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.


 
 

 

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...
 
 
dassault

Dassault Falcon Jet establishes new pilot operational support team

Arnaud Paulmier, head of Dassault Falcon Jet’s new operational support team. Dassault Falcon Jet recently established a new Pilot Operational Support Team in Teterboro, N.J., to support operators in the Western Hemisphere. Th...
 

 

NASA partners with leading technology innovators to enable future exploration

Recognizing that technology drives exploration, NASA has selected four teams of agency technologists for participation in the Early Career Initiative pilot program. The program encourages creativity and innovation among early career NASA technologists by engaging them in hands-on technology development opportunities needed for future missions. NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate c...
 
 
Navy photograph by POC Sam Shavers

Navy christens, launches future USS Detroit

Navy photograph by POC Sam Shavers Ship’s sponsor Barbara Levin breaks a bottle of champagne across the bow during the christening ceremony for the littoral combat ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Detroit (LCS 7) at Mari...
 
 

New commercial rocket descent data may help NASA with future Mars landings

NASA successfully captured thermal images of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on its descent after it launched in September from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The data from these thermal images may provide critical engineering information for future missions to the surface of Mars. “Because the technologies required to land large payloads on Mars...
 




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>