U.S. Navy officer honored for serving overseas and promoting international relationships
SEATTLE, WA [Sept. 23, 2015] — The Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) presented Seattle attorney Lieutenant Commander Hunter M. Abell with its 2015 Courageous Award. The award is in recognition of his overseas service in support of global counterterrorism efforts and his domestic work to foster relations between military attorneys from the U.S. and Canada. WSBA President Anthony Gipe presented the award at the WSBA Annual Awards Dinner on Sept. 17, 2015, at the Sheraton Seattle.
In 2014, Abell received a short-notice recall to active duty in the Navy Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps to serve a nine-month assignment as the chief of military justice at a major overseas U.S. military installation. While there, he was responsible for the oversight of all military justice matters for U.S. service members and personnel at the installation. One major project involved advising a Navy admiral on an investigation of an equal opportunity complaint submitted against two judges for rulings preventing military members from fully executing their high-visibility mission containing significant national security implications.
Also in 2014, Abell was the liaison and course coordinator for the United States–Canada Military Law Training Symposium biannual event. He was responsible for selecting legal topics of interest to judges from both countries, coordinating travel and facilities, and ensuring continuing legal education credits for WSBA members. The event promoted goodwill between U.S. and Canadian judge advocates and strengthened the positive professional relationships among colleagues.
"I am honored to receive this award,” said Abell. “It would not have been possible without the love of my wife, the strong support of my team overseas, and the backing of my colleagues at Williams Kastner — truly a team effort!"
Previously, Abell served on active duty in the Navy JAG Corps from 2006–10. In this capacity, he served as a defense counsel, a legal assistance attorney, and as the staff judge advocate for Naval Station Everett. After leaving active duty, he joined the Seattle office of Williams, Kastner & Gibbs, where he is a senior associate, but remained affiliated with the Navy JAG Corps Reserves.
In 2006, Abell was deployed to Iraq for six months in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and was later awarded the Joint Services Commendation Medal for his efforts.