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Extraordinary Relief: A Primer for Trial Practitioners.pdf
The Army Lawyer (2008)
  • Patrick B. Grant, MAJ, US Military Accademy, West Point
Most counsel have litigated a pretrial motion with the absolute confidence they would win, only to feel the sting of reading “Denied” in the military judge’s ruling.  If counsel represents the Government, Article 62, Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), may give direct access to the appellate courts to challenge an adverse ruling.1  If the matter does not fall within the scope of Article 62, UCMJ, in the vast majority of cases, counsel cannot successfully seek interlocutory appeal of the adverse ruling and can only hope for relief months or years later on direct appeal.  In rare cases however, where the motion concerns an extraordinary matter presenting a clear and indisputable entitlement to relief, counsel should consider seeking redress through an extraordinary writ.2   
Appellate courts disfavor granting writs and counsel filing a writ bear an “extremely heavy burden” in seeking extraordinary relief.3  For example, in three years the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) has granted four of the ninety requests for extraordinary relief filed.4  In determining if they can meet their heavy burden, counsel must consider (1) whether the court has jurisdiction to hear the writ; (2) which writ is appropriate; and (3) do the circumstances of the case justify extraordinary relief.5  This article will first discuss this three-step analysis and then provide a road map for seeking extraordinary relief.  Although Article 62 appeals are not petitions for extraordinary relief, this article will also provide counsel with a road map for filing an Article 62 appeal. 
  • Extraordinary relief,
  • Habeas Corpus,
  • All Wrtis Act,
  • Uniform Code of Military Justice
Publication Date
Fall November 1, 2008
Citation Information
Patrick B. Grant. "Extraordinary Relief: A Primer for Trial Practitioners.pdf" The Army Lawyer (2008) p. 30 - 40 ISSN: 0364-1287
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