The International Association of Military Defense Lawyers (IAMDL) is the innovation of its founding President and Vice-President, Jocelyn C. Stewart and Will M. Helixon. The organization emerges from a desire to “raise the bar” in military justice practice across all branches of service in all places the military serves, CONUS, OCONUS, within the borders of our nation and on international bases as well.
Recognizing the absence of a unified professional organization in military defense legal practice, Ms. Stewart and Mr. Helixon saw a void, and formed this organization to help fill it. Defense attorneys perform best when they are unified, interconnected, and driven by a fervent desire, within ethical limits, to use every possible avenue, and leverage every possible benefit on behalf of clients.
Sensitive to the reality that desire and capability often do not run parallel the International Association of Military Defense Lawyers (IAMDL) wants to utilize the wealth of knowledge, skill, and experience of its board and members to ensure that less seasoned practitioners are best-situated to defend service member clients. IAMDL also wants to ensure that lawyers with little to no experience in military law are properly vetted or trained before they risk the futures of their would-be service member clients. Outside of the military uniformed context, other than simply being licensed to practice law and be in good standing with any state, there are no baseline qualifications required of attorneys before they step into a court-martial. We believe it is time to demand more for Soldiers, Sailors, Airman, Marines, and Coast Guardsman. Moreover, the organization wants to raise the bar for all in the practice, no matter how many years of practice and no matter how many cases any of us has tried; we should all be striving to be better, to stay current, and to ensure the highest caliber of defense for our clients.