Legal assistance attorneys - here for you

  • Published
  • By Capt. Timothy P. Daniels
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Judges Advocate
As a legal assistance attorney, I once had a client who signed a contract for a new car out of state and then drove the car 1,000 miles back to our base. He did not understand a tiny phrase in the contract - "subject to dealer financing." A few weeks later, with his leave balance nearly down to zero, he received a notice that he would need to return his new car - to that dealership 1,000 miles away - or sign an agreement for a much higher interest rate. He was stuck.

You may have heard the saying, "a stitch in time saves nine" or "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." That's good advice, especially in legal matters.

Air Force Judge Advocate General attorneys are here to assist you through the Legal Assistance program. We can help you resolve civil legal problems so you can focus on your military duties and can help you better if we can advise you on the front end. Once a contract is signed, there's not much we can do.

Consider this as your personal invitation to bring us your civil legal questions before a problem arises. It is much easier for us - and you - to avoid a problem with good advice instead of trying to fix a problem once the damage has been done.

If you are about to sign an agreement to buy a car, why not let a lawyer look over the agreement before signing it? If you are about to stop paying your rent because the landlord won't get the plumbing fixed, why not talk it over with a lawyer first? If you have a legal issue that affects your ability to focus on your military mission, we are especially interested in helping you.

Now, if the "problem egg" has already hatched and you are feeling cheated, you should still call us because we may be able to help. For example, when an airman was deployed, he stored his belongings at a local storage facility and set up monthly payments to be automatically charged to his credit card. When his credit card was closed for a security concern, the storage company stopped receiving payments and sold all of the airman's belongings. Our attorneys educated the storage company, that they did not follow the provisions of the Service members Civil Relief Act, which requires a court order before storage companies can sell the property of an active duty member. Realizing their mistake, the company apologized, bought back half of the furniture for the airman and then paid the airman for the remaining lost items. Our office also worked with the storage company to make sure similar incidents would not happen in the future.

Every legal assistance attorney is a licensed lawyer and you will have a confidential relationship. If your specific attorney does not have expertise in your area of need - such as immigration law - then you can ask your attorney to reach out to another Air Force attorney who does have expertise. We're free.

So, go to if you want to fill out the form to get a will or a power of attorney or call our office at 481-7294 to set up an appointment. We're here for you.