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Stephen Hayes Carpenter JR

About Stephen Carpenter

About me


Stephen H. Carpenter, Jr., manages Court & Carpenter and has advocated in courtrooms for over twenty years.  Stephen has been ranked from 2009-2015 by one ranking service as one of the best three civilian military defense lawyers in the country. He is a former Marine and Army JAG Officer. He received a Honorable Discharge from the Army 2004, and the Navy in 1996.

Stephen often focuses on cutting edge military justice issues, and has published several articles about the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).  Over the past decade, he has successfully represented members from the rank of E-1 to O-6. He has represented scores of Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Coasties/Guardians, and Airmen. He is dedicated to tackling challenging military justice cases on behalf of uniformed members that face court-martial charges, reprimands and involuntary separation.

His trial skills have been sought after by more than just his Clients. Through the years Mr. Carpenter has also been invited my military defense counsel to teach at local and regional conferences. He fulfilled selections as an Adjunct Professor in Trial Advocacy at the University of Washington School of Law; and was trained and certified by the U.S. Department of Justice at its National Advocacy School (NAC). Finally, the preeminent National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) awarded Stephen its designation as 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.

Stephen 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 strong advocacy resulted in his national notoriety in a February 25, 2012, with the posting of a front page New York Times article entitled "Branding a Soldier with Personality Disorder." The national news media has since regularly sought his opinion, as a military law expert, about high profile courts-martial.  He has appeared on broadcasts for National Public Radio (NPR), Q13 Fox News, KING Radio, and King 5 News. 

Finally, this lawyer also enjoys golf, skiing and chess. He speaks German. During his off-time, he also enjoys rooting for the German National Team, Seattle Seahawks and the Oregon Ducks.



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