NOTE: This CLE (continuing legal education) seminar is free to watch at the link below. If you wish to receive a certificate showing you completed the course and CLE credits for attorneys (see below for details), please register at this link:

The course handout materials can be found here:–FEsWthW-2vVEguZ3d_TwmBnEtYVz8iXBzesXLis/edit?usp=sharing

In this workshop, we will discuss some of the tactics that could be used by members of the National Guard who wish to legally avoid an activation in the current crisis.

The topics to be discussed include:

  1. The triage concept — how to accurately and quickly access the severity of the situation and to determine what other resources might be needed.
  2. Conscientious Objection — including what happens after a CO application is filed in pending activation context
  3. Health Issues — how physical and mental health issues may be used as a way to show a command that activation is a bad idea.
  4. Hardships — How both family and community hardships can be used to argue against an activation
  5. Jurisdictional issues – How to determine whether a Guard member is under federal or state jurisdiction and how this might impact a case.
  6. Free speech issues – Discussing the consequences of engaging in free speech activities during the current crisis, as well as how public support can help (or hurt) a case.
  7. Referrals — When is it helpful to refer a National Guard member to additional resources and organizations (including advocacy, fundraising, peer support and medical resources)
  8. Ethics — The last half hour of the presentation will focus on some of the legal ethics concerns that may arise in National Guard cases.

This workshop is primarily intended for attorneys with at least some experience in military law, but other attorneys (especially those who want to work with an experienced mentor attorney in taking on a case) as well as GI Rights counselors and advocates are welcome to attend.

Presenter: James M. Branum has practiced military criminal defense and free speech law since 2006. He has represented military service members at posts across the United States including many of the public resisters to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He is the author of the book US Army: A practice guide and formbook and is a past chair of the Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild.

CLE Credit: This course is approved for CLE credit for California lawyers, and an application is pending for Oklahoma CLE credit. Attorneys in other states can still attend the workshop and will be given a “uniform application for accreditation of CLE credit” which you can submit to your state’s bar. We cannot guarantee that your state will approve the CLE credit but most states will likely do so. Your state may also require you to pay a fee for submitting this form, which would be your responsibility.

FORMAT: This program will be a live program (with as much discussion as we can manage through zoom) on Tuesday, June 16 from 1-3 pm PDT, but will also be available in recorded (on demand) afterwards. Please note that since this program will be recorded, your comments and questions for the live program will be part of the recorded program.

COST: We are not charging for this workshop, but we encourage those can afford to do so to donate to the MLTF so we can put on more of these CLE trainings.

We are suggesting the following donation amounts:

  * $10-25 for non-attorneys
  * $25-100 for attorneys

To donate please go to: