David Coombs (lawyer)

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David Coombs
David E. Coombs.jpg
Coombs on November 3, 2009
David Edward Coombs

(1969-07-06) July 6, 1969 (age 50)
Boise, Idaho, United States
OccupationLawyer, professor

David Edward Coombs is a United States military defense counsel notable for his role in several high-profile cases.

Coombs spent twelve years on active duty service with the United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. During this time, he was an acting chief of military justice, senior capital defense counsel, and judicial advisor for the Iraqi Central Criminal Court, and was certified as a military judge.

He was professor of law at The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School (TJAGLCS) in Charlottesville, Virginia during 2006–09, and in 2007 he was a co-supervisor in the University of Virginia Law Extramural (Moot Court) Advocacy Team.[1] Since his promotion to lieutenant colonel, he continues to teach trial advocacy and criminal law at TJAGLCS as a reserve officer.[2] Coombs is also an adjunct law professor of criminal procedure and trial advocacy at the Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, Rhode Island.[3]

From 2003 to 2005, he served as one of four defense counsel[4] in the United States v. Sergeant Hasan Akbar case, a matter which received wide coverage.[5][6][7][8]

In 2009, Coombs left active duty service and began a private practice specializing in defending members of the United States Army.[9] From 2010–2013, he represented U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley (now Chelsea Manning),[10][11] who was convicted of improper release of classified information to WikiLeaks.[12]



  1. ^ "Christensen, Andrew (February 7, 2008), "JAG School to Grant Credit to Extramural Moot Court Coaches". Virginia Law Weekly" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 31, 2010. Retrieved September 21, 2009.
  2. ^ "David Coombs promoted to Lt. Col".
  3. ^ "David Coombs". RWU Law.
  4. ^ "Capt. David Coombs, one of Akbar's four Army lawyers...", Army Times, June 16, 2003
  5. ^ "The Times & The Sunday Times".
  6. ^ "Akbar Sentenced to Death for Grenade Attack," Fox News
  7. ^ "Rulings in troop attack being reviewed" USA Today
  8. ^ "101st Airborne soldier who attacked comrades gets death" USA Today
  9. ^ "Civilian Court Martial Lawyer - Attorney David E. Coombs". Army Court Martial Defense.
  10. ^ Dishneau, David (August 31, 2010). "WikiLeaks defendant chooses civilian lawyer". Military Times. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
  11. ^ Manning, Chelsea E. (August 21, 2017). "david coombs hasnt been my lawyer since 2013". Twitter.
  12. ^ Patrick Semansky, "Bradley Manning wants to live as a woman: 'I am Chelsea Manning'", Toronto Star, August 22, 2013.

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