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* We have many positive reviews and counting. Here are some samples of what service members or their families are saying about us in the field.
I was 1 of 2 subjects of a GO-directed investigation, and was facing a potential permanent GOMOR. I spoke with 3 other civilian attorneys, and I extremely happy to say that I chose Stephen. He remained actively engaged with my investigation, even while working several other cases at the time. Diligent and aggressive, Stephen guided me through the process, engaged the command's legal advisors, and helped craft my response. In the end, I avoided a GOMOR, resumed my career, and have since made the promotion list. I highly recommend calling Stephen, as soon as you are read your rights.
Stephen prepared my file for a PRB. I was selected to MAJ then notified the next day I would face a PRB for something that occurred in my previous assignment. I was devistated. I reached out to Mr. Carpenter who was professional from the start. He felt confident the outcome would be favorable and it was. Because of him I now have the opportunity to continue to serve and I am planning my promotion party!!
In May 19, 2018, I received a General Officer Letter of Reprimand (GOMOR) for something a legal adviser thought was my fault. The first few days was stressful because I have 10 days to explain to the General why I wasn’t guilty. By my experience, almost every Soldier who gets a GOMOR is separated from the Army. But after I hired Mr. Carpenter it was a big relief. Mr. Carpenter got in contact with those legal advisers, which are things I couldn’t do because I must follow my chain of command. On July 13, 2018, I received the good news that my GOMOR was filled “locally.” I know of Soldiers who got involved in an incident and went to legal on post a month later; and are still awaiting a decision. I am really happy with Mr. Carpenter’s representation of me and would highly recommend him to every Soldier that needs help with a GOMOR rebuttal. He saved my career.
When I received the news of my selection by the promotion board, I immediately felt euphoric. All my hard work, dedication, and perseverance had paid off during a time of uncertain promotion rates. However, my joy soon turned to utter disheartenment as I received word the next day that my promotion had been scroll withheld for reconsideration (under a new Secretary of the Army policy affecting officer promotions for O-3 and above), based on a past, filed CID report, which did not result in any formal judicial proceeding. The Army now required me to meet a Promotion Review Board (PRB), the results of which would then be sent to the SecArmy for final review to determine my fitness to serve at the next rank. With my career and reputation on the line, I knew immediately that I had to retain a seasoned, aggressive civilian attorney with prior JAG experience and a reputation for winning. After researching several lawyers, I decided on Mr. Stephen Carpenter -- a fortuitous decision. Steve’s case load and travel are heavy at times, but he ultimately came through when it mattered. I specifically remember two pivotal moments, during the course of my rebuttal process: 1) during the planning phase to overcome the PRB, and 2) during the execution of our rebuttal and eventual win. 1) Planning Phase: Stephen meticulously reviewed all documents and evidence to provide insightful commentary and analysis. He wrote me three detailed, key talking points that provided the best defense for my case. I knew he was the right attorney. 2) Execution of Rebuttal: Steve's rebuttal letter shocked me. In a good way. He not only relayed and analyzed a detailed synopsis of events that transpired (to lead up to the false accusation), he also cited specific CID regulations to demonstrate the procedurally incorrect investigation performed by the local CID. Mr. Carpenter’s legal expertise and precise writing/communication ability were absolutely vital to my case; he compiled a far better rebuttal memorandum than I could have attempted myself. The entire PRB process took one year, and in the end, I received the excellent news that I would retain my promotion. I fully endorse Stephen Carpenter. My advice: if you are under investigation and/or pending legal action, GOMOR, Court Martial, PRB, etc., ensure you hire an accomplished civilian attorney who focuses exclusively in military law. Take some time to do your research, but do not delay in making a decision. You will need all the time you can get to prepare your defense and/or rebuttal. Protect your career by hiring a skilled civilian attorney to represent you; it is money well spent.
If you are contacted my CID and have a "BAH/BAQ/FSA" or other CID issues--call Steve ASAP. Aggressive, professional and patient. Ex JAG officer. My CID issue was 100% solved--and after meeting in person with Steve--I knew I was in good hands.
I served several months as a U.S. Marine Corps JAG, most memorably at Camp Pendleton. These are men and women that are not only mentally fit, they are equally physically and spiritually superb. It is always a distinct honor to be in these courts. Additionally, as an aside, I consider the U.S. Marines and U.S. Army to be related, like distant cousins, because their courts-martial panels (“juries”) have the same tendency to render relatively lenient sentences. Put simply, these two services, more than the others, seem to share a common bond of what it truly means to be in harm’s way, and accused who have been to combat undoubtedly benefit from this notion.
Whatever your rank, worldwide location, charged offense, or circumstance, your invaluable life, or the life of your loved one, deserves more than just a competent legal defense.
Nuance: Marines stationed overseas seemingly remain, among all the services, to be the most vulnerable to overseas law enforcement sting-operations.
As a former U.S. Army JAG, I fondly recall the hard work, deployments and duties. Above them all, General David Petraeus is an American hero, and he, like many former U.S. Army Generals, have left an indelible legacy on what it means to serve. There is plenty to do. The U.S. Army leads the way, every year, in the number of courts-martial. Its legal experts are brilliant, and as such, have been tasked with training the other military branches, at the University of Virginia, on the rules, procedures and regulations applicable to military justice.
Nuance: U.S. Army military judges will not provide the “unsworn statement instruction” during presentencing should the accused wish to waive it; which is typically a good tactical decision. The other services will commonly provide it, however, even if the accused says no. Additionally, this service does a fine job of tailoring fines to offset confinement as detailed in Rules for Courts-Martial 1003.
Our aggressive defense of Air Force members has always been dedicated “to the warriors who go forth [into the skies] to find and defeat our nation’s enemies.” American Fighter Pilots I have been defending these men and women in blue since watching a “friendly” game of crud one night in Ramstein, Germany. It is always an enormous pleasure to immerse oneself into the technical complexities that Air Force careers demand. Over the years we have defended pilots, security forces and, of course, folks on the flight line.
Nuance: U.S. Air Force courts-martial are unique in their application of Rules for Courts-Martial 801(b)(2)(c) and Military Rules of Evidence 614 in having its judges proactively inviting panel (“jury”) members to ask for additional evidence, after trial and defense counsel rest, but before starting deliberations on the verdict.
Stephen Carpenter and his staff are an amazing team. I hired his services in November 2018 to represent me as my civilian legal counsel during a Military Involuntary Separation Board conducted in March 2019. Stephen fought hard for me. He went above and beyond and did everything he could to ensure a great outcome. Stephen and his staff were very professional and knowledgeable about all military legal matters. My opinions were valued and my doubts were always reassured. My needs were put first and I was treated as a friend rather than just a client. One of his staffers, Jason Greene kept in contact with me and provided me support every step of the way. He even took the time to sent me a congratulatory text after the final board determination. This level of care and support showcase the type of climate Stephen instill in his practice. I recommend his services to everyone with military legal matters. Thank you Stephen for all your hard work!
To be charged in the military with a sexual offence is devastating. It is literally life changing Your whole world is going to be radically altered. I was falsely accused with 3 counts of abusive sexual contact by another NCO that I had been dating who made the allegation a year after the fact when she was facing her own legal troubles. I was facing possible prison, a felony record, and sex offender registration. I knew that which attorney I hired was going to be the biggest decision of my life. I chose Steve. Mr Carpenter is not afraid of the government, the prosecutors, or your chain of command. Steve goes to work for only you and he's literally going to be the only person outside of your family that you can trust. We battled the government for almost a year and a half. In the end, we submitted a Ch 10 and it was approved, charges were dropped. I walked away with a clean record, no jail, and can finally move on with my life. I will forever be grateful for Mr Carpenter.
Beginning of this year I came under investigation for an EO complaint. This complaint was blown out of proportion and became a big deal for my Brigade. They decided to push UCMJ against me for something that I did not do. I demanded a trial by court martial because it was wrong of what my chain of command decided to do. After months of waiting for a court martial, I decided that I needed to hire a lawyer to help me with my case. I've searched and talked to many lawyers over the phone. But most of the lawyers I talked to did not sound confident with my case when I explained it to them. The only one that really stood out to me was Stephen Carpenter. I felt the confidence he had when I spoke to him over the phone. He even went out of his way to meet with me for a initial consultation. When I met with Stephen Carpenter for the first time. He had fire in him and I can just tell that he was the man to help me with my case. So I decided to hire him. Having him on my side really lifted a lot of weight off my shoulders. Stephen is very professional and is a hard worker. He and his team dedicated a lot of time to my case and did a lot of research weeks before my court martial date. On the day of the court martial Stephen was amazing to watch. I have never seen anything like this before. He was so focused and the way he argued my case was truly amazing. I was very impressed. You can definitely tell that Stephen has a passion in what he does. Especially with helping military personnel. I was found guilty on one of the articles they charged me with. And the outcome of the court didn't fully go the way Stephen and I wanted it. We both weren't happy. But it was not over. Stephen said "I AM NOT DONE WORKING". Stephen contacted me and informed me that it would be a good idea for us to put in a appeal. I trusted his word and so he did. Stephen and his team put a appeal together that made my Brigade dismiss all charges against me. I was found not guilty of all charges! Because of Stephen and his team I am now free of all legal issues. I would definitely recommend Stephen Carpenter to anyone in military that needs legal advise. He knows the military law and knows what he is doing. Hiring him was the best decision I have ever made.
I hired Stephen Carpenter to represent me at a Summary Court-Martial. After meeting with several other military law attorney's I made the clear decision to hire him. He had that fighting fire others were lacking and you could tell he went in with a victory in mind. I'm glad I chose him, as he had all charges dropped against me. He was very professional towards myself and my family throughout the trial. I would definitely recommend him to anyone.
Mr. Carpenter superb expertise in military law and his firm determination in the pursuit of equal justice was awesome. I retained Mr. Carpenter to represent my son's sexual assault and DUI cases with the Army. The local police investigated the sexual assault case and turn it over to the prosecutor. The prosecutor decided not to prosecute the case due to a lack of evidence that a crime was committed. They turn the case over to the Army. Once the Army review the case they decided to prosecute. My son was facing dismal from the service and imprisonment At his trial, Mr. Carpenter was able to prove that the Army had no witness or evidence to convict my son and the case was dismissed. Mr. Carpenter tremendous research and tireless effort in the DUI case resulted in a rescindable of my son dismissal from the service with a General discharge to him being reinstated to active duty in the Army. Mr. Carpenter kept me informed and up to date on all issues pertaining to my son case. I would recommend Mr. Carpenter to any military member as he will pursue all avenues for the very best result.
Steve was referred by colleagues as “one of the best, if not the best trial attorney in the country, aggressive and a master strategist.” My case speaks to this. It was lengthy and complicated. I received a GOMOR for sexual harassment in Afghanistan and was ordered to undergo a Mental Health Evaluation. The psychiatrist had a condescending attitude. He feigned concern when I disclosed I had been assaulted and waved aside my distress. His diagnosis was Adjustment Disorder“ and recommended my immediate return JBLM adding “This is in my best interest” I requested a copy his note, but was denied. He said “behavioral health notes are released at the discretion of the provider. The contents may be traumatizing. “ I was in trouble. I had an “Adjustment Disorder” diagnosis placing me at risk for involuntary separation. The psychiatrist inferred negative information in my behavioral health record. There was a GOMOR in my permanent file. My commander was openly hostile and wouldn’t return my salute. I was facing certain administrative separation under Other Than Honorable (OTH) Conditions. I’d lose both benefits and my civilian position with DOD. I was despondent, but Steve would change that. I was able to get a copy of the psychiatrist’s note at JBLM. His diagnosis was not “Adjustment Disorder” as I was told, but “Personality Disorder.” Even more stunning, he said “Her command specifically asks for a diagnosis of a “Personality Disorder”, Important evidence confirming the long- held belief that Unlawful Command Influence is practiced by unethical, criminal commanders. Steve is always on-top. Characteristically, he contacted one of the most revered newspapers in the country, the NY Times, to publish the psychiatrist’s note. On Feb 25, 2012, my case appeared on the front page but, Steve wasn’t finished yet. He filed a Whistle Blower complaint against my command that ultimately made its way to the Army IG at the Pentagon who requested my sworn statements. Steve’s excellence appeared to be acknowledged by my command. During the course of my case, I received three separate Board notifications. Steve responded to each and each time, my command retreated. I never had a Board hearing nor was I separated for a personality disorder or misconduct. My characterization of service was honorable. That’s how good Steve is. Steve’s expertise is matched by his compassion. My case went on for 6 years. Resignation with OTH Conditions was out of the question so I road it out. During that time, my command targeted me with reprisals that leveled the life I had built. If not for Steve’s steady support, I would have taken my life. In the end, the VA rated me as 100% disabled from PTSD and spinal injuries. I was medically retired from my position with DOD for PTSD and was granted Social Security Disability for PTSD. The presiding Secretary of the Army, however, would not acknowledge my PTSD. To my knowledge, I’m the only military member on record who was denied medical retirement under these circumstances.
I hired Stephen to work on multiple cases and situations for me, and ultimately he worked on a misdemeanor that carried a large fine and jail time. He was on top of everything and worked to settle the case out of court. Stephen stayed after the "victim" and made sure that not only was she made whole and respected, but that I was treated fairly as well. After a little over a year Stephen and I appeared before a judge and the case was formally dismissed with no repercussions from the military or civil justice system.
Mr Carpenter defended my Son-in Law with an extraordinary brilliance that I have never seen before. I believe the argument he brought fourth should have acquitted my Son-in-Law. Mr Carpenter is a smart extremely articulate defense attorney and defends from the heart! He truly loves practicing law and defending individuals such as my Son-in-Law. I only wish it was a different outcome not to diminish in anyway Mr. Carpenters very well orchestrated Defense Thank you Steven Schindler
Mr. Carpenter came to my rescue after I had exhausted all the JAGs had to offer me. He fought for my life and my career. He was very professional and passionate in the courtroom, and gave his all, so that in the end we came out on the winning side. After facing over seven charges the prosecutors dropped five of them once they realized I had a civilian lawyer who was dedicated and had such great experience. I was able to receive an Honorable Discharge and keep all my benefits.
My son's life and his families life was held hostage for just about a year, by an accusation of sexual assault. Not only did his family and friends believe he was innocent, so did Stephen. Stephen kept all of us up to date on how my son's case was progressing, and worked very hard to be sure my son's outcome, would turn out as his family believed. Of course he couldn't promise us the not guilty verdict, my son received, I am certain had my son not hired Stephen, my son's life and his families, would be considerably different today. I highly recommend his expertise, as well as his compassion for his clients and their families.
There's nothing more stressful in the military than facing a Court Martial. Stephen was able to give me strength and hope for my career after going to the routine TDS lawyer who didn't give me any comfort or reassurance about my situation. Stephen is proactive rather than reactive and he went above and beyond what I ever could have asked for in a lawyer. Before I worked with Stephen I was waiting for weeks on end for even the smallest bit of information about my case. Once I was working with Stephen he went out of his way to contact anyone and everyone he could to get me the answers I needed within 24 hours. Stephen was great at explaining everything about my case, court martial, military law, etc. to make sure I fully understood what I was going through so I never felt like I was confused or in the dark about my case. Stephen is well respected at my base and every time I mentioned that I was working with him on my case people would say they've seen him do great work. Through working with Stephen I was able to keep my rank in the Army which was the exact outcome I was hoping for in my case. You never think you will face this kind of situation and it was by far the scariest and worst experience of my career. Once I began working with Stephen I felt relief and I finally felt like I would be able to continue my career, which I am now able to.
Stephen was exceptional, and a big reason that I still have a career right now. On the phone, he made himself available to answer burning questions that I had. In front of a board of inquiry, he was sharp, quick-witted, and practiced in a way that befits a man with his extensive experience.
My sincerest gratitude for Stephen Carpenter’s successful BOI defense when wrongfully accused of SHARP claims alleged in the midst of the politically-charge, MeToo tsunami. It is a frightening process: being accused, receiving a GOMOR, and facing a BOI hearing with the burden clearly on the accused to prove innocence. Immediately upon hiring Stephen, he stood with me through the lengthy, bureaucratic process, providing support, counsel, rebuttals, and ultimately mounting a successful defense resulting in the Board’s recommendation of retention. Stephen saved my career, defended my honor, and restored my future through his diligence, utmost professionalism, and unwavering confidence.
I hired Stephen Carpenter to help me with my BOI hearing for a recent GOMAR filling in my OMPF. His professionalism, diligence, follow-through, and aggressive approach were apparent from the moment we first communicated and invaluable throughout the process. He is both tireless and wise as an attorney, and his knowledge of the military justice system proved very valuable in maneuvering the highly bureaucratic administrative punishment system. I got retained with 3-0 UNANIMOUS vote. Thank you so much Stephen.
Once accused I became the outcasted village leper and the Navy wanted nothing to do with me. Steve was there for me as I waited 22 months for adjudication, and offered sage advice that ultimately helped me win my case. At my board of inquiry they threatened administratively separating me with an OTH discharge 100+ days before retirement ... that would have meant: NO GI Bill, NO retirement, and possibly NO VA Disability Benefits. Thanks to Steve, I received a FULL Honorable Retirement with my GI Bill and all other VA Benefits. I cannot thank Steve enough for all the amazing work he did to find justice in a military judicial system that is heavily influenced by rank and not by objective evidence. When Steve gets in the zone, he's able to connect all the dots and make sense out of the madness. I'd highly recommend that you hire his services ASAP, before you sign ANY legal paperwork. Seriously, save yourself the trouble and give him a call. Stephen Carpenter is a superhero that uses his powers for good in a military system gone insane with leaders who are all focused on self-preservation at the cost of their own people. If you're in physical danger, feel free to turn on the Bat signal ... but if you need legal help, you better turn on the SC singal. Thank you, Steve, for saving my career, saving my hard earned reputation, and for protecting my family from legal destruction.
Stephen did an amazing job. Backs were against the wall in a drug case, even though the decision was made for an involuntary separation we were able to fight for an honorable discharge. Mr. Carpenter was very diligent and his expertise showed during the BOI. Would highly recommend!
The Coast Guard is a fabulous service. These cases can take one to some far-off places around the United States, as Coast Guard bases are relatively small, and can also be rather isolated. Ultimately, despite some issues, its members have an uncanny knack for finding justice, such as in three notable cases our firm defended U.S. v. Daly, U.S. v. Cooley, and U.S. v. Riesbeck.
Nuance: This is the only service that allows the command to initiate involuntary separation even after someone is fully acquitted at court-martial. Over the past five years the U.S. Coast Guard has finally began detailing U.S. Coast Guard members to U.S. Coast Guard courts-martial, prior to that, the only non-Coast Guard members in the entire courtroom was the defense lawyer Navy JAG and yours truly. Put simply, it is nice to now see an even mix of uniforms.
It may be all that time underway, but I truly believe Sailors have the best sense of humor of the lot. It is always a distinct honor to represent officers, senior and junior enlisted Sailors. Even more, this service is likely the most practical in handling military justice cases. In other words, while the other services may occasionally seek to over emphasize certain aspects of a court-martial, U.S. Navy JAGs are fabulous at cutting to the root of the matter. It is also an added advantage that U.S. Navy Defense Service Office (DSO) JAGs have their own private investigator working in their office, no other branch of service has such a great resource on staff.
Nuance: Naval Prosecutors are particularly adept at negotiating pretrial agreements. They rely heavily on the concept of “probation” as Rules for Court-martial 1109 describes. On the other hand, Captain Masts can be a difficult hurdle when a Sailor is attached to a vessel, as trial by court-martial cannot be demanded.