Recent activity in the past three months since my last post has centered around Boards of Inquiry Defense for probationary officers. Show Cause/BOIs for probationary officers — typically those with less than 5 years of commissioned service — are particularly challenging, because of the lesser amount of due process provided by regulation. In plain language, if the local command recommends a characterization of service no worse than a General, Under Honorable Conditions, the probationary officer has no recourse to present his or her case to a “live” board of officers. It’s simply a paper presentation to his command chain for a decision by the GOSCA (usually the CG of the local installation).
That said, it’s so important to engage the chain of command early and often in order to have some hope of swaying a recommendation from them for retention, or in some cases even to close a case without it going forward. Also, it’s essential for the lawyer to call on the servicing JAG or SJA’s office so that an early and substantive dialogue can be initiated. Without that, especially in a case where there is no “live” board to advocate before and with, there is virtually no effective way to sway the GOSCA towards a more favorable view of the respondent/client.
In addition to the probationary officer cases mentioned, the office has several Army matters still hanging fire, waiting decision at DASEB on GOMOR appeals and at DASA on one of those BOIs, as well as a UQR (Unqualified Resignation appeal) now at HRC for an Army aviator, and one Marine case pending at the PERB (Performance Evaluation Review Board at Quantico) where we’re seeking to correct a Fitrep injustice. Keeping fingers crossed on all.
Finally, I wanted to share an unexpected bright spot which came to my attention this morning. I had worked with a family the past two years on a civilian, criminal matter. Thankfully, and with a lot of work by many people on both sides of the aisle, the state made a decision to decline prosecution. No case was filed. The bright spot this morning came in the form of a few words posted by my client’s father to a social media platform. Here’s the post in his words, and I’m forever grateful for Rob and his entire family that the result was what it was: _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Posted by Rob on Avvo.com
“Our Son was in significant trouble and we knew right away that he was going to need the absolute Best Representation by a Knowledgeable and Thoughtful Professional. You see, I was in a position where I knew Bill, not well, but well enough to know that in my heart I could “Trust” that Bill would do everything in his power to help our Family. He did just that and a lot more!”
“You see, Bill not only gave my Son all that he had, he poured his heart into my Family, literally keeping us in one piece. This is what gave us all strength to get through our long and difficult journey. I hate to think where my Son and my Family would be without Bill in our Lives.”
What a ride it’s been this year. Grateful for the opportunity to help many facing adversity and rough patches of varying degree and scope.
Had the distinct pleasure to work with some remarkable people this past month. Looking forward to favorable decisions in two of those cases, and, equally, to a new challenge next month on a third. Warmest wishes to all for a safe, sane and easy Fourth of July holiday weekend! Bill
Looking back over the month — it would appear that we’ve been fairly busy — to wit:
3 Feb: Submitted a Show Cause – Board of Inquiry rebuttal/response for a senior reserve Army officer;
9 Feb: Submitted a request for reconsideration appeal to the Department of the Army Suitability Evaluation Board (DASEB) for a company grade active duty Army officer;
17 Feb: Delivered a request for reconsideration on an Unqualified Resignation (UQR) action for a senior active duty Warrant officer;
20 Feb: Submitted an appeal to transfer a General Officer Reprimand (GOMOR) to DASEB for a field grade Army Reserve officer;
22 Feb: Coordinated a diversion program track for a civilian juvenile client facing a felony aggravated sexual assault charge;
23 Feb: Began a coordinated, managed defense for an AWOL return to military control matter;
27 Feb: Heard that the client’s command chain in the 3 Feb matter above recommends favorable action on our requested relief, and;
28 Feb: Received word that the government/military command would not be preferring UCMJ charges against an active duty enlisted client.
Grateful for the opportunities presented along the way, and for the help and support of many, without which none of the above would have been possible. Stay tuned. v/r Bill
Phone: 214 363-1828
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
An ARMY AG OFFICER SPEAKS OUT ABOUT HER EXPERIENCE WITH A GENERAL OFFICER MEMORANDUM OF REPRIMAND (GOMOR) APPEAL TO DASEBPosted: October 23, 2014
During my extensive search for an attorney I ran across several reviews for Mr. Meili from clients and peers who all had great things to say about the service he provides and his commitment to working hard for his clients.
Upon my initial contact with him I was astounded by his professionalism, personality, knowledge and confidence. He was up front and honest, and he didn’t try and sell me a dream unlike many of the attorneys I had spoken with prior to him. The cost of his services was well worth the money spent; I have no regrets. I felt as though I finally had someone in my corner that was there to represent me and not my command.
In addition to other cases he was working, Mr. Meili always kept me informed on the status of my case, and I always knew when he was traveling or unavailable. My phone calls and email were never left unanswered or not returned.
Mr. Meili showed a genuine interest in getting to know who I was as an individual, what I stood for, as well as what my leadership thought about me. He constructively used this information to vigilantly construct a case that represented me well. The brief he prepared for me was very detailed and well put together. He did not rush; instead he took his time to make sure he captured all the important and relevant details while ensuring that I was involved and aware.
Mr. Meili often times provided words of encouragement and wisdom on how to deal with my situation and was never judgmental. He didn’t hold back when I became doubtful of the process. He helped me to see that regardless of what I was being portrayed as in a letter of reprimand — that I was better, and had much to offer not just the military but society. I wish I had met him sooner. He is a people person, and whenever I would hang up from him or finish reading an email from him I was always put at ease. His hard work and representation helped transfer my GOMOR to my restricted AMHRR file. Although DASEB was slow to render its decision, Mr. Meili assured me that there was still room to fight, and was more than willing to help me.
It has been a blessing to meet him and I would definitely recommend his services to others in similar situations. He is great at what he does and I thank God for sending him into my life.
GC, 1LT, AG Corps
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch If we can be of assistance with a GOMOR removal or transfer, or with any other military law related matter affecting your career or the career of someone you know. Thank you.