Judge Joe Charter was raised in Pontiac, Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan with a major in economics. He attended law school at the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall), where he was an Editor of the Ecology Law Quarterly and wrote a Case Note on solar access obstruction remedies. He clerked at the Juneau, Alaska, Superior Court for the Honorable Walter Carpeneti, who later served on the Alaska Supreme Court. Judge Charter worked briefly in Melbourne, Australia, and Auckland, New Zealand, before settling in Anchorage, Alaska, to work on the State’s North Slope oil royalty litigation against the major oil producers.
Judge Charter pursued a general civil litigation practice for 30 years and argued a case before the Oregon Supreme Court [Tadsen v. Praegitzer, 326 Or 465 (1996)], which established the right of employee future wage loss (front pay) damages in employment cases. He was elected as the Jackson County Justice of the Peace in 2004, and is currently serving a second term. He is a past president of the Oregon Justice of the Peace Association. He has been active in community theater in the Rogue Valley since 2002, and has performed with Camelot Theatre, Oregon Stage Works, Ashland Contemporary Theater, and Next Stage Repertory Company. Favorite shows include “Inherit the Wind,” “Judgment at Nuremberg,” “The Beard of Avon,” “To Kill A Mockingbird,” “Glengarry Glen Ross,” and, most recently, playing Sigmund Freud in “Freud’s Last Session.”
He lives in Ashland’s Railroad District with his pet Chow. He has two grown daughters. He enjoys travel and reads extensively, particularly writings regarding finance, economics, psychology, and politics. He is interested in addressing social justice and poverty issues in the Rogue Valley and throughout the world.