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Wednesday, October 24, 2018


Military Defense Lawyer (Former JAG Attorney) News:

Recently, a company grade military officer defended by attorney Richard V. Stevens (Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.) was retained in the military after winning a litigated board of inquiry (BOI) hearing - involuntary administrative discharge board. 

In the military, involuntary administrative discharge board hearings are referred to as Boards of Inquiry (BOI), show cause boards, officer elimination actions, adsep boards, administrative separation actions, or administrative discharge boards.  Regardless of the label, this is an attempt by the military to kick the member out of the military. 

If an officer faces an involuntary administrative separation/discharge, and is discharged, they not only lose their military career, they often receive a negative discharge characterization - either a General Discharge or an Under Other Than Honorable Conditions Discharge.  In addition, they lose their future retirement and military benefits. 

Unlike a military court-martial trial, in which the government is required to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, the burden of proof on the government in a BOI hearing is much lower; it is simply a preponderance of the evidence.

Similar to a military court-martial, however, a BOI hearing involves a litigated case, including opening statements, calling and confronting witnesses, presenting evidence, making closing arguments, and the Board Members deliberating and announcing their decision.

This particular case led to a litigated involuntary administrative separation/discharge board hearing in which the government alleged various acts of misconduct against the client over the course of his career as a military officer.  After litigation of the case in the hearing, the three O-6 Board Panel Members returned a decision that the officer client should be retained in the military.  Because of the nature of administrative board hearings, which are closed, no further specifics about this case can be discussed. 

While this military case was successfully defended, it is important to understand that every case has different facts, and success in previous cases does not guarantee success in any particular future case.  No military lawyer or civilian defense lawyer, including those who specialize in military law, can guarantee the outcome of any military trial or case. 

For more information about the military justice system, particularly involuntary separation/discharge actions, please see:

We offer free consultations for a case you may be involved in.  Just call us. 
Thank you. 

By:  Attorney Richard V. Stevens
Civilian criminal defense lawyer and military defense lawyer
Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.

Blog postscript: I (attorney Richard V. Stevens) am a former active duty military lawyer (JAG). My perspectives and advice, therefore, are based upon my experience as military defense lawyer and as a civilian criminal defense lawyer practicing exclusively in the area of military law and military justice. This blog addresses issues in military law, military justice, military discipline, military defense, court-martial practice, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and other military and/or legal topics. Nothing posted in this blog should be substituted for legal advice in any particular case. If you seek legal advice for a particular case, please contact The Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens for a free consultation. These military defense law offices are located in the Washington DC, Northern Virginia, Maryland, National Capital Region (NCR), but the military defense representation is worldwide – when necessary, the attorneys travel to wherever the client is stationed around the world.

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