David Hammond left active duty as a Major in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. While on active duty, he tried dozens of cases as a prosecutor and defended over 100 Soldiers on appeal before the Army Court of Criminal Appeals and the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. He still serves today as an Army Reservist.
David’s practice includes the representation of Soldiers appealing their court-martial convictions. If your approved sentence included a punitive discharge or confinement for one year or more, you are legally entitled to appeal to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals (ACCA). Unlike many civilian jurisdictions, you have this right even if you pled guilty at your court-martial. The military justice system developed uniquely in this manner, and some clients actually obtain some form of appellate “relief” even though they admitted guilt at trial.
If your appeal to ACCA is unsuccessful, you may petition the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF). Unlike the Army Court, however, CAAF has discretion whether or not to consider your appeal (with a few exceptions). CAAF considers a relatively few number of cases each term, and usually only those that present a unique or important legal question.
Numerous complicated issues arise during a court-martial. The military judge, trial counsel, or defense counsel may have made an error that affects the validity of your convic
tion. You are entitled to a military lawyer to handle your appeal. These lawyers are usually among the brightest in the JAG Corps, and are quite capable of handling your case. However, you also have the right to hire a civilian lawyer at your own expense to take the lead role in your appeal. Your military lawyer would remain on the case and work with your civilian lawyer. In other words, you would have two appellate defense attorneys working on your case instead of just the one provided to you by the government (they rarely provide more than one lawyer).
Contact David and he will discuss your court-martial conviction with you.
Learn more about military justice appellate practice at CAAFlog.
Discharge Upgrades and Correction of Military Records
Congress directed each military service to establish discharge review and military records correction boards to help Veterans correct paperwork. For example, the Army established the Army Board for Correction of Military Records (ABCMR). The purpose of these boards is to correct an “error or injustice” in official records. If you feel your military records or inaccurate due to error or injustice, contact David and he will assist in your application to the appropriate board.
VA Disability Claims
If you are in the Syracuse area and are looking for assistance with your VA disability benefits, contact David. He can be a local advocate for you and assist you in finding the right resources and people for your individual situation.