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Prior Cases

Facing military legal issues can be incredibly stressful and daunting. You deserve an experienced and aggressive military defense counsel team in your corner. Here's why Cave & Freeburg LLP should be your top choice:

Extensive Experience & Proven Track Record:

  • Decades of Expertise: Philip Cave has over 44 years of experience as a military lawyer, while Nathan Freeburg brings over 20 years to the table. This combined experience translates into a deep understanding of the intricacies of military law, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), and the unique challenges service members face.
  • High-Profile Cases: Cave & Freeburg have tackled some of the most notable military cases, garnering media attention on platforms like CNN, Fox News, and The New York Times. This national recognition reflects their ability to handle complex and sensitive situations.
  • Victories Across the Board: Their experience extends to a wide range of cases, including sexual assault, murder, national security matters, court-martials, adverse actions, and discharge upgrades. This versatility ensures they can effectively represent you regardless of the specific legal issue.

Aggressive and Relentless Military Defense Lawyers:

  • Fighting for Your Rights: Cave & Freeburg prioritize securing the best possible outcome for their clients. They understand the potential consequences of a military conviction and are committed to protecting your rights and career.
  • Unwavering Advocacy: They take an aggressive approach, meticulously investigating your case, uncovering favorable evidence, and crafting a powerful defense strategy. In 2000, Mr. Cave developed the theory of "litigate to mitigate" which has become a standard approach by many who have followed his lead. We do not, like some, automatically tell you to get a plea bargain. Experience teaches that even the worst looking case in the beginning may be turned into a "winner." By that we mean that as your military defense counsel we can litigate to reach an acquittal or a lesser sentence if convicted. In those cases where the evidence is overwhelming, we have pursued strategies to leverage issues and problems to get an appropriate pretrial agreement. 
  • Early Intervention is Key: Their services extend beyond court-martials. They can represent you during investigations, ensuring your voice is heard from the very beginning and potentially preventing charges from being filed altogether. Our listed cases results do not reflect the many cases where we have been hired at the time an investigation begins and over time have been able to ensure the investigation completes with no adverse action or actions not involving a court-martial. 

Global Reach and Accessibility:

  • Worldwide Representation: Whether you're stationed in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa, or the Middle East, Cave & Freeburg can represent you. They understand the complexities of legal proceedings across different jurisdictions within the military.
  • Responsive Communication: They prioritize clear and consistent communication with their clients. You'll be kept informed of every development throughout the legal process, ensuring you feel empowered and involved.
  • Free Consultation: They offer a free consultation, allowing you to discuss your case, understand your options, and get a sense of their approach before making any financial commitments. Our communications strategy includes keeping the family uptodate on what is happening. All too often, military defense counsel ignore the help that family can provide.

Beyond Just Legal Defense:

  • Protecting Your Future: Cave & Freeburg recognize that your military career is more than just a job. They fight to protect your future prospects, aiming for the best possible outcome that minimizes any potential impact on your service.
  • Understanding the Military Culture: Having extensive experience within the military system, they possess a deep understanding of the unique culture and challenges service members face. This allows them to tailor their approach to your specific situation.
  • Fighting for Justice: They go beyond just legal representation. They believe in the importance of justice for service members and are dedicated to ensuring a fair and equitable outcome.

Making the Right Choice

Military legal issues can be life-altering.  Choosing the right legal team can make all the difference. Cave & Freeburg offers a potent combination of experience, dedication, and a proven track record of success.

Here's what sets them apart:

  • Unmatched Expertise: Their combined experience surpasses many other military defense firms.
  • Aggressive Advocacy: They don't shy away from a fight, ensuring your rights are fully protected.
  • Global Reach: No matter where you're stationed, they can represent you.
  • Client-Centered Approach: They prioritize clear communication and understanding your unique needs.

Don't face your military legal challenges alone. Contact Cave & Freeburg today to schedule your free consultation and take the first step towards a positive outcome.

Navigating the Unique Landscape: How a Civilian Defense Counsel Can Help in a Court-Martial

We have navigated hundreds of clients through court-martial criminal investigations under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) as uniformed and civilian military defense counsel. Most of that time has been spent as a civilian military defense counsel. We have also helped in hundreds of appeals.

Military justice operates under its own set of rules and procedures, distinct from civilian courts. While service members have the right to military and civilian counsel, a civilian defense attorney can bring valuable expertise and fresh perspectives to a court-martial. Here's how they can make a difference:

Pre-Trial Stage:

  • Investigation and Evidence: Civilian lawyers, often with diverse legal backgrounds, can scrutinize the investigation process, identify potential violations of service member rights, and challenge the admissibility of evidence. Adequate investigation could lead to suppressed evidence, weakening the prosecution's case.
  • Discovery and Motions: They can aggressively pursue discovery, demanding access to all relevant information and witness statements the government possesses. Utilizing their civilian experience, they can draft and file specialized motions like challenges to jurisdiction, unlawful pre-trial confinement, or violations of the Military Rules of Evidence.
  • Negotiations and Pleading: Leveraging their negotiation skills, civilian lawyers can explore plea bargains that minimize punishment or even dismissal of charges, considering factors like potential weaknesses in the case and service members' future career aspirations.

Trial Stage:

  • Jury Selection and Voir Dire: Their experience with civilian juries can be invaluable in jury selection, helping identify potential biases and ensuring a fair panel. Skilled voir dire questioning can further refine the jury composition.
  • Trial Strategy and Opening Statement: They can bring unique perspectives to crafting a defense strategy, using their civilian legal knowledge to challenge military-specific regulations or interpretations applied by the prosecution. A compelling opening statement can set the tone and frame the narrative for the jury.
  • Witness Examination and Cross-Examination: Their expertise in witness handling can be crucial. They can prepare service members for direct testimony, while their experience in cross-examination can expose inconsistencies, weaknesses, or biases in the prosecution's witnesses, potentially undermining their credibility.
  • Closing Argument and Mitigation: From their diverse legal background, civilian attorneys can deliver powerful closing arguments, emphasizing the defense's strengths and highlighting reasonable doubt. During the sentencing phase, they can effectively present mitigation evidence portraying the service member's positive character, service record, and potential for rehabilitation, influencing the court towards a more lenient sentence.

Additional Advantages:

  • Independence and Objectivity: As your civilian defense attorney, we will not be susceptible to internal pressures within the military and bring a more objective perspective to the case, advocating solely for your best interests--our loyalty is to you, the client.
  • Specialized Expertise: We are military defense lawyers specializing in military law, possessing in-depth knowledge of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and nuances of court-martial proceedings.
  • Jury Experience: Most of our cases that go to trial are tried by a Members Panel (jury). We have experience with juries that is beneficial in a court-martial.

Important Considerations:

  • Cost: Hiring a civilian attorney typically involves expense, whereas military counsel is provided free.
  • Coordination: Collaboration and clear communication between civilian and military counsel are crucial to ensure a unified defense strategy. We make it our business to work as a defense team. We are lead counsel, but we expect the military defense counsel to participate actively in your case. They work under our supervision.
  • Case Selection: Not all cases benefit equally from civilian representation. Consulting with military and civilian counsel is crucial to determine the best action.

A civilian defense counsel can be a valuable asset in a court-martial, offering diverse legal expertise, independent perspective, and specialized skills.

Conclusions and now what:

As you can imagine, each case is different--the facts, the law, the rules of evidence, the people involved, the type of charges, and the other players (prosecutors, judges, investigators). We also have to resort to expert assistance, most frequently forensic toxicologists, forensic psychologists, forensic computer examiners, or DNA experts (these experts are usually necessary for most sexual offense cases). Digital evidence is often involved in cases because of social media platforms used by clients and alleged victims--texting, email, and storage on computers and peripherals.

Because of changes in the law, we have developed a sub-specialty focused on medical providers accused of sexual offenses. Unfortunately, a "normal" patient exam can turn into an allegation of sexual abuse. Here, we had to become familiar with medicine, medical procedures, and how medical providers examine patients. Medical providers are more often accused of malpractice when seeing a patient is there for an appointment. For example, we have had cases where the standard and straightforward practice of auscultation allegedly done wrong has resulted in criminal actions against the provider.

 Another sub-area we have become experienced in is retrials after a client has won his appeal and there is to be a retrial. A retrial is more complicated than the initial trial. Witnesses may have become unavailable, evidence might have been lost, or new evidence is developed. For example, what happens when a key prosecution witness can't be found and the prosecution wants to use their testimony from the prior trial as a substitute for their live testimony? On the other hand, there is often an opportunity to negotiate a dismissal of the charges and substitute an administrative separation.

Some time ago, a client was falsely accused of rape, and the terror began--the story was right out of a Law & Order SVU script. However, our efforts in the investigative and post-investigation stages led to the charges being dropped. The decision-maker was rational. No further disciplinary action was taken. The other shoe dropped when the client received the letter that he was being considered for removal from the promotion list based on the allegations. Good news--he has been promoted.


We believe strongly in regular and complete communication with the client. We make every effort to tell you what we are doing and why. We also welcome a client's input and involvement in their case.

When the client allows, we also inform the family regularly to reassure them that we are taking care of their best interests.

The two of us talk almost daily to review our cases, think about how to defend the case, and discuss strategy. We will often discuss a new development during the trial.


Every case is different; our prior results do not guarantee the same result for you (it is unethical for a lawyer representing an accused in a criminal case to promise a particular result). Your best action is to consult with us as experienced military defense lawyers. 

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