Thomson Reuters is famous among military lawyers for its West’s Military Justice Reporter and its West’s Military Justice Digest, but it offers other military justice publications as well. The latest is Modern Military Justice, a law school casebook by two prominent military justice experts, GW Law Professor (and recently Interim Dean) Gregory E. Maggs and GW Law Associate Dean Lisa Schenck.

The casebook is published by Thomson Reuters’ West Law School imprint.  Here’s the publisher’s description:

This new text comprehensively covers the modern military justice system under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Materials from every service within the Armed Forces show how the military justice system addresses all criminal offenses, ranging from minor infractions to serious offenses, such as the misconduct of soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison. The text covers the jurisdiction of courts-martial; sources of military law; military offenses and defenses; pretrial, trial, and appellate procedures; the role of judge advocates; nonjudicial punishment and other alternatives to courts-martial; special forums, such as boards of inquiry and military commissions for trying enemy belligerents; the relationship of courts-martial to state and federal courts; and much more. All chapters include policy questions about  controversial issues. The text is appropriate for all students, with or without prior military experience.

I had the pleasure of first meeting Professor Maggs many years ago when he worked at the American Enterprise Institute.  In addition to all of his other accomplishments, he’s an Army Reserve colonel and has served on the Army Court of Criminal Appeals, where he authored, among other opinions, United States v. Murphy, 67 M.J. 514 (A. Ct. Crim. App. 2008), petition denied, 67 M.J. 245 (C.A.A.F. 2009).  Dean Schenck is a retired active duty Army judge advocate with extensive service on the Army Court of Criminal Appeals as well as the Court of Military Commission Review.  Among her other degrees, she holds both an LL.M. and J.S.D. from Yale Law School.

Another Thomson Reuters military justice offering is Strategies for Military Criminal Defense, published by its Aspatore Books imprint.  Here’s the publisher’s description:

This Aspatore legal title provides perspective on the intricacies of the military justice system and how it applies to criminal trials. Expert attorneys from some of the nation’s leading law firms guide readers through the steps involved in defending servicemen and women charged with crimes. Emphasizing the unique aspects of the military environment, these authors examine the differences between military and civilian systems of justice, and divulge proven advice for preparing a comprehensive defense strategy.

The table of contents is available here.

The volume’s first chapter, Effective Defense Strategies by Charles E. Feldmann, is available here.  I will readily admit to having a bias against that author.  But I think I’m being objective when I express serious reservations about the chapter.  For example, the chapter’s opening paragraph — repeated in the “Key Takeways” section — states, “Every commander who refers charges against an accused to a court-martial has to first weigh the costs of the trial. Every cost for the trial is borne by that command and every command in today’s day and age pays particular attention to how much a prosecution and defense of a case will cost.”  That second sentence isn’t true in Air Force practice.  As in this example, the author appears to make broad pronouncements without a sufficient understanding of the various services’ unique practices.

That’s the only chapter I’ve read, so I have no insight concerning the remaining chapters, some of whose authors appear quite impressive (author list with links to bios here).

3 Responses to “Thomson Reuters military justice offerings”

  1. Mike "No Man" Navarre says:

    I found the example they gave in the introduction interesting:

    Materials from every service within the Armed Forces show how the military justice system addresses all criminal offenses, ranging from minor infractions to serious offenses, such as the misconduct of soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison. 

    What servicemembers were charged with for the events at Abu Ghraid was pretty bad stuff.  But from a military justice perspective, the offenses for which soldiers were tried for events at Abu Gharaib were relatively minor infractions, except for maybe  SPC Graner who faced the most severe and recevied the most severe sentence, but still he only faced 17.5 years and and received a sentence of 10 years.  But I guess publisher’s descriptions are written to sell books and not for legal precision.  Lesson, don’t judge a book by its . . . publisher’s description.

  2. stewie says:

    And he was out in less than 7!

  3. David Bargatze says:

    The Feldmann piece was ghastly. Aside from the poor proofreading (“inherit bias”?), many of his assertions are not only generalized, but flat wrong. “If the trial counsel (prosecutor) is doing their job, they will make it very difficult for a defense attorney to get any quality time with the alleged victim prior to that witness taking the stand.” I’m sure his definition of “quality time” is different from mine, but trial counsel isn’t “doing their job” if they’re obstructing access to witnesses.