Skip to main content

Stephen Hayes Carpenter JR

also known as Court & Carpenter

About me

Stephen H. Carpenter, Jr. is a former U.S. Army Judge Advocate General (JAG) with decades of trial experience. Mr. Carpenter also previously served in the U.S. Marine Corps. In total, this firm has over 56 years of experience in "exclusively" defending military members charged with military crimes. The preeminient Mr. David Court, himself, a legendary court-martial attorney, also assists on high profile cases arising in Europe.

Stephen has been ranked, since 2009, among the top three civilian court-martial defense lawyers in the country by the nation's leading authority on attorney evaluations (  His consistent "military law" reviews over these many years reflect his unwaivering committment to his uniformed clients.

Court & Carpenter is the only global military defense lawfirm with offices in Seattle and Stuttgart. Our Stuttgart location makes it extraordinary convenient for military members stationed in Europe to have prompt access to legal guidance. Court & Carpenter also has another unique advantage no other law firm can offer - our lawyers speak fluent German.  This is very important. How words are ultimately "interpreted" can play a major role between winning or losing.  As such, when so much is at stake, in our view, nothing should be "lost in translation."

Stephen is an expert in criminal trial advocacy. In 2003, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) trained and certified Mr. Carpenter in criminal cases.  As a result of his courtroom talents the renowned DOJ prosecutor Michael P. Sullivan wrote: "I can confidently say Stephen was head-and-shoulders over everyone else participating in the National Advocacy Center Program, which included approximately 40 federal prosecutors who are currently employed with various U.S. Attorneys Offices nationwide." This lawyer's hard work and tenacity also resulted in one of the firm's 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." 

He has "exclusively" defended uniformed members from the rank of E-1 to O-6. In total, Stephen has represented and exonerated scores of Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Coasties, and Airmen.

Stephen has also benefited from specialized law enforcement training on the Reid Interview & Interrogation Techniques. This insider-perspective has empowered his evaluation of federal OSI, CID, NCIS and CGIS agents who abuse this technique to gain false confessions.

Listen to him at:

He has published several articles about the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) for legal periodicals and maintains a blog about cutting edge military justice issues. And with regard to community service, Mr. Carpenter formerly led the Washington State Bar Section’s Legal Assistance to Military Personnel (LAMP). He 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 the Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals.


Languages spoken: German

Photos and videos

26838 1340689799

26838 1273036304

26838 1242686601

26838 1242453798

Practice areas


  1. Military Law: 100%
    20 years, 600 cases



Fixed (always), Free consultation (60 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

8 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Aaron V Rocke

    Stephen is a brilliant trial attorney with experience in criminal defense in military and white collar contexts. He is as thoughtful as he is skillful, and he understands how to present a case at trial.


    Aaron Rocke Employment & Labor Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Patrick T Johnson JR

    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

Contact info

Court & Carpenter (United States Law Office)

1700 Seventh Avenue
Suite 2100 (21st Floor)
Seattle, WA, 98101

Court & Carpenter (European Law Office)

Heilbronner Strasse 150
Office Tel: (0711) 49004 320
Stuttgart, UM, 70191



We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Certified Trial Advocacy InstructorNational Institiute for Trial Advocacy (NITA)2008
Certified in Criminal Trial AdvocacyUS Department of Justice (USDOJ)2004
Global War on Terrorism medal; ARCOM (2d); AAM (2d)US Army JAG Corps2004
Platoon Leaders CourseUS Marine Corps1993
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Managing PartnerCourt & Carpenter2013 - Present
MemberThe Carpenter Law Firm, P.C.2008 - Present
Assistant Attorney GeneralWashington State Attorney General's Office2005 - 2007
Trial Defense Counsel, Prosecutor, Article 32 Hearings OfficerJudge Advocate General's Corps (JAG)1998 - 2004
PartnerLemery & Carpenter LLC1995 - 1998
Association namePosition nameDuration
US Navy and Marine Corps Appellate CourtMember of Bar2014 - Present
Federal Bar Association (Seattle Chapter)Member2014 - Present
US Air Force Appellate CourtMember of Bar2013 - Present
Washington State Bar Association, Criminal Law SectionMember2012 - Present
US Army Appellate CourtMember of Bar2011 - Present
Washington State Bar Association, Legal Assistance to Military Personnel (LAMP) SectionChair & Vice-Chair2010 - 2013
University of Washington School of LawMock Appellate Judge2009 - 2010
National Instutute of Trial Advocacy (NITA)Trial Advocacy Faculty Instructor2008 - Present
University of Washington School of LawTrial Advocacy Adjunct Faculty Instructor2007 - 2009
Court of Appeals for the Armed ForcesMember of Bar2003 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
US v. Army (E-6)Not Guilty, Full acquittal
US v. Army (E-6)Not Guilty, Full acquittal
US v. Army (E-5)"No Punishment" sentencing verdict.
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
New York TimesBranding a Soldier With ‘Personality Disorder’2012
King County Bar BulletinPosttraumatic Stress Disorder: When Good Soldiers Do Bad Things2011
King County Bar BulletinDefending Gay Soldiers Who Defend America2010
King County Bar BulletinResolving the Torture Memo Conundrum by Court-Martial2009
King County Bar BulletinGuantanamo 101: Rejecting Cruel, Unusual and Degrading Justice2009
King County Bar BulletinMilitary Commissions: 'Justice' Guantanamo Style2008
Washington State Bar NewsFederal Criminal Practice: A Military Justice Primer2005
Oregon State Bar BulletinBlessed are the Peacemakers: Remembering Kosovo2002
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
US Army JAG School - Charlottesville, VAMilitary LawCommissioned1999
US Army - Ft. Lawton, WAMilitary LawN/A1997
University of Oregon School of Law - Eugene, ORLawJD - Juris Doctor1995
US Marine Corps - Quantico, VAOfficer Candidate School (OCS)Commissioned1993
University of Virginia - Charlottesville, VAForeign AffairsBA - Bachelor of Arts1990
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
U.S. Army Trial Defense Service (Mannheim, Germany)Best Strategies for Defending Murder Cases2011
Regional Military ConferenceDiscrediting Complaining Witnesses in Sexual Assault Cases2010
American Bar AssociationCritical Trial Skills for Legal Services Attorneys2010
U.S. Army Trial Defense Service (Fort Lewis, WA)Depositions in Military Practice2009
U.S. Army Trial Defense Service (Fort Lewis, WA)Courts-Martial and the Use of Impeachment Evidence2009
National Institute for Trial AdvocacyHow to Take Effective Depositions2009
U.S. Army Trial Defense Service (Mannheim, Germany)Polygraphs and Military Law2004
Kosovo Force Legal TrainingElectronic Surveillance and Courts-Martial Admissibility2001