We welcome and serve any military member or dependent in a wide area of the law, but there are two areas of military law we most often work on:
Military Aspects of Divorce
We will help you with issues concerning military retirement as it relates to the divorce. This area is complex, and we can guide either side toward a fair resolution based on your individual facts. We can also assist you with putting together the proper order and sending the proper documentation to the government if you qualify through court order or agreement to receive a portion of a spouse’s military retired pay.
Memphis and Mississippi Military Justice
Article 15 Non-Judicial Punishment (also known as: NJP, Captain’s Mast-Navy, Office Hours- Marines)
We can help you decide whether to accept and how to prepare for Article 15 non-judicial punishment (NJP, Captain’s Mast, Office Hours) – This action is a purely military disciplinary proceeding, and it is not a conviction if you are found guilty at this level. This type of proceeding is elective for military members unless you are attached to a ship or vessel. (If you are attached to a ship or vessel, then you have no choice if your commanding officer wishes to use this method of military discipline. You do have the right to see an attorney free of charge. The military will provide to you a member of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. These attorneys are often well-equipped to handle helping you decide whether to accept this forum or to request a trial by courts-martial. However, often-times the JAG attorney cannot form an attorney-client relationship with you at this level. We would not have such a limitation.
Summary Courts-Martial – This proceeding is similar to NJP in many ways, as there is only one officer who handles the entire process. This officer is generally tasked with holding a more formal proceeding. Any member who is sent to a Summary-Court Martial has the right to decline that forum. If you refuse a Summary, then you usually will be sent to a Special Court-Martial or to an Article 32 hearing. The punishment available is more severe than at NJP.
Special Courts-Martial – This type of Court-Martial is an intermediate level criminal trial court. A conviction at this court rises to the level of a federal criminal conviction, and you can be sentenced up to a year in prison at this level This court handles a wide-range of both minor and serious offenses.
Article 32 Hearings – This proceeding is used to determine if there is probable cause for sending a case forward, and the hearing officer is tasked with making a recommendation to the commanding officer to what level the case should go. The hearing officer could recommend anything from dismissing the case to sending it to a General Court-Martial (GCM). This decision is a recommendation only, and the commanding officer is still free to send the case to a GCM. Every member of the military has a right to an Article 32 hearing before a case can be heard by a General Court-Martial. The popular press often compares an Article 32 hearing to a Grand Jury, but there are many differences which often provide an early advantage to the defendant to obtain discovery.
General Courts-Martial – This type is the highest level of military criminal court, and it is usually reserved for the most serious criminal cases.
Administrative Boards (Enlisted Members) – This process is used to decide if a military member should be released from active duty, often because of disciplinary problems. Many military members have the right to have an administrative hearing before they are put out of the service because of the stigma of getting “bad paper” or an “Other Than Honorable” discharge.
Boards of Inquiry (Officers) – This proceeding is a very formal administrative hearing used when the command desires to discharge an officer. There generally can be a far-reaching impact on an officer facing this board, including problems with obtaining civilian employment later if discharged under “Other Than Honorable” conditions.
Cordts Law Firm will provide you with guidance to meet your unique case on any of these matters. If arrangements are made, we can travel all over the world to handle your military justice matter. Please call us today for a consultation 901-537-9786 or you can use our easy online mail form to contact us.