Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Bookmarks Every New Judge Advocate Needs

For those of you who know me, you know that 2009-10 marked a big year in the Walker household. I left five years of private civilian practice to come into the Coast Guard as a Judge Advocate. It is a very, very exciting career. Even though there have been ups and downs, particularly with being away from the family and moving the wife and child to a new place, I do not regret making the decision.

When I first came into the job, my office-designated mentor suggested some useful web sites. After looking them over, I searched on my own. Now, here is my list of useful websites for every new judge advocate, subject to future revision:

Court Martial and Trial Practice:

Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (official site) - Great website overall, but the best part is the digest, which summarizes cases on specific military trial practice issues.

CAAFlog - a blog on military justice practice focused on decisions of the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and military trial and appellate courts, generally. A good "daily digest" if you will.

Court Martial Trial Practice Blog - another good trial practice site.

Legal Assistance:

U.S. Armed Forces Legal Assistance site - ran by the Air Force. I particularly like the legal assitance office locator, which allows you to search for legal assitance offices, regardless of service.

American Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Assitance for Military Personnel (LAMP) - Another useful site.


Library of Congress (LOC's) Military Legal Resources Site - just a great clearinghouse of information on the military lawyer, regardless of one's specific practice area.

Should I find more stuff, I'll post it. After all, I use this post as a starting point for some of my work too.

Another one, you say? Let's start the clock . . .

I've had this blog address for years. I used it a little, but never a lot. I always thought a blog, particularly from a lawyer, had to be on a -theme- just every trial has to be on a nifty, gee-whiz theme. If you're a lawyer, you know what I'm talking about - even if it's a bench hearing on a custody modification motion, you better have a Emmy-award winning solliloquy to distinguish your motion from the 100 others the judge has to hear that morning. My themes were on a practice area (inland waterways admiralty law, young lawyers in Kentucky), because - hey - that's what blogs (and lawyer blogs) do.

Blogging, just like trial work, is dynamic. One does not have to put everything in precise buckets. Sometimes, a blog can be about more than one practice area or something specific. In other words, I realize that things can fit into more than one bucket. That is what this blog will try to accomplish.

Read the header. This blog is directed a certain people - lawyers, particularly young and new lawyers, judge advocates, husbands, and fathers. Being each of those, I've figured out that any advice I've received in one area easily transfers to another area. And being someone who likes to help others, I figured this was a great way to organize it. So . . . take a read. Hopefully you'll like it. If you have ideas, let me know them. I look forward to your reading and response.