classes?  If so, list what they are and where.
  24. If you are working an outside job, give details.  How many hours per week do you work?
  25. List all military schools and certifications.
  26. List any civilian awards you have received.
  27. List all extracurricular activities, i.e., sports, fishing, etc.
  28. What is your reason for enlisting or joining the military?
  29. List all awards/decorations you have received.
  30. List all problems you have encountered in the military.  List dates and reasons for letters of counseling, letters of reprimand, Article 15s, Administrative Boards, or Courts-Martial. Explain each in detail.
  31. Were you ever arrested for anything?  If so, tell when, where, why, and what for. Include your traffic record.
  32. Were you ever in court before?  If so, why and when?
  33. What do you do in your off time? Who do you see, where do you go? Who are your closest friends?
  34. Have you ever been in the Boy/Girl Scouts, YMCA, church or school youth group, etc.? If so, what position did you hold, or what rank did you attain?
  35. Have you ever taken a polygraph (lie detector) test? If so, when, where, and why?
  36. Briefly describe your upbringing in terms such as “normal,” “upper-class,” “deprived,” “broken family,” “rural,” “inner city,” etc. Explain as much as you can.
  37. Do you presently owe money? If so, list the total amount owed, monthly payments, and to whom you owe…..
  38. Do you presently have any allotments? If so, list how much each is and to whom.
  39. Do you regularly send money for support of anyone? If so, how much, and to whom?
  40. Have you ever been treated for psychiatric, nervous, or emotional disorder?  If so, give the name and address of doctor(s) that treated you and their diagnosis.
  41. Have you had medical treatment in the last 12 months for any reason other than common cold or flu?  If so, provide the nature of the ailment. Also, please provide the name and address of the doctor, diagnosis, date(s), and other pertinent information. 
  42. Are you presently taking any medication? If so; what is the name of the medication(s), the dosage, reason for prescription, and the name of the prescribing doctor?
  43. List all drugs and alcohol involvement (date and circumstances) and any rehabilitation program involvement.
  44. Name all first sergeants, supervisors, LPOs, and commanders and the locations of each.  If you cannot remember, do the best you can.
  45. Have you ever served in another armed force? If so, give dates, rank attained, and all awards, decorations, or disciplinary actions.
  46. Do you want to stay in the military? If so, why?
  47. How many evaluations or performance reports have you received?
  48. List overall rating of each of your reports. If any were referrals, give details (i.e. if appealed, etc.).
  49. If you have received no recent evaluation, indicate what you believe your supervisor(s) would say about you in a report dated the day before the offenses charged.  Include the numerical ratings your supervisor would likely give you.
  50. Regarding your charges were military police involved?   Yes    No    (If so, please give details.)
  51. If there are supervisors or others who have unfavorable opinions of you, list them. Tell why they held such an opinion (such as specific incidents or misconduct, confrontations, bias, etc.)
  52. Explain in detail the offense you are charged
  53. Draw a diagram of the scene/scenario if applicable.
  54. List all witnesses at the event and what they may have observed.
  55. Who else is involved? Give names and tell whether each is a friend or foe.
  56. If applicable, describe the scene; i.e. time of day, conditions, and at what time and date the event occurred.
  57. List all statements given – both yours and others you’re aware of.
  58. Have military police/detectives written or said information which is not absolutely true?    Yes  ­­­____  No  ____
  59. Were you interviewed?    If YES, by whom?
  60. Did you put anything in writing?
  61. Have you talked to anyone about this?   Give details.
  62. List all evidence you are aware of.
  63. What has anyone said to you about this incident?
  64. Explain anything else which might not be useful about the incident, your family, yourself, evidence, etc.
  65. Do you have military counsel assigned yet?  List names, location and contact numbers.
  66. Anything else I need to know?
  67. What part of possible sentence is the hardest to live with? Reduction in rank? Confinement? Loss of pay? Punitive Discharge? Other?
  68. If you had “your own” detective force, what could they prove that would help your defense?
  69. Do any of the following apply to you?
  • Non-caring military defense lawyer      Y        N
  • Family harassed     Y        N
  • Co-conspirator cutting a deal       Y       N
  • Racism suspected     Y        N
  • Former friends turning on you       Y        N
  • Mean SJA           Y         N
  • Unfair military    Y         N
  • Overaggressive prosecutor         Y         N
  • Overzealous CID/NIS/IOSI       Y         N
  • Witnesses lying       Y         N

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