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Clever tactics for defense counsel

Seasoned advocates are always looking for arresting figures of speech to bring a unique or unexpected twist to courtroom proceedings.  Here are some ideas.

·        What about the character of  Cpl  Johnson?  Well, light travels faster than sound.   Some people appear bright…until you hear them speak

·        MSgt Houston  took the words of his cadre and claimed they were his own.  To steal ideas from someone is plagiarism.  To steal from many is called research.

·        My client is naïve. You know, she’s the sort of individual who fills out an application where it says who to notify in case of an emergency…  You guessed it; she put down “Doctor.”

·         What a hard boss to work for.   His military philosophy is: I did not say  it was your fault – I said I was blaming you.

·        Their witness claims a clear conscience – that’s a sure sign of a bad memory.

·        Lt Wilson is so positive about what happened.  I know how that is…I  used to be indecisive.   Now, I’m not so sure.

·        She claims to be “religious.”  However, her conduct is contrary to that contention.  You know, going to church does not make you a Christian – not any more than standing in your garage next to a fancy car makes you a Mercedes-Benz.

— and our favorite:

·        I’m not arguing with you, counsel; I’m explaining why you are wrong.



A series of pertinent – and impertinent – thoughts about military justice.

Great quotation:

When you are dead, you don’t know that you are dead.

It is difficult only for the others.

It is the same when you are stupid.

*  * *

A recent Army Times article states that the USAF will allow enlisted service members to operate unmanned aerial vehicles [UAVs].  So far, the change only extends to unarmed UAV operations.

*  * *

  The fracas continues over the possible demotion of retired Gen. David Petraeus under the Officers Grade Determination Act.   According to the Army Times for 21 January, Senators John McCain and Jack Reed have urged Defense Secretary Ash Carter not to demote the general from his retired four-star status.

We can’t help but say, sardonically, that none of this high ranking  horsepower was available for a recent client of ours for offenses surely far less serious than those of this general officer.

A law for the rich, a law for the poor?  Can anyone dispute what we believe to be historically accurate – that no general or flag officer has ever served one day under the UCMJ at Leavenworth or any other military prison?

*  * *

Thank you for kind words from clients….

AT writes “Thanks again for your unwavering support!”

And Army client TT reports, “I’m really impressed with the brief.   You have a writing style that I don’t have —  the use of short and to the point sentences to get the point across.” 

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