CAAFlog » CLE/Events

The Military to Civilian Success for Legal Professionals Seminar (aka Jobs for JAGs) will be held Oct. 30, 2014 from 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m at the Crystal City Gateway Marriott, 1700 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Arlington, VA.  The event is co-sponsored by the Military Officers Association of America and the Judge Advocates Association.  Registration link here.

Today’s Federal Register contains this public notice, 79 Fed. Reg. 59,937 (Oct. 3, 2014), of proposed changes to the Manual for Courts-Martial. The notice also solicits public comments regarding the proposed changes (due no later than December 2, 2014), and provides notice of a public meeting about the proposed changes to occur on October 29, 2014, at CAAF.

The proposed changes consume 22 pages in the Federal Register (shorter than the 34 pages of changes proposed in 2012 and only partially adopted in 2013). The proposed changes mainly implement the military justice reforms in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014, signed into law by the President on December 26, 2013 (I discussed these reforms in a series of posts available here).

While much of the proposed changes are unremarkable, there are some surprises. For example, R.C.M. 405 (addressing the Article 32 process) is revised in its entirety (because of the revised Article 32 effective in December). The revised R.C.M. 405(h) states that

the Military Rules of Evidence do not apply in preliminary hearings under this rule except as follows . . . Mil. R. Evid. 412 shall apply in any case that includes a charge defined as a sexual offense in Mil. R. Evid. 412(d), except that Mil. R. Evid. 412(b)(1)(C) shall not apply. . . . [Mil. R. Evid.] 513(d)(8); and 514(d)(6) shall not apply.

79 Fed. Reg. at 59,941 (proposed R.C.M. 405(h)). These three Military Rules of Evidence that do not apply (412(b)(1)(c), 513(d)(8), and 514(d)(6)) are the constitutional exceptions to the general rules prohibiting admission of an alleged victim’s other sexual behavior or sexual predisposition (M.R.E. 412), establishing the psychotherapist-patient privilege (M.R.E. 513), and establishing the victim advocate privilege (M.R.E. 514).

The proposed changes emphasize that M.R.E. 412, 513, and 514 apply as exclusionary rules only, stating that the hearing officer “shall assume the military judge’s authority to exclude evidence from the preliminary hearing.” 79 Fed. Reg. at 59,941 (proposed R.C.M. 405(h)(4)) (emphasis added). Further, a new discussion section explains:

Although Mil. R. Evid. 412(b)(1)(C) allows admission of evidence of the victim’s sexual behavior or predisposition at trial when it is constitutionally required, there is no constitutional requirement at an Article 32 hearing. There is likewise no constitutional requirement for a pretrial hearing officer to consider evidence under Mil. R. Evid. 513(d)(8), and 514(d)(6) at an Article 32 hearing.

79 Fed. Reg. at 59,950.

The proposal also provides a new definition of the term “matters in mitigation” for the purpose of an Article 32 preliminary hearing:

For the purposes of this rule, “matters in mitigation” are defined as matters that may serve to explain the circumstances surrounding a charged offense.

79 Fed. Reg. at 59,941. The changes do not modify the definition of “matter in mitigation” found in R.C.M. 1001(c)(1)(B).

Other interesting proposed changes include:

Read more »

This public notice set for publication tomorrow in the Federal Register announces that a meeting of the Judicial Proceedings Panel (JPP) (creation discussed here) will be held on Thursday, August 7, 2014, at The George Washington University Law School, Faculty Conference Center, 5th Floor, 716 20th Street NW., Washington, DC 20052. The Public Session will begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m. The agenda is:

  • 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.Administrative Session (41 CFR § 160(b), closed to the public)
  • 10:00 a.m.-10:10 a.m.Comments from the Panel Chair
  • 10:10 a.m.-11:00 a.m.Military Justice Discussion and Legislation Update
  • 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.Discussion of the Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel Report
  • 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.Lunch
  • 1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m.Rape and Sexual Assault Laws in the United States
  • 2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.Evolution of Article 120 of the UCMJ
  • 4:00 p.m.-4:45 p.m.Panel Deliberations
  • 4:45 p.m.-5:00 p.m.Public Comment

The notice also states that the panel’s website is but it looks like the site isn’t live.

I’ve just returned to North Carolina after the CAAF CLE and while I’ll likely post some thoughts about the substance of the program in the next few days, I want to immediately convey my gratitude to the judges, the court staff, and the participants who made that incredible program happen. Thank you.

The conference is taking shape.

Here is a link to the presenters.

Some interesting and relevant topics.

I’m particularly pleased to see Prof. Witt on the panel, I have recommend his book, “Lincoln’s Code,” previously as worth the read.  Prof. Bibas might also be good if he discusses Brady issues and other contributions to wrongful convictions, see an earlier post.

Georgetown Law School.

20-21 May 2014.

CAAF Judicial Conference.

More to follow.

According to this public notice, the next meeting of the Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel will occur on May 5-6, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day, at The George Washington University Law School Faculty Conference Center, 5th floor, 716 20th Street NW., Washington, DC 20052.

The agenda is:

May 5, 2014
• 8:30 a.m.–8:35 a.m. Comments from the Panel Chair
• 8:35 a.m.–9:30 a.m. DoD SAPRO Update Major General Jeffrey J. Snow Director, DoD SAPRO
• 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Subcommittee Report to Panel and Panel Deliberations
• 12:30 p.m.–1:00 p.m. Lunch
• 1:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m. Subcommittee Report to Panel and Panel Deliberations
• 4:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Public Comment

May 6, 2014
• 8:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Subcommittee Report to Panel and Panel Deliberations
• 12:00 p.m.–12:30 p.m. Lunch
• 12:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. Panel Deliberations
• 4:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Public Comment*

* Public comment may occur earlier in the day if Panel deliberations conclude prior to 4:30 p.m. It is anticipated that the subcommittees will report to the Panel in the following order: Comparative Systems Subcommittee; Victim Services Subcommittee; Role of the Commander Subcommittee. However, the order of the subcommittee reports may change.

Congress created the Code Committee in Article 146 (10 U.S.C. § 946) and mandated that it “shall meet at least annually and shall make an annual comprehensive survey of the operation of this chapter.” The committee consists of the judges of CAAF, each service JAG and the SJA to the CMC, and two members of the public appointed by SECDEF.

It met on March 11, 2014, the meeting was open to the public, and I attended. Here is a summary of my notes.

Read more »

This year’s annual Code Committee meeting is next Tuesday, and it looks like the weather will cooperate nicely (dry, partly cloudy, and highs near 70). Like last year, I’m attending in my personal capacity, and I plan to head out for a local lunch afterward. If any readers will be at the meeting or want to link up afterward, please let me know. You can send me a message at, or you can meet me at the meeting (I’ll be the guy in a suit sitting in the back of the room and taking notes).

CAAF’s website has this notice of the annual meeting of the Code Committee on Tuesday, March 11, 2014, at 10 a.m.

However, the annual Judicial Conference and CLE, that was cancelled last year due to apparent budget constraints affecting many regular participants (as discussed in this post), will not occur at its traditional time in conjunction with the Code Committee meeting. Instead, according to this notice on the court’s website:

The Court’s annual Judicial Conference and Continuing Legal Education Program, which has been held in March in past years, will not take place in March this year. Efforts are being made to schedule the conference later in the spring.

The Federal Register notice is out for the next public meeting of the Response Systems Panel, last discussed in this post where the No Man noted that:

DoD’s panel to study sexual assault and military justice policy is apparently meeting behind closed doors, even when hearing from just legal experts. Coverage here (US News).

The meeting will be held on Thursday, January 30, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at The George Washington University Law School, Faculty Conference Center, 5th Floor, 716 20th Street NW., Washington, DC 20052. The agenda is:

  • 8:30 a.m.-8:40 a.m. Comments from the Panel Chair
  • 8:40 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Perspectives on Commanders in the Military Justice Process from Retired and Former Military Commanders
  • 12:30 p.m.-1:00 p.m. Lunch
  • 1:00 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Public Comment
  • 1:15 p.m.-1:45 p.m. Role of the Commander Subcommittee Report to Panel
  • 1:45 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Panel Deliberations

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 included numerous provisions related to sexual assault in the military (discussed in depth in this post). Section 576 stated:

The Secretary of Defense shall establish a panel to conduct an independent review and assessment of the systems used to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate crimes involving adult sexual assault and related offenses under section 920 of title 10, United States Code (article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice), for the purpose of developing recommendations regarding how to improve the effectiveness of such systems.

The result is the Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel (link to official website). Its next meeting will occur on December 11-12, 2013, at the University of Texas-Austin, San Jacinto Residence Hall, Multi-Purpose Room 0207, 309 E 21st Street, Austin, TX 78705. The meeting is open to the public.

Further details including the meeting’s agenda are available in this public notice in the Federal Register.

First, in case you are looking to change jobs or for something to do after you successfully defend against removal from your job and an improper mental health referral, CAAF has job openings, here.

Odd reports comesng out on the DOD IG’s potential resolution of Maj Weirick’s complaint against the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Here is a Marine Corps Times story relating a WSJ story and why it is that the DOD IG investigation only addresses favoritism allegations and not the broader unlawful command influence allegations.

Sen. Kirsten Gillinrand’s alternative legislation to amendt the UCMJ failed to make it to a vote. See Rochester Democrat report here. The Senate will take up the Authorization bill and possibly her amendment on Dec 9th.

Another Navy officer’s career is tanked by the Fat Leonard bribery scandal, here.

Some lawmakers are concerned about. unscrupulous consumer practices, particularly home lending, targeting servicemembers, here.

I just discovered this Federal Register Notice of a significant military justice event this Thursday and Friday.

A meeting of the Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel (“the Panel”) will be held November 7-8, 2013. The Public Session will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m. on November 7, 2013, and will begin at 8:25 a.m. and end at 5:45 p.m. on November 8, 2013.

Location: U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 333 Constitution Avenue NW., Courtroom #20, 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20001.

The Panel has a website:

The agenda for this week’s meeting:

November 7, 2013
8:30 a.m.-8:35 a.m. Comments from the Panel Chair
8:35 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Subcommittee Briefing
9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Overview of DoD Victim Services and Sexual Assault Reporting Statistics Update
DoD SAPRO representatives
10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.Victim Service Programs
SAPR representatives from Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard
12:00 p.m.-12:30 p.m.Lunch
12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Victim Service Provider Perspectives
Service victim advocate, sexual assault response coordinator, and victim witness liaison representatives
Civilian community victim advocates
2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Advocacy Organization Perspectives
Military victim advocacy organizations
National crime victim and sexual assault organizations
4:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Comments from Public

November 8, 2013
8:25 a.m.-8:30 a.m. Comments from the Panel Chair
8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m. Sexual Assault Survivor Perspectives
Survivors of sexual assault
10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Services Special Victims’ Counsel Programs
Representatives from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard
12:00 p.m.-12:30 p.m. Lunch
12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.Civilian Perspectives on Victim Participation
Civilian sexual assault prosecutors
Civilian victim attorneys
2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.Defense Bar Perspectives
Defense representatives from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard
Civilian defense attorneys
4:00 p.m.-4:15 p.m.Comments from Public
4:15 p.m.-5:45 p.m.Panel Deliberations

A tipster notes an interesting panel at the ABA Criminal Justice Section’s Sixth Annual Fall Institute this week, agenda here. At 4:00 pm on Oct. 31 at the Omni Shoreham (DC) (registration required) is this offering:

Does Our Military Justice System Need to Change?
The panel will discuss whether the commander should be relieved of the responsibility for the preferral of charges in the military justice system and, if so, what type of prosecutorial official should be substituted for the commander.  Discussion will focus on how large a change this would be in the military, what other countries have done, and whether changes made by other countries could or should be a model for the United States.

The panel should have a healthy debate as it features NIMJ luminaries Stephen Saltzburg and Gene Fidell and John Altenburg and Dean Lisa Schenck. 

In related news, the promotion of LTG Susan Helms is still on hold without any additional explanation from Capitol Hill. See Air Force Times coverage here. You’ll recall that General Helms nomination to head Space Command was put on hold after Sen Claire McCaskilll discovered That General Helms ser aside a sexual assault conviction in her current role as head of the 4th Air Force. General Hwlms is one of the most decorated astronauts in the military and, new tact I didn’t know, holds the world’s record for longest space walk.

AP via the Honolulu Star Advertiser, here, reports here that Marine Corps Master Sergeant Nathaniel Cosby will be court-martialed for the murder of a prostitute in Waikiki.