MARADMIN 571/11, released today, announces a major change to MCO P5800.16A, Manual for Legal Administration, creating the Defense Services Organization.

The complete manual, with the change, is located here.

Highlights include:

  • Paragraph 2001.5.b: Equal funding for training, resources, and facilities (commensurate with mission requirements) for defense and prosecution functions.
  • Paragraph 2002.3.g: Primary duty of Regional Defense Counsel (RDC) is training, mentoring, and supervision of defense personnel in the region; any caseload should not interfere with these primary duties.
  • Paragraph 2002.6: Detailing of auxiliary defense counsel (Review Officers specifically excluded – outrageous!).
  • Paragraph 2003.1: Normal defense tour will be at least 18 months long.
  • Paragraph 2004.3: If a defense counsel is scheduled for reassignment, and the Senior Defense Counsel wants to detail that DC a case that will extend past the reassignment date, and the reassignment issue can’t be resolved locally, the matter will be forwarded to the CDC and then to the SJA to the CMC.
  • Paragraph 2006.1: “For detailing purposes, the CDC is the OIC under JAGMAN section 0130(b) of the DSO and is the the [sic] detailing authority for Marine defense counsel.” Wow.

Colonel John Baker, USMC, is the current Chief Defense Counsel of the Marine Corps (CDC), and has led a number of initiatives, including establishment of the DSO, intended to strengthen the detailed defense counsel system in the Marine Corps.

4 Responses to “Marine Corps reorganizes defense counsel into the Defense Services Organization (DSO)”

  1. Peanut Gallery says:

    I can’t wait to see how Para 2001.5b gets implemented.

  2. GRH says:

    Peanut Gallery,

    I have been doing this 14 years and it’s usually the DCs who attend more training.

  3. John Baker says:

    Para 2001.5b, which was shorthanded in the original post, is not a new concept and there is no reason to believe that the change to Chapter 2 will impact things. In full, this guiding principle states that “Funding for training, resources, and facilities shall be consistently provided across the Marine Corps legal community, and there shall be equitable distribution, commensurate with mission requirements, between the defense function and the prosecution function with respect to access to resources, facilities, seats at continuing legal education courses, training funds, and support staff.”

  4. Rob M says:

    Forgive the lack of familiarity with the way USMC and DoN do business, but was there previously no dedicated defense organization analagous to the Army’s Trial Defense Service?