I have previously written about the importance of trial-level defense counsel and appellate defense counsel conducting a contact relief to transfer a client from the former’s protection to the latter’s. There is a cool feature on Navy Knowledge Online that might help provide part of the solution to make sure such contact relief happens. The NKO JAG page includes a link for “Navy/Marine Corps Judicial Circuit Dockets.” If you go to that page, it has separate calendars for the dockets in the various Navy-Marine Corps Trial Judiciary circuits and districts. Only three of the districts — Hawaii, Okinawa, and Yokuska (all in the Western Pacific Circuit) — currently include any data. But the information available for those three districts is quite helpful, especially for the Hawaii district, which includes more information about each listed case than do the other two districts in the Western Pacific Circuit.
It seems that with a little further tweaking, this system could provide a cradle to grave means of tracking cases so that it will be visible to appellate defense counsel which cases qualify for appellate review, which would also allow appellate defense counsel to verify that qualifying cases actually reach NAMARA in a timely fashion. Of course, the system should also be set up to allow trial level defense counsel to ensure that their cases are docketed with the Navy-Marine Corps Court within a reasonable period after trial and CA’s action.
Now if we could only further harness technology, such as by moving to electronic records of trial, we might be able to significantly reduce post-trial delay. I firmly believe that there is a technological solution.