Law Offices of David P. Sheldon
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Federal appeal of adverse military decision: role of legal counsel

Some readers of our blog might reasonably think that military and civilian law never intersect, that is, that there is never any interplay between the treatment accorded a servicemember under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the civilian court system.

In other words, a presumption can -- and often does -- prevail that the two justice systems are entirely distinct and never interact with each other.

As reasonable as such a belief might be, it is incorrect. Although military matters handled pursuant to the UCMJ are customarily confined to its dictates, that is not always the case. On some occasions, a servicemember adversely affected by a legal outcome under military law can appeal that decision to a federal court.

As we note on a relevant page of our website at the Law Offices of David P. Sheldon, "Federal courts serve as important safeguards for servicemembers and are empowered to review and set aside unlawful [military] decisions."

That is certainly important to know for any military member who has suffered an adverse decision and might otherwise believe that his or her options for further review have been terminated.

Access to a federal court requires first, though, that an adverse administrative decision must have been rendered. Moreover, a grant of appeal will only result in instances where an appealable error or some other material mistake was made by military authorities.

We cite the "highly technical" aspects that relate to the filing of a federal appeal on our website, alluding also to the depth of specialized knowledge required by a military defense attorney to effectively present and argue a case.

Our firm has more than two decades of military law experience, which encompasses the handling of dozens of federal court review cases by attorney David P. Sheldon.

We take great pride in the advocacy we bring to bear on behalf of military members who need legal representation and welcome visits to our website by readers who seek information about our firm.

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