On May 1, 2008, Richard V. Stevens, of Stevens & Brash, L.L.C, won an acquittal in the case of Sgt. Leonardo Treviño. The week before, Frank Spinner, a counsel with the firm, defended SFC Corrales in a separate case. For background on the cases, see here and here Rich sent this message for readers of Defend Our Troops and Defend Our Marines
10 May 2008
It is very difficult and confusing for our military members and their families, who have sacrificed and contributed so much to the military’s missions, to suddenly face accusations of crimes out of combat in the Middle East. Support ‘both moral support and financial support’ are incredibly important for our troops and their families emotionally, and to cover the costs of defending these cases.
In order to properly defend our troops against these allegations, it takes a considerable amount of time and effort. For example, there were multiple pretrial hearings Article 32 hearing, pretrial confinement hearing, motion hearing in the Treviño case. There was the need to make multiple trips to Ft Hood to interview all the necessary witnesses. There was the need to spend a lot of time at Ft Hood preparing for trial, and then defending the case in trial. Some of these cases require trips to the Middle East, which means even more time away and more expense.
Most attorneys who specialize in military law, like we do, travel from our offices to the bases/locations where the cases are being held. These trips mean time away from other cases and considerable expenses for us to essentially live at the location of the trial for periods in which we’re preparing the case and then trying the case. Without the donations the Treviños received, it would have been virtually impossible for them, or any similarly situated military family, to afford the defense provided.
I certainly feel guilty for saying that. I would love to be in a position to provide defenses to these troops for free. They sacrifice so much for us. But, the reality is that we turn away cases/clients to ensure we have the time necessary to devote to defending these cases, and we amass such considerable expenses in travel and working out of distant locations, that it isn’t financially possible for us to defend these cases pro bono.
The support we received in these cases was so vital to a proper defense. Looking back, after two full acquittals (Treviño and Corrales), all the time and effort we poured into these defenses was well worth it.
I just hope Defend Our Troops and Defend Our Marines continues to raise and receive similar support for other cases you’re involved in. It is truly crucial for these families.
We thank everyone who expressed their support for our clients and their families, whether it was words of encouragement or financial donations. Both were so important for a successful defense, you all played a part in these victories.
RICHARD V. STEVENS, Esquire
LAW OFFICES OF STEVENS & BRASH, L.L.C.