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LCDR Edward C. Lin

A Navy officer charged with espionage will be arraigned Tuesday after the commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command referred the case to a general court-martial, the Navy said Friday.

That is the report from The Virginian-Pilot, 13 May 2016. The paper also reports:

The last time a sailor was convicted of the crime was in 2006, when Petty Officer 3rd Class Ariel Weinmann pleaded guilty to espionage and attempted espionage. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Lin was assigned to a secretive patrol squadron in Hawaii at the time of his Sept. 11 arrest at the Honolulu airport, and his prosecution has been designated a “national security case” by the Navy.

I was at the ground floor in 1988-90 when the Navy first started classifying certain cases as a "national security case." Such cases range from the seemingly mundane of negligent handling of classified material to the more serious charges as appear in LCDR Lin's case.

The most common problems encountered in such cases involve the evidence and its classification and now do you prosecute or defend a case where the evidence and testimony is classified.

Navy Times has reported:

The U.S. Navy will seek to prosecute an alleged spy using closed court proceedings because the allegations against him have brought worrisome attention to the military's secretive intelligence gathering activity, the service's top officer told Navy Times on Wednesday.

Military Rule of Evidence 505 governs how the lawyers and court involved deal with classified evidence. The military rules are similar to the Classified Information Procedures Act used in federal court. Keep in mind there are potentially several issues that begin from day one of any representation.

The most important being, how do you talk to your client? For me this is a case of been-there-done-that--the military defense lawyer needs a security clearance to even talk to the client about anything classified.

The next item is discovery. How do you know what to ask for as evidence or potential evidence, how do you get it, and how do you review and use it. There are several steps you might expect: once cleared and read-in you will have to review the material in a properly secured space, you will have to have a proper security location to store any information you are allowed to keep, you will have to have a procedure to store and safeguard case notes you make. Bottom line, these cases can be administratively and time consuming. All of this is before you even get to the Article 32 preliminary hearing or trial.

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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