AG Hawley Announces Advisory Board for New Military Assistance Initiative

Military Legal Assistance Team will work to serve those who serve

Dec 11, 2017, 10:39 AM
Dec 11, 2017, 10:36 AM

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley today announced the formation of an advisory board to develop the first statewide program in Missouri providing pro bono legal services to current military service members.

Once launched, the Military Legal Assistance Team will be Missouri's first attorney general-led program offering our military communities access to pro bono civil legal services. The program will work closely with attorneys from military bases in Missouri to connect service members with qualifying legal needs to private pro bono attorneys who will provide legal guidance and representation. The new advisory board will determine the guidelines for qualifying legal needs as well as create an attorney recruitment strategy.

Members of the advisory board include: John D. Comerford, Partner, Dowd Bennett, L.L.P., former U.S. Navy officer; Morry S. Cole, President, Missouri Bar, and Partner, Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C.; David M. Lowe, Colonel (ret.), former State Judge Advocate of the Missouri National Guard, Principal, David M. Lowe Law Firm; Jason R. Scheiderer, Partner, Dentons; Erwin O. (Erv) Switzer, Partner, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C.; John (Jay) W. Simpson, Partner, Shook Hardy & Bacon, L.L.P.; and Dr. Bucky Buckner, Colonel (ret.) U.S. Army. In addition to the permanent members, the board will work closely with liaison attorneys from Fort Leonard Wood, Whiteman Air Force Base, and the Missouri National Guard Ike Skelton Training Site.

“Missouri’s military service men and women put their lives on the line to protect us and keep us safe at home,” Hawley said. “These men and women should not have to face legal issues alone. My Office is committed to providing legal assistance to our brave men and women in uniform.”

“It is so important to support our men and women in uniform,” Dr. Bucky Buckner, Colonel (ret.) U.S. Army, said. “This program is exciting is because it offers support in a way that is often overlooked.”

“I can’t think of a better way for the law profession to give back to our troops,” John Comerford, former Navy officer and practicing attorney in St. Louis, said. “I look forward to working with the advisory board to develop this program and recruit attorneys who want to give back to those who give us so much.”

“As a former State Judge Advocate, I am familiar with what military service men and women encounter,” David M. Lowe, Colonel (ret.), Missouri National Guard said. “The wonderful thing about this program is that it strives to assist these dedicated men and women with civil legal issues where they otherwise might not find help.”

Attorneys interested in participating in this initiative should visit and submit a volunteer form.

The Military Legal Assistance Team will formally launch in early 2018.