We received some good news from the Army Review Boards Agency (ARBA) a day or so ago. The decision came in from the Army Discharge Review Board (ADRB) panel we argued the case before last month in D.C. The five, active duty colonels voted unanimously to grant our client relief. This was long in coming, but extremely gratifying on many levels …. and not a bad way to kick off the New Year! This was also a first of its kind case for our practice. Our client was a former active duty Army recruit in basic training, who was administratively separated for medical reasons, within the first six months of his enlistment. His discharge certificate (DD214) read “Uncharacterized,” and this has been causing him significant problems with potential employers over the past several years.
His service though had been exemplary in the short time he was in, and he was cited for meritorious conduct before his discharge. We argued that and asked that his DD214 be changed to an Honorable characterization of service, which is almost never done with entry level separations. But, this officer panel agreed with us, and voted accordingly, upgrading the discharge and changing both the narrative reason for separation and the RE Code.
If you care to know more about this case, I’d be happy to discuss it in more detail.
Office: 214 363-1828 or 866 578-0164; Cell: 214 536-3888
v/r Bill Meili
November 30, 2016
We had a nice result rendered in a Grand Jury proceeding a while back. The charge was Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Family Violence. The client’s charge was No-Billed … and in thinking about this work, I thought it might be helpful to draft out the following:
Six Points Everyone Needs to Know About Criminal Grand Jury Proceedings:
1. All adult felony charges must first be reviewed by a grand jury before further prosecution takes place, and …some juvenile felony charges will be reviewed by a grand jury;
2. In most jurisdictions around the country, grand jury procedure allows the person charged to present a written case to the grand jury for its consideration before the vote to indict or no-bill. And in many jurisdictions, the grand jury wants to hear from the accused;
3. The single most important thing you can do to help a grand jury make the right decision is to retain experienced legal counsel immediately.
4. Presenting your case, with the help and guidance of an attorney experienced in Grand Jury practice and procedure, can pay huge dividends.
5. Grand Jurors, almost universally, want to do the “right thing” in any given case. By having your attorney properly present your side of the case, you help the Grand Jury reach the right decision….which ultimately helps you immeasurably.
6. A Grand Jury No-Bill (a vote not to indict) often leads to a successful expunction of all records of the arrest and charge.
I’m a former Dallas County Grand Jury prosecutor, and so learned how to do this work from the inside years ago. Given some great mentors, and the perspective afforded there — and now, with the added perspective of more than twenty-four years in private practice — I don’t think there’s a better way to win a client’s freedom — or save and protect a future and clear (expunge) his or her record, than to present the matter properly to a Grand Jury.
Please call, and we can discuss your case in greater detail.
Bill Meili, Attorney and Counselor at Law – Criminal Defense and Military Law. 214 363-1828 or info@MeiliLaw.com
Good news shared is good news doubled. Great call just now with a combat aviator I’ve been partnering with last month or so. Big Army removed, effective today, an additional ADSO he’d been carrying, (GI Bill benefit transfer). This now clears the way for a deletion of PCS orders and acceptance of his Unqualified Resignation (UQR). So, he’ll be able to ETS on time and in the geographical area where his family resides. Quad Fecta !!!! Love it when things come together like this.
If you, or someone you love, needs help with any or all of the above, give us a call. Thanks.
In light of changing times and administrations, here’s a blog post I drafted about 5 years ago. The info still holds. If you’re in the IRR and past your 8 year statutory obligation — (your MSO) — you might want to check your current status. I can help with that. Also, if you know someone in the Army nearing his or her MSO, please feel free to pass this on. Thanks. v/r, Bill
This was a case of a Dental Officer who was going out on an Honorable because he couldn’t pass his final licensing exams. The Army had brought him on board with the understanding that he had to pass those exams within a year’s time in order to become fully credentialed (licensed). When he couldn’t, the Army started elimination action for substandard performance. But shortly into that process, he w…as stopped on post by MPs for suspicion of DWI. No charge was ever formally filed, and the evidence was questionable. But as is almost always the case these days — his CG issued a GOMOR (General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand), and the servicing SJA office recommended a Show Cause action for misconduct. (Did I say no formal charge was ever filed???) So now he was in jeopardy of going out with a less than honorable characterization of service for being a bad actor. Not necessarily career enhancing in the civilian world.
We fought it over the past six months up to the Assistant Secretary of the Army level … and the ASA, suprisingly I have to tell you … issued an honorable discharge characterization. Our client left active duty on the 15th of September and started a new job with a civilian dentist two weeks ago. This dentist will provide the necessary supervision and oversight until such time as our client enters a fellowship program with another professional. If he does well in both places — with both Docs — he’ll be a fully licensed, credentialed and accredited dentist under the laws of this jurisdiction.
And that’s a good news story for any day of the week. (You can also read this Client’s Testimonial on our website’s (meililaw.com) testimonial page. Thanks. Bill Meili
Never lose hope, and don’t give up!
Finally, after nearly two years of playing administrative Tug-O-War with half a dozen levels of Army command and control, my doctor (officer) client’s Unqualified Resignation (UQR) was approved with an Honorable discharge. It should not have taken anywhere near this long, for all sorts of valid reasons … but we’ll set that aside for the moment, and enjoy this decision and victory — long in coming, but sweet nonetheless!
As I’ve said before in previous posts, if you’re considering an unqualified resignation, (UQR) — whether or not you have a remaining service obligation — please contact us. I’d be happy to discuss your situation in detail, and help with a way forward. Office: 214 363-1828; Cell: 214 536-3888 or feel free to visit the website http://www.meililaw.com for more information about UQRs generally.
v/r Bill Meili, COL (Ret.), JA, USAR Attorney and Counselor at Law
Received word this afternoon that our probationary officer client’s 7 month ordeal to leave service with dignity and respect after allegations of misconduct and conduct unbecoming surfaced this past February, will end favorably in the very near future.
I’m so happy for my client, and I’m grateful once again that despite time and much friction along the way, the Army did finally render a fair and just decision.
I also want to express my thanks to the active duty JAG officer assigned this case. He was throughout the representation, professional, tenacious in representing his client, and yet, at the same time, always reasonable, respectful and open-minded to our requests and initiatives. I can’t say enough good things about him.
If you’re a probationary or non-probationary officer facing a Board of Inquiry separation, please give us a call. I’d be happy to discuss your situation in detail, and help you explore a way forward. Office: 214 363-1828; Cell: 214 536-3888 or feel free to visit the website http://www.meililaw.com for more information about the practice generally.
v/r Bill Meili, COL (Ret.), JA, USAR, Attorney and Counselor at Law