In the news...

May 12, 2014

Marine Corps to review raid on law offices

Julie Watson
Associated Press

Military criminal investigators raided Marine Corps defense counsel offices at Camp Pendleton, Calif., opening files during a 21/2-hour search and potentially compromising scores of cases, the attorney who oversees Marine defense lawyers in the region said May 9.

Investigators raided the offices May 2 in search of a cellphone tied to a case being tried at the base, north of San Diego, Lt. Col. Clay Plummer told The Associated Press.

This is just unacceptable, said Plummer, the Marine Corps’ regional defense counsel for the West. Just think of the U.S. federal Marshals or FBI raiding a public defender’s office, that’s what this is the equivalent to. It’s crazy.

Marine Corps officials called it a rare event and said a neutral, independent judge advocate has been appointed to review the seized evidence to identify whether any potential privileged material was improperly disclosed. Also to be reviewed is how the search was conducted.

Officials said they could not comment further because of pending litigation and the independent review.

Defense lawyers were contacting dozens of clients to inform them that military law enforcement officials had opened case files, Plummer said.

The search’s authorization was granted by the area commander. Two armed, uniformed officers and members of the criminal investigative division came into the building and did not allow anyone to leave while they searched for the cellphone, Plummer said. They searched every attorney’s office – including those with no relation to the case – and continued to search even after locating the cellphone, he said.

Investigators opened case files but did not remove any, taking only the cellphone with them, Plummer said.

Plummer said his lawyers will be filing motions in response.

Our intent is we are going to fight this behavior through litigation in our courts with the hope our courts can do something so this never happens again, Plummer said.

Lawyers in the offices are handling cases for offenses ranging from an unauthorized absence to murder. One of the most prominent cases handled by defense lawyers at Camp Pendleton is that of Lawrence Hutchins III, a Marine sergeant who is being retried in an Iraq war crimes case on charges that include murder and obstruction of justice.

This search just seems totally egregious, said former Navy officer David Glazier, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. It’s egregious enough to get a search warrant to search the premises of defense attorneys. I don’t understand why they simply did not get an order for the attorneys to turn over the cellphone.

Glazier said generally investigators try not to search defense lawyers’ offices because improper disclosure of confidential files can be grounds for dismissal of a case.

It offers all kinds of opportunities to screw up cases, he said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines October 20, 2014

News: Navy grounds ‘Top Guns’ - The F/A-18s needs spare parts and in too many cases they’re being taken from brand new jets. This is a risk to national security and pilots’ lives.   Business: Boeing seeks revised schedule for U.S. aerial tanker - Boeing is revising its master schedule for developing the new U.S. Air Force...
 
 

News Briefs October 20, 2014

New military medical team to help with Ebola in U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the military to prepare and train a 30-member medical support team that could provide short-term help to civilian health professionals if there are more Ebola cases in the United States. His spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby, says the team...
 
 

Dragon ‘fires up’ for flight

The Air Force and NATO are undergoing a cooperative development effort to upgrade the avionics and cockpit displays of AWACS aircraft belonging to the 552nd Air Control Wing at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., and the NATO E-3 Sentrys from Geilenkirchen, Germany. The Diminishing Manufacturing Sources Replacement of Avionics for Global Operations and Navigation, otherwise...
 

 
Boeing photographs

Boeing-built X-37B successfully completes third flight

Unmanned spacecraft concludes record-setting 674-day mission   Boeing photograph A third mission of the Boeing-built X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle was completed on Oct. 17, 2014, when it landed and was recovered at Vandenberg...
 
 

Boeing concludes commercial crew space act agreement for CST-100/Atlas V

Boeing has successfully completed the final milestone of its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability Space Act Agreement with NASA. The work and testing completed under the agreement resulted in significant maturation of Boeing’s crew transportation system, including the CST-100 spacecraft and Atlas V rocket. NASA in July approved the Critical Design Review Board milestone for Boeing’...
 
 

AF to release small business research solicitations

The Air Force Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer program office is set to release its fiscal year 2015 list of topics Oct. 22, on the SBIR/STTR website.  Small businesses and research institutions with expertise to address the topics’ technology challenges are encouraged to submit proposals. During 2014, the Defense Department SBIR...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>