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Stephen P. Karns

Military law Attorney at Dallas, TX

4.6   50 reviews

About Stephen

Learn Stephen’s areas of practice.

1
Practice area

My name is Stephen P. Karns, and I defend Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen worldwide in military criminal prosecutions and other judicial and administrative military matters.

I am a former U.S. Army Major JAG Attorney and have practiced law for over two decades as a trial defense lawyer. My practice is 100% devoted to criminal defense and military law. I have traveled the world defending service members from military prosecutions, and I am ready to defend you no matter where you are serving: the United States, Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific, Afghanistan, or any other post, base, station, or camp.

Photos and videos

Licensed for 28 years
State TX
Status Eligible to Practice in Texas
Acquired 1994
Updated 10/23/2022

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Contact Stephen

Stephen P. Karns
8117 Preston Road
Suite 300
Dallas, TX, 75225

Reviews

4.6 / 5.0
  50 customer reviews
Posted by Eze, Kingsley | November 23, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
BEST AT IT!
I don't usually write reviews, but I decided to write this one due to my experience with Karns Law Firm. I was charged with something that could get me a bad-conduct discharge, some confinement time, and end my whole career in the Army. I reached out to some attornies who only did not listen to my case in detail but wanted to make me more paranoid in order to get their service. After a little more research, I reached out to Mr. Karns, I explained my case to him, and he decided to represent me. Although I was in Korea and we only communicated electronically, Mr. Karns was very professional. He took his time to listen to every detail of my case and told me the way forward. He immediately acted on my case, which gave me a sense of hope. The seven months of the investigation were the darkest times of my life. However, Mr. Karns was there for me, held my hands, told me the unfiltered truth, and gave me the best advice on legal matters like a father. He and Robert (his paralegal) quickly answered my questions and provided me with every piece of information I needed. Mr. Karns always checked up on me to make sure I was okay. Furthermore, Mr. Karns and his legal team packaged incredible defense matters for me. My BDE CO even told me that Mr. Karns did an incredible job in his response to my case. He joked about JAG not wanting to battle Mr. Karns in court martial due to his influence, reputation, and popularity. In the end, I was found NOT GUILTY of all my charges. Karns Law Firm was the angel sent from God to vindicate me. They gave me light in my darkest time. He saved my career, my reputation, and my life. If you are looking for a professional and outstanding attorney to bring a miraculous outcome to your case, I highly recommend Mr. Karns and his law firm.
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Posted by Josh | November 16, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Mr.Karns
I spoke with a few firms and attorneys that specialized in Court Martial as civilian attorneys and Mr.Karns was my choice. My case was that of it was either going to cost me my life in Federal Confinement or it was going to be nothing. Luckily for me, I never had to call on Mr.Karns for defense at trial and my case was handled at the minimal level possible. I will attest to Mr.Karn’s communication and how well he communicated with my Brigade legal team, his presence on the case and ensuring everyone knew I was represented by his firm and his willingness to trouble shoot ideas, give me advice and be ready in case the time came for him to stand between myself and the federal government. I would recommend Karns Law Firm to anyone in my case, being faced with punitive action while active duty.
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Posted by Shelby | August 11, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
The absolute best!
Last year my husband was pulled in and questioned by CID. His case was severe and there was undeniable evidence and he was facing an OTH discharge. We hired Mr. Karns and he began to work IMMEDIATELY! He and his Paralegal Rob worked HARD on my husbands case. He (and Rob) were always great about getting back to us fast if we had questions. My husband was appointed a very mediocre TDS attorney who was supposed to work along side Mr. Karns and ultimately seemed to do more harm than she did helping.. Mr. Karns flew to Colorado and met with myself and my husband (as well as our TDS attorney) and went over the case and strategy. He was great about keeping my husband and myself in the loop through this entire year of going back and forth between the Army. Today my husband had his board hearing and because of Mr. Karns aggressiveness and professionalism the board decided in my husbands favor and he is being retained! My husband was originally facing an OTH discharge and Mr. Karns secured his future. He was well worth the money spent and I would recommend him to anyone!
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Posted by anonymous | July 7, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
article 15 case
am to have this process and investigation behind me. Stephen and Rob thank you for your endless efforts, extensive knowledge, and dedication to my case. I truly believe that if I had hire anyone else or simply just used my assigned JAG officer that the situation would have played out very differently. When the investigation first started, I had little hope I could turn around this article 15 process. After hiring him and having him submit matters in my defense, the CG who typically had a pattern of being harsh with punishments turned had a change of heart in my filing process. Yet he managed to turn what was a very stressful time in my life-- into what became light at the end of the tunnel. Additionally, Stephen took the time to go over each rebuttal and matters of defense multiple times where JAG took less than two hours to write a rebuttal. If I had submitted this information from JAG I do not think I would be walking away with a LOCAL GOMAR today. This afternoon I also spoke to the BDE CDR who confirmed that this was very unlike the CG, and I cannot express how grateful to his law firm. A process that seemed like forever, ended with the best possible outcome, after receiving my local filing. At all times he kept up constant communication with me, and always kept me informed of the process. He never let me walk into the situation or readings blindsided. We always remained one step ahead of the process. The professionalism and transparency are what made me feel confident on a great outcome. Thanks to your defense, I can now continue my military career and take this moment to continue setting the example for officers to come. I couldn't have retained a better defense attorney I will continue to refer any peers or fellow soldiers in need of services to you and will never forget the impact he made on my career and life.
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Posted by anonymous | September 16, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A genuine professional
My case was an Administrative Separation case. What set Mr. Karns apart was that he was willing to represent me when another lawyer told me they didn't want to. Mr. Karns is great to work with and he works diligently. I saw for myself the preparation he was putting forth on my case and I thought nobody worried about my case as much as I did. The board did decide in my favor and I remain ever grateful to Mr. Karns for seeing me through this difficult episode of my military career.
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Posted by Colleen | September 8, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly Recommend!
I highly recommend Stephen Karns! He was the only military lawyer to get back to me and he responded right away (I was surprised because he appeared to be the best I contacted too). His response time to Everything was right away. He explained things clearly and was very personable. My son was AWOL for 5 years and taken to his last base after detention at the border. The Army was charging him with Desertion and going with a Court Martial. Mr Karns listened to my son’s story and fought for a Chapter 10 administrative leave. Just found out the Chapter 10 request was accepted and my son will be released soon! Without Mr. Karns, this would NOT have happened! We are so grateful to have found and hired Stephen Karns as our lawyer!
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Posted by Adam | August 3, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Very Responsive
Mr. Karns is an absolute fantastic option when choosing a defense lawyer. He put nothing but my best interests above all else. He walked me through the entire process and was very patient and understanding with me. He was extremely quick to respond to all of my questions and I couldn’t have asked for a better lawyer. He was able to resolve my case with an exceptional outcome and I would highly recommend him for anyone needing a defense lawyer.
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Posted by Ariel | August 2, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Quick and professional
Mr. Karns was always prompt, professional, and gave very astute advice. I was extremely impressed with him and would recommend him to anyone.
Posted by Skylar | July 20, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly recommend!
Mr. Karns was professional, fast acting, and genuinely cared about my well being. I highly recommend him!
Posted by Bianca | July 19, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Mr. Karns fights for you and your career
Mr. Karns and his team went above and beyond to fight for my case. He always kept me updated and answered any questions I had. He took a lea on jumping on the case and representing me as well as walking me through expectations on what may come my way. Not only was he open To communication with me but also my spouse. Although the case took longer than anticipated, he continued to stay active and involved in getting to the bottom of it. I am very pleased with him and his team and thankful for them and all they have done to fight for my future and career. I highly recommend Mr. Karns because he will go above and beyond for you and ensure he is consistently checking in on you and the case. Thank you for all you have done for me and my career. It was a true blessing to cross paths with you and your team.
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Posted by Troy | July 16, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Mr. Karns gets results
After seven months of waiting, my case is finally over. I just want to thank Mr. Karns and his paralegal Rob for the outstanding work they did to help me clear my name. I was falsely accused of assault and was guilty in my command's mind from the start. Once I saw Mr. Karns question my accuser and saw the look on her face when she knew that she was caught lying, I knew I was going to be vindicated. Mr. Karns gave me the confidence to fight the charges and proved my accuser was lying. I would not have made it through my situation without him. He gave me the right advice every step of the way. I highly recommend Mr. Karns.
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Posted by anonymous | October 16, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Sincere Gratitude
Dear Steve, I am writing this review for you as I sit here happy with my parents, wife and children. You deserve a lot of credit for me being able to do this freely devoid of any worries. I remember the frantic emails and distressed calls I made to you while I was in the thick of the situation but much thanks to your instantaneous responses and counselling that I could breathe and know that you have got my back. Your reassurances during my extreme moments of self-doubt were instrumental in me getting through the situation. I am confident that my wife shares the same view and we are truly thankful. This was a journey full of road-blocks, self-discovery, self-doubt and mental challenges. It is only now, post resolving the situation that I realize how important it was for a knowledgable lawyer like you to look through the pile of information I provided and calibrate me to my path. Yes, I did have to walk through the fire myself but you held my hand and I appreciate that. This is my Life – Part 2 and a huge credit of my freedom goes to you. Thank you for keeping your patience with me and being a mentor. Please keep helping people who have veered off their path to realign themselves and walk freely with pride again. My sincere gratitude to you and your team!
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Posted by Rob | October 11, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
There for you when you need him
When your career is on the line, and you know JAG is overwhelmed and less than interested in your case details, the superior man seeks wise counsel. Your case is your case. There may be details that JAG will miss...but Mr Karns will not miss them. When you hire Mr Karns I can assure you that he will treat your case like it is his only case. His paralegal, Rob, is a breeze to work with. Allow me to digress. Had I not hired Mr Karns, the command and judge advocate would have tried to make some nonsense fly and rely on my ignorance of the law to accept their nonsense and commit career suicide. You have many choices. If you value your career, and your case has any daylight, then you hire a lawyer. Do yourself a favor and hire Mr Karns.
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Posted by anonymous | July 2, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Stephen Karns Rocks!
Stephen was the first attorney I contacted to assist me with a show cause board. He contacted me almost immediately after I emailed him. I explained my situation and he provided me with a very professional and aggressive plan of action. I told him that I had contacted other attorney's to gauge my options. After speaking to other attorneys I made my decision to go with Steve. Hands down, he impressed me from the get go. I highly recommend Steve to anyone who finds themselves going before a show cause board.
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Posted by Carl | June 26, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent representation
After some research I emailed 3 attorney's, one of which didn't respond back at all, the 2nd one took 2 days and Stephen Karns personally called me within minutes of receiving my email. As a business owner myself I've dealt with hundreds of attorneys so the fact that he responded immediately was very important to me. I also like that he gave us a set price to handle his case with no extras or additional fees. I hired him immediately to help my son get separated from the Navy after graduating boot camp and getting injured. Stephen was very knowledgeable, honest and direct as far as all of our options and the possible results. He did everything he said he would including returning our calls and emails within hours. His paralegal Rob was also very professional and prompt as well. Steve interviewed my son and put together a letter with all the timelines, issues he had and exactly what we wanted to see happen. My son was separated with a general discharge which is the best possible outcome we could have expected. I would highly recommend him and his company if your looking for representation with positive results.
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Posted by anonymous | June 11, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Always available!
I contacted and hired Steve immediately after CID approached me for BAH fraud, larceny of US Government funds, and false statement on a travel voucher. He immediately informed my Commander of my rights and legal counsel. I don't think that I could have gone through this awful experience without his counsel. He was always quick to reply when I needed his advice. Steve and I got ahead of the investigation and collected all the necessary evidence for my rebuttal. When I received the initial results, I was able to quickly assemble my rebuttal. At the end, my rebuttal was accepted and the case was closed. I am glad that I hired his services because he made my case a priority.
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Posted by Elvin | May 23, 2018
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
A competent and thorough professional
I approached Mr. Karns when I need legal advice for a tentative situation. Mr. Karns replied to my e-mail with a phone call and sound advice that served me very well. Although the situation resolved itself without recourse to his services, I cannot stress how alleviated I was to know that Mr. Karns was ready to fight for me if the time came. I highly recommend.
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Posted by Jason | March 5, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent Attorney
Mr. Karns is an excellent who will fight for you to get positive results. His representation of me was worth every penny and I would not hesitate to hire him again.
Posted by Eric Zurface | May 25, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Gave me peace of mind
Contacted Mr. Karns to get ahead of the curve in my case. He kept constant contact and between him and his paralegal Rob, I was able to focus on work knowing they were behind the scenes working towards the best possible outcome for me. My case ended in a fair outcome, but that was not the fault of Mr. Karns. He impressed me with his demeanor and enthusiasm, I have no regrets consulting him, would retain him in future legal matters
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Posted by anonymous | March 25, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best decision I ever made
Mr. Karns is top notch in his representation and doesn't waste any time. Many people are deluded when they are presented with charges especially in the military that as long as they are innocent it will work out in their favor. I was brought up on allegations on a Friday afternoon and decided with my military career on the line, it best if I retain counsel. I called Mr Karns office on a Saturday afternoon, he returned my call same day, and offered over an hour of free consultation, and gave me advice on how to proceed regardless of whom I selected for counsel. I ultimately retained his services Sunday afternoon, and he reached out to take care of the matter same day. By Tuesday afternoon my situation was resolved with no negative repercussions. Worth every penny.
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Contact for Details

Resume

AVVO RATING 9.6 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Owner
  • Law Office of Stephen P. Karns
  • 1998 - Present
  • Senior Defense Counsel
  • US JAG Corps Reserves
  • 2002 - 2005
  • Defense Counsel
  • US Army JAG Corps
  • 1995 - 1998

Education

  • Judge Advocate General's School, U.S. Army
  • 1995
  • St Mary's University of San Antonio School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1994
  • Texas Tech University
  • BBA
  • 1991

Legal Cases

  • US v. Cruz

Associations

  • State Bar of Texas
  • 1994 - Present
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member
  • N/A
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

Awards

  • Readers Voice Best Criminal Defense Attorney
  • Dallas Voice
  • 2010
  • Readers Voice Best Criminal Defense Attorney
  • Dallas Voice
  • 2009
  • Readers Voice Best Criminal Defense Attorney
  • Dallas Voice
  • 2008
  • Rising Star
  • Texas Super Lawyers Magazine
  • 2007
  • Readers Voice Best Criminal Defense Attorney
  • Dallas Voice
  • 2007
  • Distinguished Service Award
  • Dallas Association of Young Lawyers
  • 2002
  • Parachutist Badge
  • US Army
  • 1995
  • Army Commendation Medal w/2 Oak Leaf Clusters
  • U.S. Army
  • N/A
View all awards

Speaking Engagements

  • Pre-law Society
  • Practice in Military Courts
  • 2004
  • Expanding Opportunities for Women in the Bar
  • Practice in Military Courts
  • 2003

Attorney endorsements

Received (29)
Given (22)
Military law Attorney | Sep 28
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this highly qualified lawyer. His courtesy, professionalism and knowledge of the law is unsurpassed."
Criminal defense Attorney | Mar 22
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I have directly observed Stephen Karns in his professional capacity, and he demonstrates unparalleled excellence. I have dealt with over 100 military lawyers in multiple states, and I would rank Stephen Karns as the #1 military criminal defense attorney in the nation. I have seen him under the most challenging tasks and his superb skills, combined with his unassailable integrity, make Stephen Karns the "go to" attorney for all criminal defense matters. He truly cares about every client, even the little guy, and I have personally witnessed him work equally as tenacious on many smaller matters as well as the most serious criminal allegations. I cannot speak highly enough about this talented individual. He is a top notch guy, and a top notch attorney. If you are accused of a crime, he will be your most valuable asset."
Military law Attorney | Nov 30
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. I worked with Steve on a number of matters while I was stationed at Fort Hood, TX and was always impressed with his dedication and skill."
Criminal defense Attorney | Oct 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I highly endorse Mr. Karns. Truly exceptional and caring attorney who achieves great results in representing clients! I want all people to contact him for help first."
Criminal defense Attorney | Oct 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this highly respected lawyer. He always fights hard for his clients"
Criminal defense Attorney | Oct 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Military law Attorney | Apr 21
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Karns is one of the hardest working attorneys I know. He is extremely well-versed in military law, and I regularly refer cases to him. I am pleased to offer him my endorsement."
Criminal defense Attorney | Mar 11
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Steve is an excellent and dedicated attorney. He works tirelessly for his clients and has great results. I have no hesitation in endorsing him."
Criminal defense Attorney | Oct 30
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Aug 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Diligent, intelligent advocate held in the highest regard."
Military law Attorney | May 24
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Stephen is a great lawyer and zealous advocate for his clients. I strongly recommend him for criminal law and military law matters."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Steve is a great lawyer who is always fighting for his clients. If I had a military question I'd call him."
Military law Attorney | Oct 25
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Steve and I worked together on many cases. He is the epitome' of a team player and competent/ethical lawyer. Too often in military cases, rifts form between military and civilian counsel during representation. Steve does not let this happen. He firmly believes that every servicemember deserves a team of professionals to work together for a great result, and he works to make the civilian/military team operate at the highest level. He is a leader and zealous advocate. Any client who hires this lawyer is extremely fortunate."
Military law Attorney | Oct 08
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Sep 12
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Aug 10
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | Jul 12
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Mar 23
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Stephen is a dedicated attorney, who aggressively advocates for his clients. He is detailed-oriented, and has a wide breadth of knowledge and experience in various military and criminal law matters. I highly recommend him."
Military law Attorney | Mar 22
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Stephen. He is a renowned lawyer and advocate."
Unknown Attorney | Mar 22
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Stephen works hard to get great results for his clients!"
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Criminal defense
Federal crime
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
DUI and DWI
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Military law
Military law
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Military law
Criminal defense
Military law
Estate planning

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Dallas Military law Lawyer Stephen P. Karns
Stephen P. Karns
Military law Attorney
Dallas, TX
Licensed for 28 years