Military Lawyer Camp Pendleton

An Effective Advocate and Lawyer Near Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, California

Any Marine or Sailor facing allegations of crimes under the Uniform Code of Military Justice at Camp Pendleton, California needs an effective lawyer to defend them. The federal prosecutors are Marine Judge Advocates who work for the command. You need an independent advocate who doesn’t work for the command to defend your interests. You also need someone who won’t back down. Contact us today to get the best defense you can by calling 760-385-3889.

Kevin cares. Simple as that. He truly cares about his clients which drives him to be the best lawyer and advocate possible. It fuels his passion and motivation to outwork his opponents and find solutions for his clients.
–– R. M., Lawyer Review on

Kevin Courtney Law is a military law firm serving clients in Southern California near Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California.  As a former Marine JAG and active civilian military lawyer, Kevin Courtney has taken the oath and received certification to practice military law under the UCMJ. Kevin Courtney Law helps service members with the following:

Ways a Lawyer Can Help Marines and Sailors at Camp Pendleton

Southern California military lawyer Kevin Courtney

Marines and Sailors can use the services of a military lawyer when dealing with legal issues at Camp Pendleton. Sailors and Marines should hire an attorney with experience to protect their reputation, career, and livelihood.

Attorney Kevin Courtney knows many Marines and Sailors are falsely accused because their accusers can’t face the truth, they don’t want to admit their errors, and will tarnish another person’s name instead of owning their error. Marines and Sailors can work with an attorney local to Camp Pendleton to investigate and defend the allegations under the UCMJ. Kevin Courtney has experience litigating in the Camp Pendleton courtrooms as a former JAG, all four of them (three in the 22 Area of Camp Pendleton and one in the 53 Area across from 1st Battalion, 4th Marines). He won’t let the prosecutors or military commanders play games. He will fight for your rights.

Aggressive Court Martial Defense Near Oceanside, California

The Marine Corps commanding officers at Camp Pendleton have the power to convene courts-martial. There are three types of courts-martial: general, special, and summary courts-martial. A court-martial begins with an allegation and investigation. It can be a false allegation, but NCIS, CID, or the command will investigate it anyway. After an investigation, a Marine Judge Advocate (JAG) from the Trial Service Office or the newly formed Office of the Special Trial Counsel (OSTC) will review the allegations and prefer charges.

Camp Pendleton Client Review

I can’t thank Kevin enough for how he handled my case and helped me get my case dismissed. During our consult, he gave me a game plan of what needed to happen and what I needed to provide him in order for him to get to work on my case. I was facing a special court martial in the Marine Corps in 2022. Not only was Kevin able to get my case dismissed, he also got the Command to agree to medically separate me like I should have been back in 2012. I went from looking at getting a dishonorable discharge and reduced all the way down to private for deserting in 2012, to keeping my rank, my honor and getting medically separated from the Marine Corps. I would 100% recommend his services to anyone looking for a great attorney that will guide you in the right direction.
– Sergeant, USMC, Camp Pendleton

After a Marine or Sailor receives their charge sheet, the commanding officer can refer the charges to a court-martial. If there is a chance the case will go to a general court-martial, it must go to an Article 32, UCMJ Hearing first. For special courts-martial, the case does not need to be presented to a preliminary hearing officer at an Article 32 hearing. Instead, the commanding office can refer the case directly to a special court-martial.

Camp Pendleton Arraignment

The military judge takes power of the case at the arraignment. After the arraignment, the case will go through Article 39(a) sessions where the defense and prosecution litigate motions. Finally, the case will enter the trial phase. This includes voir dire, opening statements, presentation of the government’s case, the defense’s case, government rebuttal, closing arguments, and a decision by either the judge or jury members.

A seasoned military attorney with court martial experience will know how to protect your rights and ensure your case is fully defended! Kevin Courtney has successfully won acquittals for rape and sexual assault allegations along with fraternization and under age drinking accusations. When your career and freedom are on the line, working with an experienced military attorney is crucial.

ADSEP Board Attorney Near Camp Pendleton

Marines and Sailors accused of a pattern of misconduct, drug abuse, the commission of a serious offense, and several other allegations may face an ADSEP Board at Camp Pendleton. Working with a military lawyer near Camp Pendleton is often in the best interest of a Marine or Sailor because the Marine Corps is only able to detail an attorney to your case after the case has been processed and organized. Would you want to wait to start preparing or would you want to build your team early?

Preparing for an ADSEP Board at Camp Pendleton requires time, dedication, and organization. Cases going to an ADSEP Board are often there because the Command didn’t have enough evidence to take it to trial. Some cases that often go to ADSEP Boards include:

  • Drug Abuse. Marines must address their positive urinalysis at an ADSEP Board due to the mandatory processing requirement. It is never too early to start working to show rehabilitative potential or innocence.
  • Pattern of Misconduct. If a Marine has two 6105s or a 6105 and NJP, the command notify them for an ADSEP Board. At the board, the government Recorder must prove each allegation happened.
  • Commission of a Serious Offense. A command can notify a Marine of a COSO. A serious offense is a crime that could result in six months of confinement and a bad conduct discharge if it were tired at a court-martial.
  • Civilian Conviction. When a Marine has a civilian conviction, such as a DUI or domestic violence conviction, the Marine Corps can notify them for separation.

What are the three questions at an ADSEP Board?

There are potentially up to three questions board members will answer:

  • First, is there basis? This means, is there enough evidence to prove the allegation in the notification.
  • Second, if the members find that evidence exist for the allegation, then they will answer, should the Marine or Sailor be retained in the service?
  • Finally, if the members decide the Marine should be separated, then they will make a recommendation as to the Marine’s characterization of service.

The three characterizations of service are: Honorable, General (under honorable conditions), or Other-Than-Honorable (OTH).

Now is the best time to protect your career. Work with a great attorney near Camp Pendleton so you don’t end up losing all VA benefits with an OTH.

For Marines and Sailors who are approaching 20 years of service, talk with an experienced military attorney near Camp Pendleton to protect your retirement benefits and lifetime of healthcare.

Upon conducting my ADSEP board Mr. Courtney was well prepared, organized and sheer perfection fighting for me. We won the board and I feel a lot had to do with how he presented the evidence and cross examined exposing the holes in this allegation…I would not still be in the Marine Corps and continuing my 14 years of service without Kevin Courtney!
–– Staff Sergeant, USMC, Camp Pendleton

Non-Judicial Punishment / NJP

Non-judicial punishment is an authority Commanders have under Article 15, UCMJ. Commanders can use NJP to address minor misconduct. But after years of advising hundreds of Camp Pendleton Marines and Sailors as a former JAG, Kevin Courtney knows that non-judicial punishment can ruin a career. NJP can be the reason they deny an enlistment. An NJP can take you out of a leadership billet.

Company Level NJP

Company level NJP can occur when the person exercising the NJP authority is a captain or above and in a billet that holds command. Some punishments that a Marine could suffer at Company Level NJP include:

  • Loss of pay for seven (7) days
  • Restriction for up to 14 days
  • Extra duties for 14 days
  • Reduction in one rank for Corporals and below (no rank reduction for Sergeants and above)

Battalion Level NJP

Battalion Level NJP can occur when the person exercising the NJP authority is battalion command or higher. Punishments at Battalion NJP include:

  • Loss of one-half month’s pay for two months
  • Forty-five (45) days of extra duty.
  • Restriction for 60 days, or 45 days when added to 45 days of extra duty.
  • Reduction of one rank for Sergeants and below. Reduction of rank for Staff NCOs and above cannot happen at Battalion NJP. Commanding officers cannot reduce Navy CPOs at NJP.

Requesting Mast

Marines at Camp Pendleton can request Mast from their Commanding Officer. Requesting mast is not for addressing military justice issues. But it can be a useful tool to get FaceTime with the Commanding Officer.

Requesting Redress and Article 138 Complaints

One of the most under used and powerful military justice tools is the combination of a request of redress and an Article 138 complaint. When a Marine at Camp Pendleton believes an officer has wronged them, the Marine can write a request for redress asking for the relief sought. If the commanding officer denies the relief requested, the Marine can go up the chain of command with an Article 138 complaint. There are serious and strict procedural rules to follow. Working with a Camp Pendleton military lawyer can help ensure your request is procedurally compliant.

Civilian Military Lawyer | Camp Pendleton | Oceanside, California

Working with a civilian military lawyer can be beneficial because there are zero military duties distracting a civilian. For example, a civilian attorney is not required to stand duty, shoot on the rifle range, or attend PME. As a former Marine Corps JAG, Kevin knows the reality of trying to balance both zealous advocacy and military duties.

The Marines at the Camp Pendleton Defense Service Office are dedicated and hard-working attorneys. But the Marine JAGs are only allowed to work on your case once they have been detailed to represent you. That means a military attorney can not act on your behalf if they have not been detailed. However, a civilian attorney can help you and act on your behalf during an investigation or prior to an NJP.

Hiring a civilian attorney for issues at Camp Pendleton is not about picking a civilian attorney over a military JAG. Instead, it’s about building the right team at the right time.

Kevin is an incredibly sharp and genuine attorney who took the time to understand my legal situation, my family dynamics, and me as a man. His counsel was timely and matter-of-fact, which helped me provide legally sound responses to the organization that I was dealing with. I am convinced that he is one of the best attorneys, especially when it comes to military law.If the need for representation ever came up again, I would not hesitate to reach out to Kevin. Additionally, I trust that he can support my colleagues in any legal process that they may be going through with any organization, especially the Marine Corps.
–– Warrant Officer, USMC, Camp Pendleton

Former Marine Attorney: About Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is a former Marine Corps Attorney and Judge Advocate. He grew up in Oceanside, California going to Camp Pendleton where his father served as a Marine Infantry Officer. As a child, Kevin admired the Marines and Sailors training at Camp Pendleton. He trusted the honorable Marines and Navy Sailors who ran along the Oceanside beaches of Camp Del Mar.

Kevin moved to Temecula, California, still near Camp Pendleton, when he was 12 years old. After graduating from Temecula Valley High, he attended and graduated from UC San Diego with a degree in Political Science. He attended law school at UC Law San Francisco (formerly known as UC Hastings, College of the Law). Kevin joined the Marine Corps during law school. He commissioned as a Second Lieutenant after successfully completing Marine Officer Candidates School.

Before graduating from UC Law San Francisco, Kevin studied terrorism, criminal and administrative law, among other subjects. Additionally, he excelled in a legal research and writing course. His professor asked him to work as a graduate teaching assistant teaching other law students legal research and writing.

While in the Marine Corps, Kevin defended the most hard-working, dedicated, and honorable Marines and Sailors aboard Camp Pendleton. Today, Kevin is a proud Marine Corps Veteran. He focuses his practice in military law and he continues to defend those who are in need of help.

Contact us today at 760-385-3889.