Our attorneys specialize in security clearance appeals.  They have dedicated their careers to learning the entire security clearance process from start to finish.  They started by working for the federal government before entering private practice.  Their extensive experience working for the federal government includes over eight years advising clients on revoking and suspending an employee’s security clearance, reporting derogatory information, representing clients in their response to a Statement of Reasons (SOR), and serving in a joint duty assignment for the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA).  Their work at the DOHA allowed them to learn the inner-workings of the Agency responsible for representing the Department of Defense Central Adjudicative Facility (DoD CAF). All of these experiences provide our attorneys a unique advantage over other attorneys and firms who practice in the security clearance niche.


Brett O’Brien

Brett O’Brien’s zealous representation of his clients can only be obtained by having years of experience working for the federal government. Brett knows the system and he knows the government’s strategies. He has been practicing national security law for his entire career. Brett has extensive experience advising the government on temporarily or permanently revoking an employee’s security clearance for different violations of the thirteen adjudicative guidelines.  Therefore, he is able to take this unique experience and apply it to the zealous representation of his clients.

His unique experiences in addition to temporarily working at the DOHA includes: graduating from the Navy’s classified litigation course and the U.S. Army’s Litigation Division’s Federal Litigation course, providing unique knowledge on how to deal with classified reasons for revocation, the U.S. Army’s new prosecutors course; and the U.S. Army’s intermediate trial advocacy course.  In short, the U.S. government provided Brett extensive training on trial advocacy and how to best represent his clients in their security clearance revocations.

Brett worked in and supported the intelligence community for eight years.  He worked for three years supporting the Army’s intelligence units responsible for operations south of the border, which included U.S./Mexico border issues.  He worked for approximately two and half years as the legal advisor for the Army’s counterintelligence organization.  This job included advising the government on counterintelligence investigations as well as assisting technical experts whose focus was on assessing the truthfulness of employees. Throughout these eight years he consistently advised his clients on security clearance revocations.

Brett graduated from Denison University in 2008 and Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 2011.  While at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Brett co-founded the military law society and was the student responsible for working with faculty on creating a national security concentration within the school.  National security matters are not just a job for Brett, instead national security law has been his career passion.

Carl Marrone

Carl Marrone has unparalleled experience as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney in both the military and civilian criminal justice systems.  He brings aggressive confidence to the courtroom, he consistently outworks the opposition, and he relentlessly fights for his clients.  Regardless of the charge, Carl has handled it in the past, and he knows how to get outstanding results for his clients.

Most recently, Carl was a Deputy District Attorney (DDA) for Los Angeles County—the largest local prosecutorial agency in the United States—for just under four years.  He is used to taking on tough cases with very little notice.  As a DDA, he handled every type of criminal case imaginable: from driving under the influence (DUI) to murder.  Carl understands the complexities of domestic violence cases, sexual assault cases, and special victims cases.  He is able to recognize weaknesses in a criminal investigation, and, more importantly, he is able to exploit those weaknesses in the courtroom.

Carl knows how military prosecutors think and act because he used to be one.  He spent about five years on active duty with the United States Army JAG Corps.  He served as a prosecutor at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, and a defense counsel at Fort Knox, Kentucky.  On his very first court-martial as a defense attorney, he secured a full acquittal for a client who was falsely accused of sexual abuse.  In another case, he refused to succumb to a politically-oriented prosecution of a Soldier, who was found not guilty of all but one specification and left the Army without a punitive discharge.  The Army specially trained him at the Sexual Assault Trial Advocacy Course, where he was recognized for his outstanding cross-examination.  He continues to serve our country as a Major in the US Army Reserve JAG Corps.

Carl is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College in 2006.  He earned a Master of Arts (MA) in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland—the #1 ranked program in the United States—in 2008.  He went to law school at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, which has trained numerous renowned trial advocates.  Carl received the highest grade in his Criminal Law class of about 100 students, he was awarded a scholarship, and he graduated with honors.

Alex Carr

Alex is a skilled advocate who leads the Security Threat Assessment practice group at the National Security Law Firm where he focuses on defending clients in Global Entry appeals, Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) appeals and waivers, Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME) appeals and waivers, and customs seizures.

The National Security Law Firm is renowned for having one of the largest and most experienced Security Threat Assessment practice groups in the nation. No firm has a stronger record of success in filing claims in these complex areas of law. Moreover, only a handful of attorneys in the United States have any knowledge or experience in these highly specialized areas of law, making Alex an invaluable asset.

Alex works relentlessly to obtain information from the government through requests made under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) in order to support his clients’ cases. This skill is vital to being able to effectively and successfully represent clients in these areas of law, where the government is notorious for denying and/or revoking credentials without justification or explanation.

Alex also understands that, in order to stay a step ahead of an entity with unlimited resources, persistence and hard work are crucial as the government will often initially deny or redact requests made under the FOIA statute. With Alex’s experience and background, however, he is able to overcome governmental resistance to providing further information.

In recognition of Alex’s abilities as an advocate, clients have described him as “an outstanding attorney-at-law who stands head and shoulders above his peers,” and someone whose “responsiveness, sound judgement, spot-on guidance, insights, and skill demonstrated . . . the marks of an exceptional lawyer – second to none.”

Whether he is drafting an appeal regarding your security threat assessment denial and/or revocation or responding on your behalf to a customs seizure, Alex’s superb written and oral advocacy skills and ability to craft persuasive, novel, and complex legal arguments will maximize your chances of success.

Alex graduated with honors from Ohio University in 2008. He went to law school at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, where he graduated in 2011.


If you are appealing a security clearance determination, it is imperative that you obtain experienced legal representation. Doing so will provide you with the best opportunity to obtain or maintain your clearance.

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