You should be up-front and confront the issue head on: ask the military lawyer a series of questions to find out exactly how much experience they have.
Some suggested questions are:
1. How long have you been a licensed attorney?
2. How long have you been a JAG?
3. How long have you practiced criminal law?
4. How long have you practiced criminal law in the military?
5. How many courts-martial have you tried?
6. How many of those courts-martial were contested (where the accused person pleaded not guilty)?
7. How many of your courts-martial were just guilty pleas?
8. How many of your courts-martial were you the lead counsel?
9. How many of your courts-martial were you the second chair?
Military lawyers often boast about their level of experience without any real proof. The Army has created a tracking system to categorize their lawyers by classification. This classification scheme is known as ASI or Additional Skills Identifier for military justice. An attorney’s ASI is a direct reflection of the number of years they have spent in court-martial practice, the number of total cases tried including a distinction between those they tried as the lead counsel versus those they sat second-chair, and how many cases were contested versus guilty pleas in addition to how many trainings they have undergone. There are four possible classifications, ASI1, ASI2, ASI3, and ASI4. For more details about the ASI system, please click here, policy memorandum. Ms. Stewart was awarded ASI3 as a captain in December 2009. Please note that Ms. Stewart was not able to achieve ASI4 prior to leaving active duty because there is a requirement to serve in one or more positions, which are all relegated to Lieutenants-Colonel and Colonels. Proof of Ms. Stewart’s ASI is here. ASI certification is also located on the attorney’s ORB. Don’t be afraid to ask your military attorney for proof of their ASI. Be wary of a military attorney who tells you that they “haven’t bothered to apply.” Military practitioners who are serious about practicing criminal law will have applied, assuming they meet the minimum requirements for at least ASI1.
Being a former service member herself and working exclusively on military cases, Ms. Stewart has amassed experience to help in the following areas of the UCMJ:
When faced with the decision of hiring a UCMJ specialist, Ms. Stewart’s former clients explain all that is necessary about her commitment to their case and her expertise in handling the toughest legal battles. Learn more about her unique abilities in the words of her clients, peers, and military judges.