Christopher Downey was born in Canton, Massachusetts. He attended the Noble and Greenough School and received a B.A. from Duke University in 1990. He subsequently received his J.D. from Southern Methodist in 1993. He was hired in 1993 by the Trial Division of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Mr. Downey remained with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office until December 1998.
While with Harris County, Mr. Downey acted as lead prosecutor on over 60 felony and misdemeanor jury trials. During his last year with the District Attorney’s Office, he was selected to join the Civil Rights Division where he focused on the proactive investigation and prosecution of law enforcement personnel accused of civil rights violations. He was also a member of the DA’s Office Shooting Investigation Team, which investigates every officer-involved shooting in Harris County in which a citizen is injured.
In 1998, Mr. Downey left the District Attorney’s Office to establish The Downey Law Firm. He now devotes his practice to representing individuals and corporate clients charged with state or federal criminal offenses. Mr. Downey has represented clients in numerous complex prosecutions including Enron, USA Gymnastics, Planned Parenthood, State of Texas vs. Arkema, the "Harding Street Raid" and Astroworld. He lectures throughout the State of Texas on legal tactics, jury selection and instruction, and the preservation of trial error. He has served as a legal commentator for MSNBC, Fox News, The Abrams Report, Court TVand Catherine Crier Live as well as a legal analyst for local Houston television and radio stations.
In 2007, Mr. Downey was appointed by the Harris County Courts to be the co-director of the HPD Crime Lab DNA/Serology Investigation Panel. The Serology Investigation Panel was charged with reviewing 168 felony convictions of prisoners whose prosecutions were tainted by the substandard work conducted by the HPD Crime Lab.
Mr. Downey has served as a District Attorney Pro Tem in three Texas counties on matters involving the activities of public officials.
Mr. Downey is a member of the State Bar of Texas’ Criminal Justice Section as well as the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association (TCDLA, and the National College for DUI Defense. He also serves on the Criminal Pattern Jury Charge Committee for the State Bar of Texas.
Mr. Downey has been Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2004.