Court Martial Attorney Michael Waddington on “Success Today” TV Show
Court-martial attorney Michael Waddington on “Success Today” TV Show. Call 1-800-921-8607 to speak with a civilian defense attorney today.
Below is a transcript from the video: Court Martial Attorney Michael Waddington on “Success Today” TV Show
Bob Guiney 0:08
Welcome to success today. I am Bob Guiney, and joining me Michael Waddington. Like, I’m so fascinated by what you do. First of all, I love the journey to like myself. So we have an instant bond. But I’m also a big fan of Homeland. So knowing that you’re a criminal defense attorney, you primarily specialize in military cases. I can only imagine some of the stuff you’ve seen. I mean, it must be unbelievable. How true to life are things that we see on television when they talk about the military? There’s Oh, it’s always in the news. It’s always relevant. Well,
Michael Waddington 0:34
I mean, a lot of this stuff is true to life. But you know, in Hollywood, they sensationalize things. And they cut out a lot of the gritty stuff that really happens on military bases worldwide. What do you
Bob Guiney 0:45
think is a unique thing about your career that you’ve chosen?
Michael Waddington 0:48
I get paid to fly into these sometimes exotic locations and represent awesome clients. I mean, the clients who represent kind of pick and choose where represent made, some of them are the best of the best. They’re the people who volunteer to defend our country. And when they get into trouble, they deserve the best representation.
Bob Guiney 1:06
Sure. I can only imagine you’ve seen some crazy stuff. I mean, when you think about what you’ve done with your practice, how do you think you differentiate yourself amongst others in your field?
Michael Waddington 1:16
Well, the bottom line is, we don’t plead people guilty. But, yeah, in the system, where 95% of people are convicted, 95% plead guilty. In the criminal justice system in America, if 95% of cases plead guilty, that means 95% of the service members are going to be convicted, they’re going to get kicked out, they’re probably going to jail. And that’s, that’s a dishonorable discharge, a lot of times they get a dishonorable discharge and their careers done. And so when you look at them, when we go in and fight these cases, a lot of times we find out, the charges are trumped up, the guy might have done something, and they’ll always jack up the charge sheet to try to force him no plea deal, right. So when they know when one of my attorneys gets involved, they better be able to back up what they’re alleging because we’re coming over there, and they’re not going to get a plea deal. They’re gonna have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt these allegations to the jury, which is easier said than done.
Bob Guiney 2:08
So you’re coming in guns blazing. Basically, your job is that they’re innocent till proven guilty. And you actually take that to the next degree, I would imagine.
Michael Waddington 2:14
That’s right. You know, our motto is hard-hitting, aggressive representation. And if someone wants to plead guilty or wants to negotiate a plea deal, I’m not that person. My lawyers are not the attorneys that they need on their cases, right? They want someone to come in and try the case and take the battle to the opponent, then we’re the type of firm that you would get involved just to come in and really kind of clean house. That’s what we try to do.
Bob Guiney 2:37
Yeah. Now I know you guys are doing some really unique things. I mean, your practice seems to be specializing, obviously, military cases. But tell me about some of those Where Where do you think you’re really making a big difference in the world of criminal defense?
Michael Waddington 2:50
Well, right now, there’s what they’re calling the war on sexual assault. And there’s a lot of allegations going around. If the military doesn’t take these cases seriously, Congress wants convictions. And the military is just prosecuting everybody, that they can find that, let’s say, for example, someone went out to a bar met a girl, they had sex after a few having a few drinks, it was consensual, a boyfriend finds out about it, reports it, the military would take something like that, someone who’s innocent and put them through the court-martial process, right, just to prove to Congress that they’re taking these things seriously. Sure. And so when you pick your attorney, you need to have someone that’s confident enough and experienced enough to come in there and just take care of business. Right? Yeah.
So. Well, yeah. And I would imagine a lot of cases, you get what you pay for, too, it’s like, you know, you could go with the representation that comes you know, with with the honors, I guess what that what the stripes, but at the end of the day, you want to get someone who’s actually gonna win that case for you. Because this is the difference between a dishonorable discharge and a career in the military, right, and even more, so if you get convicted of sexual assault in the military, your life is done, you’re going to jail, you’re gonna get discharge you’re gonna be a sex offender, a federal convict, and you’re not going to be able to get a job, you might not even be able to be around your kids go to their birthday parties, and things like sporting events, any there anything. And so the biggest thing that we see now is there are so many lawyers out there saying, Oh, I’m a military law expert. I know all this stuff. Because I was on active duty, most of those lawyers don’t have the experience. And you do get what you pay for.
Yeah, you have to do your research because there’s no substitution for experience. Period. Right. And so yeah, you have to really properly vet the attorneys and check into the background. And I get it’s heartbreaking to me because I get an I had a call yesterday. Actually, a mother called she paid someone $7,000 to represent her son. In a felony-level rape case, well, the guy didn’t even know what he was doing. He ends up getting jacked up and got like ten years, we looked at the fact pattern, and I don’t do appeals. We looked at the fact pattern, and there are holes, you know, left and right in the case. She went with a two-bit attorney, and that’s what happens. You end up getting convicted. Yeah.
And I always use this example, you know, a basketball player is not a basketball player, just like a lawyer is not a lawyer, you have a high school basketball player, he might know the fundamentals. But he’s not the same as LeBron James, right? If you want to add someone onto your team that’s going to up your chances of winning, you want to go with someone in that LeBron James category. Sure, if someone who has a proven track record, rather than a guy who just knows how to dribble and might have played JV basketball, right, so you might go with a proven winner, which is you always want to go with a proven winner. Now, there are no guarantees, as you know, and sometimes the facts have low kicked our butts, yeah. I don’t create the facts, I get the fact pattern, and I try to work with what I’m given.
Bob Guiney 5:35
Is that hard for you when you’re deciding what you’re what kind of cases you’re going to take on? I mean, do you have to evaluate it before you take on that case? Or is it one of those things where it’s like if they come in the door and you like them? And you know, you have a favorable opinion? And you’ll take on the case? Or is it all fact-based for you
Michael Waddington 5:47
know, it’s a known fact base, but a lot of it’s based on personality. If I get a call from someone that is annoying or obnoxious. I don’t care how much money they have. I don’t want to help that person. Right? I can refer them out or just tell them No, thank you. So if I look at the facts, if I think someone’s getting railroaded. This is something I’ve always done since I was a kid. I always try to stick up for the underdog. It’s something my dad has always done. It caused me, you know, to get in a lot of fights in grade school shit, but you know, in some of those I want some I lost, but I kind of enjoy taking on the challenge of what bigger bully Can you face, then, you know, United States military coming down on one guy who’s, you know, has limited resources? And they have hundreds of millions of dollars backing them up, right? It’s an ultimate retainer and everything. Yes. And they have investigators worldwide. They can go out and grab it, you know, get witnesses to grab information. Sure. And really, railroad your client. So it’s, it’s the ultimate David versus Goliath experience. And I get a real adrenaline rush out of taking these guys out.
Bob Guiney 6:46
Well, that’s on your side right there. That’s right. How can people find you? Where can our clients find you?
Michael Waddington 6:51
The best way to find me is just to go to our website, UCMJdefense.com. I recommend that before someone calls me up, they kind of look at my background to make sure that we’re the right fit. As I said, we don’t go around pleading our clients guilty. Look at our background, and you know, watch a lot of our videos. They’re informational on the website. And on the website, they have a phone number. There’s a contact form. There’s a chatbox where they can chat with one of our staff members. Twenty-four-seven ask questions. Yes. Yep. That’s excellent. Well, thank you so much for joining me. I appreciate it, man. Thanks. Thank you.