Military Court Martial Attorney Ryan Coward

Denver Military Court Martial Attorney Ryan Coward

Mr. Coward is a sophisticated trial attorney who has litigated some of the nation’s highest profile military cases.  Most recently representing Army Major Nidal Hasan in the pre-trial phases of his capital court-martial and SSG Robert Bales on the post-trial phases of his court-martial, Mr. Coward has experience litigating the most complicated death penalty, murder, sexual assault and complex military cases under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  Mr. Coward has represented hundreds of service members worldwide and he has won numerous trial verdicts.

In addition to representing Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard service members facing court-martial, Mr. Coward is also an experienced appellate attorney who has worked on some of military’s most cutting edge court-martial appeals.  This unique skill set allows Mr. Coward to advocate on behalf of his clients in both courts-martial and military appellate courts, to include the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, in order to get the best possible results for his clients.

Prior to going into private practice Mr. Coward was recognized as one of the very best trial attorneys in the Army JAG Corps.  Hand selected by the military to work on the most complex and highest profile cases in the nation, Mr. Coward was repeatedly awarded for his success rate at trial.  Mr. Coward has served in nearly every military justice capacity to include: Trial Counsel, Senior Trial Counsel, Chief of Military Justice, Defense Counsel, Capital Defense Counsel, Appellate Defense Counsel, Article 32 Recorder, Article 32 Investigating Officer, Brigade Judge Advocate and Staff Judge Advocate.

With his experience on forefront of modern day military justice, Mr. Coward aggressively litigates on behalf of his clients.  With a diverse skill set gained from litigating complex and high profile courts-martial, Mr. Coward gives his clients the opportunity to level the playing field and fight back.

Mr. Coward’s Story

Mr. Coward was born in Denver, Colorado and attended DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois.  While at DePaul, Mr. Coward participated in the Army R.O.T.C. earning his commission as a Army Officer upon graduation in 2004.  Mr. Coward attended The John Marshall Law School, in Chicago, Illinois, and received his law degree in 2007.  While at John Marshall, Mr. Coward served as the Executive Lead Articles Editor for the John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law.

At John Marshall, Mr. Coward co-founded one of the nation’s leading law school clinics dedicated to veterans advocacy.  The clinic now handles over 500 veterans benefits cases and employs five full-time attorneys.  Mr. Coward sits on the clinic’s Board of Advisors.

Upon graduation, Mr. Coward entered the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps where he developed a reputation as one of the Army’s best litigators.  In 2008, he served as a Federal Trial Counsel at Camp Casey, South Korea.  As a Trial Counsel in Korea Mr. Coward successfully litigated cases at Camp Casey, Yongsan, Camp Humphreys, Camp Red Cloud and Osan Air Base.  

In 2009, Mr. Coward was assigned to Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he served as a Federal Trial Counsel, Senior Trial Counsel, and Chief of Military Justice for U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, the Army headquarters for all Space and Missile Defense operations globally.

In 2010, Mr. Coward was assigned as the nation’s first General Counsel and Staff Judge Advocate for U.S. Strategic Command, Joint Forces Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, the Department of Defense operational headquarters for the missile defense program.  In this capacity Mr. Coward oversaw military litigation, military justice matters, and advised on a wide variety of other areas such as: national U.S. missile defense policy, civil litigation, government contract law, administrative law, fiscal law, ethics, employment law and international law.

Mr. Coward was assigned to Fort Carson, Colorado in 2011, where he served as the Brigade Judge Advocate for U.S. Army 43rd Sustainment Brigade, Fourth Infantry Division, which was the headquarters for all U.S. Army logistics in a multistate region.  Mr. Coward advised on a variety of military justice matters and he led a team of court-martial attorneys that handled high profile military litigation in Colorado.  Mr. Coward also advised on a wide variety of contract, litigation, administrative, international, operational, and fiscal law matters. 

In 2012, Mr. Coward was assigned to the U.S. Army Trial Defense Service in Fort Hood, Texas as a Trial Defense Counsel.  At Fort Hood he was quickly hand selected to serve as a Capital Defense Counsel and he joined the defense team representing Major Nidal Hasan, who was accused of the Fort Hood shooting.  Mr. Coward served as the lead defense attorney for all writing and research, litigating a number of high profile appeals in federal appellate courts.  Mr. Coward was also responsible for the litigation of all First Amendment, religious freedom, pretrial publicity, jury selection, and constitutional issues.

Following his assignment at Fort Hood, Mr. Coward left the active duty Army in 2013 and joined the law firm of Elkus, Sisson & Rosenstein P.C.  Since joining Mr. Coward has founded www.CourtMartialLaw.com the military law branch of Elkus, Sisson & Rosenstein P.C.  Mr. Coward is licensed to practice in the State of Colorado, the United States Army Court of Criminal Appeals, and the United States Court of Appeal for the Armed Forces, The Federal Court of Colorado and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mr. Coward also serves as a Major in the U.S. Army Reserves.  In this capacity Mr. Coward is a Defense Counsel with the U.S. Army Trial Defense Service.  As part of his duties in the Army Reserve JAG Corps, Mr. Coward represents SSG Robert Bales, who was accused and convicted of murdering 16 Afghan civilians.  As part of SSG Bales' post-trial defense team, Mr. Coward continues his commitment to representing service members involved in difficult and complex cases.

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