Warrior Defense Project
Military Justice Mission
Mission Statement: To offer real-time legal aid to service members wrongfully accused of misconduct in the performance of their official duties, free of charge. Fighting for those who fight for us.
The Warrior Defense Project is an educational and working institution, which operates hand-in-hand with government, business and academia on a variety of legal matters associated with providing legal services to deserving service members. It is our intent that over time, as a sufficient body of knowledge is developed, that the legal lessons learned – while assisting service members in need – may become the basis for fixed templates to more efficiently manage the applicable legal issues of the future.
Founded in 2019, the Warrior Defense Project is a fully operational research center dedicated to the study of legal and policy issues associated with the military. Particular emphasis is given to assisting service members in need of legal services. As a research facility, this goal is pursued through teaching; professional exchanges such as symposia and consultations; writing, commenting on and publishing written materials; conducting training; and ensuring access to extensive information resources.
Capt. Dave Staffel
The Warrior Defense Project continues the Military Justice Pro Bono Mission started in 2007 after Professor of Law Jeffrey F. Addicott, S.J.D., took the case of Master Sgt. Troy Anderson and Capt. Dave Staffel. The center was successful in exonerating Anderson and Staffel from a premeditated murder charge of an Afghan man.
In 2011, the Center for Terrorism Law came to the defense of Lt. Joshua Waddell in its first case dealing with the Rules of Engagement. Waddell was exonerated for all perceived wrongdoing in the shooting of an enemy combatant. Though the Marine chain of command was not willing to discuss Waddell’s case, Addicott drew media and congressional attention to the abuse of Rules of Engagement practices.
Master Sgt. Troy Anderson
The center also succeeded in rescinding Maj. John Suprynowicz’s General Officer Letter of Reprimand in 2016. Suprynowicz, an infantry combat veteran in three wars, had been accused of misconduct in a recruiting program sponsored by the Army.
Not only was the center instrumental in getting all the criminal charges quashed, it also provided three detailed rebuttal memorandums to the Commanding General to assist him in his final decision on the General Officer Letter of Reprimand action.
Staff Sgt. Ricardo Branch
Conferences and Training
The Warrior Defense Project will continue to participate in conferences and training events.
Media and Public Presentations
The Warrior Defense Project provides legal insight and subject matter expertise regarding the impact of military justice and civil liberties. Addicott has made thousands of media appearances in national and international news outlets. For updates, follow the Warrior Defense Project on Facebook.
Operating through the Warrior Defense Project, the St. Mary’s University School of Law offers individuals experience through pro bono opportunities assisting service members in need of various legal services. It is imperative that the nation have competent and trained attorneys who can successfully operate in both the private and public sectors.
Scholarship and Sharing Information
The Warrior Defense Project will continue the center’s traditions of scholarly research. In the past, the Center for Terrorism Law has produced an extensive amount of scholarship on legal issues related to terrorism – law review articles, books and monographs. Further, the center rendered legal briefs in court cases to include the United States Supreme Court.
The most recent text book published is (2014): Terrorism Law: Materials, Cases, Comments (7th Edition). This book includes an extensive examination of the legal issues contained in court cases associated with terrorism issues and addresses specific concerns to include targeted killing, interrogation, civil liberties and cyber terrorism. The most recent book published is: Radical Islam: Why? (2016).
Studies and Research
In conjunction with a staff of subject matter experts, the Warrior Defense Project is able to engage in top to bottom research study and analysis to determine the full legal ramifications of assorted issues associated with legal services for service members.