Charles R. Holton

Clinical Professor of Law
Director, Civil Justice Clinic


Charles Holton serves as director of Duke Law School's Civil Justice Clinic in which he teaches a seminar and mentors students in basic civil litigation skills and oversees their handling of actual cases for clients who are not able to obtain adequate representation in the civil justice system, collaborating closely with lawyers from Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC). Holton also teaches Arbitration: Law and Practice and coaches the Law School's Vis Moot team which competes each year in an international arbitration competition in Vienna, Austria. Holton regularly serves as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association and is a member of its National Panel.

Established in 2014, the Civil Justice Clinic is operated in partnership with LANC, where Holton is a former chair of the board of directors and a longstanding member of the local advisory committee for LANC's Durham office. He was named Pro Bono Attorney of the Year for 2013 by the North Carolina Bar Association, and he received the 2012 Pro Bono Award from the national Legal Services Corporation.  He is president of the non-profit Caris Foundation, which provides education, housing, and health services in Honduras and Durham.  In December 2015 Holton was appointed by N.C. Chief Justice Mark Martin to a three-year term on the N.C. Equal Access to Justice Commission.

Holton is past chair of the Construction Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, and currently serves on the Pro Bono Committee of the NCBA.  He also serves as an arbitrator on the National Panel of Arbitrators for the American Arbitration Association and is the co-author of two publications: "Carolina Construction Law" and "Practical Legal Ethics in North Carolina," as well as various articles and seminar materials.

Holton worked in private law practice for over 40 years handling cases involving products liability, construction, unfair trade practices, and professional negligence defense. He has tried numerous matters in state and federal courts of North Carolina, as well as appearing in the courts of Virginia, Georgia, New York, and New Jersey. 

Holton graduated with a B.A, summa cum laude, from Abilene Christian University and received his J.D, with distinction, from Duke Law School in 1973.