Experience as an Enlisted Marine
As a former enlisted Marine, Gary understands the needs and concerns of his enlisted clients. As an enlisted Marine, Gary served in the infantry and deployed several times. He also served with the U.S. State Department as a Marine Security Guard at the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece. Gary also had the unique experience of serving on Secret Service details for the U.S. Secretary of State and U.S. Ambassador for the United Nations.
Experience as a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Marine Corps
After being commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, Gary earned the title as a “Mustang Marine” to use his experience as an enlisted Marine to effectively defend clients of all ranks throughout his career as a Marine judge advocate.
Upon graduation from the Naval Justice School, Gary was assigned to Headquarters, Marine Corps where he provided Marine Corp Generals advice on officer misconduct cases.
Gary was the first Marine judge advocate to be assigned to the Physical Evaluation Board at Bethesda, Naval Hospital where he was responsible for providing legal advice and representation in disability hearings involving Marines and Sailors. This is an area of law very few military or civilian attorneys understand.
From 1989-1992, Mr. Barthel was assigned to Marine Corps Base, Quantico, VA where he initially served as the senior defense counsel.
After establishing himself as a distinguished litigator with numerous acquittals, Mr. Barthel was reassigned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Alexandria, VA where he was responsible for prosecuting civilians who committed offenses aboard military installations. While assigned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Barthel also prosecuted international drug importation cases and prepared and argued cases on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. During this time, Mr. Barthel taught numerous classes to NCIS agents, military investigators, and military police officers on criminal investigations and trial preparation in U.S. District Court.
From 1992-1995, Mr. Barthel received orders to Headquarters, Marine Corps Reserve in New Orleans, LA where he was responsible for providing legal advice to the Commanding Generals and Commanding Officers around the country on a variety of legal issues including investigations, criminal prosecution of cases, administrative separation processing of Marines and Marine Reservists and claims against the government. Mr. Barthel was also responsible for training commanding officers on the laws and regulations governing government ethics and sexual harassment.
From 1995-1998, Mr. Barthel received orders to Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, CA where he initially served as the Senior Defense Counsel. As the Senior Defense Counsel, Mr. Barthel was responsible for the training and supervision of 15 military defense counsel. Mr. Barthel was also responsible for defending serious criminal cases which included a nationally publicized capital murder case.
Mr. Barthel was then hand selected by the Commanding General, 1st Force Service Support Group, to be his Staff Judge Advocate. As the Commanding General’s Staff Judge Advocate, Mr. Barthel was responsible for providing legal advice to the Commanding General and his Commanding Officers and staff on a variety of legal issues that included investigations, criminal prosecution, administrative separations, and claims against the government, government ethics and sexual harassment.
In 1998, Headquarters, Marine Corps selected Mr. Barthel to attend graduate school at The Judge Advocate General’s School, at the University of Virginia where he earned his LL.M. Military Law in 1999.
After earning his LL.M. in Military Law in 1999, Mr. Barthel received orders to Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar, San Diego, CA where he assumed duties as the Staff Judge Advocate to the Commanding General. While at Miramar, Mr. Barthel provided legal counsel to the Commanding General and his Commanding Officers and staff on a variety of legal issues including investigations, criminal prosecution, administrative separations, claims against the government, government ethics and sexual harassment. While stationed at MCAS, Miramar, Mr. Barthel was also responsible for managing the Joint Law Center. His duties included managing, training and supervising approximately 15 attorneys and approximately 40 support staff in providing a variety of legal services to the Commands and Servicemembers of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and MCAS, Miramar as well as retirees and their families.
Experience as a Former Partner at a Prestigious Law Firm
Following his retirement from the Marine Corps in 2003, Mr. Barthel joined the law firm of Higgs Fletcher and Mack, one of the oldest and most prestigious law firms in San Diego. Mr. Barthel’s civilian practice focused on business litigation, criminal defense and personal injury. As a partner at Higgs Fletcher and Mack, Mr. Barthel used his knowledge and experience in Military Law to develop a Military Law practice. Mr. Barthel’s experience in both military and civilian law practice provides him with the unique ability to provide comprehensive representation to Servicemembers, veterans and their families in a variety of legal areas such as criminal defense, personal injury and business litigation.
Mr. Barthel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Russian Area Studies, a Juris Doctor of Law, and a LL.M. in Military Law.
Experience as a Guest Speaker on Military Law Related Issues
Based upon Gary’s unique experience in both military and civilian law, he is regularly called upon by the military and media to speak about military legal issues. Gary has also published articles regarding a variety of legal issues and provides legal training to military attorneys on a variety of topics. Gary enjoys attending military events, conferences and speaking engagements. He is also available to the media and for keynote engagements upon request.
Experience in Military Organizations
Gary also enjoys staying active in a variety of military related organizations. He is the past president of the Veterans Bar Association, is a Board Member of the Marine Historical Society, is the Chairman of the Board for the non-profit organization Invest in a Vet, and is currently Co-Chair of the Military Law Section of the San Diego County Bar Association.
Experience in Both Military and Civilian Cases
Gary Barthel’s unique experience allows him to bridge military and civilian law to Servicemembers, veterans, their families and their businesses. This means that a servicemember who may be facing legal problems in a civilian court, who will undoubtedly also face legal issues with their military command, can get experienced and affordable representation by one attorney for all their legal needs.
Gary understands Military Law and Civilian Law as this qualification exceeds most practicing attorneys. He brings legal experience as well as advice that bridge the court systems with foresight. His education, experience and grasp of our two legal systems provide an authority that is qualified and unmatched in our nation. Gary Barthel now provides this unique bridge to military Servicemembers, veterans, DOD Employees and their families and businesses. Gary founded and is developing a new legal service for active duty military and veterans that is unmatched. As practicing counsel in San Diego, the United States and abroad, Gary offers highly qualified experience to provide advice in a variety of military and civilian legal matters.
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