Administrative Hearings

Bethany L. Payton-O’Brien and Ryan J. Sears have represented hundreds of service members at administrative hearings from Boards of Inquiry and Administrative Separation Boards to medical and professional credentialing and Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program hearings and as well as many other types of proceedings. They have defended all manner of administrative clients.

Military administrative hearings can sometimes be even more confusing than court proceedings as each comes with its own unique set of rules and can often involve mountains of documents and regulations to wade through.  Beth and Ryan have years of experience navigating these tricky administrative waters and have frequently obtained outstanding results for their clients.  They know how to address not only the commands that are convening these hearing against the service members but potential witnesses and assessing what documents are necessary and relevant to make the best argument possible. Facing the loss of benefits, money, or even your career is daunting enough by itself: do not do it alone. Let Beth or Ryan help you to tackle these challenging and difficult hearings.

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    Ryan Sears Headshot

    Ryan Sears

    The Law Office of Ryan J. Sears, LLC

    Ryan J. Sears

    Military Defense Lawyer Ryan J. Sears has spent the last sixteen years advocating for those who need it most – those accused of wrongdoing and those who cannot fight for themselves. A graduate of Emory University, Ryan attended Washington University School of Law where he received the Judge Samuel Calhoun Scholarship and captained the school’s NITA mock trial team. While in law school, Ryan commissioned in the U.S. Navy JAG Corps and committed himself to the future service of his country. He subsequently served tours as a senior trial counsel (prosecutor), senior defense counsel for the entire Northeastern United States, trial counsel, and defense counsel. He defended and prosecuted servicemembers in some of the most high-profile cases in the Navy, including matters that received coverage by The Washington Post, Jacksonville Times Union, Navy Times, and Marine Corps Times.

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    The Law Office of Ryan J. Sears, LLC is a sole proprietor.

    Bethany L. Payton-O’Brien

    Bethany L.
    Payton-O’Brien

    Law Office of Bethany L. Payton-O’Brien

    Bethany L. Payton-O’Brien

    Military Defense Attorney Bethany Payton-O’Brien is a former military trial and appellate judge. She has been practicing military and criminal law for 25 years. She served in the United States Navy for almost 23 years. Since her retirement from the Navy in 2017, she has been in private practice providing legal representation to military members (active, reservists, ROTC students, and former members), civilian employees, contractors, and retirees. Bethany Payton-O’Brien focuses on on military and security clearance matters, including litigation, criminal law, ROTC disenrollment hearings, and administrative law (NJP, administrative boards, medical privileging boards, letters of reprimand, IG investigation).  She also represents clients before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the Board of Veterans Appeals, as well as all military review boards and trial courts. Bethany has prosecuted and defended numerous high profile cases, including matters that have received coverage by the San Diego Union Tribune, Military Times, Business Insider, and San Diego CBS News 8. Bethany Payton-O’Brien brings experience, aggressiveness and a commitment to protecting the rights of her clients.

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    The Law Office of Bethany L. Payton-O’Brien is a sole proprietor.