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About me

Gary S. Barthel, LtCol USMC (Ret.), currently serving active duty and former military clients as a private military lawyer, had the great honor to serve his country for 20 years and understands the unique mindset of active duty and retired military personnel. Moreover, Gary understands how both the military and the civilian legal systems work and how one often affects the other. His insight into both legal worlds makes him an ideal advocate for your service and your career when you face any military related Administrative Actions, are accused of a crime on or off base by command or civilian authorities, or are former-military and desire the connection and legal-representation in the civilian world by a fellow former servicemember.


In addition to defending active and retired Servicemembers in civilian courts and military courts-martial cases as a civilian military lawyer, Gary represents active duty Servicemembers before military administrative separation boards, military disability evaluation boards, security clearance appeal hearings, and a variety of Veteran Administration proceedings.


Pursuant to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, Mr. Barthel is frequently appointed by the California Superior Court to confirm a military member’s active duty status for the court when a Servicemember is a named defendant in a civil matter.


As a Marine Corps “Mustang” he has the unique experience of having served both as an enlisted Marine and a Marine officer.


Mr. Barthel’s enlisted military duties included serving with the U.S. Department of State at the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Athens, Greece.  Mr. Barthel also served on Secret Service details for the U.S. Secretary of State and the United States Ambassador to the United Nations.

As a Marine Officer, Mr. Barthel serveed as a military defense counsel, Senior Military Defense Counsel, military prosecutor and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, and Staff Judge Advocate for Commanding Generals and their staff at multiple commands.

For more information on Gary Barthel, Esq. and his dedication to the worldwide representation of the men and women who serve or who have served in the United States Armed Forces, please visit his website at:


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Military Law: 48%
    28 years
  2. Criminal Defense: 47%
    28 years
  3. Sex Crime: 5%



Free consultation (30 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

7 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Ramon Edward Lewis

    I had the pleasure of working with Gary at Higgs, Fletcher & Mack, LLP. Gary was a well respected lawyer who often provided me with excellent and reasoned advice on matters that I handled, even though they were outside his practice area. He had multiple successful defense outcomes and verdicts. I strongly endorse this lawyer.


    Ramon Lewis Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney
    Relationship: Co-worker

  • Aaron Gregory Meyer

    I worked with Gary on a complex and sensitive sex crime case in 2011. The facts were bad and the case seemed to have avenues of attack. However, Gary went to work on experts and exploration of procedural issues. His pragmatic, deliberate strategy quickly put the prosecution on the defensive. At the same time, Gary's reputation and demeanor earned him much respect with the military judge and convening authority in the case. In the military justice realm, that type of respect can assist your client as much courtroom advocacy. He ended up achieving a result in the case that was far better than what that client could have expected given the facts and evidence. I have maintained a relationship with Gary in the ensuing years, and I continually see more of the same.


    Aaron Meyer Military Law Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

Contact info

Military Law Center

2173 Salk Avenue.
Carlsbad, CA, 92008

Military Law Center

8880 Rio San Diego Drive
PMB 815
San Diego, CA, 92108



We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Managing PartnerMilitary Law Center, Inc.2015 - Present
OwnerLaw Offices of Gary S. Barthel2013 - 2014
PartnerHiggs, Fletcher, Mack2003 - 2013
JAGUnited States Marine Corps1987 - 2003
Association namePosition nameDuration
San Diego County Bar AssociationCo-Chair of Military Law Section2014 - Present
Invest In A Vet FoundationPresident2013 - Present
Veterans Bar AssociationPast President2011 - 2012
State Bar of CaliforniaMember2002 - Present
American Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Minnesota State Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
U.S. v. QuintanillaLIfe instead of death.
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
San Diego Lawyer MagazineWEAPONS HOLD2014
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Virginia School of LawMilitary LawLL.M - Master of Laws1999
Whittier College School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1986
Augsburg CollegeN/ABA - Bachelor of Arts1983
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
CBS Evening NewsMilitary Sex Offender Registration2015