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Marine Corps Defense Services Organization

 

Marine Corps Defense Services Organization

"Marines Defending Marines"

MCAGCC 29 Palms Branch Office
General advice and NJP counseling are offered on Tuesday and Thursday of each week to those who arrive at Building 1428 between 1300 and 1600 on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Our building is located on the corner of 4th and Brown.  Any exceptions to this rule will be addressed individually by the Senior Defense Counsel (SDC) or Defense Trial Team Leader.  Commands and/or servicemembers may contact the branch office in order to request alternative meeting times based on the availability and scheduling of the defense attorneys.

Walk-in counseling includes providing confidential and privileged legal information to Marines and Sailors facing non-punitive or administrative corrective actions such as nonjudicial punishment, summary courts-martial, “fast track” disposition packages, adverse entries into their service record books, notifications of initiation of administrative separation processing, or other similar administrative procedures.  It also includes providing privileged and confidential legal information to Marines and Sailors who have been advised of their Article 31(b) rights and have elected to exercise their right to consult with counsel.

Unless the defense attorney has been authorized to form an attorney-client relationship with the accused, a defense attorney will not advise the Marine or Sailor being counseled to accept or refuse nonjudicial punishment/summary court-martial, to request an administrative board, or whether or not to make a statement to investigators.  To allow the Marine or Sailor to make an independent decision, the defense attorney will, based on the information provided, present the risks and benefits of either accepting or refusing nonjudicial punishment/summary court-martial, requesting an administrative board, or making a statement to investigators.

Required Documentation

The charge sheet, administrative separation notification or similar documents; pages 11 and 12 of the Service Record Book; and a summary of the evidence that will be used at the hearing, if applicable, must be provided before a defense counsel will be made available to provide walk-in counseling – whether done in-person or remotely.  If a Marine or Sailor comes in for walk-in counseling and does not have these materials, a member of the DSO may contact the command in order to obtain those documents.  Without these required materials, the SDC or Defense Trial Team Leader may determine that the individual Marine can not be adequately counseled.  Please see CDC PM 2-13 for further guidance.


Contact Information
Senior Defense Counsel:  Major Susan E. Upward

Telephone:  (760) 830-5271

Telephonic Advice Policy
It is DSO policy that legal advice may not be given over the telephone to a prospective defense client or through third parties calling on behalf of the prospective client. Certain emergency circumstances or prospective clients at remote locations will be addressed individually. Servicemembers who are unable to appear at our walk-in hours should call the office for further guidance.