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Philip D. Cave

Partner, Cave & Freeburg, LLP
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Phone: 703-298-9562
Toll Free: 800-401-1583
Fax: 703-997-6076

1318 Princess St #200
Alexandria, Virginia 22314

I have extensive experience as a prosecutor, defense counsel, appellate advocate, and legal advisor in military cases. I have served tours of duty in the U.S., Gulf-I, in USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67), and overseas in Spain, Portugal, and Bahrain. While on active duty I also gained experience as a member of the Navy Clemency & Parole Board, the Joint Service Committee on Military Justice, and in regulatory and legislative matters.

I have provided testimony at both Cox Commissions on military justice, on behalf of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia. I regularly participate as a moot court judge for several national moot court competitions held in the Washington, DC, area.

I am regularly consulted by print, radio, and TV media for commentary on significant military justice cases and issues.

I have been practicing military law exclusively since 1979.

I came to America in 1972, having spent seven years with the Metropolitan Police in London, England.

After graduating from the Case Western Reserve University Law School in 1979, I went to the Naval Justice School; and then I reported to my first assignment at Naval Legal Service Office Norfolk, to be a defense counsel and then a trial counsel (prosecutor).

Over the next 20 years I served as a Navy judge advocate in various military justice related assignments: twice as a defense counsel, twice as a trial counsel (prosecutor), three times as a staff judge advocate (command legal advisor), and as an appeals lawyer. For my last few years of active duty I served in the Navy office responsible Military Justice (legislation, regulation, policy) matters, as well as sitting as a member of the Naval Clemency & Parole Board.

I have broad experience in courts-martial ranging from simple AWOL/UA cases to complicated murder, sex assault, and national security cases. Most of my trial cases are contested members (jury); that is when I have not been able to divert them for trial. Over the years I have tried hundreds of contested cases, and have been involved in thousands of cases from the simple AR 15-6 type investigation to significant adverse administrative actions.

I believe in listening to the client.
I believe in being honest with the client.
I believe in communicating with the client.

Areas of Practice

100% Military Law

Litigation Percentage

75% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions
  • Ohio, 1979
  • Virginia, 2000
  • District of Columbia, 2000
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit, 2000
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1992
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, 1982
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Virginia, 2000
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims, 2001
  • Case Western Reserve University Law School, Cleveland, Ohio J.D. - 1979
  • The George Washington University Law School, Washington, District of Columbia LL.M., Master of Laws - 1988
  • Joint Forces Staff College - National Defense University, Norfolk, Virginia Diploma - 1982
  • Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio B.A. - 1976
  • Metropolitan Police Training School, London England - 1968
  • Metropolitan Police Cadet Corps, London England - 1967
Published Works
  • How Public of a Trial: US v. Bradley Manning, JURIST Sidebar, 2012
  • Mental State May Play Pivotal Role in Afghan Shooting Trial, JURIST, 2012
  • Wrangling Over Khadr's Counsel Shows Discretionary Power of Military Judges, JURIST
Paper Chase, 2009

Coram Nobis: A Writ Too Far?, ABA, Preview of Supreme Court Cases, 2008

Representative CasesClasses/Seminars
  • Military Sexual Assault Cases US Commission on Civil Rights, Report and Briefing on Sexual Assault in the Military
  • Moot Court, PAD-International Moot Court
  • Moot Court, George Washington University Law School National Moot Court
  • Military Justice Seminar – Mental Health Defenses, The Judge Advocate Generals’ School of the Army
  • Sexual Assault in the Military: Fixing a Broken System: Rape and Sexual Assault in the Military, Hastings University Law School
  • Military Law and Media, Military Editors Reporters Conference
  • Military Law Reform: Cox Commission, National Institute of Military Justice
  • Military Law Reform: Cox Commission, National Institute of Military Justice
  • Continuity and Change in Military Justice, London Conference, National Institute of Military Justice
  • Court-Martials and the Media, ABA Annual Conference
Professional Associations and Memberships
  • National Institute of Military Justice, Director, 2000 - Present
  • Judge Advocates Association, Board of Directors
  • Bar Association of D.C, Member, 2000 - Present
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), Member
  • Federal Bar Association (FBA)
  • Virginia State Bar, Military Law Committee
  • Virginia Association Criminal Defense Lawyers (VACDL)
  • Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International
  • American Legion
Past Employment Positions
  • Navy-Marine Corps Appellate Defense Division, Deputy Director, 1992 - 1994
  • Naval Legal Service Office, Chief Trial Defense Counsel, 1990 - 1991
  • Naval Legal Service Office, Trial Counsel (Prosecutor), 1988 - 1990
  • Naval Legal Service Office, Trial Defense Counsel, 1980 - 1982
  • Metropolitan Police Force, New Scotland Yard, London, England, Police Cadet and then
  • Police Constable, 1965 - 1972
  • U.S. Navy, Judge Advocate General's Corps.
  • U.S. Forces, Azores, Portugal, Assistant Staff Judge Advocate (Legal Advisor),
  • Commander
  • The Staff Judge Advocate (Senior Legal Advisor) to, USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV-67)
  • Naval Logistics Support Force, in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD/ DESERT STORM
  • (Gulf I), Staff Judge Advocate to, Commander
  • Naval Legal Service Office Detachment, Rota, Spain, Officer-in-Charge
  • Judge Advocate General of the Navy, Deputy Director, Criminal Law Division
  • Phi Kappa Tau
  • Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity
A few writings

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