What do you do if you think you need a lawyer? CII can help.
The CII’s activities are informational in nature and are designed to:
- Highlight legal and other risks facing CIA and intelligence community employees arising out of their employment, and
- Identify options available to those employees to respond to if not to anticipate them.
- Decide if retaining legal counsel is necessary.
Often, obtaining access to practical information and options provided by CII, experts in the CII networks, or by other non-attorneys who are willing to counsel employees, will be sufficient depending on the particular circumstances. Information prepared by CII or others provides insights from legal and other experts about how to avoid getting into trouble as well as what to consider if problems arise.
Since it was founded in 2010, CII has assisted intelligence officers by helping them understand and address the challenges and risks they faced, how processes work, the options available and, where appropriate, identify experienced private attorneys to represent them. These situations have included matters involving:
- Civil and criminal investigations and trial.
- Congressional testimony.
- Security and employment proceedings.
- Polygraph inquiries and processes.
- Publication review obligations.
CII assistance includes information and access to experts:
- Articles, written guidance, lessons learned and other information prepared or made available by CII.
- Access to volunteers with prior relevant experiences.
- Individualized counseling by CII or identification of outside experts to whom officers may wish to turn for assistance to sort out their concerns and options as appropriate to their situations.
Not everyone who comes to CII needs a lawyer.
It is not CII’s policy or practice, nor is it in the public interest, to urge every employee seeking assistance to “lawyer up.” Not all situations where employees think they might have a legal concern require the employees to seek legal representation.
An employee might be called as a witness in an investigation, trial, or congressional hearing, or might have questions relating to an employment problem, and the employing agency may be able to resolve any questions about liability or representation. Sometimes the solution can be as simple as ensuring the employees are talking to the right people in the intelligence agencies where they work.
CII helps you decide what you need.
The CII’s goal is to help intelligence officers get the assistance they need, no matter who gives it. In some instances, however, the officer may conclude that he or she would benefit from the assistance of a personal attorney. In those situations, CII does not represent those officers, but seeks to help identify and provide access to experienced lawyers who can provide legal assistance on a pro bono or reduced fee basis.
Access to CII’s Legal Networks
The CII will make information about private lawyers available upon request and at no charge to current and former officers of the CIA and their families, others seeking help because of issues arising fromt their acting on behalf of CIA and, as appropriate, current and former associates of other elements of the intelligence community.
CII can assist persons who seek personal legal representation in many ways, first by discussing option. Sometimes it might become clear immediately whether a person needs help from private lawyers or other experts. The CII helps intelligence officers get the assistance they need, no matter who gives it.
- Once a person concludes that he or she would benefit from the assistance of a personal attorney, it can be difficult to decide where to turn even after looking in online or other directories of lawyers.
- CII helps identify experienced lawyers who can help them with their particular issues.
Individuals in CII’s legal networks have:
Experience to provide advice and counsel about the unique challenges and risks arising out of the activities of intelligence personnel, including those carried out in connection with their services to the country related to national security and combatting terrorism.
- Current and former employees turning to CII have been helped in congressional hearings and investigations, criminal court cases (with a finding of ‘not guilty’), concerns involving polygraph tests, security reviews and appeals, and resolution of questions about prepublication review obligations.
- Legal questions for these and other situations have required the expertise of attorneys skilled in many areas of the law including not only criminal law and procedure, but also administrative and employment law, equal employment opportunity, workman’s compensation and employee benefits, as well as areas relating to employee and press freedoms, and more.
Current or past security clearances and a reasonable expectation of being able to obtain the requisite security clearances to represent CIA and other intelligence officers in connection with legal matters related to their involvement in classified activities and other sensitive matters.
What does all this cost?
The CII provides assistance without charge. Although CII tries to identify lawyers who are willing to provide services without cost to the employees or at reduced fees, any agreements for legal representation are strictly between the lawyer and the intelligence officer on terms they alone may determine.
Does CII represent employees?
The CII provides information and counseling, but does not provide or participate in the provision of legal advice or personal representation of CIA or other intelligence officers.