Updated: April 27, 2022

Legal Assistance to Military Personnel Section

The WSBA Legal Assistance to Military Personnel (LAMP) Section addresses matters related to the rendition of appropriate and efficient legal service to members of the armed forces of the United States. Initially formed as a standing committee of the Washington State Bar Association in 1996, the LAMP Section was formed in October 2004.

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Shape Your Section for the Future: Apply Today to Become a Section Leader

Applications open on March 14, 2022, and close at 5 p.m. April 15, 2022.

The following section executive committee positions are open for applications. All terms begin Oct. 1, 2022.

  • Chair: two-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2024.
  • Vice-chair: two-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2024.
  • Secretary/Treasurer: two-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2024.
  • Historian: two-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2024.
  • Legislative Committee Chair: two-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2024.

To learn more about roles and expectations for serving on the section executive committee, review this volunteer position description, which provides a general overview of section executive committee positions—these may differ for each section.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be a current section member and should be eligible to vote in accordance with the section’s bylaws.

Application Process

Go to the myWSBA portal to complete the online application for open executive committee positions.

Note: If you are applying for more than one position on this or multiple sections’ committees, you must complete and submit all applications at the same time, as you will not be allowed back into the portal at a later time. Please make sure you are completing the applications within the application window for all of the relevant sections.

Nomination Process

Nominations and elections for open executive committee positions will be held between March and May each year. The Chair or the executive committee of this section shall appoint a nominating committee consisting of no less than three section members, including one who is not currently a member of the executive committee. All applicants will apply through an electronic process administered by the Washington State Bar Association. The executive committee will also have an alternative process to allow for nominations to occur outside of the nominating committee process. The executive committee will approve a list of nominees for each open position.

Alternate Nomination Process

Nominations from Floor: After receipt of the recommendation of the nominating committee, other nominations may be made from the floor of each annual meeting of this section for election of any member of this section to any officer position to be filled by election at such annual meeting of this section.

Elections Process

All voting members of the section will receive an electronic ballot sent to their email in June 2022. Visit this webpage in early June for election updates and voting instructions.

Questions? 
For more information about the Section, its executive committee roles, and elections process, please review the Section’s bylaws. You may also contact any member of the current Section Executive Committee or email sections@wsba.org.

 



CHAIR’S CORNER

Feb. 21, 2022

~ Stephen Carpenter, Jr.

Earlier this month “military sexual trauma” (MST) was arguably identified as one of most troubling mental health ailments that a uniformed member may confront. Specifically, on 7 February 2022, the Secretary of the Army issued a broadly impactful directive allowing civilians (former Soldiers) to retrospectively request Line of Duty (LOD) Investigations. In other words, all former service members are now legally entitled to request the active-duty Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) to spearhead an investigation. In “founded” cases, such victims can receive a 70% disability rating, which is approximately $1,529 per month. This newly promulgated active-duty involvement will arguably significantly increase the speed by which such claims (arguably sidesteps the VA) are resolved.    

In a nutshell, Army Directive 2022-04 amends Army Regulation (AR) 600-8-4, para. 2-2, which, according to the Secretary, failed to “clearly prescribe” the law. (emphasis added) Before this change AR 600-8-4, para. 2, had prohibited such former victims from requesting SARC involvement. Now the SARC must investigate, coordinate and then ultimately complete a Department of Army (DA) Form 2173 regarding whether a sexual assault occurred, even if the triggering incident occurred many years ago. Continuing on, the prior restrictive regulation read: 

“At no time will an LOD be initiated, regardless of the circumstance(s), for a Soldier not in an authorized duty status at the time of injury, illness, disease, or death. A Soldier must be in an authorized duty status, as determined by the unit commander, before an LOD can be initiated.” Id. at para. 2-2 .

Despite the Secretary of the Army characterizing this old law as essentially “unclear,” what is clear, now, is victims of sexual assault have presently been given a powerful conduit to seek financial remedies by use of the active duty component. The key, if you will, to the active duty side, has now been handed over, it reads:

“When a victim of sexual assault develops a condition of lasting significance and requires continued treatment while not in an active-duty status, an LOD determination is required. All sexual assault LOD requests will be initiated by the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC)….” Army Directive 2022-04, para. 5(b)(emphasis added).

As a direct result of this language, U.S. Army leadership, SARCs, and medical professionals can now be tasked to assess whether such “cold cases” warrant relief.  (emphasis added) Notably, however, this new opportunity for relief does not relate to anyone other than sexual assault victims. For instance, Army Directive 2022-04 does not provide Army combat veterans with the opportunity to request such an active duty LOD.  Thus, no matter what one may think about the propriety of the Secretary’s recent actions, if this “sexual assault” exception is made, surly combat veterans that suffer from the mental health issues must likewise deserve the right to request active duty support. In short, the Secretary of the Army could consider everyone that suffers from mental health problems post-separation, and not exclusively sexual assault victims.     

LAMP General Meeting Schedule

Below is the schedule for LAMP General Meetings through the end of 2022. Each meeting directly precedes a Mini-CLE. Watch the WSBA events calendar for the topic and a registration link as each event date approaches!

Wednesday, Nov. 17, 10 a.m. followed by Mini-CLE on Discharge Upgrades at 11 a.m.

Thursday, Dec. 9, 3 p.m.  (Executive Committee Meeting Only)

Thursday, March 10, 2022, 11 a.m. followed by Mini-CLE at 12 p.m.

Thursday, June 9, 11 a.m. followed by Mini-CLE at 12 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 8, 11 a.m. followed by Mini-CLE at 12 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 8, 11 a.m. followed by Mini-CLE at 12 p.m.


Webinar Series on Evictions Representation

LAMP supports, protects and legally empowers America’s current and past uniformed military members.  Patriots should expect no less. As part of this responsibility, LAMP provided, in conjunction with the AGO OMVLA, a three-part Mini-CLE series which addressed the empowerment of Veterans, through their counsel, in cases in which they erroneously face eviction from their homes.  All Veterans deserve to have a home; the law, through dedicated professionals, should ensure it.

As such, we earnestly invite you to carefully listen to Part 1 of this insightful Mini-CLE series, which is available below. Part 1 analyzes the applicable legislations. Part 2 addresses the processes specific to eviction law, and Part 3, winning strategies at show cause hearings. Veterans deserve legal protection, and you, as advocates, are uniquely positioned to make a major difference in their lives, as they once, not long ago, did for you, and your family.

Part 1: Understanding the Changing Legal Landscape and How the Legal Community Can Help Veterans and Servicemembers at Risk of Being Evicted

This webinar, presented on June 25, 2021, reviews how the new legislation impacts the eviction process (RCW 59.12) and how it amended the Residential Landlord Tenant Act in Washington State (RCW 59.18). The webinar also provides information on opportunities to help veterans and service members at risk of being evicted.

FACULTY

Joyce Bruce, Attorney General’s Office of Military and Veteran Legal Assistance, Seattle
Scott Crain, Northwest Justice Project, Seattle

Watch now

This link is not accredited for CLE credit and is available for viewing for up to one year after the live event date (June 25, 2021). 


LAMP in the News!

See the Section Spotlight feature in the November 2020 issue of Washington State Bar News: 

LAMP at the Forefront of Helping Our Uniformed Folks in Washington State


Legislation

Attorneys Assisting Citizen-Soldiers and Families (AACF)

RCW's Relating Military Affairs and Veteran Affairs

APR 8(b)

SHB 1170 (parenting plans based on military service)

ABA Military Pro Bono Project

WSBA Legislative Activities


Resources

The following resources include information describing issues affecting military personnel. Lawyers, businesses, and members of the public will find help regarding reserve and active military personnel in all branches of service.

WSBA recommends that military personnel visit their base JAG office for specific information regarding particular questions.

ABA Resources

Army JAG Resources

Army Review Boards Agency

Navy Judge Advocate General

Resources for Reserve Officers

The New SCRA

Department of Defense Resources

Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

Representing Washington Veterans


Executive Committee

Chair: Stephen Carpenter Jr.  (2020-2022) 

Vice ChairPaul Apple (2020-2022) 

Secretary-TreasurerEric McDonald (2021-2022) 

Immediate Past Chair: Eric McDonald (2020-2022)

Strategic Planning Committee*
Jon Bridge (2020-2022)
Sharon Powell (2020-2022)
Alex Straub (2020-2022)

HistorianDaniel Russ (2020-2022)

Legislative Committee Chair: Jeff Coats (2020-2022)

Law School Liaison*Craig Allen (2020-2022)

Young Lawyer Liaison*: Madison Burke (2021-2023)

Board of Governors Liaison*: Hunter Abell (2021-2022) 

Northwest Justice Project Liaison*: Adam Chromy

* Nonvoting member

Please contact subcommittee member for details on their upcoming meeting dates and locations.

To join the section list serve and for more general section questions, please send your email address and Bar number to sections@wsba.org. For more information and to get involved with the section, please contact the current section chair, Stephen Carpenter Jr.