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Stephen Hayes Carpenter JR

About Stephen 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.

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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.

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