Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Petitioner's CAAF Brief in Callwood

We alerted readers to CAAF's recent grant of review of a unique Ineffective Assistance of Counsel issue the other day.  Although getting access to all the briefs remains elusive, we did manage to get our hands on the petitioner's supp pet.  While there's a "completeness of the record" issue, the juicy matters surround the IAC claim.  Captain Callwood alleges his civilian defense counsel, who put Callwood on the stand unsworn in the Article 32 hearing (!), didn't adequately prepare for the Article 32 hearing, nor for the court-martial itself.  Callwood argues these lapses resulted in the preferral of additional charges against him. 

During the trial itself, the defense counsel apparently declined to cross-examine nearly one half of the government's witnesses.  Having been on the receiving end of IAC complaints that lacked merit, I'll withhold judgment on whether the defense could have gained any tactical advantage by cross-examining additional witnesses.

Note to self after reading the brief: If you're going to have your client testify at any point during adverse proceedings, but particularly on matters such as "Have you ever been in trouble for something like this before?" it's a good idea to know what your client's answer will be--and what the facts are.

Have you ever noticed that most IAC complaints (emphasizing that I don't mean to imply the courts substantiate these complaints, just noting the complaints are made) in the military seem to involve civilian counsel?  Is this because the client feels the double whammy of having paid for an attorney and getting convicted?