Office of the Staff Judge Advocate
521 Fraim Street
Fort Detrick, Maryland 21702
Mon-Wed, and Friday: 0800-1100; 1300-1630
Free legal advice to active duty and retired military members and their dependents.
Limited services to members of the US military reserves on issues pertaining to their preparation for deployment.
Certified military and/or Army civilian attorneys advise on most areas of civil law, including consumer law issues; contract disputes; landlord/tenant disputes; contract review; creditor problems; nonsupport; immigration; motor vehicle laws; merchant scams; wills; powers of attorney; bankruptcy and indebtedness; separation/divorce; notarizations and taxation.
You should know that --
We do not advise on private commercial business activities; appearances in civilian courts on behalf of an individual, civilian or military criminal matters; lawsuits or claims against the United States Government.
Your attorney must know all the facts, favorable or unfavorable. Do not hesitate to talk freely to him/her. An attorney must keep all information confidential unless you, the client, give the attorney permission to disclose information to a third party. Confidential communications are matters you tell your lawyer when seeking legal advice about your personal situation. The privilege may extend to conversations, letters, photographs, charts, and other documents and records. You may lose the privilege if you make the information public either by telling a friend or family members or otherwise communicating the information to unauthorized persons.
- For separation/divorce counseling, the Fort Detrick office assists only one party in the matter--the first spouse to make an appointment. The other spouse must obtain legal advice from other military legal offices in the area.
- There is no wait for a power of attorney, a document that authorizes your agent (the person you name) to act on your behalf. A general power of attorney allows your agent to act on all matters; a special power of attorney allows your agent to act only on those matters you listed; and a medical care power of attorney allows your agent to act regarding medical treatment for yourself or a minor family member.
- Consultation for a Last Will and Testament will include a discussion about your estate plan - the plan that allows you to decide how to transfer your property after your death. Your estate plan includes giving away a house, car, and personal property that you own by yourself. The plan also includes your property owned jointly with right of survivorship and property in an account controlled by a "pay on death" certificate.
- You may obtain a will - the document that tells who you want to receive your property when you die. A will is also important to nominate a guardian for your minor children. If you die without a will, the state of your domicile will decide how to divide your property based on its intestacy law. Consult your legal assistance office to decide if you need or want a will.
Army Legal Assistance Offices exist to advise you on your personal legal matters. As a client, you may reasonably expect:
- To be treated with courtesy and consideration at all times by Legal Assistance personnel.
- An attorney capable of handling your legal matter competently and diligently, in accordance with our high professional standards. If you are unsatisfied, you may withdraw from the attorney-client relationship at any time. If we do not have the expertise appropriate to advise you, we will refer you to alternative legal assistance. On occasion, this may mean that you will have to hire an outside attorney at your own expense.
- To your lawyer's independent professional judgment and undivided loyalty uncompromised by conflicts of interest.
- To have your questions and concerns addressed in a prompt manner and to have your telephone calls returned promptly.
- To be kept informed as to the status of your matter and to request and receive copies of papers. We will provide you sufficient information to allow you to participate meaningfully in the resolution of your matter.
- o have your legitimate objectives respected by your attorney, including whether or not to settle.
- To privacy in your dealings with your lawyer and to have your secrets and confidences preserved to the extent permitted by law and regulation.
- To have your attorney conduct himself or herself ethically in accordance with our Army Rules of Professional Responsibility (AR 27-26) and the Code of Professional Responsibility.
- To free assistance from us without discussion on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin or disability.
For military court appearances or advice on Article 15 proceedings, involuntary administrative discharge issues or other Uniform Code of Military Justice proceedings being initiated against you, contact the Trial Defense Service Field Office, located at 2257 Huber Road, Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, 20755-5030, telephone number: (301) 677-9218/9822, DSN 923-9218/9822.
For information on claims against the United States contact, contact the Claims Division, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, 521 Fraim Street, Fort Detrick, Maryland 21702-5000, telephone number: (301) 619-2221.
SJA Legal Assistance Portal
Visit the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps Legal Information Portal. This website is a resource designed to educate and inform military members on their personal legal affairs. Information contained on this site is not legal advice. Military members seeking legal advice should consult the staff of the nearest installation legal assistance office. Reference on this site to public or private resources is not an endorsement of such resources by the Department of Defense, Department of the Army, or Office of The Judge Advocate General.