Garrett W. Messerly

Garrett Messerly


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Garrett Messerly practices in the firm’s Litigation, Employment, and White Collar Criminal sections where he advises and represents clients in a variety of complex civil and criminal matters.  Garrett also maintains a Military Law practice where he defends service members in courts-martial, discharge boards, and other adverse administrative actions.

Mr. Messerly is an experienced trial attorney and litigator.  Having litigated over 30 trials, Garrett is able to advise clients from the inception of an issue or investigation throughout the various stages of litigation.  A strategic thinker, Garrett has a history of achieving outstanding results for his clients — whether through alternative dispute resolution, settlements, plea deals, or trying cases Garrett always pursues his client’s best interests.

Prior to joining RQN, Garrett served as a Captain in the United States Air Force JAG Corps.  First stationed in Minot, North Dakota, Garrett quickly distinguished himself as Minot’s premier litigator, prosecuting a variety of military justice and criminal cases.  Garrett also served as the Chief of Military Justice overseeing numerous investigations.  After leaving Minot, Garrett was competitively selected to serve as the Area Defense Counsel at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs where he defended cadets, airmen, and officers in all military justice and adverse administrative actions.  While stationed at the Academy, Garrett was also invited to guest lecture a number of times at the Academy’s Department of Law.

During his military service, Garrett received numerous awards and recognitions, including being named Company Grade Officer of the Quarter twice and being consistently ranked at the top of his peer group during training courses and annual reviews.  Upon leaving active duty, Garrett was ranked in the top 10% of Area Defense Counsel worldwide.

Garrett currently maintains his military service as a Captain in the Utah Air National Guard where he advises commanders on a variety of legal issues, including contractual, environmental, operational, and military justice.

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Practice Areas


Brigham Young University, J. Reuben Clark Law School, J.D., 2015

  • magna cum laude
  • BYU Law Review, Managing Editor of Administration and Associate Editor
  • BYU Trial Advocacy, President / National Trial Competition Regional Winner; National Semi-Finalist; Professionalism Award Recipient, 2015
  • Recipient of the Faculty Award for Meritorious Achievement and Outstanding Service, 2015

Southern Utah University, B.S., Communications and Business Management, 2009

  • summa cum laude
  • Varsity Baseball Player

Affiliations / Memberships

  • Member, Litigation Section of the Utah State Bar
  • Member, Criminal Defense Section of the Utah State Bar
  • Member, Military Section of the Utah State Bar
  • J. Reuben Clark Law Society, Salt Lake City Chapter

Prior Professional Experience

  • Air Force JAG Corps, Area Defense Counsel, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs
  • Air Force JAG Corps, Chief of Military Justice, Minot Air Force Base, ND
  • Bennett Tueller Johnson & Deere, Associate Attorney
  • Judicial Extern, Honorable Paul Warner, U.S. Federal District Court, District of Utah

Publications / Presentations

  • Garrett W. Messerly, A Half-Baked Law: How the Supreme Court's Decision in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District Misses a Key Ingredient to Fifth Amendment Protection, 2015, 2 BYU L. Rev. 549 (2015)
  • Garrett W. Messerly, “. . . and Justice for All”: Why Utah Courts Should Recognize Third-party Evidence Spoliation as an Independent Tort, Utah Trial Journal, Fall 2015, at 8. (Utah Association for Justice Article of the Year, 2016)

Related News

Admitted to Practice -  

Utah State Bar
United States District Court for the District of Utah
The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF)
All Military Trial Courts