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Christopher S. Gontarz

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Practice Areas:

  • Criminal Law
  • Ethics and Professional Responsibility
  • Domestic Violence
  • DUI & DWI
  • Appeals & Appellate


Christopher Gontarz is a former Special Assistant Attorney General in the Rhode Island Department of the Attorney General. He is currently Of-Counsel to Lynch & Pine where he concentrates in criminal trials and appeals throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Attorney Gontarz serves on the Rhode Island Supreme Court Ethics Advisory Panel and the Rhode Island Supreme Court Commission on Judicial Tenure and Discipline. 

Attorney Gontarz received the Joseph Houlihan Lifetime Mentoring Award from the Rhode Island Bar Association in 2017 which recognizes an attorney who serves as a role model to other lawyers in Rhode Island and who has significantly contributed to the profession and community, and those who, with their excellent counsel, have excelled as mentors and contributed to the ideals of ethics, civility, professionalism and legal skills.

He is a member of the Rhode Island Bar Association House of Delegates and serves on the Executive Committee for the Bar Association.  


  • New England Law, Boston, Massachusetts
    • J.D. - 1984
  • The American University
    • M.S., Administration of Justice - 1975
  • Salve Regina University
    • B.S., A.S., Criminal Justice - 1972
    • Honors: cum laude

Bar Admission

  • Rhode Island, 1984
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court District of Rhode Island
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit, 2022

Published Works

  • The Unauthorized Practice of Law in Rhode Island, Rhode Island Bar Journal, 68, #6, 2020
  • A Practical Guide to Superior Court Practice in Rhode Island, MCLE/NE 2015 (Updated 2018), Contributing Editor - Chapter 23
  • Criminal Law Practice in Rhode Island, Criminal Law Practice, Rhode Island Bar Association 2014 (Updated 2019), Co-Editor
  • The Rewards of Stewardship, Rhode Island Bar Journal, 58, #3, 2009
  • Centralizing Courts would be "A Step Backward", Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly, October 1, 2001
  • Guest View Editorial, The Newport Daily News, July 31, 2001
  • (Book Review) Nino and Me: My Unusual Friendship with Justice Antonin Scalia, Rhode Island Bar Journal, 67, #1, 2018

Representative Cases

  • Davis v. State, 124 A.3d 450 (2015), termination of parental rights
  • In re Fisher, 175 A.3d 490 (2018), attorney misconduct
  • In re Casale, 176 A.3d 1112 (2018), attorney misconduct
  • In re Kimmel & Silverman, P.C., 2019-444-MP (2019), unauthorized practice of law
  • State v Segrain, 252 A 3d. 1255 (2121) (firearm possession by felon), and Ciniglia v Strom, 141 S,Ct 1596 (2021) Amicus Curiae Brief-4th amendment of US Const applies to wellness checks by police.


  • Lawyers of Distinction
  • Joseph T. Houlihan Lifetime Mentor Award, Rhode Island Bar Association
  • Super Lawyers, 2011-2016
  • Lawyer of the Year - Criminal Law, Corporate Live Wire
  • Lawyers of the Year, Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly
  • Law Enforcement Award, Department of Rhode Island V.F.W.
  • President's Medallion Club, Gold Award, Roger Williams University
  • Dorothy Lohmann Community Service Award, Rhode Island Bar Association
  • Ethics Award, Finance Lawyer Monthly

Classes & Seminars

  • Introduction to the Administration of Justice, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Barrington College, Adjunct Professor
  • Criminal Law Practice in Rhode Island, Moderator/Presenter, Rhode Island Bar Association
  • Hospitality Law, Johnson & Wales University, Adjunct Faculty
  • Evidence, Administration of Justice, Organized Crime, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Uniform Commercial Code, Policing in America, Juvenile Justice, Courts and the Criminal Justice System, Constitutional Law, Roger Williams University, Adjunct Faculty
  • "ADAPT" Adapting Drug Prevention Techniques, Woonsocket Education Department, Consultant
  • LEAA Grant #77-4414-J2D4, University of Rhode Island, Adjunct Instructor and Project Director
  • Juvenile Law, Rhode Island Municipal Police Academy, Adjunct Professor

Professional Associations

  • Rhode Island Bar Association, House of Delegates, Executive Committee, Fellow, Life Fellow, Criminal Law Bench/Bar Committee
  • American Bar Association, Life Fellow
  • The American Law Institute, Members Consultative Group
  • Newport County Bar Association, President (1993-2007)
  • Rhode Island Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • The Federalist Society
  • The Saint Thomas More Society of Rhode Island, Board of Directors, Vice President
  • Roger Williams University School of Justice Advisory Board
  • Tides Family Services, Board of Directors, Chairman, Legislative Lobbyist
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Martin de Porres, Board of Directors
  • Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers
  • Rhode Island Bar Association, Secretary, 2021 to 2022