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Joint Base Lewis Mcchord

Joint Base Lewis-mcChord Civilian Defense Attorney

Joint Base Lewis-McChord is located just 10 miles south of Tacoma, Washington. The joint base is a combination of the United States Army's Fort Lewis and the Air Force's McChord Air Force Base. The two bases were combined in 2010. If you are facing military discipline while stationed at Joint Base Lewis McChord, contact former military judge and experienced defense counsel Patrick J. McLain right away.

You Have the Right to Civilian Defense Counsel

You are entitled to have a skilled civilian defense counsel represent you at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. 

To speak with a retired Marine Corps judge that has dedicated his private practice to defending soldiers and airmen, contact attorney Patrick J. McLain today.

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Bringing over 30 years of experience in military law to the table, we know how to protect your best interests.

Types of Military Justice at Joint Base Lewis-mcChord

Two commonly used forms of military justice at Joint Base Lewis-McChord are nonjudicial punishment and trial by court-martial. These procedures have their differences, but both can have a major impact on your life and career.

Nonjudicial Punishment

The most commonly used form of administrative discipline is known as nonjudicial punishment (NJP). An NJP is informally referred to as Article 15 by both the Army and Air Force. As an administrative hearing, a conviction at NJP will not result in a conviction on your permanent record. However, an adverse ruling can greatly affect your career and even lead to your discharge.

An NJP is initiated by your commanding officer who will also oversee the hearing. The rules of an NJP are informal and lack the structure of a court-martial. An appeal in an NJP will go up your chain of command instead of being heard by an appellate court.

If you would prefer to face a trial by court-martial, you have the right to reject an Article 15. If you are concerned that you may not get a fair hearing in front of your commanding officer, you might benefit from opting for a trial by court-martial. It is important to note, however, that the potential penalties in a court-martial are notably tougher than at an NJP. The choice to accept or reject an NJP is a critical one and should not be made without guidance from experienced legal counsel.


A trial by court-martial is a formal criminal proceeding. If you are convicted, your permanent record will reflect the conviction. This conviction can haunt you even after you re-enter civilian life.

A trial by court-martial is overseen by a military judge. The rules are more formal than the rules of an NJP, and the standard for introducing evidence is much higher. If you are found guilty, you have the right to appeal. In fact, several types of convictions trigger an automatic appellate review.

To learn more about the trial or appeals process, contact attorney Patrick J. McLain.

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You Need a Civilian Military Lawyer


  • Former Federal Prosecutor & Military Judge
    Attorney Patrick J. McLain's years of experience across the aisle provide him with a unique perspective.
  • Over Two Decades in the U.S. Marine Corps
  • Our Firm is Top-Rated & Award-Winning
  • Over 3,500 Cases Successfully Handled

Common Offenses at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Examples of common charges at Joint Base Lewis-McChord are listed below.

Common NJP Offenses

  • Unauthorized absence (AWOL)
  • Drunk on duty
  • Fraternization
  • Violation of orders
  • Destroying government property

Common Court-Martial Offenses

Potential Penalties

The potential penalties stemming from an Article 15 include but are not limited to:

  • Restriction
  • Loss of pay
  • Loss or rank
  • Extra duties.

A trial by court-martial could result in more severe penalties including confinement. In both cases, you could face separation proceedings if convicted. But if you fight back, you have a chance of avoiding a conviction and keeping your life and career intact.


    "I was entirely impressed with mclain’s work on my case."

    I called McLain when the military charged me with some B.S., McLain immediately jumped into action and made things happen in my favor. Don't do it alone … your military chain of command will try to make you think that your cooperation will help you, it will NOT. I was entirely impressed with McLain's work on my 

    - Chris C.
    "He is a hard worker and will fight for you the moment you choose him to be on your team!"

    My husband hired Patrick for his summary court martial and Patrick and his team were there every step of the way. They communicated everything they needed and were even there when either me or my husband had any questions. He is a hard worker and will fight for you the moment you choose him to be on your team!

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    "Always made me feel as though I was his most important client, and was knowledgeable on all subjects."

    He completely cared, took my case personally, always made me feel as though I was his most important client, and was knowledgeable on all subjects. I give him the highest rating possible and totally recommend him to anyone who is 

    - Mike
    "Great lawyer and better person"
    Mr. McLain helped me through the most difficult experience in my life. As a Marine Officer facing an upcoming board of inquiry for conduct issues, I was fearful of losing a career that I deeply cherished. Mr. McLain not only gave me perfect legal advice throughout the process, but also reached out many times to see how I was doing on a personal level. A great lawyer and better person, Mr. McLain helped me become successful in my board of inquiry and keep moving forward in my career. His knowledge and experience are top notch, and his military experience and personal qualities make him the best lawyer out there to defend military personnel. Would highly recommend to anyone.
    - Jonathan
    "Thanks to him I am now able to get on with my life."

    It took some time to make it happen, but it did just like Patrick said, he is a hard charging guy that can help you get what you deserve, Thanks to him I am now able to get on with my life.

    - Chip
    "Amazing lawyer who fights for you!"
    A tremendous lawyer in a time of need. After being accused of conduct unbecoming an officer for personal conduct while off duty, I hired Mr. McLain to help me through the process. He diligently worked behind the scenes to make sure my voice was being heard. Despite my inability to listen to his direction early on, Mr. Mclain was patient and continued to fight on my behalf. Mr. McLain helped me win at a board of inquiry with no other disciplinary action. A sincere man, who is dedicated to his clients. Would strongly recommend and is a great asset to military clients everywhere.
    - Former Client
    "I won my military case due to his diligence, knowledge and experience in military law."

    I cannot recommend Patrick highly enough. I won my military case due to his diligence, knowledge and experience in military law. Had I proceeded on my own, I would have lost, for the process was simply too complex. When working with Patrick, there was never a time when I felt left in the dark on my case, nor a time when his assessments and instructions were unclear. Should you be in any difficult circumstance, Patrick will work his tail off for you and keep you clearly informed on the status of your case. Again, I highly recommend the services of Patrick McLain.

    - Dan C.
    "Amazing strength and integrity with the combination of experience, insight, and knowledge of military law."

    I have found my lawyer Patrick McLain, to be honest, right to the point, consistently giving me realistic outcomes through the whole process of my case. He's definitely no nonsense, cut to the chase. As a client…I've never been left hanging; he makes sure all my correspondence is returned. He's got amazing strength and integrity with the combination of experience, insight, and knowledge of military law. He stands behind his words and expects the same in return. I say my blessings every day for him taking my case. With him as my attorney, I've achieved best possible outcomes.

    - Gina F.
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