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Philip D. Cave
  • Military Law, Appeals & Appellate
  • District of Columbia, Ohio, Virginia
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I travel the world representing U.S. military personnel and their families in court-martial trials, adverse administrative actions, and security clearance appeals. I am ready, able, and willing to travel to anywhere there is a U.S. military facility for representation. I come prepared with my office-in-a-briefcase. For example, I was the first civilian lawyer to travel to Iraq in October 2003, for trials, and I have been back to Iraq and to Afghanistan seven times since.

Practice Areas
  • Military Law
  • Appeals & Appellate
Additional Practice Areas
  • Court-Martial trials
  • Discharge proceedings
  • Security Clearance appeals
  • Free Consultation
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
District of Columbia
Federal Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
U.S. Court of Federal Claims
U.S. District Court Eastern District of Virginia
U.S. Supreme Court
  • English: Spoken, Written
  • Spanish: Spoken
Professional Experience
Sole Practitioner
- Current
Judge Advocate
U.S. Navy
Metropolitan Police, London, England
The George Washington University Law School
LL.M. | Criminal Law
Joint Forces Staff College - National Defense University
Diploma (1982)
Case Western Reserve University School of Law
J.D. | Law
Wright State University
B.A. | Political Science
Honors: Summa cum laude
Professional Associations
Virginia State Bar
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Federal Bar Association
Virginia Association Criminal Defense Lawyers
Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International
Mil. Law Committee, Bar Assoc. of D.C.
- Current
American Legion
- Current
National Institute of Military Justice
- Current
Bar Association of D.C.
- Current
Judge Advocates Association
Board of Directors
- Current
Articles & Publications
Wrangling Over Khadr's Counsel Shows Discretionary Power of Military Judges
How Public of a Trial: US v. Bradley Manning
JURIST Sidebar
Mental State May Play Pivotal Role in Afghan Shooting Trial
Speaking Engagements
Court-Martials and the Media, ABA Annual Conference
Continuity and Change in Military Justice, London Conference
National Institute of Military Justice
Military Law Reform: Cox Commission
National Institute of Military Justice
Military Law and Media, Military Editors & Reporters Conference
Sexual Assault in the Military: Fixing a Broken System: Rape and Sexual Assault in the Military
Hastings University Law School
Mental Health Defenses, Military Justice Seminar
The Judge Advocate Generals’ School of the Army
Report and Briefing on Sexual Assault in the Military, Military Sexual Assault Cases US Commission on Civil Rights
Websites & Blogs
Philip D. Cave's Website Profile
The Law Office of Philip D. Cave Website
Court-Martial Trial Practice
Legal Answers
17 Questions Answered

Q. Each member of the Military swear an indivdual oath to "Protect and Defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign
A: The taking of the oath. From then on you are committed to protect and defend THE CONSTITUTION of the US, not the flag, not the country, not the President, but the founding document upon which the American form of democracy is based upon.
Q. Field grade article 15 for positive UA of THC, doesn't smoke but have been around in-laws that are heavy smokers
A: The issue of testing positive due to being around those who smoke marijuana has been studied extensively. There is no credible research to support the idea that a person can test positive from being around family members who smoke marijuana. This has been tried and litigated in courts-martial over the years without success. The best approach is to do what we all do with these cases. Review the lab results and tests in great detail, preferably with the help of a forensic toxicologist. They will help you identify possible testing errors. I had one some years ago where the client was a woman, but the sample had male DNA in it - a case of contamination. In others, we have found contamination at the time of collection and storage. Difficult cases to challenge.
Q. Is it legal for signed military doccuments to not be sent up the chain of command?
A: If you are facing a DD, that means you are pending general court-martial for some serious allegations. Yes, an administrative elimination can be stopped if he intent is to conduct a court-martial or other disciplinary action. If instead of a GD they are now seeking an OTH, then you should speak with the local military defense counsel for advice on contesting at a Board hearing, etc. They can represent you for free.
Q. I am in the army and today during room checks my sergeant through several items of mine onto
A: You could file a complaint under Article 139, UCMJ, for damage to the property. See here. The complaint should be addressed to the CO and in writing, explaining in detail what happened and the cost of replacement. If the CO fails to deal with the complaint, you can submit an IG complaint against the CO and the SGT.
Q. What you do when you are being belittle, career threatened, and verbally abused by a Senior Enlisted at your command?
A: 1. Discuss it with the leadership. Start with the individual, then the first sergeant, then the open door policy to the commander. 2. If that doesn't work you can try an IG complaint, contact your Congressperson.
Q. Finally getting my military records I find documents that have been forged in my name dated before and upon my discharge
A: If you can prove it with solid evidence, you may be able to get the Board for Correction of Military Records to put them straight. This is important if the current records affect your employment or benefits.
Q. So my husband has been sexting and on facebook with another girl but he has not sent nudes can he still get in trouble?
A: He needs to stop -- NOW. There are quite a number of cases going on to do with on-line activity such as this. Whether he ultimately gets in trouble or not, it's not healthy for your relationship and his commanders may not look at him as a good Soldier/ so it might affect his career.
Q. I received a general under honorable conditions discharge from the USAF and I had a question about upgrading for
A: Maybe. One of the things they look at in the upgrade process is whether there have been significant procedural errors showing the process was unfair. So maybe you have a case to prove an inequity. NOTE NOTE NOTE. You have 15 years from date of discharge to apply. This is a hard deadline. If you have substantial procedural error, the quicker you apply the better-don't sleep on your rights. It's tough to do. Without evidence the Boards apply the "presumption of regularity" and assume the gubmint acted properly.
Q. If a soldier owns a business, are they required to report that they own the buisness to their commander?
A: Each Service has their own regulation regarding "off duty employment." Check your unit admin for the regulation on "moonlighting" or "off duty employment." Generally it can't interfere with military duties. There are also some potential ethics regulation issues about advertizing, using government time, and selling to Soldiers.
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Contact & Map
The Law Office of Philip D. Cave
1318 Princess St
Alexandria, VA 22314
Toll-Free: (800) 401-1583
Telephone: (703) 298-9562
Fax: (703) 997-6076