Although the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have wound down, many Alabamians, whether in the regular military or the Alabama National Guard and Reserve, continue on active military duty around the world. As such, they and their spouses/partners and dependents can avail themselves of the protections of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), so every practicing lawyer should be aware of its provisions. For example, you may not know that SCRA also applies to members of the Coast Guard and officers in the Public Health Service and NOAA when deployed in support of the armed forces.
Fortunately, there are some great resources online to help you get up to speed on this important protection for active duty service members if you are not already familiar with its terms. The U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s School has created a comprehensive overview of the law and its possible applications and the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel offers links to helpful SCRA resources. The Department of Defense maintains a database that will allow you to determine whether a party is in the military at its official Servicemembers Civil Relief Act website.
Hat tip to In Brief, a publication of the Oregon State Bar’s Professional Liability Fund, for pointing the way to these helpful resources.