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General Courts-Martial

General courts-martial are the most serious level of trials in the military, with possible punishments including death, life in prison, dishonorable discharge/dismissal, total forfeitures, and reduction to the lowest enlisted rank.

Special Courts-Martial

Special courts-martial are serious federal trials that can have life-altering impact for you and your family.

Enlisted Administrative Separations

AdSeps are the military's way of firing servicemembers. The result is a life-long scar on employment, school and finances.

Officer Boards of Inquiry

BOIs can ruin careers, reputations, future employability, and destroy the chance of military retirement. Similar to enlisted adseps, the recommendations of characterization of service and retention are key.

Service Academy & ROTC Disenrollment

Disenrollment from a service academy is serious, potentially costing cadets or midshipmen hundreds of thousands of dollars in repayment and even more when they need to complete their degree at another college...

Command and Military Investigations

Command Investigations (or AR 15-6) are investigations by a command into alleged misconduct by a member of their command.

Felony Civilian Criminal Defense

Colorado felony cases can impact you for the rest of your life, regardless of the outcome. Getting an experienced criminal defense attorney on your case now is vital.

Misdemeanor Civilian Criminal Defense

Misdemeanor criminal charges in Colorado can cost you hundreds of thousands in lost income and court costs, not to mention up to a year in jail.

About Russell Shinn

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Dedicated to defending American servicemen and women as his primary practice, Russell Shinn takes pride in knowing that his clients are some of the best people on earth. Russell is a retired US Marine judge advocate, having risen from the enlisted ranks. He knows the struggles of barracks life and can relate on a personal level to clients in a way that many other attorneys can not. He’s been a leader – from infantry platoon sergeant, company commander and a senior defense counsel. Now, he leads in the courtroom – educating jurors and judges on justice.

Russell also takes pride in individual attention to his clients. When you call, he either picks up the phone or calls you back. You pay for his time and that’s what you get. His practice is also “purposefully small.” That may sound weird, but when he was an active duty judge advocate, he often was in the almost-untenable position of having too many cases. You may have seen the waiting rooms in the local military defense office that speak to that experience. Now, just as you can choose your civilian defense attorney, Russell chooses his clients. If you have a case worth fighting, give him a call. You won’t regret it.

Read More about Russell

We Answer Even The Most Difficult Military Justice and Colorado Criminal Law Questions

Contact Russell Shinn

Latest News

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Jul 28 / Posted by

Digital Security for Lawyers (and everyone ...

Chances are, you are reading this on a mobile device - either a smartphone or tablet. If you're an attorney, chances are you have client-related data on your mobile device. Chances are also extremely high that you've inadvertently left this same device somewhere and wondered - sometimes for quite a while - where it was. Perhaps, you've even lost a mobile device before. Hey, it happens... I'm not judging you. The question remains, however: how do we keep our clients' information secure in the mobile age?

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Version 2

Jul 24 / Posted by

Fresh New Look, Same Great Firm

This past week has been a busy one for Russell and The Law Office of Russell Shinn, despite it being a “vacation week.” My parents’ celebrated their 50th wedding (Congrats, Mom & Dad!!) anniversary in Telluride, Colorado with all of my immediate family. During breaks between off-roading up to the California Pass, a trip to the […]

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Your detailed defense counsel (Army TDS, Marine Corps DSO, Navy DSO, Air Force ADCs) are professionals. They represent you and not the government. However, many of these hard-working attorneys are on their first tour or billet as a defense attorney and despite their enthusiasm and zeal for representing servicemembers, they don't have the experience that a civilian military defense counsel like Russell Shinn has. However, they bring a lot to the table, so if you decide to retain a civilian military defense attorney, you will get two attorneys for the price of one.

Short answer: the brig sucks, but it doesn't suck as much as federal or state PMITA prison. Expect very early mornings, lots of menial tasks, constant supervision, zero privacy, being treated like a recruit again (minus the constant yelling). You shouldn't have to worry about prison fights, gangs, shanking, or any of the stories you see on the TV. You will be able to write and receive letters and, based on your privilege status, make phone calls and receive visitors. It is not somewhere you want to be and if you do have to stay there, you want to make it as short as possible.

Well... that's a great question. Did you do it? Are you a suspect? Did you do anything else that they may find out about? Lots of questions from one relatively simple question. Here is my default advice if you are suspected of committing an offense: Shut up. Stop talking. Don't make a written statement either. Go talk to an attorney... now. Stop reading this and pick up the phone and call me. Here's my number: 303.335.9753.

No. No. No. This urban legend/LCpl Underground Myth/Sea Lawyer Tale/Barracks Lawyer Lie has been around for ages and it is simply not true. Do not fall into this trap and think that if you get an Other than Honorable (OTH) characterization of service, that things will be all hunky-dory in 6 months - or a year - or 10. In all probability, you will be stuck with that discharge for the rest of your life. There are methods that you can appeal or fight to upgrade your characterization of service. If you are interested in that, I can refer you to attorneys who can help you.

Alas, no. The military provides accuseds at courts-martial and administrative separation boards with a detailed defense counsel and they also have the opportunity to request an individual military counsel, if that person is available. However, if you choose to retain a civilian counsel - like me - you (or someone you know) must pay for my services out of your pocket. There are payment plans available if you would like to discuss that option.

This may sound like a flippant answer but it is serious. No, it is not relatively expensive to hire any old attorney. It is usually expensive to find a good, experienced lawyer who can make a difference in your case. In the long run; however, the most expensive mistake you can make in your life is to have an unexperienced criminal defense attorney representing you. All things being relative, expect to spend between $250-$350/hour on a good criminal defense attorney.

What people say about us

I have known Russ since 2006, and I have worked with him often since that time. He is passionate about criminal defense, and I often seek his advice as I prepare for my own cases. He is well-known throughout our community as an experienced and aggressive trial advocate. I would trust his representation if I ever needed a criminal defense attorney.

I endorse Russell Shinn. I knew him before he started his impressive legal career, back when we were both enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He has always impressed me with his intelligence, dedication, and tenacity, and in the time I have followed his entry into private practice, I’ve had no doubt that he brings the same traits into his daily practice of law. If I had a friend seeking help, I’d recommend Mr. Shinn without hesitation.

I endorse this lawyer with whom I have spent time with working on cases. Russell is an outstanding and devoted advocate and lawyer that represents his clients with integrity and passion. If you want an attorney that honors the practices of law and ethics inside and outside of the courtroom, and genuinely cares about you personally and professionally, then Russell is the attorney for you.

I endorse this lawyer without reservation. Russ and I worked together on a wrongful death case several years ago and Russ was instrumental in getting the charges against our client dismissed. He is an excellent advocate, cares about his clients deeply, and will stand up for his client against the powerful and oppressive.

Russell Shinn is a superb lawyer. I have known him for several years and have personally sought out his advice on cases. His guidance is always on-point and tremendously helpful. He is a smart and fierce advocate for his clients. If you are facing a legal issue in the military of any kind, hire Russell today. You will not be disappointed.

I knew Russ Shinn when he was a Defense Counsel at Okinawa, Japan. I was a prosecutor there and saw him in trial frequently. I have a strong respect for his work ethic and trial abilities. As a prosecutor, I admired defense attorneys who were honest, diligent, and always well prepared for their cases. That was Russ. I could always trust that he was shooting straight during plea negotiations. I also knew that if we went to trial, he would be well prepared and would mount a formidable defense.

Russ is a passionate and experienced lawyer who was an integral part of the Marine Corps Defense Services Organization for several years. I frequently drew upon Russ’ guidance in representing my own clients, and was always impressed with his ability to identify the heart of a legal issue and offer common sense – but effective – approaches to it.

Mr. Shinn is an exceptionally gifted and dedicated attorney. His total commitment to his clients and to the ethical practice of law have been demonstrated time and again. Anyone seeking a zealous advocate or the advice of a seasoned and reliable counsel could do no better.

Domestic Violence Charge Against My Son

Bottom Line Up Front: Russ was the absolute finest lawyer I have ever secured and known in over 26 years of Military Active Duty Service. Without having Russ represent my son in a Court of Law, he would not have been cleared of “ALL charges” against him. I would not hesitate to hire Russ again, and would fight hard to have him on our team. If you are thinking about securing Russ to represent you–stop now, contact him immediately, and have him represent you now!

Outstanding lawyer who will fight for his client.

I was very fortunate to have Scott (Russ) join my legal team representing me in the Marine Corps. Having worked with several military lawyers over the last 10 years, Russ stood out among his peers. He was determined and dedicated in his representation of me as well as keeping me informed on developments with my case. His superb knowledge of the law allowed him to give me options and explain things in laymen’s terms. Russ is not afraid to stand up for his client, no matter how big the opposition may be and do what is right. I would not hesitate to use him again or recommend him to anyone needing military representation. Russ is someone you can trust when you need help and don’t know where to turn.

Professionally gifted

Scott Russell Shinn is a honorable, informative, caring, and passionate lawyer. He made sure to explain everything to me as to raise my knowledge, not lower to my level. Not once did I ever see him overlook any detail in my situation while maintaining the upmost respect for me. Even with higher education and all the responsibility of a commissioned Marine Officer, he always stayed grounded and fair. I will recommend Scott Russell Shinn to argue my case to get in the “pearly gates”.

If you find yourself in need of an attorney & are a member of the uniformed services, Russell Shinn is your guy.

Awesome Judge Advocate unleashed ….

If you’re a service member or know someone who is and you need legal representation, you can’t do better than Russell Shinn.

Russell was recommended to me and answered the phone late on a Friday night. That alone says a lot about Mr. Shinn. It was a pleasure to work with him.

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