Employment Law and Selective Service Blog


What Does the Future Hold for Males Who Have Failed to Register with Selective Service?

Posted by Marc Smith | Dec 05, 2011 | 0 Comments

In the past several years, we have handled a significant number of Selective Service “failure to register” cases and have received favorable rulings from the Office of Personnel Management (“OPM”) on each.  It is certainly true that Selective Service cases have to be carefully prepared and presented correctly from an evidentiary standpoint.  However, in our experience, most of these cases also involve interesting and compelling facts.  Many of our clients who did not register with the Selective Service simply were not aware of the registration requirement.  Others had mailed in their registration cards, but for reasons which remain unknown, the Selective Service System had no record of their registration.

Fortunately, John Berry, who was appointed by President Obama to serve as the Director of OPM in 2009, has handled these cases fairly and equitably since taking office.  This certainly was not always the case.  Director Berry's predecessors routinely ruled against individuals in Selective Service cases, even in situations where it was abundantly clear that there was not a knowing and willful failure to register.

If the upcoming Presidential election brings about a change in the administration, a new Director will undoubtedly be nominated to replace Director Berry.  If this occurs, then there is a fair chance that OPM's philosophy with regard to these cases may well change, for the worse.  The take away from this is that if you have an issue with your Selective Service registration status, it may be advisable to address it sooner rather than later.

About the Author

Marc Smith

Marc J. Smith is a Rockville, Maryland employment attorney and a founding member of the law firm formerly known as Smith, Lease & Goldstein, LLC. In 2018, after 18 years managing Smith, Lease & Goldstein, LLC's employment counseling and litigation practice, Marc launched his own boutique practice...


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Representation Of Employers And Employees

The Law Office of Marc J. Smith, LLC is a boutique employment law practice based in downtown Rockville, Maryland near the Montgomery County Circuit and District Courts. The Firm’s practice focuses exclusively in the employment law arena and provides counseling, litigation and a wide range of other employment-related services to employers and employees throughout the State of Maryland, Washington D.C. and other jurisdictions. The Firm also represents individuals who have failed to register with the Selective Service System and who are trying to apply for or maintain federal employment.