• Contact Us



When the stakes are high, you need an experienced military defense attorney who knows how to represent you to the fullest extent of the law. Russell Shinn not only knows the law – he taught, mentored and led defense counsel for years in the Marine Corps – he knows how to get you the best possible outcome.


If the military notified you that you are being processed for administrative separation, your career, livelihood, and ability to find future employment hangs in the balance. You need a fighter on your side like Russell Shinn – who isn’t afraid to take the government to task and get you the outcome you deserve!


Russell Shinn spent time enlisted and as an officer – he knows that records get messed up and need to be pulled or corrected all the time. Whether you are currently serving and need a fitness report or performance evaluation pulled, or you are out and need your prior service record corrected, Russell Shinn can help.


Russell Shinn knows that when you’re facing a medical board, a physical evaluation board or need assistance with your Veterans Administration disability claim, you often need someone advocating on your behalf to get what you rate. Russell Shinn has been there… He can help.

Who Is Russell Shinn?


Russell Shinn - Experienced Military Defense CounselA True Passion for Defense

Russell Shinn is a retired Marine judge advocate and prior enlisted infantryman, enlisting in 1994 and retiring from active duty in 2014. He is also a zealous advocate for defending our Constitution and individual liberties.

He’s worked tough cases – homicide, rape, forcible sodomy, child pornography, assault with a deadly weapon, to name a few – and he’s worked high-profile cases featured on major news networks including NBC, CBS, Fox, CNN, ABC, and MSNBC, among others. He was hand-picked to start the brand-new Defense Counsel Assistance Program within the Marine Corps, providing expert advice, resources, and consultation to Marine defense attorneys across the globe. He has testified in front of a Congressionally-mandated panel on sexual assault and aided his sister-services in the development of training and material for their defense attorneys and support personnel.

Raised in the Deep South (Starkville, MS and Central, SC) for most of his childhood, Russell moved to Texas his senior year of high school. He grew up knowing he was going to be a Marine. That being said, he was a scrawny kid – quite aware of the inequalities of size and influence – but determined to fight for the right and just causes.

He is a July 2014 graduate of the Spence Trial Lawyers College and is often contacted to teach fellow defense attorneys at continuing legal education seminars across the nation, on topics ranging from cross examination to trial tactics to using technology in the courtroom.

As a Marine, Russell has served – and excelled – in every billet from an infantry scout platoon sergeant (that’s him in the picture, in the front of the stack, covering his Marines as they enter to clear a building in Fallujah) to a logistics company commander, from a defense counsel to a staff judge advocate, in places as far flung as Okinawa, Japan; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Camp Fallujah, Iraq; Camp Lejeune, NC; and at the Pentagon. He has been in intense combat during Operation PHANTOM FURY and battled in the courtroom across the globe.

Russell is known throughout the military justice community for his ability to fight – smart and hard – in and out of the courtroom to get his clients the best possible outcome.

 Open Lines of Communication

Russell Shinn is dedicated to using technology to make himself available to his clients – from using simple things such as call forwarding to his cell when he’s out of the office to Google Hangouts or Apple FaceTime to connect visually. He also has a secure online portal where he and his clients can share files without the worries of the government snooping in the client’s work email. At the end of your case, you’ll even get an electronic copy of your case file, free of charge.


 Global Practice, Personal Touch

Russell Shinn’s practice is global – he has represented clients and tried cases all over the world. He is based in a small town just south of Denver, close to a major airport hub that makes flying to courts easy and relatively cheap, plus he utilizes technology to make the distance seem like you are right next door. Put another way, no location is too remote for Russell to reach if you are a servicemember in need of legal representation. Give him a call – you’ll be glad that you did.

 Ready To Fight

With an “unmatched work ethic,” Russell Shinn is ready to fight for you. As one client put it, Russell “is not afraid to stand up for his client, no matter how big the opposition may be and do what is right.” If you are in the battle of your life, you want someone who has seen combat, faced the enemy head-on, and lived to fight another day. You want an experienced litigator – a courtroom warrior – who is going to fight for you.  Russell Shinn is that warrior.


 Purposefully Small

Russell has been in situations where he had a large volume of cases; however, his firm’s unofficial motto is: purposefully small. He doesn’t want to wear the flashiest clothes, have a huge house, or even have multiple houses. What he does want is to provide spectacularly great legal services to his clients, be a great dad and husband, and be a good human being. Weirdly, he doesn’t think these things are mutually exclusive. That’s the philosophy behind his practice. We think you’ll like it if you are his client, his co-counsel, or even his opposing counsel.

What People Say About Russell Shinn

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.
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.

Outstanding lawyer who will fight for his client.

Professionally gifted.

I will recommend Scott Russell Shinn to argue my case to get in the "pearly gates".

He is in constant demand to represent Marines in complex cases. A patient teacher, effective mentor, and strong leader to the more 60 defense counsel who comprise the Marine Corps Defense Services Organization, who range in rank from 1stLt to LtCol.
A leader who has earned the respect of seniors, peers and subordinates, Russell Shinn has a well-deserved reputation as an outstanding leader and lawyer. - MajGen Vaughn Ary, USMC (Ret.) former Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the Marine Corps
An unmatched volume of cases, he routinely handled the most complex cases with unfailing pose always delivering exceptional results.  A tireless worker who displays an uncanny maturity and is not afraid to make tough decisions.  Not only one of the best trial judge advocates in the Pacific, but also the world-wide defense bar of the Corps.
Unrivaled in his decision-making abilities and coolness under pressure.
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.
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.

Fee Estimates

Some lawyers choose not to provide their rates on their websites, especially for flat fees. Russell respectfully disagrees. You need to know going in what the cost will be and what service you are getting for what you are paying. Lawyers can be expensive. You certainly can find civilian defense lawyers cheaper than Russell (and much more expensive), but if you choose to retain him, you are paying for his experience, training, intellect, and passion, among other things. As an analogy, you could spend less and drive a cheap 1985 Yugo to work and hope that it would, in fact, go… or you could spend more to have a dependable vehicle that not only gets to where you need to go but makes a great impression on the people you need it to (in this situation, that would be the judge, the jury, or your Commanding Officer). On the flipside, there’s no need to have a Ferrari. You certainly may have one, if you can afford it, but it’s neither required nor necessarily cost-effective.

Russell’s flat-rate and hourly fees are negotiable and they do vary depending on the complexity of the case. For example, he charges less for a simple unauthorized absence case with only a few witnesses involved than he does for a more complex case that involves experts, lots of witness, and exhibit production.

The estimates below are a general guideline of what Russell Shinn charges and if you decide to retain him as your military defense counsel, you will be certain that he earns every penny working to get you the best possible outcome. Russell Shinn can’t guarantee you a specific result, but he can guarantee you hard work, communication, strong ethics, and a track record that backs up his claims.

Article 32 Investigations

Russell Shinn charges a range, depending on case complexity, of $10,000-12,000 for most Article 32’s. This may change in the relatively near future since the FY14 NDAA made substantial changes to the Article 32 process. Yours could be less, or more.

General Courts-Martial

Russell charges a range, depending on case complexity, of $25,000-50,000 for most GCMs. You are probably saying “holy s**t, that’s a lot of money!” You’re right. It is. What that number brings you is hundreds and hundreds of hours of work, all focused on getting you the best possible outcome.

Special Courts-Martial

Russell charges a range, depending on case complexity, of $10,000-15,000 for most special courts-martials. Yours could be less, or more. Factors that contribute to the cost include the number of witnesses, the complexity of the charges, the volume of evidence, among others. Russell will be glad to discuss this with you – openly and honestly.

Boards of Inquiry/Officer Administrative Separations

Russell normally charges between $10,000 – $15,000 for a Board of Inquiry (BOI) or officer administrative separation hearings. Boards of Inquiry are a strange breed – its a administrative board but it is closer to a “trial” than an enlisted administrative separation board, with more-senior members, the judge advocate recorder/prosecutor, and other issues that make it a more complex process than an enlisted administrative separation hearing.

Enlisted Administrative Separations

Russell normally charges between $5,000 – $10,000 for enlisted administrative separation hearings. He treats these just like contested special court-martial trials: prepping witnesses, preparing exhibits, and having a case strategy that will achieve the best possible result for you. Many, many hours are poured into preparing for an AdSep board and you can be confident that Russell will come out of your corner, ready for the fight and landing punches.

Physical Evaluation Boards, Medical Evaluation Boards, and Veterans Disability Claims

These fees Russell charges for Medical Boards, PEB cases, and VA disability claims cases vary on the client’s ability to pay and his current workload. He understands the sensitive nature of these issues and is willing to discuss a fee structure that will work for the client and the law office.

Having a determination by the MEB, PEB or VA that is correct is absolutely vital in getting what you rate. Some clients want, desperately, to be found fit so they can return to the fight. Others want only to be given the determination that they deserve and rate. They sometimes need a lawyer to help them in this fight. As a medically-retired judge advocate, he can speak from experience that he is well-suited to help.

Records Correction & Boards for Correction of Military Records

These fees Russell charges for records correction and the Board for Correction of Military Records (BCMR – Army & Air Force) and Board for Correction of Naval Records (BCNR – Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) cases also vary from case to case, depending largely on how much time is going to be involved on the case.  It can be as little as $3,500 to as much as $15,000, with the primary factors being (a) the likelihood of success, (b) how hard you want to fight despite the odds, and (c) what is needed to overcome the odds.

Hourly Rates

Russell charges $300/hour for clients who elect to not have a flat fee plan or if it makes sense for their particular issue. That sounds like a lot. It is a lot. What that brings you is the peace of mind and the experience that Russell can add to your case. If you think that an experienced attorney is expensive, dealing with the aftermath of an inexperienced attorney is much worse.