Georgetown -- LL.M. International & Comparative Law (1996)
University of Oregon Law School -- J.D. (1990)
University of Michigan -- B.S. Civil Engineering (1983)
California State Bar
Oregon State Bar United States District Court -- Southern District of CA U.S. Military Courts
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) -- Accredited Attorney
San Diego County Bar Association
Chair Military Law Section (2008 - 2010)
Board of Directors Lawyers Referral & Information Service (2010 - 2015)
San Diego North County Bar Association
Veterans Bar Association
J. Clifford Wallace Inn of Court -- Barrister (2008-2010)
San Diego Military Advisory Council
MCRD Museum Historical Society
Navy-Marine Corps Retired Judge Advocates Association
Navy League, Coronado Council
Recipient of The State Bar of California 2009 Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services
Rated "Superb" by AVVO attorney rating directory
Selected as one of the top lawyers in San Diego by OurCity San Diego Magazine -- June 2009
Military Career Overview
On August 1st, 2008, Bruce White retired from the Marine Corps after completing 25 years of service. He retired as a Colonel, one of the senior military lawyers in the service. Throughout his military career, Bruce White's focus was military justice and trial advocacy. During the last 15 years, he personally tried or supervised the litigation of many landmark Marine Corps courts-martial. He also trained hundreds of the Marine Corps' finest military lawyers.
Although Bruce White spent 15 years of his career in the San Diego region, he also served in two of the World's most challenging locales. Bruce spent two years in South Korea, near the Demilitarized Zone with North Korea, and he also served in Kuwait and Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
During his career, Bruce White led thousands of Marines. He is one of the few military lawyers to command a battalion. As the Officer in Charge (OIC) of the renowned Legal Services Support Section (LSSS) at CampPendleton, Bruce led the largest law office in the Marine Corps. The LSSS is also the busiest military justice office in the Department of Defense. Throughout it all, one of his greatest professional satisfactions remains representing individual Marines facing daunting legal challenges like courts-martial.
Early Marine Corps Career
As an undergraduate student, Bruce White studied Civil Engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. On April 30th, 1983, he completed the program as the Marine honor graduate of the NROTC program, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant. At The Basic School (TBS) in Quantico, VA, he again graduated with honors.
Bruce White's initial Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) was aircraft maintenance. In 1984, his first command was the 3rd Marine Air Wing, then located at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. Under Bruce White's leadership, the Power Plants section at MAG-11 won a prestigious award as the most efficient and effective intermediate level engine repair facility in the entire Navy and Marine Corps. Bruce also supervised aircraft maintenance at VMFA-531. There he was responsible for the repair actions on 12 F/A-18 aircraft. He had authority to designate aircraft "safe for flight." During his tour at VMFA-531, the command maintained an immaculate safety record and did not lose any aircraft.
Each year the Marine Corps sends a small group of its finest officers to law school on full scholarship under the Funded Law Education Program (FLEP) to become military lawyers. In 1987, based on his phenomenal performance as an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan, at The Basic School, and at MAG-11, Bruce White was selected to attend the University of Oregon under the FLEP.
Early Legal Career
Bruce White excelled during law school at the University of Oregon. Trial advocacy was a central focus of his studies; he was heavily involved in the Lane County, Oregon, prosecution clinic. Although only a law student, he tried a criminal jury trial in a LaneCounty during law school. He was the only student in his class to achieve that goal.
After passing the Oregon Bar exam and completing the Naval Justice School (NJS) in Newport, RI, Bruce served his first judge advocate tour at Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego. As a Captain at the Recruit Training Regiment (RTR), Bruce White served as a Series Officer and Company Executive Officer. At the LawCenter, he served as a Trial Counsel (prosecuting military attorney) and Military Justice Officer (chief prosecuting military attorney). While at MCRD, Bruce White became the "go to" litigator for the most challenging and difficult courts-martial. His cases included: drill instructor recruit abuse, recruiter fraud and sexual misconduct, domestic violence, alcohol offenses and driving under the influence, drug use and distribution, larceny, obstruction of justice, physical and sexual assault, child exploitation and abuse, check forgery, HIV transmission, disrespect, desertion, absence without leave, conspiracy, and the wearing of false awards and insignia. Many of the cases were fully contested trials at the General Court-Martial (GCM) (felony) level.
Bruce White transferred to Washington, DC, in 1993 for assignment to Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC) and the Office of the Navy Judge Advocate General (JAG). Working in the Pentagon as a Major, Bruce White handled service level administrative law issues. There he gained important insight into the nuances of administrative law and the Board of Correction of Naval Records (BCNR) process. While in Washington, Bruce also attended Georgetown at night and obtained his LL.M. degree in International and Comparative Law with distinction.
In 1996, Bruce White transferred to Seoul, South Korea. As the Operational Law Attorney for the joint and combined command, Bruce was the duty expert on the law of war, procedures for the use of force, and rules of engagement. As the only Marine Corps attorney in country, he also handled all military justice matters for Marines in Korea. He resolved numerous sexual assault, alcohol related misconduct, and larceny cases.
Field Grade Tours
In 1998, Bruce White returned to Southern California for duty at CampPendleton as the Senior Defense Counsel of the entire Base. The pace at the LSSS is furious, and the cases run the entire litigation spectrum. As the senior and most experienced military lawyer, Bruce handled the most demanding and the most heavily contested courts-martial. His portfolio included two murder cases, sexual assault, spouse abuse, arson, drug distribution and use, possession of child pornography, child abuse, fraternization, desertion, anthrax inoculation refusal, conspiracy, and larceny. Many of the courts-martial Bruce White defended ended in full acquittal or a radical reduction in the original charges.
In 2000, then a Lieutenant Colonel, Bruce White was board-selected by HQMC to command the Headquarters Battalion at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, an 850 member unit. There, he was a special court-martial convening authority and also resolved hundreds of administrative cases (NJP, administrative separation, and administrative reduction). Few military lawyers also have experience as court-martial convening authorities.
Bruce White returned to the LSSS in 2002 for posting as the OIC. There, he supervised nearly all criminal prosecutions aboard CampPendleton. In 2003, he deployed to Kuwait and Iraq during the early stages of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He supervised all Marine Corps military justice in theater. Cases included disrespect and orders violations, unauthorized absence and desertion, assault, sexual misconduct, and violations of the law of war and rules of engagement.
In 2004, Bruce White returned to MCRD San Diego as the Staff Judge Advocate, the senior attorney at the Command. During this tour, he was promoted to Colonel as he oversaw the prosecution of many important courts-martial cases that received national media exposure. Recruiter sexual misconduct cases in Northern California drew great press interest, as did drill instructor abuse cases at MCRD. On August 1st, 2008, Bruce retired from the Marine Corps with 25 years service.
After completing his active duty service with the Marine Corps as a judge advocate, Bruce commenced his private practice as a military lawyer representing service members facing daunting legal challenges. In November 2009, Bruce teamed with Jeff Meeks to form White & Meeks LLP. Since forming their new law firm, Jeff and Bruce have aggressively and successfully defended more than a 100 service members.
Military Awards and Ribbons
Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (2nd Award), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal (2nd Award), Korean Defense Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon (2nd Award), Presidential Unit Citation, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, and Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation.