Military Attorneys

Stephen H. Carpenter Jr.

Founding Partner

Civilian Military Defense Lawyer

Stephen “exclusively” defends active-duty members facing courts-martial, separation boards and other UCMJ related disciplinary and/or adverse actions since 2008. In 2020,  “Lawyers of Distinction” “Elite Lawyers” and “Premier Lawyers of America” recognized Stephen among the very best court-martial defense lawyers in the country. He humbly leads the nation, among all lawyers, in positive client reviews in “military law” on

Stephen is both fluent in German and has an EU passport, meaning that he travels freely (despite current COVID-19 restrictions) between Europe and the United States. Stephen has also appeared for his clients throughout CONUS, to include, practically hundreds of military bases, posts and installations across the United States. He has also defended several military cases in Japan.   
Beginning in 2002, Stephen began publishing several legal articles on military justice matters, to include “Federal Criminal Practice: A Military Justice Primer” “A PTSD Primer: When Good Soldiers Do Bad Things” “Resolving the Torture Memo Conundrum by Court-Martial; Guantanamo 101” “Rejecting Cruel, Unusual and Degrading Justice” “Military Commissions: Justice Guantanamo Style” “Defending Gay Soldiers Who Defend America” and “Blessed are the Peacemakers: Remembering Kosovo.”
Stephen served as an adjunct law professor in trial advocacy at the University of Washington, School of Law. He has lectured audiences on oral advocacy for the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, National Institute for Trial Advocacy, American Bar Association and, even Seattle Academy. Finally, the U.S. Department of Justice certified Stephen in “criminal trial advocacy” after  attending its National Advocacy Center in South Carolina. Stephen is the incoming Chair of the Washington State Bar Association’s Legal Assistance to Military Personnel (LAMP) Section beginning October 2020.
 When not respectfully “sticking it to the man” he enjoys time with his two children, and playing tennis, golf and snow skiing.

Educational and Military Background

  • Georgetown University Law School, Washington DC, L.L.M. Candidate, September 2021
  • University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon School of Law, J.D., 1995
  • University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia School of Government and Foreign Affairs, B.A., 1990
  • U.S. Army JAG School, Officer Basic Course, 1999
  • U.S. Marine Corps, Officer Candidate School, 1993
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Trial Advocacy School, 2004
  • Finalist for a Fulbright Fellowship Grant, Sweden, 2004

Legal Memberships

  • The Judge Advocate General’s Association
  • National Institute of Military Justice
  • Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Criminal Law Section, Washington State Bar Association (WSBA)
  • International Law Section, WSBA
  • Legal Assistance for Military Personnel Section
  • American Bar Association

Prior Military Service Awards

  • Army Commendation Medal (2nd award)
  • Army Achievement Medal, Army Overseas Ribbon
  • NATO medal
  • Kosovo Campaign Medal
  • National Defense Service Medal (2nd award)
  • Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
  • Army Service Ribbon
  • Former Service Related Coins (including coin from current Army Chief of Staff)

Federal and State Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
  • Federal District Court of Oregon
  • Federal District Court for the Western District of Washington
  • Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
  • Oregon State Bar
  • Washington State Bar
  • Army Court of Criminal Appeals
  • Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Trial Advocacy Faculty/Lecturer Seminars

  • Essential Trial Skills Lecturer, Litigation Section American Bar Association;
  • Adjunct Lecturer, Trial Advocacy Program, University of Washington, School of Law
  • Trial Skills Lecturer, The National Institute for Trial Advocacy
  • Deposition Skills Lecturer, The National Institute for Trial Advocacy
  • Mock Trial Mentor, Seattle Academy, H.S. Mock Trial Team
  • Defending Murder Cases, USATDS
  • The Use of Impeachment in Sexual Assault Cases, USTDS
  • Polygraph Examinations from a Defense Perspective, USATDS

David Court

Former Founding Partner

Military Consultant

David Court (“Mr. Court”) is a truly renowned military justice expert who regularly consults with our associated counsel. While he is no longer practicing law, Mr. Court remains steadfastly interested in military justice issues, and often draws upon his vast wealth of experience, accumulated by over four decades of courts-martial litigation, to directly empower our novel defense strategies.

He has successfully defended myriad servicemembers (from E-1 to O-6) throughout Europe, the Balkans, and the Middle East, through the end of the Cold War, Gulf One and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His cases have been reported on by 60 Minutes (“An Honest Mistake”), CNN (“The Canal Killings”), and myriad times by Stars and Stripes, which memorably profiled of him in 2007 entitled “Court for the Defense.”

Since his retirement, military Justice practitioners have informally sought his advice and opinion on their cases. Most recently, in December 2019, Mr. Court was asked to teach at the Annual U.S. Army Trial Defense Service (TDS) Conference.

Mr. Court has not been shy to publicity if the cause was just. He previously testified before the U.S. Congress on military justice issues, and even lectured, upon invitation, at The Military Judge’s Conference in Alabama.

Mr. Court lives in Frankfurt, Germany.

Court & Carpenter

Military Defense Lawyers

Military defense lawyer, Court & Carpenter, is a top-rated, military only law firm. Court & Carpenter specializes in the UCMJ, Separation Boards, Courts-Martial, and more.


SUITE 2100
Tel: (206) 357-8434


TACOMA, WA 98402
Tel: (833) 446-UCMJ (x8265)


Within Europe:
(0176) 2005 2265
Outside Germany:
011 (49) 176 2005 2265

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