The Importance of Advisory Opinions in BCMR/BCNR Cases
If you have filed a petition for relief in a BCMR/BCNR case, the first forward movement in your case after assigning a docked number will be the receipt of an advisory opinion drafted for the Board by your branch of service. This document is like a defendant’s response in a lawsuit and should be analyzed very carefully by you and your attorney. You should never ignore an advisory opinion, as it will otherwise stand unchallenged when the Board meets to decide your case. If you need additional time to respond to it, then you should request a continuance. The various Boards grant these requests very liberally, as they wish to have a fully developed case before their panel adjudicates it. You are permitted to submit new evidence in response to points made in the advisory opinion and should do so to counter any arguments recommending denial of your petition. Additionally, if the advisory opinion did not address one or more of the arguments or factual statements made in your petition, then your reply should argue that the service conceded these points or arguments. Following these tips will dramatically increase your odds of receiving a favorable decision for the Board; conversely, ignoring them will markedly decrease your odds of success.