Our hard hitting court martial defense lawyers have the experience and firepower necessary to level the playing field in your military case.
We aggressively defend Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps servicemembers worldwide. We fight court martial cases throughout the United States, Europe (Germany, Italy, Spain, Sicily, England, Greenland, Turkey), the Middle East (Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain), and the Pacific (Korea, Hawaii, Japan, Guam). We represent military clients that are under investigation by CID, OSI, and NCIS with the objective of avoiding criminal charges. Founded and led by Michael Waddington, our firm is one of the most experienced and successful military law firms in the world.
What are the Real Costs of a Court Martial Conviction? – Learn why a quick plea deal may not be in your best interest.
How to choose the best military defense lawyer: Many military lawyers claim to be “the best,” but their background and experience say otherwise. We invite you to compare us with any other military law firm and decide for yourself.
For example, Michael Waddington is only 1 of 2 military lawyers in the USA that is a member of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers (ABCL), the most prestigious group of high-profile criminal lawyers in the world. The ABCL is the equivalent of the “Pro Football Hall of Fame,” but for criminal lawyers. Requirements for admission include having at least ten (10) years of criminal trial experience. Attorneys must have tried at least fifty (50) major felony cases to verdict and win at least thirty-five (35), at least five (5) of which being capital or life sentence cases. WATCH THIS VIDEO TO LEARN MORE.
Overview of Mr. Waddington’s reputation:
FELLOW – AMERICAN BOARD OF CRIMINAL LAWYERS (less than .004% of US criminal lawyers receive this honor)
VOTED 2014 SUPER LAWYERS – GEORGIA, RISING STAR
VOTED 2013 TOP 100 TRIAL LAWYERS IN THE USA – The National Trial Lawyers Association
RATED by AVVO.com – 10.0 SUPERB
With a portfolio of high profile cases, including cases from the War on Terror, Mr. Waddington and those cases have been featured in print and broadcast media throughout the world, including ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN Fox, Newsweek, the New Yorker, The Washington Post, and USA Today. He has also served as a consultant to 60 Minutes, ABC Nightline, CNN, CBS, and the Golden Globe winning “The Good Wife” television series.
Results Of Recent Court Martial Cases
Compare our results with any military defense lawyer anywhere in the world – military or civilian. And we’re happy to provide references on request.
What you’re up again in court martial cases and why you need an experienced military lawyer
If you’re facing trial in the military justice system, the cards are stacked against you. The prosecution has virtually unlimited resources and all the attorneys and paralegals it needs to work toward the sole goal of imprisoning you for the maximum sentence. Defendants feel helpless, scared, overwhelmed, and are led to think their only option is to just plead guilty, which is exactly what the prosecution wants.
But a guilty plea should only be a last resort and only entered with the competent representation of qualified counsel who has your best interest at heart. Even when there’s a chance a defendant can prove his or her innocence, it’s not uncommon for military or civilian defense attorneys to enter a guilty plea instead.
Select Your Military Lawyer With Care Or Become Another Statistic
With a conviction rate of more than 90% in the military justice system and 95% of those convicted being stripped of their rank and benefits, discharged, and imprisoned, selecting the best defense attorney couldn’t be more critical. Ask any potential defense lawyer, military or civilian, to detail the results of the last 10 cases they defended. How many were tried in front of a jury? How many clients were discharged? How many acquitted? Then call Michael Waddington to discuss your options.
From his own experience with court martial cases around the world, here’s what you’ll be up against and why you need a fearless civilian attorney like Michael Waddington in your corner.
- Assigned military defense teams are outnumbered 5 to 1 by prosecution teams, and the prosecution will use every tactic they can to manipulate all aspects of a case and thwart the ability to mount an adequate defense.
- Requests for delays and continuances to give defendants adequate time to prepare their defense are often denied. Prosecutors offer witnesses favors, plea deals and immunity as long as they say what they’re asked to help win a case.
- While military prosecutors can take advantage of any number of expert witnesses, it’s common for prosecutors and Staff Judge Advocates (SJA) to work together to assure defendants are denied the same right. Even requests to use the same experts used by the prosecution are often denied, making it more critical than ever to be represented by an attorney with the experience and skill to win a case without defense experts if needed.
- Another common tactic is to charge a service member using the “shotgun approach,” with as many charges as possible to leave defendants little choice but to plead guilty. Court martial charge sheets of three pages aren’t uncommon, often the same charge repeated time and time again in different ways.
- The Government has plenty of well-trained investigators, including NCIS, OSI, MPI and CID, all working to find any and all information against you. And if information that might actually help your case is found, you can be assured it will be lost, overlooked or misplaced. Or if favorable facts are introduced at trial, prosecutors are skilled at twisting them to paint a defendant’s guilt instead.
- Lies, trickery and deceit are not only common tactics used by military investigators but are tactics investigators are actually trained in. And they’re very good at it, getting away with just as much as a defense lawyer allows. That’s why it’s important to hire a lawyer who not only knows the tricks of the trade, but who can expose them and use them to your advantage.
- Rank plays a key role in determining a case’s outcome. From the Judge to the jury, defendants are almost always outranked. And that includes the Chief of Military Justice, the Convening Authority that decides if a defendant will face court martial and picks the jury, the Staff Judge Advocate, the Article 32 Officer and your assigned military lawyer. That’s why an aggressive military defense lawyer who’s not subject to rank is critical to a winning defense.
- While the Staff Judge Advocate, the legal advisor to the Convening Authority, is charged with being neutral, fair and impartial in the name of justice, in reality “justice” usually means getting a conviction, discharge, and the toughest sentence possible. As the prosecutor’s boss, the SJA isn’t concerned about your freedom nor do they worry about your family’s welfare. Far from being neutral, they just want a conviction and will bully prosecutors and your own defense attorneys alike to get it. Even when an Article 32 investigating officer finds facts that don’t support bringing charges, some SJA offices will proceed to trial regardless.
- The rules of a court martial trial also work against defendants, with the prosecution allowed to call any witnesses they desire without informing the defense what those witnesses will say. But the defense must disclose exactly what its witnesses will say and what role their testimony will play. And some judges require the defense to disclose even more details, often meaning the entire defense strategy is revealed. And in high profile cases, there can be incredible pressure on defense lawyers for a guilty plea.
When all is said and done, if you want a fair shot in the military justice system, you need a fearless, aggressive military defense lawyer like Michael Waddington in your corner to help even the odds.
Military Lawyer – Sexual Assault Trial Lawyer
As a criminal defense lawyer who has defended service members around the world in both court martial cases and administrative separation boards, Michael Waddington is known for being an aggressive, fearless and hard hitting trial attorney and military lawyer. Despite overwhelming odds, Mr. Waddington has successfully defended cases in Korea, Japan, Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, the United States and other spots around the world. Known as a hard bargainer, Mr. Waddington is the only type of defense lawyer that prosecutors take seriously, those with a solid history of winning cases at trial.
Having been involved in some of the highest profile cases that have come out of the War on Terror, Mr. Waddington has an extensive and winning track record against military prosecution teams. Maintaining a small case load and usually representing only those clients who want to fight the charges against them, Mr. Waddington personally handles cases he accepts from beginning to end.
Understand Your Options And Rights As A Suspect
If you’re facing a court martial or administrative separation board, choosing the right military lawyer could well be the most important decision of your life. And there’s no better choice than Michael Waddington.