PSA: Get a Transcript or it’s Malpractice

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Messy military lawyer. Today’s public service announcement is… If you are going to military court like Court Martial, or you are going to an administrative separation board where there’s an allegation that military law enforcement investigated.

If you’re going into that process without an authenticated transcription of the accuser’s statements, you’re wrong. About 10 years ago, yeah, about 10 years ago, the military law enforcement stopped taking written sworn statements from their complaining witnesses because they realized that it was much easier for us as defense counsel to trip them up when their statements were in black and white, so they’d taken to only doing audio video statements. It’s bumbling foolery to try to impeach a witness with a prior statement when you’re talking about a recording. Even if you don’t have the money or you don’t hire someone like me to represent you in court, you can pay a couple hundred bucks to get an authenticated transcript of that to give to your lawyer.

Because if they’re going to court without an authenticated transcript of that complaining witness’s statement, and hopefully they’ve got more than one to go off of, they’re wrong. That’s like legal malpractice. Get a transcription, pay the couple hundred bucks. And if you can’t even pay a couple hundred bucks, a lot of transcriptionists will, if you type it out for them, they’ll go over the audio, verify it and authenticate it for you for like maybe 50 or 75 bucks. But if you’re facing an allegation and you don’t have a copy of the transcript, you’re wrong. Messy military lawyer.

Jocelyn Stewart is a UCMJ court-martial attorney who specializes in defense of allegations of sexual assault for all branches of the military worldwide.

 

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