Let’s return to People Magazine mode for a moment. (Actually, this story might not even rise to People‘s level of gravitas.) There is a story going around about a Project Outreach argument. I would love to know whether it’s true. Can someone with prescient knowledge confirm or deny this tale? I’m not a big fan of Project Outreach, but I’m willing to reconsider my position and become the program’s biggest fan if this actually happened.

The story has it that CAAF was scheduled to hear a Project Outreach argument at a civilian law school. CAAF chose to hear some meaty issue in a case with an unusual name. Lo and behold, it turned out that there was a student at that law school with that very name. Unfortunately for the student, the law school administration quickly realized that the student had failed to mention his court-martial conviction when he had applied to and been accepted by that institution of higher education. CAAF, so the story goes, has now decided to hear a different case at that law school. The fate of the original appellant remains uncertain, though regardless of whether CAAF affirms or reverses his conviction, obtaining a J.D. — much less a license to practice law — doesn’t appear to be in his future.

True or false?

–Dwight Sullivan

21 Responses to “Too good to be true?”

  1. John O'Connor says:

    I heard a similar story. The way I heard it is that CAAF was going to do a Project Outreach at a law aschool and there was an issue because one of the students was a court-martial veteran, so to speak. Whether the student had disclosed this, or whether the case scheduled to be heard was his case, I do not know.

  2. H Lime says:

    I heard the same thing. If you get ahold of the record of trial, take a look at the unsworn statements… A million to one that the amount of verbal spillage in the guy’s unsworn statement would let you know that the guy was a pro BS-er. How else could you pull something like that off?

  3. Guert Gansevoort says:

    It is all true. The case, which involved several Marines having sex with three twelve and thirteen-year-old girls, was scheduled to be heard at Loyola next week. The school sent out an email asking if any students wanted to do and amicus brief and argument. One student was particularly interested in the case, but not as much as his classmates. Perhaps by mistake, he forgot to mention his sex with minors conviction when he enrolled. After three semesters of law school, the student has withdrawn from law school and returned to the sweet bliss that is never ending appellate leave.

  4. CAAFlog says:

    Is it possible to calculate the mathemetically odds of that happening? Okay, ture to my word, I now officially declare myself a Project Outreach fan.

  5. Marcus Fulton says:

    Putting the “me” back in “amicus.”

  6. Marcus Fulton says:

    Don’t have my MCM handy, but could he argue that his conviction isn’t final? Especially since he seems to have already won at CCA?

    By the way, he got meaningful relief at CCA AND they picked his law school for project outreach? This guy obviously lives in some parallel statistical universe. One that subjects its inhabitants to extreme karmic whiplash.

  7. Bridget Wilson says:

    Those of us languishing in the provinces are quite pleased to have the court visit our backwater communities. CAAF’s visits have caused several law school officials to modify their generally negative opinions of military jurisprudence.

    I was engaged in a most interesting conversation with a former university provost after CAAf’s last appearance here in sunny So Cal. [I know that San Diego in February is a burden for the court.].

    After we got past “Yes, there really is a crime of fraternization”, said provost proposed that we should expand the SOL’s knowledge of military law. All of this supports my belief that we need to encourage “civil-military” dialogue.

  8. Guert Gansevoort says:

    I agree with Ms. Wilson. The average american law student still believes that military justice is carried out as it was on the Somers. The reality is that, although fraternization and adultery are criminalized and frequently prosecuted, the rights afforded servicemembers by the UCMJ, with C.A.A.F. sitting atop the entire system, in many areas exceed those affored civlians in state and federal jurisdictions. Project Outreach is a vital part of increasing the public’s perception of fairness of the military justice system.

  9. John O'Connor says:

    It’s funny that Bridget thinks that students at (I assume) USD know little to nothing about military justice. The USD law library actually has a pretty good collection of military justice books and treatises, including some old stuff (or at least it did a decfade ago). I did most of my research for a law review article there once.

  10. Jason Grover says:

    I think it is a bit unfair for Guert to reference cases in which he was personally involved for the support of his position. And I challenge his statement, there is no way in hell that the average law school student even knows about the Somers much less uses it as a lens to view current military justice.

  11. No Man says:

    I have always thought that all of Guert’s metaphors and humorous anecdotes were dead and tired, much like him. I suggest he start a real mutiny from beyond the grave somewhere, to see how MilJus works today. Useless trivia question: In what year did the most recent mutiny or attempted mutiny occur in the US Navy and on what vessel? Anyone that gets this and publishes it on CAAFlog will be awarded . . . Guert’s commission.

  12. Marcus Fulton says:

    That’s a touchy question. Do the race-related disturbances on Kitty Hawk count? Sixty people were injured as about 200 of the crew rioted on the ship. There were some other disturbances on other ships that same fall.

  13. No Man says:


    Right time, wrong definition. I’d say that was an insurrection, at best. Full fledged mutiny was the SS Columbia Eagle, March 1970—merchant ships are US Navy ships in times of war (ok, trick question; I disagree with the Straight Dope on this point).

  14. Guert Gansevoort says:

    And the time of war in 1970 was??? Would a mutiny on a Coast Guard Cutter today count? The Clipper deserves my commission. In addition to the award given for the most ordnance delivered on time and on target by any carrier during Iraqi Freedom, the KITTY HAWK has earned the title of most recent armed insurrection at sea. I believe that Fulton has won the last two CAAFlog contests.

  15. Marcus Fulton says:

    Make it three. And for someone that has been dead for over a hundred years, you sure seem to know a lot about CV 63!

  16. Marcus Fulton says:

    By the way, I think there should be a special prize for posting inane comments to a military justice blog while the rest of Christendom is watching the Superbowl.

  17. John O'Connor says:

    I’ll say this. Guert had me once I read a post by him in which he acknowledged “that great engine of unnecessary litigation, the Marine prosecutor,” or words to that effect.

  18. CAAFlog says:

    Note that “time of war” isn’t an element of mutiny. (Nor is mutiny confined to vessels for that matter, but I realize that the No Man limited his question to that context.) Nor is time of war even necessary to make mutiny a capital offense. Any violence or disturbance intended to usurp or override lawful military authority is a mutiny punishable by death. So a crew could have mutinied in, say, 2000 just as easily as one could have mutinied in 1842 — uh, sorry to raise a sore subject, Guert.

  19. no man says:

    If Congress has its way Coast vessels will be Navy vessels, and contractors will be UCMJ punishable, during all operations that include the use of live ordanance or require entry into water more than waist deep. But, I digress.

    Yes, Guert, I thought the last combatant you haunted was the Somers or something? What gives with the KITTY HAWK lore?

  20. Guert Gansevoort says:

    I have an affinity for obsolete naval vessels.

  21. Actos says:

    nice post, it’s really interesting for me today, thx