Charles J. Cooper

Partner, Cooper & Kirk, PLLC

Charles J. Cooper is a founding member and chairman of Cooper & Kirk, PLLC. Named by The National Law Journal as one of the 10 best civil litigators in Washington, he has over 25 years of legal experience in government and private practice, with several appearances before the United States Supreme Court and scores of other successful cases on both the trial and appellate levels.

Shortly after serving as law clerk to Judge Paul Roney of the Fifth (now Eleventh) Circuit Court of Appeals, and to Justice (later Chief Justice) William H. Rehnquist, Mr. Cooper joined the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in 1981. In 1985 President Reagan appointed Mr. Cooper to the position of Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel. Mr. Cooper reentered private practice in 1988, as a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of McGuire Woods. From 1990 until the founding of Cooper & Kirk in 1996, he was a partner at Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge where he headed the firm's Constitutional and Government Litigation Group.

Mr. Cooper's practice is national in scope and is concentrated in the areas of constitutional, commercial, and civil rights litigation. He is currently representing private clients in a variety of commercial cases, including antitrust, intellectual property, and contract disputes. Mr. Cooper also represents a number of state and local government bodies, as well as private clients, in a wide range of constitutional and federal statutory cases.

In 1998 Mr. Cooper was appointed by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist to serve as a member of the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Judicial Conference of the United States. Mr. Cooper is a member of the American Law Institute and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, and he has spoken and published extensively on a wide variety of constitutional and legal policy topics.


  • J.D., University of Alabama School of Law in 1977
  • B.S., University of Alabama School of Business Administration in 1974

Upcoming Events

Second Annual Executive Branch Review Conference
Executive Branch Review Project
May 7, 2014


Freddie and Fannie Shareholder Lawsuit - Podcast
Corporations, Securities & Antitrust and Financial Services & E-Commerce Practice Groups Podcast
February 21, 2014
An Originalist Take on Diversity Jurisdiction - Podcast
Litigation Practice Group Podcast
October 18, 2013
Are the Recent Recess Appointments Constitutional?
Engage Volume 13, Issue 1, March 2012
May 17, 2012
Are the Recent Recess Appointments Constitutional? - Podcast
Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group Podcast
March 5, 2012
Gay Marriage and the Role of the Judiciary - Event Audio/Video
Civil Rights Practice Group and Religious Liberties Practice Group
October 23, 2008
Recent Developments in Goodwill Litigation
Financial Services & E-Commerce Newsletter - Volume 2, Issue 1, Spring 1998
May 1, 1998
New Chapter Opens in Goodwill Litigation
Financial Services & E-Commerce Newsletter - Volume 1, Issue 2, Spring 1997
July 1, 1997


Supreme Court Term
June 27, 2008
Executive Privilege
July 27, 2007