Duane A. Kees
After acquiring the distinctive skills of a United States Army Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps Officer, Duane (Dak) Kees chose to return home to Arkansas to practice law. With almost nine years of serving his country both home and abroad, Dak continues to use the skills he has honed from dealing with issues of international law, complex litigation, and a wide range of intricate negotiations to represent members of the U.S. Armed Forces throughout the United States and around the world including Germany, Iraq, Afghanistan, South Korea, Japan and the Philippines.
In 2001, Dak joined the United States Army JAG Corps. During his time on active duty through 2008, Dak served as a legal assistance attorney (general practice) and served both as a prosecutor and a defense attorney.
As a legal assistance attorney, Dak advised and represented several thousand soldiers and family members on a wide range of legal issues from family law, wills and probate, to personal injury. During his tenure as a legal assistance attorney, he drafted hundreds of wills, powers of attorney, trusts and other essential documents. Dak routinely advocated on behalf of soldiers and their families on issues of child custody and spousal support, and he regularly confronted businesses who had taken advantage of a member of the Armed Services.
As an Army prosecutor, Dak effectively prosecuted dozens of military felonies and federal court cases ranging from drug distribution and sexual assault to murder. He also prosecuted crimes involving international law.
As an Army defense attorney, Dak successfully represented soldiers stationed throughout the world. Many of his cases resulted in either acquittals or outcomes far better than his clients anticipated. One of his most successful victories involved a six-year-old aggravated sexual assault case which had been overturned by the appellate court. Dak was assigned as lead counsel to the new trial and after four days of intense litigation, the soldier received a full acquittal as well as a large settlement from the government. Dak's cases have been aired on a variety of media outlets including CNN, Fox News, and The Army Times.
As a commissioned officer, Dak had the privilege of deploying to both Iraq and Afghanistan in support of the War on Terror. During both deployments, he was tasked not only with the mission of advising commanders in wartime scenarios but with addressing various diplomatic issues and negotiating on behalf of the U.S. Army as well. To accomplish these types of assignments, Dak worked closely with members of the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Defense. He also assumed responsibility for the drafting of agreements between the U.S. Army and our allies. During each deployment he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his performance.
Areas of Practice
- 50% Military Law/Government
- 25% Criminal Defense
- 25% Civilian Criminal Defense
- 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Arkansas
- U.S. District Court Western District of Arkansas
- U.S. Military Circuit Courts
- U.S. Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
- U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals
- University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Leflar Law Center, Fayetteville, Arkansas
- J.D. - 2000
- University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas
- B.A. - 1997
- Major: Political Science
- Complex Litigation Course, Naval Justice School - 2008
- Advanced Trial Advocacy Course - 2008
- Criminal Law Advocacy Course - 2005
- Cross Examination of Expert Witnesses, U.S. Army Trial Defense Service, 2008
- International Law and the Rules of Engagement, U.S. Army, 2004 - 2007
Honors and Awards
- Two Bronze Stars
- Meritorious Service Medal
Past Employment Positions
- United States Army Judge Advocate General Corps, Captain, 2001 - 2008
- Senior Defense Attorney, Fort Sill, Oklahoma
- Trial Counsel, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii
- Brigade Judge Advocate, Kirkuk, Iraq
- Command Judge Advocate, Kandahar, Afghanistan
- Bell Law Firm, Magnolia Arkansas, Associate, 2000 - 2001