Our office was retained after a Marine Captain already went through a Board of Inquiry where he was represented by the free military lawyer. The BOI did not go well, as the members found a basis for separation and recommended an Other Than Honorable Discharge characterization. After being retained, a BOI Letter of Deficiency was drafted laying out the significant legal issues which occurred at the BOI and asking for a new board. Ultimately, the Letter of Deficiency was denied. This case served as an example of why civilian defense counsel should be retained at the earliest opportunity – prior to a trial or Board of Inquiry – as opposed to after a conviction or separation. While appeals are worth pursuing, the service member can often obtain a significantly better result by retaining counsel early on in the process.