Ernest Harper

Board Member

Ernie was born and raised in Palo Alto, California.   Upon graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1987, he was commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps.  Ernie served in the Marines for 20 years, in various capacities and all over the world.  Ernie earned his J.D. from The George Washington University School of Law in 1994, and served as a judge advocate in the Marine Corps.  He retired from military service in 2007, with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Ernie served as an artillery officer with First Battalion, Eleventh Marines, First Marine Division during the Gulf War and made three shipboard deployments during this career. Ernie has prosecuted and defended criminal cases in federal courts, Virginia courts and courts-martial. He has advised thousands of military families regarding domestic relations and estate planning. Ernie also taught criminal law and trail advocacy at the Judge Advocate General’s School of the Army. He served in U.S. military based and Washington D.C. as well as overseas in Asia, Africa and Europe. He has worked extensively with the U.S. Government and foreign governments.

He is a partner with Royer, Caramanis & McDonough, practicing law with the firm since 2016 focusing on all aspects of Domestic Relations law, as well as Military law.


  • Virginia
  • Maryland
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia

Professional Associations

  • Charlottesville - Albemarle Bar Association
  • Virginia State Bar
  • Virginia Trial Lawyer's Association
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars