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Patrick Joseph Hughes

Military law Attorney at Lorton, VA

5.0   8 reviews

also known as Pat

  • State Years
    Maryland - MD 6 years
    Virginia - VA 7 years
    Dist. of Columbia - DC 8 years
    New York - NY 13 years
  • Licensed for 6 years
    State MD
    Acquired 2017
    Active No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 7 years
    State VA
    Acquired 2017
    Active No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 8 years
    State DC
    Acquired 2015
    Good Standing No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 13 years
    State NY
    Acquired 2010
    Currently Registered No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Patrick

Learn Patrick’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Military law
    Attorney Hughes has been helping members of the DoD and their families since 2010. He handles all types of military matters, including discipline under the UCMJ, security clearance issues, Board for Correction applications/discharge upgrades, etc.

    13 years, 1,000 cases

  2. Employment and labor
    Attorney Hughes understands the environment of the Federal sector and will handle your case when you are treated wrongly. Whether your security clearance is at risk or your employer is mistreating you, he knows what to do to pursue relief.

    9 years, 50 cases

  3. General practice
    Attorney Hughes has advised his clients in a myriad of different practice areas. His primary focus has been his desire to assist military members and their families, and if he does not how to help, he'll find you someone who does.

    7 years, 100 cases

  4. Discrimination
    Having previously defended the Air Force in discrimination cases before the EEOC, whether it is due to disability, race, gender, or any other protected class, Attorney Hughes understands and can help you in your discrimination claim.

    9 years, 30 cases

  5. Litigation
    Attorney Hughes began litigating matters on active duty in the military courts, as well as defending the Air Force in large money civil federal matters. Since his separation from active duty in 2017, he has been litigating across DC, MD, and VA .

    13 years, 100 cases

Now the co-founder of a veteran-run law firm designed for every legal issue for Veterans, DoD members, and their families, Patrick J. Hughes (“Pat”) served as an active duty Judge Advocate (JAG) for the United States Air Force (USAF) for over six years, separating from active duty and joining the Reserve in September 2017.

Since forming Patriots Law Group (PLG), he has practiced in Courts within Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia (DC), and New York on civil and/or criminal matters, as well as in Federal Courts, and before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) on employment matters. He represents people located worldwide in administrative matters, such as for security clearance issues and the military services' Boards for Correction. The majority of his practice areas since 2020 have been a focus on military administrative matters with the military Boards for Correction, security clearance issues and litigation with the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA), employment law matters involving the MSPB and EEOC, and federal civil litigation against the military services for the denial of benefits/entitlements to service members. He has also represented numerous military members through their disciplinary actions, including responses in defense to adverse administrative actions and nonjudicial punishment (Article 15, UCMJ), and in discharge/separation board hearings.

He is admitted to practice in Maryland, Virginia, DC, New York, the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals, the Army Court of Criminal Appeals, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the Court of Federal Claims, the Federal District Court of DC, the Federal District Court of Maryland, the Eastern and Western Federal District Courts of Virginia, and the Supreme Court of the United States. He was also accredited to practice on Veterans Affairs Appeals.

He has an established track record of success for his clients and five star Google reviews for how he treats them through the duration of their cases.

During his time in service, after graduating from Commissioned Officer Training as a distinguished graduate, he followed a litigation track, beginning with prosecuting those accused of criminal violations under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) at Yokota Air Base, Japan. While at Yokota, in just his second year with the USAF, he was ranked by his Staff Judge Advocate as the top litigator and #1 of 8 Captains (O-3s) in the office.

He was then chosen in a “best qualified” selection process to become the Area Defense Counsel (ADC) at Pope Army Airfield, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. While there, he traveled the eastern seaboard representing servicemembers in courts-martial, a Senior Officer Unfavorable Information File (SOUIF) and O-7 promotion board, nonjudicial punishment/administrative paperwork (i.e., letters of counseling, admonishment, and reprimand), a flying evaluation board, demotion actions, denials of promotion/reenlistment, negative/referral performance reports, Article 138 complaints, applications to the Board for Corrections of Military Records (BCMR), and involuntary administrative discharge actions. His experience included representation in matters involving drug use, fraud, theft, negligent homicide, sexual assaults and rape. Further, he represented over 400 servicemembers of virtually all ranks and career fields, from multiple O-6s in command, to pilots/aircrew, maintainers, medics, and members of Joint Special Operations Command.
His courtroom successes led to him being ranked the #1 of 84 ADCs worldwide by the O-6 head of the Air Force Legal Operations Agency's (AFLOA) Trial Defense Division.

His final active duty assignment was as a litigation attorney in the Military Personnel section of AFLOA's General Litigation division at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. While there, he transitioned from criminal to civil practice, defending the DoD and USAF in lawsuits, including multiple class actions with millions of dollars at stake, brought in Federal courts across the United States. His cases included defending decisions rendered by the BCMR that were challenged in Federal Court, back pay claims for alleged improper promotion/enlistment denials, denials of disability retirements, and denials of other financial benefits. He also supported the Labor Law Field Support Center in defending actions raised by DoD civilians in employment discrimination cases brought before the EEOC, as well as challenges to adverse employment actions taken up before the MSPB. There, he was ranked by his O-6 Division Chief as the #1 of 7 Captains, and his supervisor ranked him the #1 Captain among all O-3s she had supervised in over 22 years.

In anticipation of meeting his promotion board, he was ranked among all those eligible for promotion from within AFLOA as the #1 of 53 by the AFLOA Commander. He ultimately promoted to Major in 2017, and then served almost four years as an Appellate Defense Counsel while a Reservist.

Pat and his close friend and former active duty Air Force colleague, Mike Lyons, look forward to continuing to build PLG. With what started as him, Mike, and one other staff member, PLG's successes have now grown to multiple offices with additional seasoned attorneys and staff teamed with Mike and Pat in their effort to assist the military community through all their legal needs.

Photos and videos

Patriots Law Group of Lyons and Hughes, P.C., located at 5819 Allentown Rd, Suitland, Maryland 20746.


Patrick Joseph Hughes
8253 Backlick Rd., Ste. M
Lorton, VA, 22079
Patriots Law Group of Lyons and Hughes, P.C.
5819 Allentown Road
Suitland, MD, 20746
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5.0 / 5.0
  8 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
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1 Star
Posted by Erika | March 3, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Retired Reserve Officer
Mr. Hughes was exceptional throughout this litigation process! His stamina, resilience, and communication was unmatched. Mr. Hughes received the highest level of resistance and avoidance of responsibility from the Department of the Army, and he was able to adapt and overcome the obstacles to actually achieve a favorable determination. Mr. Hughes was extremely knowledgeable and exponentially maximized his impact with his collaboration and dedication. (Honestly, I’m still in shock of his success… He is an amazingly effective professional)!
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Posted by Manuel | September 18, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Mr. Patrick Hughes is an absolute professional
The attorneys at Patriots Law Group have absolutely gone beyond any expectations we could have ever had. We worked along side Mr. Patrick Hughes and it goes without saying his professionalism and attention to detail are second to none. He went into great detail with each aspect of our case and treated me as an equal rather than just a client. He was extremally knowledgeable of legal proceedings and knew just how to break them down for the average person. I highly recommend Mr. Hughes or any of the attorneys of the firm to help with any and all legal assistance.
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Posted by Raymond | February 16, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Saved my career!
I have been fortunate in the United States Air Force to obtain the rank of MSgt and work in some of the most unique environments over my 12 years of service. However, this experience almost came to a crashing holt when I was arrested by military police and charged based on false accusations. In order to deal with the unfortunate event, I did my research and came across the highly regarded Mr. Hughes. Not only did Mr. Hughes take the time to the listen and review my documents thoroughly, but helped guide me through this journey. Based on Mr. Hughes guidance I was able to retain my rank, follow on assignment, and walked away from this event with nothing more than a verbal counseling. Furthermore, the military police admitted five months after my initial arrest there was no probable cause. If it was not for Mr. Hughes expertise, I may have faced a much different outcome. I would recommend Mr. Hughes without hesitation for any service member facing potential UCMJ actions.
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Posted by Eric | June 9, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent Outcome
As it is in some cases, I didn’t have an attorney on speed dial. That said, as a veteran it was the title “Patriot Law” that struck a cord with me. After my initial consultation with Patrick and Molly I was convinced that I was at the right law firm. My case involved a contractual dispute with my apartment complex management company. Long story short, after expert advice, professionalism, and sound litigation my case was resolved. I highly recommend Patriot Law for your legal representation.
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Posted by B | October 20, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
This man saved my life and my sons. If you're military or a vet and wondering if this is the man for your needs...stop looking.
I met Patrick in 2014 during a 3 year investigation for sexual assault. He came highly recommended so I chose him to be on my team. Patrick walked into a unique situation. Two years prior a woman falsely accused me of sexual assault. I enjoyed the pleasure of my name in the news and on the internet and still it's on the internet. Very hard to get rid of. I sat in jail for three weeks before finally getting bond granted and three weeks later the charges were dropped and later expunged. One would think great but not so. OSI took the case and decided to run their own investigation. As Patrick took on the case ( he was highly recommended by his own peers) he had to play catch up pretty quick. There was even a time when the military dropped the charges only to bring them back the following week. You can understand the frustrations of this case. As Patrick and co-counsel prepared for the trial we found out my ex wife was going to also file false charges in hopes of gaining full custody of our son. Patrick took on the part of the defense against the ex wife. I won't deny it looked bad since at the time we were looking at false allegations going back seven years and how do you defend something that didn't happen with no proof of it never happening? Well Patrick took it head on and started to see the case build by looking at my family court case. Speaking with a previous ex husband and seeing how the stories lined up. As trial began to get close I was asked to look for any previous emails I would have had with the ex. Not being to email savvy I thought all previous emails were lost. But they were not. The trove of information that fell on Patricks lap allowed him to open a major defensive case. At trial the initial accuser never showed even though later we would have proof that both women knew of each other and were talking to one another through twitter. During this time frame leading up to trial I will admit I called him so many times he was tired of hearing from me but took the calls and calmed me down when I thought it was the end of the world again. He took calls from family members and reassured them the best he could. He went above and beyond the call of being "just a counselor" and wore many hats. So trial comes during a snow storm and extreme cold causing the trial to be delayed a day. The ex wife did show up for trial and took to the stand to testify. The story she gave would make Tom Clancy weep. Yet Patrick stood by very calmly taking notes and listening to the testimony. During this time we found out the ex wife put our son in a psych ward under false pretenses of he tried to harm himself. I will get back to my son in a moment. Now the time came for Patrick to do his thing that he was well known for and respected by his peers. He stood up and went to the podium and began reading emails one after another. The ex wife had no idea what was happening but soon the look on her face and the answers she provided everyone could tell she had perjured herself on the stand for the whole morning. She would never be able to reestablish herself as being an honest victim, and the OSI agents and other experts would testify against her story. Saturday was the last day of trial and we had to wait for Judge to make his ruling. We went back to the make shift office and I had to sign papers incase I was found guilty. We were back in the court room in less than an hour. Finding of the court: NOT GUILTY! I had to sit back down but then had to stand up again right after and almost pulled the table on me when I tried to stand. Now you ask me how did he save my life...if I was found guilty I would not be here today typing this or breathing. As we all know the phrase in the military about dishonor I will leave it there. He saved my son though and that I can never forget or repay. After the court case was over I sought out my son by calling Dr offices and facilities in PA. I was able to track him down and file for emergency custody.
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Posted by Col M | September 28, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Passionate, Intelligent Attorney, Simply the Best
I met Pat Hughes a couple of years ago while a senior commander and under investigation for an inappropriate relationship. He came highly recommended as defense counsel and I selected him from 3 military attorneys that were offered. To say I was lucky in my selection is a vast understatement. I contacted Pat only for advice on how to answer questions during the investigative interviews. Pat went above and beyond from day one. He listened to my story, gave me advice, but asked that I hold overnight while he thought through my defense. The next day, I not only got the great advice I was seeking, but a prepared statement for me to tweak and take with me to provide to the investigator. Without dragging out the story, nor going into more detail, Pat defended me and saved my career. Unfortunately, my investigation was found substantiated, but Pat's defense and Memorandums for Record prevented it from ever drifting into the criminal realm. Not only did Pat prepare my defense in the form of several Memos for Record, he also rebutted the findings of my case after it was substantiated. My administrative punishment was a GOMOR (General Officer Letter of Reprimand) and an Unfavorable Information File. Pat's relentless efforts and memos had my GOMOR and UIF rescinded in less than 6 months. I've never heard of that happening so quickly, as a UIF is usually open for two years. Again, his drive, passion, and art as an attorney had my UIF removed quicker than I've ever heard. Just helping me through the trying investigation and findings would have been enough, but Pat further engaged when my record was meeting a board and typed a 10-page attorney memo to explain to the board how I was wronged and my case was legally insufficient. The time he spends on his clients and his cases, can't be matched. Finally, Pat is one of the few people I know, not just attorneys, but people, who will drop whatever they are doing to help you out. As his client, I could call him at anytime, day or night, and know he was there for me. Further, after calling, Pat always responded with whatever was needed. Whether it was simply listening, immediate phone calls, or a typed memo, Pat was and is always available to provide his outstanding services. I can't say enough good things about Pat Hughes, as an attorney and caring person. I can't imagine a better attorney in any aspect of defense or civil law and I will go to no other for legal advice. You can't put a price on the legal services that Pat Hughes provides. He is, quite simply, the best!
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Posted by The Former Chief J | August 22, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Saved My Life and My Retirement
I was fortunate to achieve the rank of Chief Master Sergeant (E-9) in the United States Air Force and served for over 28 years. However, I was a Chief with a secret and led a double life. While serving on active duty, I became addicted to crack cocaine and became an alcoholic while trying to use liquor to disguise my cocaine addiction. In September of 2013, my Commander informed me he was removing me from my primary duties and relocating me to an office about 12 feet from his until we await the results of my court-martial. My first move was to visit an off-base lawyer. During my visit, he quoted me what came close to a $15K fee. I said thank you Sir, departed his office, visited my drug spot and got high. I visited my ADC that next morning and was assigned Captain Patrick Hughes. We did not get off to a collaborative start because I consistently kept lying to him to downplay my usage and cover up my double life. Prior to my court-martial, Captain Hughes and I had numerous legal discussions, but after multiple drug test failures from Sept 2013 through Jan 2014, our discussions turned more towards my life, my poor decisions, my family and trying to get to the bottom of my consistent usage. He turned into a gifted listener, great friend and someone I slowly started opening up to about the destructive life I created as a result of drinking and drugging. Our conversations led to me finally admitting that I had a problem and needed help. As a result of 7 drug test failures, I was facing 1 year in jail, reduction from E-9 to E-1, forfeiture of pay and allowances, hard labor and a dishonorable discharge. During the trial, it took about 30 minutes for me to realize that my lawyer is exceptionally organized, an exceptional communicator and has a way of telling the truth but explaining the “Whys” and connecting with people. I honestly do not remember what he said during his closing argument, I only remember how it made me feel and how the jurors and the entire courtroom received his powerful message. I was only reduced to E-6, served 3 months in a military Brig and 4 months hard labor, and more importantly, I separated with an Honorable Discharge and kept my retirement. Additionally, I was re-promoted to the rank of E-8, which would have never happened without Captain Hughes' commitment to turning my life around and his incredible courtroom savvy. I honestly feel I did not deserve my positive outcome, but I feel God brought Captain Hughes in my life to change me, so I can help change others through my story. I am currently working on the same base that prosecuted me, been sober since 13 Jan 2014, and I tell my story to current alcoholics and addicts every Wednesday at my former outpatient program. My first impression of Captain Hughes is the exact same impression I have of him right now. He is a person who never meets a stranger, passionate about people, an awesome sense of humor which is needed during a life changing experience, and someone that figured out how to get 64 hours of work completed in a 24 hour day. He was a tireless worker and gifted communicator, who could engage in conversation and connect with a destitute person on the street, or a five-star General. More importantly, his caring conversations were aligned with his actions. He forgave me, provided me legal counsel and guided me through the worst time of my life, to include when my mother died while I was in jail. He simply inspired me to clean my life up and is an incredible lawyer. I ran into a juror who sat on my trial at a military function for my niece. He told me “Chief, you got a favorable outcome because you were truthful and YOUR LAWYER ABSOLUTELY CRUSHED THE PROSECUTION!” I am willing to talk to potential clients of Patrick’s, about his character and skill, he has my number.
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Posted by Daniel Stancin | June 14, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Saved my Career
Mr. Hughes was a professional, highly intelligent and motivated Area Defense Counsel. He acted as my attorney during an evaluation board. He took a difficult case in an area that was not his expertise and made it his expertise, creating a potent defense. His efforts and guidance helped me get through a difficult and confusing process and saved my career. When I was unable to carry on, his enthusiasm, drive and skills gave hope and direction. He truly cared about his client and put in long hours to deliver a stunning victory. The moment you walk into his office and meet him, you will know why he is so successful. I would recommend Mr. Hughes for any challenge or case.
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  • Hourly Rates $ 375-600 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 8.7 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Co-Founder
  • Patriots Law Group of Lyons and Hughes, P.C.
  • 2017 - Present
  • Assistant Staff Judge Advocate
  • USAF JAG Corps
  • 2021 - 2023
  • Appellate Defense Counsel
  • USAF JAG Corps
  • 2017 - 2021
  • Litigation Attorney
  • United States Air Force Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps
  • 2011 - 2017
View all work experience


  • Catholic University of America, School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2010
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • BS - Bachelor of Science
  • 2003

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Wheeler v. United States of America
  • Judgment in favor of Plaintiff
  • Finney, et al. v. Clark Realty Capital, et al.
  • Pending
  • Wolfing, et al. v. United States of America
  • Pending
View all legal cases


  • Maryland State Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2017 - Present
  • Virginia State Bar
  • Member
  • 2017 - Present
  • American Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2010 - Present
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2010 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Recognized as Elite Attorney in Maryland
  • National Trial Lawyers - Top 100
  • 2023
  • Chosen for NTL Top 40 Under 40 Lawyers in Maryland
  • National Trial Lawyers Criminal Defense - Top 40 Under 40 Lawyers in Maryland
  • 2019
  • Civil Litigation Division Company Grade Officer of the Quarter
  • United States Air Force
  • 2016
  • Ranked # 1 of 53 Promotion Eligible Captains by AFLOA Commander
  • United States Air Force
  • 2016
  • Charleston Defense Region Company Grade Officer of the Quarter
  • United States Air Force
  • 2015
  • Ranked # 1 of 84 Area Defense Counsels
  • United States Air Force
  • 2015
  • Charleston Defense Region Company Grade Officer of the Quarter
  • United States Air Force
  • 2014
  • Charleston Defense Region Company Grade Officer of the Quarter
  • United States Air Force
  • 2013
View all awards

Speaking Engagements

  • Prince George's County Annual Probate, Estate, Trusts, and Elder Law CLE
  • Estate Planning - Military's Handling of Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Health Care Proxies
  • 2018

Attorney endorsements

Received (4)
Given (5)
Endorse Patrick
Employment and labor Attorney | Feb 28
Relationship: Co-worker
"I've known Pat and his sterling reputation since 2012 when we were serving on active duty in the Air Force. He brings a wealth of experience from a distinguished military career where he consistently ranked top among his peers. I highly recommend him for representation in any matter involving military law, labor and employment law, and criminal defense."
Appeals Attorney | Mar 12
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I have worked together with Pat on cases as well opposed him in the courtroom. I have the utmost professional respect for Pat as a tireless advocate who always strives to produce the best results for his clients. I highly endorse Pat as a highly-skilled attorney whose advocacy skills set the bar for our profession."
Litigation Attorney | Jan 09
Relationship: Co-worker
"Pat is a fierce litigator. I worked with him for more than two years and he was continuously recognized as one of the best litigators in whatever group he was in. For example, he was rated the in the top three for closing arguments in our class at the Air Force JAG School, and continued to excel after we graduated. During the time we were stationed together, he set the pace for litigation. In addition to being a great attorney, Pat has a competitive drive to win that I think is invaluable in criminal defense. His competitive spirit directly contributes to his tenacity in the courtroom, and any client would be well-served by his legal expertise and dedication to his work."
Military law Attorney | Oct 25
Relationship: Co-worker
"I served with Pat in the US Air Force JAG Corps and quickly realized he is by far one of the best military defense attorneys around. Obviously, others noticed his trial skills too because he was ranked #1 of 64 Area Defense Counsels (military defense attorneys) in the Air Force. After his highly successful term as a defense counsel, he then became a top-notch litigator for the Air Force's military administrative litigation branch. I would HIGHLY recommend Pat to anyone involved in a court-marital, discharge upgrade, NJP/Captain's Mast, security clearance review, military pay case or grade based determination review. Read his full profile at and I trust you will find him perfectly qualified to handle your military law matter."
General practice
Military law
Criminal defense
Lorton Military law Lawyer Patrick Joseph Hughes
Patrick Joseph Hughes
Military law Attorney
Lorton, VA
Licensed for 13 years