Stephen H. Carpenter, Jr., has advocated in courtrooms for over twenty years. He has been ranked from 2009-2015 by one ranking service as one of the best three civilian military defense lawyers in the country. In 2015, AVVO.com recognized Stephen as the highest rated "military law" attorney, based on client reviews, in the country. Mr. Carpenter is a former U.S. Marine Corps and Army JAG Officer.
Stephen routinely offers his time for broadcasts on National Public Radio (NPR), Q13 Fox News, KING Radio, and King 5 News.
For over a decade, Stephen has successfully defended members from the rank of E-1 to O-6. He has represented scores of grateful Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Coasties, and Airmen. He has likewise published several articles about the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) for legal periodicals.
Mr, Carpenter has taught at several local and regional conferences hosted by military lawyers. He enjoys teaching trial advocacy. By way of example, Stephen served as Adjunct Professor in Trial Advocacy at the University of Washington, School of Law. He has also presided as a mock appellate judge during the school's Appellate Advocacy Competitions. In 2003, U.S. Department of Justice certified him, in criminal law, at its National Advocacy School. The National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) certified him a “Trial Advocacy Trainer” in 2008.
Stephen benefited from specialized law enforcement training on the Reid Interview & Interrogation Techniques. This insider-perspective has empowered his cross-examinations of federal OSI, CID, NCIS and CGIS agents who have undergone Reid training.
This lawyer formerly served as the Chair, Vice Chair and Treasurer of the Washington State Bar Section’s Legal Assistance to Military Personnel (LAMP). Stephen is a member in good standing with the Washington State Supreme Court, both U.S. District Courts of the State of Washington, and the U.S. Federal Claims Court. Mr. Carpenter has been admitted to practice before the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF), the Army Court of Criminal Appeals, the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals, the Navy and Marine Corps Courts of Criminal Appeals, and finally, the Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals, as a matter of right.
His legal tenacity resulted in one of his proudest moments, to date, when on February 25, 2012, the New York Times profiled his client's case in "Branding a Soldier with Personality Disorder." Finally, national news organizations have often sought his opinions on military matters implicating high-profile cases.
Court & Carpenter is the only civilian military firm with legal offices in the United States and Europe. Specifically, the firm maintains offices in Seattle and Stuttgart. The dual location makes it extraordinary convenient for uniformed members to access legal guidance in a prompt and geographically advantageous way; instead of enduring excruciating hours, and sometimes days, before other stateside civilian defense lawyers return calls from inconvenient time-zones. Additionally, often times firms may "pass along" costly travel expenses for flying halfway around the world to Germany, Italy and England. Meanwhile Court & Carpenter is conveniently located "next door" in Europe, and thus does not "pass along" those exorbitant travel expenses. Finally, the firm's lawyers speak German, while other lawyers, who do not speak the language, naïvely attempt to rely on government translators to comprehend German witnesses and police.
Court & Carpenter simply does not leave anything to chance when so much is at stake.
Stephen enjoys golf, skiing and chess, and speaks German.
Languages Spoken: German
Licensed since 1995
Fixed (Always), Free Consultation (30 minutes)
Cash, Check, Credit Card
I had the opportunity to work as co-counsel with Stephen Carpenter on an Army Administrative Separation board. Mr. Carpenter compiled a powerful list of character witnesses and argued effectively on behalf of our client. His legal knowledge and outstanding advocacy skills resulted in the retention of a very deserving soldier despite some significant challenges.
Patrick Johnson Government Attorney
Relationship: Worked together on matter
|Award Name||Grantor||Date Granted|
|Certified Trial Advocacy Instructor||National Institiute for Trial Advocacy (NITA)||2008|
|Certified in Criminal Trial Advocacy||US Department of Justice (USDOJ)||2004|
|Global War on Terrorism medal; ARCOM (2d); AAM (2d)||US Army JAG Corps||2004|
|Platoon Leaders Course||US Marine Corps||1993|
|Managing Partner||Court & Carpenter||2013 - Present|
|Member||The Carpenter Law Firm, P.C.||2008 - Present|
|Assistant Attorney General||Washington State Attorney General's Office||2005 - 2007|
|Trial Defense Counsel, Prosecutor, Article 32 Hearings Officer||Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAG)||1998 - 2004|
|Partner||Lemery & Carpenter LLC||1995 - 1998|
|Association Name||Position Name||Duration|
|US Navy and Marine Corps Appellate Court||Member of Bar||2014 - Present|
|Federal Bar Association (Seattle Chapter)||Member||2014 - Present|
|US Air Force Appellate Court||Member of Bar||2013 - Present|
|Washington State Bar Association, Criminal Law Section||Member||2012 - Present|
|US Army Appellate Court||Member of Bar||2011 - Present|
|Washington State Bar Association, Legal Assistance to Military Personnel (LAMP) Section||Chair & Vice-Chair||2010 - 2013|
|University of Washington School of Law||Mock Appellate Judge||2009 - 2010|
|National Instutute of Trial Advocacy (NITA)||Trial Advocacy Faculty Instructor||2008 - Present|
|University of Washington School of Law||Trial Advocacy Adjunct Faculty Instructor||2007 - 2009|
|Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces||Member of Bar||2003 - Present|
|New York Times||Branding a Soldier With ‘Personality Disorder’||2012|
|King County Bar Bulletin||Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: When Good Soldiers Do Bad Things||2011|
|King County Bar Bulletin||Defending Gay Soldiers Who Defend America||2010|
|King County Bar Bulletin||Resolving the Torture Memo Conundrum by Court-Martial||2009|
|King County Bar Bulletin||Guantanamo 101: Rejecting Cruel, Unusual and Degrading Justice||2009|
|King County Bar Bulletin||Military Commissions: 'Justice' Guantanamo Style||2008|
|Washington State Bar News||Federal Criminal Practice: A Military Justice Primer||2005|
|Oregon State Bar Bulletin||Blessed are the Peacemakers: Remembering Kosovo||2002|
|US Army JAG School - Charlottesville, VA||Military Law||Commissioned||1999|
|US Army - Ft. Lawton, WA||Military Law||N/A||1997|
|University of Oregon School of Law - Eugene, OR||Law||JD - Juris Doctor||1995|
|US Marine Corps - Quantico, VA||Officer Candidate School (OCS)||Commissioned||1993|
|University of Virginia - Charlottesville, VA||Foreign Affairs||BA - Bachelor of Arts||1990|
|U.S. Army Trial Defense Service (Mannheim, Germany)||Best Strategies for Defending Murder Cases||2011|
|Regional Military Conference||Discrediting Complaining Witnesses in Sexual Assault Cases||2010|
|American Bar Association||Critical Trial Skills for Legal Services Attorneys||2010|
|U.S. Army Trial Defense Service (Fort Lewis, WA)||Depositions in Military Practice||2009|
|U.S. Army Trial Defense Service (Fort Lewis, WA)||Courts-Martial and the Use of Impeachment Evidence||2009|
|National Institute for Trial Advocacy||How to Take Effective Depositions||2009|
|U.S. Army Trial Defense Service (Mannheim, Germany)||Polygraphs and Military Law||2004|
|Kosovo Force Legal Training||Electronic Surveillance and Courts-Martial Admissibility||2001|