Explanation of why theme matters in motions:
- Your judge is a human being. When you write, prove, and argue your motions, you need to remember that your judge, like most people, wants to right a wrong. Your job is to show her what is wrong with this particular issue and get her to not only fix it, but want to fix it. So, you need to find an appropriate theme for this motion. That theme may not be exactly the same as the theme of your case at large, but still needs to give the judge a reason to do what you want her to do. Show the actual harm that will come to this victim if the evidence of prior sexual behavior is admitted. Show how this command has not taken this court-martial – and the accused’s rights – seriously. This issue is part of a dramatic story, so tell that story.
- In a complex case, you may have a theme that runs through several motions – that the accused is not getting a fair trial, etc. Don’t hesitate in this motion to reference other motions that have that same theme. Let the military judge and appellate judges know that the problem is bigger than just this one issue.