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 July 25, 2014

News: VA reform bills stalled by partisan bickering - Plans for a comprehensive Veterans Affairs Department reform bill that appeared all but finished a month ago devolved into partisan bickering and funding fights July 24, casting doubt on the future of a deal.   Business: Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed announce bids on Danish fighter competition; Saab withdraws -...
 
 

News Briefs July 25, 2014

Marines investigate corporal who vanished in Iraq U.S. Marine Corp officers are launching a formal investigation into whether a Lebanese-American Marine deserted his unit in Iraq or later after returning to the United States. A spokesman for the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune said July 24 that Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun is being...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Erin OíShea

U.S. Forces display military might at Farnborough

Air Force photograph by A1C Erin O’Shea Capt. Tom Meyers discusses the F-15E Strike Eagle’s capabilities with spectators July 17, 2014, at the Farnborough International Airshow in England. Public access was granted ...
 

 
raptors4

Raptors, Falcons fuel up in desert skies

Three U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild AFB, Wash., during Red Flag 14-3, Ju...
 
 
lm-kmax

Lockheed Martin’s unmanned cargo helicopter team returns from deployment

After lifting more than 4.5 million pounds of cargo and conducting thousands of delivery missions for the U.S. Marine Corps, the Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace Corporation K-MAX cargo unmanned aircraft system has returned ...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler

Sun sets on Red Flag 14-3

Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler The sun sets behind a row of F-16 Fighting Falcons during Red Flag 14-3, July 16, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Red Flag provides a series of intense air-to-air combat scenario...
 




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>