Picture of Philip D. Cave

Philip D. Cave

Sole Practitioner
Download VCard

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 Cases

United States v. Trew, 68 M.J. 364 (C.A.A.F. 2010)
United States v. Dorman, 58 M.J. 295 (C.A.A.F. 2003)
United States v. Lee, 54 M.J. 285 (C.A.A.F. 2000)(amicus)
United States v. Smith, 43 M.J. 390 (C.A.A.F. 1996)
United States v. Saylor, 40 M.J. 715 (N-M Ct. Crim. App. 1994)
United States v. Collins, 39 M.J. 739 (N-M Ct. Crim. App. 1994)
United States v. Clemons, 39 M.J. 865 (N-M Ct. Crim. App. 1994)


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),
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