Mickey Williams went from Army Ranger to repping vets
Published in 2023 Georgia Super Lawyers magazine
By Candice Dyer on February 6, 2023
In 2022, a chief warrant officer in the U.S. Army, Tiffany Kitarogers, was being investigated for harassment and toxic leadership. “She hired us to get her through the investigation,” says Mickey Williams, a military trial attorney at Capovilla & Williams in Woodstock. “We learned that the person who made the allegations had a personal bias against Tiffany for some petty issue that was never fully revealed. Furthermore, we learned that the accuser had cornered and tried to intimidate Tiffany at one point. … Tiffany let her supervisors know what was going on, but they refused to do anything about it.”
After Williams and his team gathered and presented evidence, Williams says, “The command decided to terminate the investigation into Tiffany and instead began an investigation into the complainants.”
Kitarogers puts it simply: “I literally owe my career to Mickey.”
And Williams, you could say, owes his career to Hollywood.
“I grew up watching Rambo, Top Gun, and Arnold Schwarzenegger action movies,” says Williams, who was born in Coquille, Oregon, a tiny lumber town. “I knew even as a child that I wanted to join the military.”
At the start of his senior year in 2001, Williams made a beeline to the recruiting office, determined to join but unclear of what role he wanted to play. Then he saw a poster. “These guys were on a raft in a jungle with machine guns, and I thought that looked super badass. They were Rangers. I thought, ‘That’s what I want to do.’”
A couple of weeks later, the Twin Towers fell. “9/11 hardened my resolve,” he adds.
After basic training, Williams went to Airborne school and trained for the Ranger Indoctrination Program, now known as the Ranger Assessment and Selection Phase. It was grueling. Out of 200 candidates, 50% quit on the first day, and only 34 graduated. Williams was one of those.
He was deployed twice to Afghanistan and twice to Iraq—four deployments in four years.
“Kabul was very austere, more desert and wilderness than city,” he says. “The air was thin, and it was cold in the winter. Baghdad was a metropolis, but it was a third-world city, and it was very hot.”
Williams, who served in the same regiment with NFL legend Pat Tillman, participated in more than 100 combat missions, including the rescue of Jessica Lynch from an Iraqi hospital. “I was the ammo bearer attached to the machine guns when we rescued her. We were bracing to walk into the gates of hell, but nobody much was in there,” he says.
After his discharge in 2006, he enrolled at the University of Oregon, where he majored in English and philosophy. Then he attended Willamette University College of Law. “The economy was bad then,” he says. “My wife was pregnant with twins. I looked at a firm in Portland but knew it would eat my soul.”
Once again, the military came calling. Williams commissioned into the Judge Advocates General Corps and was assigned to Fort Lee, Virginia, as a prosecutor—a job he did not particularly enjoy. “I understand [cops and prosecutors] have a job to do but that’s not me,” he says. Transferred to Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, the busiest legal jurisdiction in the Army, he became a defense attorney, handling cases including murder, domestic violence, and other charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
In 2020, still sporting a military-issue crewcut, he joined his Army buddy Robert Capovilla to hang a shingle in Woodstock as a civilian defense attorney with a military focus. “Mickey is the most integrity-driven person I know, and he’s the best at cross-examination I’ve ever seen,” Capovilla says. “His background comes in handy, too. One memorable moment was listening to a lead homicide detective give the wrong information about a firearm, apparently not realizing he was talking to an Army Ranger who had taken this weapon system apart hundreds of times in the field. Mickey made this detective just come apart at the seams.”
Williams estimates that 60% of his military cases involve sexual assault and the restoration of reputations.
“One of the major problems with the military justice system is how quickly a service member’s command will turn on them under the pressure of a baseless allegation,” he says. “One day they’re viewed as productive members of their unit, and the next day he or she is treated like garbage. I help them fight back with everything I’ve got.”
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