As promised, here’s the remainder of the list of ideas to create a powerful BCNR/BCMR package.
13. Think about the case from the position of the voting board member. Psychologically, what “bait” is most effective to reach that member?
14. Cite the applicable rules or regulations which apply.
15. Appeal to fair play and due process.
16. Avoid personalities. The laws of courtesy should govern. Focus on the issues. Do not get distracted by the fact that the client regards his detractors as enemies or SOBs. Rhetorical denunciation sounds good — but it is counterproductive. Such negative data can irritate — but never persuade.
17. When you’re done writing, stop!
18. Consider what the “other side” will say AGAINST your client. Anticipated and refute it.
19. You cannot win by showing the other side to be wrong — you win by showing yourself to be right.
20. Consider underlying philosophy and military values. What favors your petitioner? Is he a demanding NCO who knows we train hard in peace so we will not bleed in war …is the key point fairness for all minorities… or do you need to counter the claim of a “one-mistake military” by reminding that we must still give a break to a sincere newcomer.
21. Rely on procedural law — client is entitled under the regulation, and she’s not getting what she’s entitled to.
22. Rely on substantive law, “it ain’t fair.”
23. Rely on policy — this is the right thing to do.
24. Ask a non-lawyer to read and comment on the brief. Does it make sense? Too wordy?
25. Tabulate complex data; consider tables and charts.
26. To break up complex information, use footnotes, attachments, tabs.
27 . Typographically, consider initial letters or outside boxes for some text.
28. Consider whether photographs will help to ”humanize” the applicant or explain his dilemma.
29. Be creative. Remember, there are no rules governing these applications, so photographs, cartoons, and charts may grab the attention of decision-makers.