Hon. Christopher Costa is an Administrative Law Judge appointed to the District of Columbia Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) in May 2018. OAH is an independent agency providing centralized adjudication services for over 40 District agencies, boards, and commissions. Judge Costa presides over trial-type hearings to decide contested cases among a myriad of complex procedural and substantive regulatory programs under federal and D.C. law. Judge Costa is also a certified mediator and facilitates settlement negotiations among parties in cases in which other administrative law judges preside.

Before his appointment, Judge Costa practiced law in private firms and in federal, state, and local government. Experienced in complex civil litigation in the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland state and federal courts, he also represented clients in administrative adjudications, mediation, and arbitration. In addition, Judge Costa has experience in transactional matters involving property and corporate and other entities. And for years, he represented the largest local government in Virginia in matters before the state legislature, drafting and negotiating legislation on a wide variety of topics directly with House and Senate members and staff, executive branch officials, and industry and community stakeholders.

Judge Costa has used his broad legal experience to make pro bono and public service a core part of his professional and personal identity. From the early years of his practice, he has volunteered pro bono to represent clients who could not afford a lawyer on numerous topics, including consumer protection, bankruptcy, and tort issues. Many matters included representing clients in litigation such as landlord-tenant, divorce, and child custody cases.

Judge Costa received his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the George Mason University School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Legal Studies and a Dean’s Scholar. Before law school, Judge Costa received a Bachelor of Arts degree in French and Political Science from the University of Rhode Island, where he was an Alumni Merit Scholar and completed a year of coursework in French in Orléans, France. Following his undergraduate studies, he served in the U.S. Peace Corps in the Transylvanian region of Romania. Immediately after law school, Judge Costa clerked for three judges on the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond and served as Attorney-Advisor in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration through the U.S. Attorney General’s Honors Program.