Charles Austin

Adjunct Professor

Photo of Charles Austin

Charles D. Austin is a trial attorney at the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. He currently is a member of the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, where he investigates and litigates violations of housing, land use, and other federal statutes including the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Before joining the Civil Rights Division, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Maryland.  As an AUSA, he prosecuted a variety of federal criminal violations including firearms, public corruption, murder, robbery, drug trafficking, national security, child exploitation, and white-collar offenses. In addition to trying cases to jury verdict and arguing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, he directed investigations, regularly presented matters to the grand jury, and argued a variety of contested and other matters on the trial court level. In 2022, he was promoted to deputy chief of the office’s Civil Rights and Special Victims Unit. He also served as a Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) AUSA, where he developed knowledge on evolving issues on technology and electric evidence and advised colleagues on related issues.

He was previously an associate in private practice at a Washington, D.C.-based law firm, where he litigated a broad variety of civil matters including antitrust, insurance, False Claims Act, Medicare, employment, intellectual property, securities fraud, data breach, and product defect claims. He represented clients in the U.S. Supreme Court, federal circuit courts, and federal and state trial courts. In that capacity, he argued dispositive motions in federal and Maryland state courts, took and defended depositions, and engaged in mediation and settlement.  His practice also included counseling educational institutions on issues including free speech on campuses and sovereign immunity. He maintained an active pro bono docket that involved criminal defense matters, claims against a Maryland municipality and police department, and claims before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veteran’s Claims.

He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Maryland School of Law, where he was captain of the National Trial Team, served as notes & comments editor for the Maryland Law Review, and received the law school’s Roger Howell Award. After graduating, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Gerald Bruce Lee of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and the Honorable Roger L. Gregory of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He earned his undergraduate degree in journalism from Temple University. Before entering law school, he worked as an associate producer for a Washington, D.C.-based television news station.