Each of the Navy SEALs who have been charged with assaulting suspected terrorist Ahmed Hashim Abed has his own defense lawyer. Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas, who is charged with dereliction of duty, making a false official statement and impeding an official investigation, is being defended by Monica L. Lombardi.
Like Matthew McCabe’s lawyer Neal Puckett, Monica Lombardi also served in the military, both in active duty and as a reservist. She finished law in 1990, joined the United States Coast Guard after graduating and was on active duty for nine years. After leaving active duty, Lombardi joined the reserves.
The events of 9/11 changed that, however; Monica Lombardi was called back to active duty, working on Homeland Security issues. She then joined the United States Navy, serving as Chief Trial counsel. She eventually went back to where she started – the Coast Guard – as Chief of the military justice branch. All told, Monica Lombardi spent 20 years in the service, inclusive of active duty and reserve time.
Lombardi was admitted in 1991 as both Trial and Defense Counsel for US Military Courts. She is a member of the bars of Connecticut, Virginia and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Among her past accomplishments is representing the Department of Transportation in civil rights cases and successfully negotiating the settlement of formal complaints of discrimination of civilian employees. She has worked on cases that dealt with assault and larceny, as well as dereliction of duty, violations of lawful orders and making false official statements.