Military Sex Assault OpEd

Today, an OpEd was published at USA Today regarding proposed changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and it is written by two of the most revered former Army JAGs. One is Major General (Ret) John Altenburg, who I met while at the JAG School in 2004. The other is Colonel (Ret) Lisa Schenck, who, in addition to having a JD from Notre Dame, multiple LLMs, and an LLD from Yale, had the distinction of being my first law professor (mandatory undergrad course) when she was stationed at West Point. To date, she is still the most intelligent and witty person I’ve ever met. That means a lot considering that I suffered a C in her class.

It is brief and gets straight to the point. You can find it here.

Can the Commandant Survive?

For the past several weeks, I’ve been following allegations of unlawful command influence lodged against the Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC), General James Amos. Until the last 24 hours, information has been fragmented, at best. As a whole, it didn’t appear to be in Amos’ favor, but being definitive was not possible.

It started with court-martial charges-gone-horribly-awry against Captain James Clement, who exercised command authority over the Marines accused of desecrating (urinating upon) bodies in Afghanistan. Essentially, the charges were dropped once defense counsel pushed the issue of unlawful command influence against the CMC. In lieu of court-martial charges, the Marine Corps elected to subject Captain Clement to administrative discharge, a process with substantially fewer tools for defense counsel to obtain and test evidence.

Then, the situation became a bigger mess when JAGs involved in the case started to blow whistles, implicating overwhelming influence from the CMC to subordinate officers. One whisteblower JAG in particular, MAJ James Weirick (a big fan of illeism) was relieved of duties and caused to undergo a psychological exam on suspect grounds. All of this smacked of character assassination and coverup.

Every day, the evidence against Amos grew stronger and stronger, especially when evidence concerning his senior civilian attorney-advisor, Robert Hogue, came to light.

Now, Akin Gump power-player John Dowd enters the fray. You might know him best for the Dowd Report which detailed Pete Rose’s gambling for Major League Baseball or his representation of John McCain during the Keating Five fiasco.

Dowd swings a bat. A really big bat. I could tell you about it, but I’d rather show you. In complete and succinct detail, he lays-out the facts. While we must acknowledge that he is advocating on behalf of his client, his facts are hard (if not impossible) to argue.

At one point, I might have told you that this wouldn’t have much effect on the CMC. The overwhelming majority of allegations against military muckity-mucks end in a dustbin somewhere in a forgotten basement corner of the Pentagon. Now, however, I think it has gone past the point of no return. Considering the full body of publicly-known evidence against him, I find it hard to believe how the President and the Secretary of Defense can continue to have faith in Amos’ ability to lead the Marine Corps.

When a Washington power-player lawyer at a bigwig firm is compelled to take a case against you pro bono, it is a clear sign that a threshold has been met or exceeded. Expect a less-than-auspicious exit for the nation’s top Marine.

 

Note: As always, the best information about this and other noteworthy military cases can be found at CAAFlog.com.

Death By Credentials

People who make a fuss about putting something (anything) after their name amuse me. It is a sad amusement, but amusement nonetheless.

Something today reminded me of this. It was a request on LinkedIn from a person with an alphabet salad of credentials following their family name. It included PE, CEM, GBE, PMP, LEED AP.  While I immediately recognized the first and last, I wasn’t entirely sure about the ones in the middle. I knew it either had something to do with construction/design/engineering, or it showed that they failed at engineering and were forced into real estate.

Having suffered this unsolicited LinkedIn acronym assault, I have a few simple rules for dealing with arrays of post-name credentials.

1. If, when I google your credential, a reasonable certifying agency does not appear on the first page of results, I assume you to be full of shit.

2. For post-name certifications, two is the limit (i.e. Hotlips Houlihan, RN, BSN), unless the desired post-name certification is “Esq” or “JD.” In that case, zero is the limit.

3. Before using a post-name certification, you must stand outside the entrance to Sears wish a large card depicting your desired acronym. Survey at least 100 people coming in or out of Sears. If more than 60% are clueless as to its meaning, you aren’t allowed to use it.

4. The number of post-name credentials you list is directly proportional to how desperate you are to find a job (or escape your current job).

5. I don’t care who you are, or what it stands for. If I see that you have “PMP” after your name, you will be a punchline.

2 Quotes

Two quotes, which are based on absolute, immutable truths.

“Cell phones are great.” – Single Men

“Cell phones suck.” – Married Men

The No-Touch Not Guilty Verdict

A lot of people ask me “Eric, how do you do it? How do you cause judges and jurors to submit to your will.”

Until now, I’ve been coy when answering this question. I don’t like to divulge my secrets. After all, I’ve gotta keep the business flowing my way, and my competitive edge is of vital importance.

Today, however, I’m feeling generous.

So, how do I do it?

Chi.

Yep, Chi.

Occasionally, I just mesmerize jurors with a powerful Chi Ball. These are especially powerful around the holiday season.

Other times, I just zap them with the Chi that flows from my fingertips during trial.

Sometimes, and I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but I’ve flatlined a few judges with the power of Chi.

I learned all about Chi from the 50-year-old, balding, white, failed insurance salesman at the local strip mall who now insists upon being called “sensei.”

Does this all sound silly to you? How about after you watch the video (below)? Consider the poor saps sitting there in their jammies who believe that the power of Chi opens new powers of the mind. Are they different from those who hire charlatans (read: marketers, coaches, and social media gurus) who promise instantaneous wealth, fame, and success? The only difference is that martial arts suckers call it Chi.  Lawyer suckers call it awesomeness.