Charles Gittins

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Charles Gittins
Born 1956

Charles Gittins is an American lawyer, who was worked for a number of noteworthy defendants in military courts martial.[1][2][3]

Gittins attended the United States Naval Academy, graduating in 1979. He then joined the Marine Corps where he served as a Radar Intercept Officer.[1]

Gittins graduated first in his class from The Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law in 1987 and was in the Judge Advocate Corps for six years, before entering civilian life.[1][4] The first civilian firm Gittins worked for was Williams & Connolly.[1] While there he defended Robert E. Stumpf, Commander of the Blue Angels, and one of the principals in the Tailhook scandal.[5] He spent three and a half years there before founding his own firm.[1]


Notable clients
Lieutenant Ilario Pantano United States Marine Corps who was cleared of shooting two unarmed Iraqi captives, then desecrating their bodies in order "to send a message".[6]
Specialist Charles Graner Military Police reservist involved in the Abu Ghraib scandal.[7]
Major Harry "Psycho" Schmidt Former instructor from the United States Navy's TOPGUN school who bombarded a platoon of Canadians in Afghanistan, even though he had been directed to hold his fire.[8][9]
Commander Scott Waddle Captain of the USS Greeneville, after his submarine negligently did a power surface, right under the Ehime Maru, a Japanese research vessel (see Ehime Maru and USS Greeneville collision).[3][10]
Corporal Dustin Berg Shot his Iraqi partner, an Iraqi police officer, then shot himself with his partner's gun. Berg claimed his partner attacked him first, and Berg returned fire in self defense. Berg later recanted this version of events and pleaded guilty to negligent homicide, self injury, and false swearing.Template:Citation needed
Private Edward L. Richmond Shot an unarmed, bound prisoner in the back of the head. He was represented at trial by a military defense counsel.[11]Template:Failed verification
Captain Christopher M. Beiring Commanded troops at the Bagram Theater Internment Facility who beat two Afghani captives to death with "compliance blows".[12][13]
Captain Randy W. Stone

Stone was a Marine Judge Advocate officer against whom charges were recommended for failing to formally investigate the Haditha incident where a squad of Marines methodically shot and killed two dozen nearby civilian families after a well-liked comrade was killed by a roadside bomb.[14]

See also

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Rudy Socha, Carolyn Butler Darrow. Above & Beyond: Former Marines Conquer The Civilian World, Turner Publishing Company, pp. 89–90. Retrieved on 2010-10-.
  2. Matthew Dolan. Increasing number of Navy officers being fired, The Virginian-Pilot, 2004-03-10, p. A1. Retrieved on 2012-04-12. “His most famous case involved Cmdr. Scott Waddle, commanding officer of the submarine Greeneville, which hit a Japanese training vessel in February 2001.”
  3. 3.0 3.1 Tony Perry. Court to Begin Sub Crash Inquiry, Los Angeles Times, 2001-03-05. Retrieved on 2012-04-12. “Waddle's attorney Charles Gittins, who has represented clients in several high-profile military cases, said Sunday that the collision was caused by a ‘chain of mistakes’ in the sub's control room that left his client unaware of the dangerous proximity of the trawler.” mirror
  4. Jane Gross. Brash Civilian Lawyer Battles Army in Court-Martial, New York Times, 1998-02-22. Retrieved on 2012-04-12. “He was honored by the service with an invitation to go to law school at the expensive of the Government. He graduated first in his class at Catholic University.” mirror
  5. William H. McMichael (1997). The mother of all hooks: the story of the U.S. Navy's Tailhook Scandal. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 9781560002932. Retrieved on 2010-10-16. 
  6. Marines advised to drop charges, Washington Times, March 14, 2005
  7. Graner refuses to testify in other Abu Ghraib trials, Washington Times, March 16, 2005
  8. U.S. 'friendly fire' pilot suing air force, CBC News, 2004-07-04.
  9. Inquiry into deaths of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan under way, CBC News, 2003-01-14. Retrieved on 2012-04-10. “Both Gittins and Beck say the responsibility for the friendly fire incident lies further up in the chain of command.” mirror
  10. Gregg K. Kakesako. Waddle testifies he's truly sorry: The sub commander is denied immunity but says testifying is the right thing to do, Honolulu Star Bulletin, 2001-03-20. Retrieved on 2012-04-12. “Yesterday, his attorney, Charles Gittins, said Waddle would not testify because he had not been granted testimonial immunity by Adm. Thomas Fargo, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.”
  11. Boylan, Peter. Schofield soldier filing appeal, October 3, 2005. Retrieved on April 10, 2012.
  12. Tim Golden. Years After 2 Afghans Died, Abuse Case Falters, New York Times, 2006-02-13, p. A1. Retrieved on 2012-04-10. “In one of the prosecutors' most important tests, the Army last month abandoned its case against Capt. Christopher M. Beiring, the former military police commander at Bagram and one of the few American officers since 9/11 to face criminal charges related to the abuse of detainees by the officers' subordinates.” mirror
  13. Kristian Williams (2006). American Methods: Torture And the Logic of Domination. South End Press. ISBN 9780896087538. Retrieved on 2012-04-10. “Ultimately, the army's Criminal Investigations Command recommended charges against 28 soldiers, implicating them in the deaths of two detainees. (One was Dilawar; the other was Mullah Habibullah, who died on December 4, 2002 after similiar treatment.) As of September 2004, twelve GIs had actually been charged, including the commander of the 377th, Captain Christopher M. Beiring.” 
  14. John McChesney. Haditha Proceedings Begin with Marine Lawyer, National Public Radio, 2007-05-08. Retrieved on 2012-04-11. “Stone's lawyer, Charles Gittins, says the Marines are trying to make his client a scapegoat.”