Manatt successfully represented a Marine veteran, T.M., in his request to upgrade his service discharge from Under Other Than Honorable Conditions in a hearing before the Naval Discharge Review Board (NDRB or Board).
While stationed overseas, in Japan, T.M. was confronted by an inebriated marine, who was having a heated argument with him and his friend. T.M. came to the defense of his friend and fought the inebriated marine, injuring him. As a result of the altercation, T.M. was court martialed and received an Other Than Honorable Discharge. The other marine received no punishment.
The Manatt team representing T.M. collected documents dating back to 2018 that demonstrated his exemplary performance in the Marines, as well as his efforts to rehabilitate himself post-service, through substance abuse classes and two years of sobriety. Manatt also showed that the client suffered from PTSD during his service—a key factor that the NDRB considers when reviewing applications to change discharge status.
After a formal hearing before the NDRB, the Board granted our requested relief—upgrading his discharge from “Under Other Than Honorable Conditions” to “Under Honorable Conditions (General)”. This change in discharge status now entitles the client to a whole series of VA benefits that he was not previously entitled to and removes a significant blemish from his record.
The Manatt team representing the Marine included Associate Matthew Bruno and Partner Richard Hartunian. The case was referred to Manatt by the Center for Veterans Advancement at Public Counsel.