1. Military Whistleblower Protection Defense. Client, a senior Active-Duty Army Officer tagged with Reprisal, was recently exonerated on all counts; This one took almost a year and a half to resolve, but extremely happy for my client and grateful for the result;
2. Security Clearance Defense. Two cases moving forward through the system: One for a DoD contractor working overseas with foreign preference and financial guideline concerns. We were asked to come aboard after the hearing to assist with submission of supplemental materials before the Administrative Judge’s final decision. We’re awaiting that decision now; Second matter pending is for an Army officer with a criminal record guideline concern. Defense here focused on mitigation of that old offense while presenting evidence of a solid, trustworthy, responsible individual moving forward since. Currently awaiting the agency’s decision in this case.
3. Reserve Medical Officer Resignation. Our client submitted his Unqualified Resignation (UQR) nearly 15 months ago. Until mid-June of this year, however, when he reached out for help, the packet was still mired in the system, and our client and his wife were extremely frustrated. We’re close to a decision now… but the wait continues;
4. Fitrep Appeal for a Marine SgtMaj. Have the utmost respect for the Marine Corps, but in this case, our client was gutted in a fitrep by a superior… so much so that it effectively ended a brilliant career. We’ve already been to the PERB and denied. We’re now before the Board for Correction of Naval Records (BCNR) … with hope that Lady Justice will soon appear!
Seventeen years ago today, I walked into a Dallas County courtroom for morning docket and the Bailiff who was a friend said I might want to go into the court coordinator’s office — “they have a TV on in there.” That’s all he said, but his look said more, so I went and saw and heard the reports of what was happening. I stayed and watched for about half an hour I think, and then headed over to my Army Reserve JAG unit — to do what I had no idea really. But that’s where I felt a need to be.
Over the course of the next few days and weeks, we briefed a readied a bunch of units … and of course, our world and lives changed. It’s been seventeen years now, and a highlight of my career throughout this stretch has been helping outstanding men and women who wear and have worn the nation’s uniform — all of whom, in their own way and time, answered the call. I’m grateful … and on this day especially, humbled. God Bless those we lost. Courage, strength and grace to those who still stand, protect and defend.
SHOW CAUSE BOARD OF INQUIRY, UQR, GOMOR and ARMY DASEB REPRESENTATION
Have started 2018 with some good news on several cases for clients, the latest of which is highlighted below. Last month, we were fortunate to receive an approved Unqualified Resignation (UQR) for an Army MSC officer client, and we also heard back from DASEB (DA Suitability Evaluation Board) that another officer client’s request to have his GOMOR transferred to the restricted fiche was granted. That was on a first-time request.
We also received a couple of notices last month where our requests for favorable relief were denied. Both of those cases involved BOI actions for probationary officers (less than 5 years of active federal commissioned service) with no right to a “live” Board, and with allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct as basis for the Show Cause. One of those cases is on appeal.
Earlier this week, I received word from DASEB on another Army officer who I’ve known for more than 4 years. His story is compelling. One of the best officers I’ve had the good fortune to work with over my time as a lawyer. His spirit is undiminished by his long ordeal and his character remains strong and resilient. DASEB granted his second request to transfer a GOMOR. He comes up for a second look at promotion later this year, and I’m pulling that the Army does the right thing with a selection. We would all benefit. My client’s thoughts are shared below in his testimonial.
Thank you, and if you or someone you know has a need, don’t hesitate to give my office a call or shoot an email. v/r Bill Meili
“I contacted Bill Meili over 4 years ago to represent me on a Show Cause Board of Inquiry (BOI) due to a GOMOR being permanently filed in my performance fiche. The Board voted to retain me, but my career was still in doubt because the GOMOR was still in place. Since day 1, however, Mr. Meili has provided sound advice and given me hope that there is still a chance to overcome my long-ago mistake and continue my career. Bill Meili truly cares and ensures that everything is being handled fairly and with respect for the whole person concept. Recently, the Department of the Army Suitability Evaluation Board (DASEB) gave me relief, transferring my GOMOR to my restricted fiche — again with Mr. Meili as my attorney. It has been a long journey and Mr. Meili has always been available providing sound advice and guidance. It is great to know that there is someone who I may contact if in need. He excels in his craft and genuinely cares. The only regret I have is not contacting him earlier in the process!” JJ CPT, USA
Quick Update on the following from last Monday’s Blog post: ” … the office has several Army matters still hanging fire … a UQR (Unqualified Resignation) now at HRC for an Army aviator…” Happy to report that this Army aviator’s UQR was approved last Thursday. Really good news for a good man and his family.
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
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