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Stephen Hayes Carpenter

Stephen Hayes Carpenter JR

also known as Court & Carpenter

Practice areas:

Military Law

About Me

Stephen H. Carpenter, Jr., manages Court & Carpenter, a civilian military defense firm which "exclusively defends" active duty members. This firm maintains offices in Seattle, Washington and Stuttgart, Germany. Mr. Carpenter speaks German which is a key component in defending cases involving German police ("Polizei") and local national witnesses.    

Stephen has been ranked from 2009-2015 by one ranking service as one of the three best civilian military defense lawyers in the country. He is a former JAG lawyer who received a Honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy in 1996, and the U.S. Army in 2004. 

Mr. Carpenter has advocated in courtrooms for nearly twenty years. Stephen has published several law articles about the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).  He has likewise received law enforcement training in the Reid Interrogation Technique, which is often used by Air Force OSI, Army CID, Coast Guard CGIS and Navy NCIS agents. 

Stephen is a experienced trial attorney. He has lectured at the University of Washington, School of Law as an Adjunct  Professor in Trial Advocacy, similarly he has been certfied by the U.S. Department of Justice at its National Advocacy Center, and been awarded the Trial Advocacy Trainer certification from the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA).

Mr. Carpenter formerly Chaired the Washington State Bar Section’s Legal Assistance to Military Personnel (LAMP):

Military justice cases present uniquely complex legal issues which require access to significant resources to even the playing field. The diversity of a larger firm is often a decisive advantage. Court & Carpenter is comprised of three civilian lawyers who specialize in defending courts-martial and involuntary separation boards. Civilian Defense Counsel LCDR (ret.) David Peck joined Court & Carpenter in October 2014, followed by LCDR (ret.) Eric McDonald in January 2015. 


Languages Spoken: German

Photos and Videos

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Practice Areas

Licensed since 1996

  1. Military Law: 100%
    20 years, 500 cases



Fixed (Always), Free Consultation (30 minutes)

Payment Types:

Cash, Check, Credit Card

Attorney Endorsements

7 total 

  • 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

    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 (CONUS)

1700 Seventh Avenue
Suite 2100
Seattle, WA, 98101



Professional Misconduct

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 LawReserve Unit Course1997
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