Author - Swilli

Gagne, Scherer & Associates, LLC announce Kristin Helton as 2016 winner of $1,200 college scholarship

Gagne, Scherer & Associates, LLC are proud to announce that Kristin Helton has been awarded a $1,200 college scholarship. Growing up in a small, farm community in Illinois, Kristin always dreamed of helping others. A strong desire to assist those in need and a personal connection to the military served as her inspiration for her winning essay, which reads, in part: “Before considering applying for this incredible scholarship opportunity, I thought long and hard about the essay topic.  I was unsure if I was qualified to address the issue, as I have never served in the military. However, many of my family members have served and laid their lives on the line to help protect and better this country.  With this in mind, I can […]

Insider Tips from a Military Attorney: How to win your Sexual Assault Case

A military sexual assault case can’t be about settling scores. It’s about staying free and staying off of the sex offender list. Here’s how you do that: Be nice Be reasonable. Be thorough. Am I telling you to be nice? I am. Bear with me. Broadly speaking, an attorney will defend a military sexual assault case in one of two ways: attack or outflank. Every particular approach falls into one of those categories. Either approach can work, but this is a classic instance where, more often than not, you’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar. How do you do it? Strictly speaking, you do don’t do it, your attorney does. But you still have to choose how you want to be represented, because everything […]

3 Ways to Beat Military Investigators at Their Own Game

The script, simplified:  What exactly am I being accused of? That’s not true. I didn’t do it. I’m not going to talk to you, I want a lawyer. If the military suspects you of committing a crime, eventually the investigators will ask you to talk. The conversation won’t be on your turf. It’ll be at their office, behind locked and guarded doors, in a tiny, windowless, clockless interrogation room. You’ll be directed where to sit. The scene and the method are scripted, staged, and calibrated for maximum psychological effect. It’s not a conversation, it’s a confession hunt. And it can last all day and night if you let it. These three tips can help you get out of that situation quickly and harmlessly. Get whatever information […]

5 Dangerous Myths About Defending A Court-Martial

Myth 1: A COURT-MARTIAL is required to be a fair fight Truth: From the beginning of the case, the court martial defendant faces huge disadvantages. The government has unlimited resources at a court martial, but the appointed defense counsel’s office receives very little funding. The government will have at least two prosecutors at a court martial, while the defendant is typically entitled to have only one appointed attorney. The prosecution has an entire office of investigators, but the defense is entitled to none. The prosecution can afford to travel and have any witness it wants to the court martial in order to testify against the defendant, but the defense needs to get the government’s approval to fund any defense witness travel. The prosecution gets to […]

The Good Soldier Defense – Three Things You Need To Know

Good Soldier Defense A Good Soldier Defense is a well-recognized defense under the Rules of Court Martial, the Military Rules of Evidence and military case law. United States v. Wilson, 28 M.J. 48 (C.M.A. 1989). This defense allows the accused service member to show honorable service and military accomplishments to suggest that the charged misconduct is so incompatible with the member’s overall excellent military service that the accused would not have committed the crime. It’s a powerful tool for the defendant because the judge and jury can use this evidence all by itself to find reasonable doubt. If you have been charged with a military crime, there are many things to know about The Good Soldier Defense including: 1. Military Rule of Evidence 405: Military […]