Kasowitz Defeats Motion to Dismiss in Case Seeking to Obtain Marine Corps Records Relating to Murder of Marines in Afghanistan

Kasowitz secured a victory on October 16, 2015 on behalf of the family of Marine Lance Cpl. Gregory T. Buckley Jr., successfully defeating a motion to dismiss a complaint against the United States Marine Corps seeking the disclosure of documents concerning the circumstances surrounding LCpl. Buckley Jr.’s murder.

In 2012, LCpl. Buckley Jr., along with two other Marines, was murdered on an American military base in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. In 2014, the Buckley family filed suit alleging the U.S. Marine Corps failed to properly disclose information concerning LCpl. Buckley Jr.’s death under the Freedom of Information Act and the National Defense Authorization Act. After the lawsuit was filed, the U.S. Navy Office of the Judge Advocate General sent the family redacted copies of reports surrounding the death of LCpl. Buckley Jr., withholding crucial information such as an autopsy record, autopsy photos and crime scene photos. The U.S. Marine Corps then filed a motion to dismiss the Buckley family’s complaint, alleging the Buckley family has failed to exhaust their administrative remedies with respect to their original request.

On October 16, 2015, Judge Joanna Seybert, U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of New York, denied the Marine Corps’ motion to dismiss, holding that factual questions still remain as to whether the U.S. Marine Corps met their obligation as a matter of law by providing the Buckley family copies of “any completed investigative report and any other completed fatality reports” regarding the circumstances surrounding the death of Marine Lance Cpl. Gregory T. Buckley Jr.

Kasowitz Partner Michael J. Bowe and Associate Lauren Tabaksblat represent the family of LCpl. Gregory T. Buckley Jr.