U.S. Military Lawyer - The Law Office of Stephen P. Karns

Military Attorney - Afghanistan

Many servicemembers are still serving in Asia and the Middle East. If you are one of these service members and you find yourself facing UCMJ or adverse action, Mr. Karns can help.

As a military attorney, Mr. Karns can simply advise and counsel you regarding your options and strategies for dealing with your case and command; negotiate a resolution to your problem with your command from the U.S.; or travel to your location to represent you at your administrative board or article 32 hearing or court-martial.


Recent Cases

Client was a Lieutenant who was deployed to an Advance Operation Base where a Soldier was accidentally killed during a vehicular movement. An investigation determined that the Client should be reprimanded because it was one of his Soldiers that was at fault for the accident. The investigation alleged that the Client had failed to supervise the Soldier and failed to properly train him regarding ground guiding procedures for tactical vehicles. Client hired Attorney Karns to defend him against the contemplated reprimand for the death of the other Soldier. Attorney Karns contacted Client’s Battalion commander and informed him that Client was previously a Battalion Maintenance Officer and had trained his Soldiers regarding ground guiding procedures in camp, in and around fuel points, and in-country when the terrain was difficult. In addition, Attorney Karns asserted that Client was a superb young officer with enormous potential for a long and valuable career, and it would be unfair to reprimand Client for the tragedy when the Battalion itself had no printed policies, regulations, or signs posted in the Camp regarding the ground guiding protocols. Client’s command took no adverse action; Client has since been promoted, made a company commander, and has no unfavorable information in his file.

Client was a PFC in the Army and went AWOL while on leave from Afghanistan for over two years. Client wanted to be discharged from the Army but was afraid to turn himself in for fear of being prosecuted and receiving a jail sentence. Client hired Mr. Karns and was administratively separated with no jail time or conviction.

Client went AWOL from the Army for eighteen days while his unit was in Afghanistan. Client returned to Fort Bragg to be prosecuted for missing movement and desertion. Client hired Mr. Karns who negotiated his punishment down to an Article 15 and an honorable discharge.

Army Specialist was charged with rape and sodomy by force. Charges were preferred after a female NCO claimed that she was raped and sodomized by force by Client after going to the Client's room and passing out. She reported she was raped the next day, and while at the hospital, a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner examined her and found that she had multiple vaginal lacerations, one which was 4.5 cm long. Upon being interviewed, Client admitted to CID that he knew she was "extremely drunk." Another witness who saw her minutes before testified that she was "falling down drunk."

During a lengthy cross-examination of the NCO at the Article 32 hearing, Mr. Karns got her to admit that even though she was very intoxicated, she understood the nature of the acts and did not clearly communicate to Client that she was not consenting to the acts. Mr. Karns also exposed that: 1) she offered no resistance, 2) was married at the time of the incident and may have claimed rape to avoid a charge of adultery, and 3) may have claimed rape because she was afraid that word would get out to the unit that she had sex with a junior enlisted. Despite there being a lower standard of proof ("reasonable grounds") at an Article 32 hearing to determine whether charges should be referred to a court-martial, the Investigating Officer recommend that charges not be referred. Subsequently, the commander directed that all charges be dismissed.



* Past results achieved are not a guarantee of future results. Each case is unique and reference must be made to the specific legal and factual circumstances presented.


Worldwide Availability:

  • Every base, post, camp, or station.
  • All Army installations.
  • All Air Force installations.
  • All Naval installations.
  • All Marine Corps installations.
  • All Coast Guard installations.