There wasn’t a “this is all off the record” statement so I’ll share with you some thoughts about today’s CAAF Conference generally and the presenters comments.
At least one other attendee and I were both rather surprised at the relative absence of the service appellate shops from the conference. Considering the line up at the CAAF Conference, that was surprising. While The Honorable Jeh Johnson and Togo West were not speaking on how to have your petition accepted by the CAAF judges, there talks were relevant and topical for judge advocate and, generally, military lawyer professional development. Further, I thought the talk by CAPT Crawford (Legal Counsel to the CJCS) that focused on detainee and similar issues was very thoughtful and something that, at a minimum, judge advocates involved in the military commission process would find helpful. Two of the five other speakers today were wheelhouse speakers for military law litigators, Judge McAuliffe on persuasive advocacy and Professor Donohue on the State Secrets Doctrine.
As for the actual presentations, the best line of the day came from Mr. Johnson who said that leading by example in a nation of laws meant playing by the rules when the going is easy and when it is hard. I had to chuckle though when Mr. Johnson alluded to the tanker competition as another one of the issues on his plate, in light of recent developments.
If I have more time later I’ll update this with more from the first half of the day. Maybe Mizer can give you an update on the second half of the day ;-)