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Login | November 26, 2021

U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals Hold Oral Argument Before Akron Law

The US Army Court of Criminal Appeal recently held oral argument at Akron University Law School. The September 24 event was part of the law school centennial celebration. (Photo courtesy of Nick Roth).

Legal Journalist

Posted: November 26, 2021

Students and educators at Akron University Law School recently had the rare opportunity to observe a three-judge panel of the US Army Criminal Appeal Court in action as the judges Appeal Heard oral argument in David and Ann Amer Brennan’s courtroom at the McDowell Law Center.
The event took place on September 24, with counsel calling Captain Nandor Kiss and Captain Joe Seaton and respondent counsel Captain Allison Rowley and Major Pamela Jones presenting arguments in United States v. Colon-Rodriguez.
The case dates back to January 2020 when a military panel (jury) sentenced the US Army Pfc. Luis Colon-Rodriguez of two assault specifications, one domestic violence specification and one non-contact violation specification.
The offenses were committed in Fort. Leonard Wood in Missouri in February 2018. At the time, he had been in the military for over three years.
The appellant was sentenced to 180 days in custody and a discharge for misconduct.
In his appeal, Colon-Rodriguez raised several issues or attributions of errors, two of which were heard at Akron Law. These included whether the military judge, Lt. Col. Steven C. Neill, abused his discretion by failing to excuse an allegedly biased panel member and whether the authorization to search for the telephone of the ‘appellant was unlawfully broad and so the doctrine of good faith should not have applied.
The US Army Criminal Appeal Court panel included appellate judges Colonel Daniel G. Brookhart, Colonel James Arguelles and Lt. Col. Jennifer Parker. The case will be decided in the coming months.
Akron Law Dean Christopher J. (CJ) Peters said the event allowed law students to directly witness the appeals process and gain a better understanding of the role of the Judge Advocate General’s body (JAG) in the army.
“It was part of the law school centennial celebration and it was a very busy and educational experience for students and faculty,” said Peters. “After the oral argument, the students also had the opportunity to ask questions about the army tribunal, the appeals process and service in the body of the army judge advocate general.
“The JAG Corps is as old as the United States itself and the visit allowed students to learn more about its function and decide if it might be a career option,” said Peters.
“We would like to see the US Army Court of Criminal Appeal revert to Akron’s Law in the years to come.”
Malcolm H. Squires Jr., former clerk / legal adviser to the US Army Court of Criminal Appeal, said the September 24 visit was part of the JAG Corps student outreach program.
“Every year, we hold oral pleadings at law schools across the country as part of our recruiting efforts,” Squires said. “This is our first visit to Akron Law.
“We were thrilled to see so many students taking the time to see what we do as an appeals court and learn more about the high quality of law practice in the US military. “


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