» Kyndra Rotunda
Professor, Executive Director, Military and Veterans Law Institute

Military and Veterans Law Institute
Kyndra Rotunda
Office Location:
343 N. Cypress Street
Phone:
714-628-2699
Email:
Website:
https://www.chapman.edu/military-law-institute
Education
University of Wyoming, Bachelor of Arts
University of Wyoming, Juris Doctor
Biography

Kyndra Rotunda is a Professor of Military & International Law and Executive Director of the Military and Veterans Law Institute at Chapman University. 

Rotunda was born and raised in Wyoming and attended the University of Wyoming, where she earned a BA in Political Science and, later earned her law degree.  Rotunda was the Honor Graduate of her law school graduating class.

After law school, she began her legal career in the US Army JAG Corps, where she held the rank of Major.  Rotunda was serving at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, in Washington, DC on 9-11, and was the JAG Officer on-call to provide legal support to Pentagon victims and their families. 

She went on to serve in several missions related to the Global War on Terror. She completed a tour at the detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; was the legal advisor to a team of investigators pursuing leads in the war on terror; served as a prosecutor at the Office of Military Commissions, prosecuting detainees in Guantanamo Bay; and represented wounded troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

After the ground war in Iraq began, Rotunda was appointed by Lieutenant General Kevin C. Kiley (former Surgeon General of the Army) as the Deputy of Walter Reed’s Family Assistance Center, where she provided provide legal advice to wounded troops returning from the battlefield, and their families.  She was the lawyer assigned to Jessica Lynch after Lynch’s historic rescue.

After leaving the JAG Corps, Professor Rotunda was appointed by the Governor of Wyoming, Dave Freudenthal, and confirmed by the Senate, as the Wyoming State Planning Coordinator.  She led the Governor’s policy team; advised the Governor on Military related matters; and served as the Governor’s Legislative Liaison during the 2004 Legislative session.  Rotunda also testified before State and Federal Legislative committees on behalf of Governor Freudenthal, including testimony opposing VA hospital closings in Wyoming.  She also assisted in drafting Wyoming’s Military Family Fund, to provide financial relief for families facing deployment, which became a model that other states followed. 

While working for Governor Freudenthal, Rotunda also partnered with Wider Opportunities for Women, a national organization, to initiate Wyoming’s first state-wide self-sufficiency study, which explored the demographics of people living below the poverty-line, and which provided valuable information to legislators and aid organizations in helping Wyoming citizens who need it the most.  The Self Sufficiency Study remains an important part of services provided to Wyoming Citizens who struggle to make ends meet. 

Professor Rotunda first entered academia in 2006, at George Mason School of Law, where she directed the first Veterans Law Clinic within a law school at George Mason School of Law. 

In 2008, Professor Rotunda relocated to Chapman University School of Law, to develop Chapman’s Military Law Clinic, in which law students earned clinic credit providing pro bono representation to military families and veterans. 

In 2010, due to generous funding, Rotunda’s program became a standalone Institute at Chapman University, The Military and Veterans Institute.  Rotunda was inducted into Chapman’s Million Dollar Club, for securing several million dollars in outside funding to launch and support the Institute. 

The Military & Veterans’ Law Institute represents military families, and veterans, in all types of legal disputes and engages in scholarly and policy work related to military/veterans law.   Her Law Fellowship program, provides training opportunities for  law students and beginning lawyers.  Rotunda modeled her program on residency programs that are ordinarily a feature of medical school training.  Professor Rotunda’s innovative teaching model, was featured in the ABA Magazine. 

Rotunda also previously held a Lecturer appointment at Berkeley School of Law, where she co-founded the Veterans Legal Practicum. 

Professor Rotunda is author of several books including,  Honor Bound: Inside the Guantanamo Trials ( Carolina Academic Press, June 2008),  Military & Veterans Law (Thomson/West Publishing, May 2011) and Civil Remedies for Service Members (Thomson/West, July 2017). Her fourth book, Transformative Client Interview and Counseling (Carolina Academic Press) is forthcoming.

Professor Rotunda is regarded as a leading expert in military/veterans’ law. Her work appears in both scholarly and popular journals; her publications are used to train lawyers around the country; and she has testified before the U.S. Congress on matters related to Guantanamo Bay and issue impacting service members.  

Professor Rotunda’s law review publications have appeared in journals throughout the U.S., including The Land & Water Law Review, The Richmond University Law Review, The Michigan State Journal of International Law, Chapman Law Review, UMass Law Review, The Akron Constitutional Law Journal, The Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court and others

Rotunda is an avid writer and advocate.  Her op-eds have appeared in newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Times, The New York Sun, and The Orange County Register. Her work has also been featured in Time Magazine, the American Bar Association Magazine, The Orange County Lawyer, The LA Daily Journal and others.  

Rotunda is a regular radio and television commentator regarding military law, matters related to veterans, national defense policy, and military trials.  She has provided legal commentary on several topics du jour, including ongoing trials in Guantanamo Bay, and other high-profile cases including trials involving Bowe Bergdahl, Bradley (Chelsea) Manning, and Major Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter.

Professor Rotunda has appeared on numerous nationally syndicated radio and television programs, such as Al Jazeera, Fox News, the Michael Reagan Show, CNBC, The Huffington Post, USA Today Online, the Dennis Miller Show, the Jim Bohannan Show, Hannity's America, the Brit Hume Report, Fox & Friends, The Kudlow Report and others.

Professor Rotunda is also an elected member of the American Law Institute; a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and recipient of the Woman Making a Difference Award from the California State Senate. 

 

Kyndra Rotunda Publication's You Can Find on Amazon:

Honor Bound CoverHonor Bound: Inside the Guantanamo Trials, Carolina Academic Press, (2008)
Military and Veteran Book CoverRotunda's Military and Veterans Law (American Casebook Series),West Academic publishing, (2011)
Civil Protections and Remedies for ServicemembersCivil Protections and Remedies for Servicemembers, Thomson Reuters, (July 2017)
Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications
Civil Protections and Remedies for Servicemembers, Thomson Reuters, July 2017
Speaker, US Court of Veterans Claims Conference, Maneuvering the VA's Sexual Assault and Harassment Provisions and Proposed Legal Reform, Washington, DC, April 2016
Consultant, Corpsman, Documentary Film, April 2016
Neighbors of Chapman, Veterans, Families and Elderly Find Help and Advice at Chapman Legal Centers, Oct. 2016
The 'Corrosive Culture' at Veterans Affairs, The Wall Street Journal, Kyndra Rotunda, April 11, 2016 (op-ed)
Television Commentary, Fox and Friends, Fox News Network, Reforming the VA, July 11, 2016
Panelist, Women's Freedom Forum, Women Leadership, Key to Defeating Extremism, U.S. Capitol, Washington, DC, March 4, 2015
Panelist, Chapman Chats Veterans Panel, Chapman University, Issues Facing Student Veterans, Orange CA, September 15, 2015
Keynote Speaker, Chapman University, Town and Gown, When Johnny and Jane Come Marching Home: Legal Issues Facing America's Heroes, Orange, CA, October 1, 2015
Consultant, On Two Fronts, Latinos & Vietnam, PBS, Documentary, March 2015
Military Sexual Assault Reform: A Balanced Approach, but what about Veterans? Kyndra Rotunda, Orange County Lawyer, Vol. 57 No. 11, November 2015
Self Inflicted Wounds: How Military Regulations Prejudice Service Members, Kyndra Rotunda and Ariel Freilich, 9 U. Mass L. Rev. 422, 2014.
VA Reforms - More Hurry up and Wait, The Wall Street Journal, Kyndra Miller Rotunda, October 18-19, 2014
Policy Implications of the Bergdahl Swap, Los Angeles Daily Journal, June 16, 2014
The Dennis Miller Show, Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl Recovery and the Geneva Conventions Relative to Repatriating Prisoners of War, June 10, 2014
American Weekend, with Turi Ryder, Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl legal analysis and potential criminal implications, June 29, 2014
Dennis Miller, Explanation and Analysis of the VA Reform Bill, August 6, 2014
Keynote Speaker, Golden Gate University, Military and Veterans Law Issues Du Jour, October 18, 2013
National Defense Authorization Act and Military Sexual Assault/Harassment: Sweeping Reform or Just Words? Vol. 55 No. 3, ORANGE COUNTY LAWYER (March 2013).
Huff Post Live, Huffington Post Online, Bradley Manning Trial, July 19, 2013
Huff Post Live, Huffington Post Online, Bradley Manning Verdict, July 23, 2013
The Dennis Miller Show, Military Sexual Assault and Harassment, February 19, 2013
Talk 910, KKSF with Gill Gross, Bradley Manning Verdict, San Francisco, July 31, 2013
Talk 910, KKSF with Gill Gross, Major Hasan Trial Analysis, San Francisco, August 23, 2013
The Dennis Miller Show, Major Hasan and Bradley Manning Trials, August 26, 2013
Talk 910, KKSF with Gill Gross, Major Hasan Verdict , San Francisco, August 29, 2013
America’s Radio News Network (nationally syndicated), Major Hasan Verdict and Appeals Process, August 30, 3013
MILITARY AND VETERANS LAW (Thomson/West, May 2011)
Honor Bound, Inside the Guantanamo Trials, Carolina Academic Press, 2008
A Short Comment on Current Detainee Policy: One Step Forward and Two Steps Back, 3 AKRON J. of CONSTITUTIONAL LAW & POLICY, 41 (2012)
Air Force Off base on Dismissals, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, (Josh Flynn-Brown and Kyndra Miller Rotunda, January 6, 2012 (letter to editor)
The Danger Zone, Television Interview, March 26, 2012
IN HER BOOTS, Chapman University Community Voices Documentary Film, Film Consultant, May 2012
The Danger Zone, Television Appearance, March 26, 2012
The Kudlow Report, CNBC, Military Voting and the MOVE Act, November 2012
KNX 1070, News Radio, Legal Issues Related to Guantanamo Bay, with morning news anchor, Dick Helton, CBS Los Angeles, January 11, 2012
The Dennis Miller Show, February 2, 2012, Terminations of Air Force Officers and the proposed Keep America’s Promises Act
KQED, San Francisco Public Radio, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a defense in the SSG Bales case, March 20, 2012
Geneva Conventions Support Keeping Gitmo Open, THE JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE, January 21, 2011 (op-ed)
No vote for you – how the US disenfranchises America’s heroes, LOS ANGELES DAILY JOURNAL, Thursday, August 25, 2011 at p. 1, (op-ed)
The Air Force Grounds its Officers, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, Josh Flynn-Brown and Kyndra Miller Rotunda, December 28, 2011 (op-ed)
ABC News Channel 10, Television Interview, Military Voting Statistics, September 4, 2011
USA Today, Web Debate, Legal Analysis and Commentary Regarding Recent Executive Orders
The Dennis Miller Show, Legalities of detaining enemy combatants in U.S. Prisons, January 24, 2011
G. Gordon Liddy Show, Legal Analysis of Issues in the War on Terror, March 9, 2011
The Dennis Miller Show, Commentary and legal analysis on current and controversial topics, March 25, 2011
The Laura Ingraham Show, Deployed female Soldiers wearing Muslim Headscarves in Afghanistan, April 4, 2011
Dateline Washington, Military Commissions Resuming in Guantanamo Bay, April 5, 2011
The Dennis Miller Show, Resuming Military Commissions in Guantanamo Bay, April 7, 2011
WTCM Talk News 850 (Michigan), Deployed Soldiers wearing Headscarves in Afghanistan, April 8, 2011
The Dennis Miller Show, Air Force Terminations and Legal Violations, November 11, 2011
The Dennis Miller Show, Air Force Terminations and Legal Violations, November 11, 2011
The Don Kroah Show, Legal Implications of Air Force Terminations, WAVA Radio, Arlington VA, November 2011
The Carl Bott Show, KCNR 1460, Air Force Terminations, December 22, 2011
Halting Military Trials in Guantanamo Bay: Can the President Call a Time Out? 19 MICHIGAN STATE JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, 95 (Fall 2010.)
Kagan’s Anti-Military Campaign, THE WASHINGTON TIMES, May 19, 2010 (op-ed)
The Danger Zone, Interrogation Techniques and Terrorism Trials, London & Washington D.C., February 11, 2010.
Dateline Washington, Greg Corombos, Impact of Zazi Plea, victory or fortuity? Washington, D.C., February 23, 2010
CNS News, Nomination of Solicitor General Kagan to U.S. Supreme Court, Washington, D.C., May 10, 2010
The Dennis Miller Show, Guantanamo Bay, Miranda Rights and Elena Kagan, May 25, 2010