Christopher Gowen is a trial lawyer whose litigation experience includes more than 100 trials in over 15 jurisdictions. Mr. Gowen’s dedication to his clients has earned him an impressive trial record that includes verdicts for his clients in cases ranging from custody disputes to multi-national civil litigation. In Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Mr. Gowen is one of a handful of lawyers in the history of the Commonwealth to have a prenuptial agreement set aside for breach of contract when both parties were still alive.
Mr. Gowen’s practice focuses on family law, criminal defense, personal injury, fraud and consumer protection cases. His efforts on behalf of the lawyers who represented thousands of indigent villagers in Ecuador received national and international notoriety (click here for an NPR interview with Chris regarding this case). Chris is also an award-winning Adjunct Professor of Law at the American University Washington College of Law where he teaches Legal Ethics, Law Practice Management and Upper Level Seminars.
Mr. Gowen has represented numerous family law clients in the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland and prides himself on finding sensible and fair solutions for his clients that protect the best interest of the children and promote a harmonious divorce process.
Recognized for his years of experience and accomplishments, the District of Columbia Superior Court appointed Mr. Gowen to two panels for representing defendants under the Criminal Justice Act as well as respondents in criminal juvenile proceedings. He began his legal career as a public defender in Miami-Dade, Florida where he represented hundreds of adult and juvenile clients accused of committing crimes. Mr. Gowen left the Public Defender’s office to work for former President William Jefferson Clinton and then-Senator Hillary Clinton. Chris was a fact checker for President Clinton’s memoir, My Life. He also served as a traveling aid for President Clinton’s national and international trips. Chris finished his tenure with the Clintons by directing the advance operations for then-Senator Hillary Clinton during her 2008 presidential campaign.
Mr. Gowen later joined the American Bar Association as the Senior Staff Attorney for the Criminal Justice Section in Washington, DC. There he focused on directing grant projects, developing criminal justice policy, and coordinating amicus briefs for the United States Supreme Court on topics relating to reentry, juvenile law, and criminal defense. Mr. Gowen’s work has been published in law journals from Duke and Fordham Law Schools.
In his spare time, Chris enjoys sailing with his wife, daughter, and two sons, playing golf and tennis and cheering for the Villanova Wildcats and Philadelphia Phillies.
- District of Columbia
- United States District Court for Maryland
- United States District Court for the District of Columbia
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Honors, Awards & Certifications
- University of Miami, School of Law (J.D.)
- Villanova University, Villanova School of Business (Bachelor of Business Administration)
- District of Columbia Bar Association
- The Florida Bar
Publications & MediaChevron Litigation
- 21-Hour Philo Invitational Seminar for Trial Attorneys, “Civil RICO Lawsuits and the Chevron Case,” with Aaron Marr Page, Detroit, MI, September 14, 2014
- Interview, Public Radio International’s ‘The World,’ “A Canadian court is allowing Ecuadorians to pursue their long-running pollution suit against Chevron,” December 18, 2013
- Wall Street Journal, “Ecuador Court Affirms and Halves Chevron Judgment,” November 12, 2013
- CNN, “Disastrous day for the Lago Agrio plaintiffs in Chevron trial,” November 6, 2013
- BloombergBusinessweek, “Lawyer Describes Fraud, Lies, and Acrimony in $19 Billion Chevron Case,” November 5, 2013
- Law360, “Chevron Moves To Block Donziger Witnesses In $19B Trial,” November 1, 2013
- Philadelphia Inquirer, “Chevron fights case that led to $19B ruling in Ecuador,” October 29, 2013
- CNBC, “PREVIEW-Chevron goes to trial in New York over $18 bln Ecuador award,” October 14, 2013
- San Francisco Gate, “Diary of lawyer’s Chevron lawsuit in coming trial,” October 12, 2013
- Forbes, “Chevron Launches RICO Trial Over $18 Billion Ecuador Verdict Tuesday,” October 11, 2013
- Reuters, “Judge: no jury for Ecuadoreans, lawyer in Chevron fraud trial,” October 7, 2013
- Legal Newline, “Chevron says it will drop money damages claims against Donziger,” October 1, 2013
- Legal Newsline, “Spokesman for Donziger, Ecuadorians argues tribunal lacks authority,” September 24, 2013
- CSR Newswire, “Chevron Tried to Bribe Ecuador Judge with $1 Million Payment on Eve of RICO Trial,” September 13, 2013
- International Business Time, “Chevron Asks Judge To Block Jury Decision On Pollution Case With Ecuador, Promises To Drop $60B Compensation Claims,” September 11, 2013
- CSR Newswire, “Bombshell Retreat: Chevron Seeks to Drop $60 Billion in Damages In Ecuador Case,” September 10, 2013
- CSR Newswire, “Appeals Court to Consider Removing Key U.S. Judge in Chevron Ecuador Case,” August 29, 2013
- Christopher Gowen and Erin Magary, “Collateral Consequences: How Reliable Data and Resources Can Change the Way Law is Practiced,” Fordham Urban Law Journal, Vol. 39, No. 1 (Nov. 2011)
- Christopher Gowen, Lisa Thurau, and Megan Wood, “The ABA’s Approach to Juvenile Justice Reform: Education, Eviction, and Employment: The Collateral Consequences of Juvenile Adjudication,” Duke Forum for Law & Social Change, Vol. 3, No. 1, 187-204 (2011)
- Christopher Gowen and Anne Garaghty Helms, “The Legal Community’s Collaborative Effort to Address Collateral Consequences for Youth” Human Rights, Vol. 38, No. 3 (2011)
- Panelist, “Exploring and Examining Innovative Reentry Strategies for the 21st Century,” Pennsylvania Reentry Summit, Widener Law School, September 2011, Harrisburg, PA
- PG Pool, Board Member