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Page Title: Legal Assistance Records, Files, and Reports
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Sailors’ Civil Relief Act. Lack of proper enforcement should be brought to the attention of JAG. l  Immigration  and  Naturalization  Service-The immigration  statutes  are  of  particular  importance  for counseling noncitizen service members such as those who come from the Philippines. The International Law Division of the Office of the Judge Advocate General maintains an expertise in this area as well. .   Customs   Office—There   are   many   service members who return from foreign duty stations and encounter problems with the Customs Service to make this more than a merely academic interest to the legal assistance attorney and his or her staff. .  Civilian  Health  and  Medical  Program  of  the Uniformed   Services   (CHAMPUS)—Dependents   of active  duty  service  personnel  and  retired  service members  and  their  dependents  are  eligible  for CHAMPUS  benefits.  If  a  claimant  believes  that  a  claim has been improperly denied (not just returned for further substantiation), the claimant may send the claim to the Executive  Director,  CHAMPUS,  Denver,  Colorado 80240, for consideration. l   Consumer   agencies   (federal,   state,   and local)—The  Federal  Trade  Commission,  Food  and  Drug Administration, and the Federal Consumer Product Safety  Commission  maintain  field  offices  in  major  cities in the United States. At the state and local level, many consumer protection divisions have been created in the state  attorney  general’s  offices  and  in  the  county prosecuting  officer’s  agencies. .  State  motor  vehicle  departments—The  legal assistance  office  staff  should  be  familiar  with  the location  of  the  closest  motor  vehicle  department  office and the modus operandi of that office. Also, a supply of the department’s brochures and forms should be obtained for use by clients. COOPERATION WITH OTHER NAVY AGENCIES The  Navy  and  Marine  Corps  Relief  Society  is commonly  known  only  for  its  financial  assistance. However, the society provides other services such as budget counseling for individuals and families who need help in managing their financial affairs. The society can also make a loan to a service member. The  Navy  Federal  Credit  Union  provides  services that include debt consolidation loans, savings plans, and financial  advice. LEGAL ASSISTANCE RECORDS, FILES,  AND  REPORTS Command  records  showing  client  contact  and  the general nature of assistance are maintained by the legal assistance  office  for  administrative  and  statistical purposes. Although such records should not contain privileged  or  confidential  information  and  are, therefore, not privileged, maintenance of these records must comply with the Privacy Act. Information in these records is used to contact clients and former clients about assistance provided, to guard against conflicts of interest  in  providing   legal  assistance,  to  develop statistical  evaluation  of  services  provided,  and  to provide information for better assisting clients and administering  the  office. Legal  assistance  case  files  (for  example,  those containing  privileged  or  confidential  information) belong  to  each  legal  assistance  attorney  who  is  solely responsible for their content and maintenance. The legal assistance office will provide storage facilities for files. Higher authority may from time to time make suggestions regarding the maintenance of files. Before transferring from a legal assistance office, the legal assistance  attorney  must  store,  destroy,  or,  if  the  client approves, turn over to another attorney the client case files. The legal assistance office filing system should be simple enough to operate so it takes only a minimum amount of time for anyone in the office to file papers. Four types of files should be maintained. They are the client case file, the office reading file, the reference material file, and the forms file. THE CLIENT CASE FILE An individual client case file should normally be opened only for those matters that will require follow-up visits,  correspondence,  and  similar  material.  Current active files should contain all documents, papers, notes, and so on, that relate to the client. The record of each client’s visit (or telephone call, i! advice is given in this manner) should consist of, at a minimum, a completed Legal Assistance Case Record, NAVJAG 5801.9, or similar locally prepared form. The file should contain a detailed description of the client’s problem  and  the  advice  given.  Where  there  is inadequate space on this form, a supplementary sheet containing the attorney’s notes should be attached. All action taken by an attorney,   including  consultation, telephone  calls,  research,  and his or her opinion and 11-8

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