In 2006, Staff Sergeant Lovett filed a pro se petition for writ of mandamus at CAAF, asking CAAF to order the Judge Advocate General of the Air Force to provide him with counsel to represent him before the Supreme Court in challenging CAAF’s affirmance of his court-martial conviction and 14-year sentence. Lovett v. United States, 64 M.J. 232 (C.A.A.F. 2006). CAAF granted the requested writ without dissent. CAAF ruled:
The Uniform Code of Military Justice provides: “Appellate defense counsel shall represent the accused before the Court of Criminal Appeals, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, or the Supreme Court . . . when requested by the accused . . . .” Article 70(c)(1), UCMJ, 10 U.S.C. § 870(c)(1) (2000). Petitioner’s case is not final as a matter of law. See Article 71(c), UCMJ, 10 U.S.C. § 871(c) (2000). The immediate question before us is not whether counsel must file any particular matter in the course of representing a servicemember, but whether counsel may discontinue such representation before the case is final as a matter of law. Nothing in the record of the present case established a basis for counsel to sever the lawyer-client relationship. Accordingly, it is ordered that the Judge Advocate General of the Air Force shall provide appellate defense counsel to represent Petitioner for the purposes of review of his court-martial under Article 67a, UCMJ, 10 U.S.C. § 867a (2000).
Id. at 232-33. We discussed that ruling here.
Appellate defense counsel subsequently filed a cert petition on SSgt Lovett’s behalf, which the Supremes denied. Lovett v. United States, 127 S. Ct. 1333 (2007). We previously discussed that cert petition here.
So a servicemember in Cpl Ryan’s position could probably obtain appellate representation by filing a pro se petition for extraordinary relief at CAAF. The sticky wicket is that a servicemember in Cpl Ryan’s position probably wouldn’t know without a lawyer’s advice that he or she could obtain representation by filing a pro se petition for extraordinary relief at CAAF.