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Attorney Profiles

Philip D. Cave, CDR, JAGC, USN (Ret.)

I am self-employed as a sole practitioner. My practice is limited to military law and security clearance law issues. I travel the world to any location where there is a military base or U.S. military personnel assigned for my trial cases and administrative hearings. In my practice, about two-thirds of my time is taken with litigating courts-martial (criminal trials), usually to a members panel (jury). A portion of my practice relates to appellate litigation, a portion relates to administrative law issues incident to military service, and a portion to security clearance litigation.

I am admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court, all military trial and appellate courts, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Ohio, the Eastern District of Virginia, and the federal Court of Claims.

Formal Education
  • 1988, graduated George Washington Univ. Law School, Master of Laws (LL.M.)
  • 1979, graduated Case Western Reserve Univ. Law School, Juris Doctor (JD)
  • 1976, graduated Wright State Univ., B.A.
  • 1982, graduated Armed Forces Staff College, National Defense Univ., diploma
  • 1968, graduated Metropolitan Police Training School, London, U.K.
  • 1967, graduated Metropolitan Police Cadet Corps, London, U.K.
  • Co-chair, Military Justice Committee, ABA Criminal Justice Section.
  • Director (and past President), the National Institute of Military Justice: The National Institute of Military Justice (NIMJ) is a District of Columbia nonprofit corporation organized in 1991 to advance the fair administration of military justice and foster improved public understanding of the military justice system. NIMJ is not a government agency. NIMJ's boards of directors and advisers include law professors, private practitioners, and other experts.
  • Director, NIMJ 2000-2020.
  • Former Director and life member, the Judge Advocates Association: The Judge Advocates Association is a national legal society that was organized in 1943. Membership includes active duty, reserve, and retired Judge Advocates from all services. The Judge Advocates Association is the only national professional legal organization exclusively dedicated to judge advocates and practitioners of military and veterans law.
  • Military Law Committee, Virginia State Bar
  • Executive Editor, CAAFlog; the only non-government resource for military law practitioners in the United States.
  • Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International
  • Phi Kappa Tau
  • American Legion, Post #24.
Active Duty United States Navy
  • I was commissioned in 1978 into the Navy Judge Advocate General's Student Program as an ensign. After graduation and admission to the Ohio Bar, I attended the Naval Justice School, January 1980 Class.
  • I have served two tours of duty at the Naval Legal Service Office, Norfolk, VA. NLSO, Norfolk, was and is the largest military legal office in the world. I have been a Trial Defense Counsel, Naval Legal Service Office, Norfolk, VA, March 1980 to March 1982. During this period I supervised three other attorneys as a Team Leader. In July 1990, I was Chief Trial Defense Counsel until September 1991; mentoring and supervising 22 trial defense counsel. Designated by the judge advocate general of the Navy as one of six specialists in the prosecution and defense of national security cases.
  • Trial Counsel (prosecutor), Naval Legal Service Office, Norfolk, VA, March 1982 to September 1982. Assistant Chief Trial Counsel, July 1988 to June 1990; mentoring and supervising 15 trial counsel.
  • Assistant Staff Judge Advocate (legal adviser), Commander, U.S. Forces, Azores, Portugal. This "purple" assignment involved responsibilities in international law, Portuguese labor law, and military justice.
  • The Staff Judge Advocate (SJA) (senior legal adviser) to USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV-67) and eight embarked aircraft squadron commanders from April 1985 to August 1987.
  • Deployed as the Staff Judge Advocate to Commander, Naval Logistics Support Force, in support of operations DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM (Gulf I).
  • Deputy Director, Navy-Marine Corps Appellate Defense Division, September 1992 to September 1994; supervising and mentoring over 40 active and reserve appellate counsel, as well as carrying a personal caseload.
  • Officer-in-Charge, Naval Legal Service Office Detachment, Rota, Spain. While at Rota, went to Mali, as a member of a DILLS team, to teach Rule of Law issues to senior Malian military officers and Defense officials.
  • Deputy Director, Criminal Law Division, HQ, Judge Advocate General of the Navy. The Division is primarily responsible for military justice policy. While assigned, served a period of time as the Navy representative to the Department of Defense Joint Service Committee on Military Justice, and served as a voting member of the Naval Clemency and Parole Board.
Misc. Information
  • I have testified at both Cox Commission's on military justice, the latest being in June 2009. Both times I testified on behalf of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia.
  • I regularly "sit" as a moot court judge for several national moot court competitions hosted at George Washington University Law School (Van Vleck Constitutional Law, National Security Law), the Georgetown Law School Mock Trials competitions, and PAD.
  • I am regularly consulted by print, radio, and TV journalists for comment and information about ongoing military cases and issues of significant public interest about military law matters.
Recently, Assoc. Professor Brenner M. Fissell, (CV here). Hofstra University Law School, now serves as a consultant and as Of Counsel in our Military Appeals Division. (Do not confuse Associate Professors with Adjunct Professors. Adjuncts are not full time faculty and are usually private practitioners who contract to teach a class or seminar part-time.). He also is the Editor in Chief of CAAFlog and is currently serving as the Vice-President, National Institute of Military Justice.

Attorney Nathan Freeburg, a former Army judge advocate is co-counsel in courts-martial (trials) and "criminal" investigations.

In addition, two independent attorney's are Of Counsel to the Law Firm of Cave & Freeburg, LLP.

Mr Wojciech Kornacki provides Of Counsel assistance to our Administrative Actions Division and is located in Virginia.

Ms. Stephanie Kral provides Of Counsel service on various issues and is located in San Diego, California.

Professor Brenner Fissell provides independent contractor and Of Counsel assistance in courts-martial appeals.

Contact Us About Your Military Law Matter

Contact my office for a free initial consultation about your case. You can reach me by phone at 703-298-9562, toll free at 800-401-1583 or via email. Also, you can contact Mr. Nathan Freeburg at our other website for more information about how we can help you; Nathan has 20-years of experience.

Partner, Cave & Freeburg, LLP
Alexandria, VA

Phone: 703-298-9562
Toll Free: 800-401-1583
Fax: 703-997-6076

Alexandria, VA

Phone: 703-298-9562
Toll Free: 800-401-1583
Fax: 703-997-6076

Client Reviews
Many years after retiring from the USN, I suddenly found myself in a very unwelcome legal matter with the Navy. It was a total shock and I was very concerned as to the impact this would have on me and my family. Philip was so helpful, truly a calming force, and his legal help was invaluable to me, I am so thankful that I availed myself of his services! Rob
Phil Cave has helped me through NJP and restoration of my security clearance. He even came to visit me in Spain. I never thought I would work again and he certainly through with advise and guidance that we're exactly spot on. He is my hero and thanks to him I gave my life back... Bryan
Mr. Cave saved my military retirement! His promise to me from day one was that he would fight as hard as he could he right the wring that had been done to me. And he did! I am so very thankful and grateful to him. He genuinely cared about me and made my case his priority. He used all his experience and knowledge to put forth a good defense. I am very pleased with him and will recommend him to anyone in need of an attorney. Crystal