Military Justice

“Throughout my life, I have always had a patriotic heart.  Representing military members allows me to support those willing to put their lives on the line for the ideals represented in the United States Constitution.  There is no higher calling than to defend freedom with your life.”   –   Daphne Pattison Silverman

Daphne Pattison Silverman was commissioned into the United States Navy on December 20, 1990.  She attended Officer Indoctrination for five weeks, and extensive trial training for nine weeks at the Naval Justice School in Newport, Rhode Island.  Additional training was provided on a Naval vessel through the Lawyer at Sea project as well as in various training programs throughout her tour on active duty.  She served on active duty until June 1995.  Following active duty, she served in the Reserves and represented military members in courts-martial and administrative proceedings as civilian counsel.  She currently holds the rank of Lieutenant Commander.  Ms. Pattison was determined to be eligible for Sensitive Compartmented Information and DCID 6/4 which includes the simultaneous granting of Top Secret collateral clearance.

While on active duty, she served as Criminal Defense Attorney and Legal Assistance Attorney, at the Naval Construction Battalion Center.  She served in this capacity from November 1991 to August 1993.  She tried 24 court-martials and defended 17 individuals at administrative separation hearings.  These cases included several high profile Tailhook cases, rape charges, drug offenses, and other offenses military specific cases.  She was repeatedly called upon to handle serious matters due to her professionalism and trial skill.  In regards to Tailhook, she successfully salvaged the career of one of the pilots responsible for organizing and directing the event.  During this time, she was the sole attorney providing defense services to all Navy bases in Southern Mississippi as such she provided advice to 100’s of sailors.    She received a Navy Achievement Medal for exceptional trial skill.  She was a Finalist in Trial Advocacy Competition at Naval Justice School.  In addition to the litigation, she provided legal assistance including will preparation and intervention in other legal disputes on behalf of sailors.

From September 1993 until June 1995, Daphne L. Pattison served as Staff Judge Advocate for the Naval Construction Battalion Center.  In this capacity, she advised installation commander and tenant commanders on a variety of legal issues including military justice, environmental law, government standards of conduct, labor law, and the Freedom of Information Act.  In addition, she wrote a monthly Ask the Lawyer column for base newspaper addressing legal issues relevant to the lives of service members.  This position allowed her the opportunity to gain incite into the operation of a  military command and the process of deciding how to dispose of criminal charges, a valuable tool in representing military members as civilian counsel.

While serving in this capacity as the base attorney, she accepted the collateral duty of Special Assistant to the United States attorney.  In this capacity, she prosecuted misdemeanor and felony violations of the United States Code occurring on board Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport and John C. Stennis Space Center.  She handled approximately 25 cases by trial or plea bargain.

Following active duty, she served in the Reserves.  First, she served as a Legal Assistance Attorney for the Naval Legal Service Office New Orleans Reserve Unit.  As she did on active duty, in this capacity, she provided legal assistance including will preparation and intervention in other legal disputes on behalf of sailors.  Next, she served on the staff of the Staff Judge Advocate for Strategic Command in Omaha, Nebraska.  Strategic Command is responsible for developing the visions of military strategy.  In this position, she performed the Judge Advocate General review of investigations into possible security breaches, giving her a background which is helpful in defending those accused of security breaches or other related matters. As mentioned above, she was determined eligible for Sensitive Compartmented Information and DCID 6/4 which includes the simultaneous granting of Top Secret collateral clearance.

In summary, Daphne Pattison has dedicated years to comprehending military laws, the structural framework of the military, and the systems of criminal charges.