Leadership

The MLTF is led by a volunteer Steering Committee made up of members and managed by a part-time executive director.

Steering Committee

 

Chair: Jeff Lake

jeff_lake_biopic

(San Jose, CA) Jeff is an attorney in private practice with Carpenter and Mayfield in San Jose, California.  Jeff has been a member of the NLG since 1985 and a member of the MLTF for almost as long.  He is currently co-chair of the MLTF and an editor of On Watch.  Jeff is also active with the San Jose Peace and Justice Center.

 

Secretary: Dan Mayfield

(San Jose, CA) Dan is a criminal defense lawyer in San Jose CA . Before going into private practice he was an attorney with the Center for Veterans Rights in Los Angeles and the American G.I Forum in San Jose.

 

 

 

Treasurer: Libby Frank

(Chicago, IL) Libby Frank is a counter recruitment activist in Chicago working with Veterans for Peace and other peace groups to demilitarize the public schools. She is trained as an Accredited Claims Agent and worked for several years helping veterans seek discharge upgrades. She is also on the steering committee of the National Network Opposing Militarization of Youth.

 

 

National Executive Committee Representative: Aaron Frishberg

(New York, NY)  Aaron joined the Military Law Task Force over 35 years ago, while at New York Law School, where he participated in organizing a seminar to support resistance to the Jimmy Carter draft registration initiative, a bellicose response to the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. He has relied on the support of the network of MLTF advocates and attorneys in his case work, never being fully immersed personally in any aspect of military law. He helped organize a training on military counseling in New York which became the foundation for a New York City chapter NLG Military Law Committee.

Becca von Behren

(Oakland, CA) Becca is a Staff Attorney at Swords to Plowshares, an organization in San Francisco, CA, which provides free legal assistance to veterans seeking VA benefits and military discharge upgrades. Becca is a member of the San Francisco’s NLG Demonstrations Committee and co-chair of the NLG’s Queer Caucus. Prior to working at Swords to Plowshares, Becca worked as a Skadden Fellow at Disability Rights Advocates using impact litigation and legal advocacy to ensure that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with mental illness receive appropriate medical services and benefits. Becca has worked as a veterans’ advocate since graduating from Columbia Law School in 2008.

 

Reber Boult

(Albuquerque, NM) A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Reber practiced law, the majority of it criminal and much of it civil rights, for 35 years in Nashville, Atlanta and Albuquerque. A staff member of the ACLU’s Southern Regional office from 1968 to 1971, he’s now one of the legal directors of the ACLU of New Mexico. In 1973 and 1974, he worked with the National Lawyers Guild Military Law Office in Japan, helping U.S. Marines resist the war. He also worked with the Wounded Knee Legal Defense/Offense Committee in Sioux Falls and Porcupine, S.D. Besides being in his own law business, he’s worked for a motorcycle shop, a bulldozer repair shop, a filling station, a large electronics retailer, the Institute for Southern Studies, a Federal Public Defender office, the U.S. Navy, and taught in a public school system.

James M. Branum

James M. Branum presents AWOL CLEJames M. Branum (Oklahoma City, OK) served as co-chair and later chair of the MLTF from 2008-2012. He is a solo-practice attorney who practices in the areas of military (focusing on conscientious objector and war resister cases), LGBT Estate planning and consumer bankruptcy law. Some of his past cases include the defense of war resisters such as Robin Long, Daniel Sandate, Cliff Cornell, Travis Bishop, Victor Agosto and Ryan Jackson. He also has provided pro-bono legal support for the Under the Hood GI Coffee House (outside Fort Hood, Texas), Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), including at Winter Soldier D.C., Winter Soldier Austin, the 2008 IVAW base tour, and the Operation Recovery Campaign. James serves as the legal director of the Center for Conscience in Action and is the Minister of Peace & Justice at Joy Mennonite Church of Oklahoma City. James’ website can be found at www.jmbranum.com

 

Alison Carter(Fairbanks, Alaska) Alison served the G.I. Rights Hotline as a volunteer counselor in Alaska from 2004 to 2009 and board member for most of that time. Inspired by NLG attorneys who collaborated on Hotline cases, Alison gave up her 20-year accounting career for a law degree. She graduated from the University of Arkansas School of Law in May 2015 and was sworn into the Alaska Bar on June 3, 2016. Her low-fee, solo practice will focus on Hotline support and criminal defense work, mainly serving active-duty and veteran military members. She is based in Fairbanks, Alaska, but will also support the Hotline with Anchorage cases.

 

David Gespass

(Birmingham, AL) is the immediate past president of the NLG. He is a founding member of the MLTF after having worked at the NLG Military Law Office in Yokosuka and Okinawa for a year. David also is a member of the editorial board of the NLG Review, the Guild’s theoretical journal, and was editor-in-chief for several years. For several years he was chair of the Birmingham Peace Project, and now serves on the steering committee of the Southern Human Rights Organizers Network and is a spokesperson for the Birmingham Human Rights Task Force. His private practice law firm in Birmingham concentrates on police misconduct, prisoner rights and disability benefits.

 

Kathy Johnson

(Birmingham, AL) began her practice with the National Lawyers Guild’s Military Law Office in Yokosuka and Okinawa, Japan in 1973. A member of its steering committee, she helped to found the Guild’s Military Law Task Force. She returned to school and received a Masters Degree in International Law (human rights). Her international work has included serving as a United Nations volunteer in Bosnia and Croatia in 1994 during the Balkan wars and as a Human Rights Officer with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) immediately after end of the Bosnian war. She has since worked with OSCE in Croatia and Tajikistan and with the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative in Tajikistan. In addition, she has extensive experience with elections, serving in various capacities for elections throughout the Balkans and Eastern Europe.

James Klimaski

James KlimaskiJim Klimaski was a co-founder of the MLTF and is the principal in the law firm Klimaski and Associates, P.C. located in Washington, DC. He practices in the fields of Military Law, Employment Law, Security Clearances and Freedom of Information and Privacy Law.

 

Matthew Rinaldi

Born to an Italian-American family in Brooklyn in 1947, Matt Rinaldi was an activist in the civil rights movement in Mississippi, an organizer in the anti-war GI coffeehouse projects during the Vietnam War, and a truck driver in Teamsters for a Democratic Union before going to law school. With the MLTF, he currently represents 17 year old recruits who want to get released from the military. (Yes, there are child soldiers in the USA.) Matthew has been a member of the NLG since 1980 and was on the Executive Board of the SF Bay Area chapter for a decade.

 

Eric Post

(Los Angeles, CA) Eric is a poverty law and homeless rights attorney and activist in Los Angeles, where he is a Staff Attorney for the Center for Veterans’ Advancement (CVA), where he provides free legal assistance to low-income veterans and veterans experiencing homelessness, and serves on the Executive Board, Membership Committee, and Housing Committee for the NLG-Los Angeles Chapter. Prior to joining CVA, he was a Staff Attorney for the Homelessness Prevention Law Project at Public Counsel, a Policy Fellow for the Education Rights Center at Howard University School of Law, and had a private practice providing, among other things, pro bono assistance to preserve public benefits and prevent evictions.  Eric has been a member of the NLG since 2005, has served on the board for the Los Angeles Chapter since 2012, and has been a member of the MLTF since 2015.

 

Jeff Segal

(Louisville, KY)  – Jeff is a founding member of the National Organization of Legal Services Workers (NOLSW) and has served as its the Southeast Region VP for more than 20 years.  Jeff was a staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society in Louisville, KY, from 1980 until he retired at the end of 2008.  He continues to be an active NOLSW/UAW Local 2320 as a retiree.

 

Steve Zollman

As an Army Veteran, Stephen continues to remain engaged in issues affecting the Veteran community, most recently as a staff attorney at Swords to Plowshares in San Francisco and a volunteer attorney for a free Veteran’s Legal Clinic at the Santa Rosa Veterans Clinic. He serves on the Bay Area National Lawyers’ Guild Board.

A former San Francisco Public Defender, who represented youth for over eight and half years, he continues to be concerned about how exposure to traumas continue to affect youth. He started his own firm to continue to serve the family law needs of low income citizens. He serves on the CA State Bar’s Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services which continues to examine the best ways to meet the needs of those with modest means. Stephen is also an ABA officer and serves in a number of leadership positions.

 

 

Staff

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Kathleen Gilberd

photo of Kathleen GilberdKathleen Gilberd is a legal worker in San Diego, California, working in the areas of military administrative law and discharge review. She works extensively with the San Diego Military Counseling Project and serves on the board of directors of the national GI Rights Network. She is the author (with Majorie Cohn) of Rules of Disengagement: the Politics and Honor of Military Dissent. She was also the contributing author in Clark Boardman Callahan’s Sexual Orientation and the Law. Her website can be found at KathleenGilberd.com.