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RET. LT. COL. J.W. KASTL

Judge Kastl is the lead counsel for The Military Defender and he prides himself on an extensive knowledge of military law. Based in Bethesda, Maryland, we serve those who serve us each day.

The Military Defender

 Judge Kastl has lectured at the Army JAG School at Charlottesville, Virginia, and at the Military Judicial Conference in Washington, DC. He has also taught at undergrad and graduate school levels, as well as presenting short courses at military judges’ conferences. His television appearances, include CSPAN™, among others.
As a judge, he made many significant contributions to the law. In 1983, he declared the military death penalty unconstitutional in United States v. Gay. Both Army and Navy-Marine Courts had upheld the death penalty though military practice lacked any aggravating or mitigating factors. He was correct on appeal—a trend that continued in virtually every decision reviewed by higher courts. In fact, one respected retired justice specialist has called his opinions “the finest every produced in the Air Force”.

He has also issued landmark decisions in drug, fraternization, child abuse and many other cases of high military significance. Twice, Mr. Kastl was named Air Force Major Command Outstanding Young Lawyer of the year. He has written extensively for various military and legal publications.

About Us

Education Mr. Kastl graduated from the National War College International Relations Course, Armed Forces Staff College and the Air War College. Early in his military career, he earned more than 300 credit hours in military justice courses via 45 Air Force, Army and Navy correspondence courses. He graduated from Northwestern University in 1958 with a major in English. He was a Phi Beta Kappa member and graduated from Northwestern Law School, where he won first place in oral argument during the Moot Court competition and edited the law school’s publication, The WIGMORE.

Practice Mr. Kastl is licensed to practice by the state of Illinois. He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, all courts of the State of Illinois, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the Court of Veterans Appeals, the Army, Navy-Marine and Air Force Courts of Criminal Appeals. In the fall of 1997, Mr. Kastl was named co-chair of the Military Law section of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Mr. Kastl has fought and won cases in almost ever state of the union and many countries abroad. To see some of these cases and locations you can click here for USAF Bases and Stations, here for USNavy Bases and here for USArmy Forts and Locations ​He is married to Tish McKee-Kastl and has four children. His hobbies, include music and racquetball.

About Us The Military Defender of Bethesda, Maryland, proudly serves our men and women in uniform around the world in matters of military law, including court martial and record correction. Judge Wayne Kastl retired from the United States Air Force as a senior judge who served as an active duty officer for almost 30 years. He retired as a Lt. Col, and defends both reserve and active duty military members worldwide. In short, we are experts in the Uniform Code of Military Justice
We are passionate about our work because 95% of our team is retired military and we know how the system works. Our services are rendered with willingness, sincerity, compassion, empathy and dedication to our duty to you. Our team is personable and always quick to reply. The Military Defender is counted among the top 10 military law firms in the United States and we boast more than four decades of professional experience in military law.​ Our firm represents clients from around the world including Ft Bragg, Ft Hood, Fayetteville NC, Bethesda MD, Washington DC, San Antonio TX, Lackland AFB, Bolling AFB, Walter Reed, NIH, Ft McNair, The Pentagon, Andrews AFB, Langley AFB, Washington Navy Yard, Naval Air Station Jacksonville FL and so many others.

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