About Chris

T. Christopher Wharton is an attorney from Salt Lake City, Utah, who focuses on family law, criminal defense, and LGBTQ advocacy. He is licensed to practice in federal and state courts in Utah and is certified to appear before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Chris graduated magna cum laude from Westminster College with a Bachelor of Arts in history and political science. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, where he served as President of the Student Bar Association and Managing Editor of the Journal of Law and Family Studies. Chris also completed a semester studying jurisprudence at University of Oxford, Magdalen College, and international criminal law at The Hague, Netherlands.

Chris gained valuable experience interning at the Utah State Legislature and clerking with the Utah Attorney General’s Office. Chris was selected to participate in a clinical placement program at the Salt Lake City Prosecutor’s Office where he tried and won his first jury trial. Chris went on to work as an associate attorney for two years before opening his own practice in 2012.

Chris' extensive work in the areas of family law and LGBTQ advocacy has gained local and national attention. In 2013, Chris helped lead a team of attorneys that submitted an amicus curiae (or “friend of the court”) brief to the United States Supreme Court, arguing for equal treatment of LGBT families under the law. In 2015, Chris obtained the first same-sex common law marriage adjudication in Utah and was given an award for “Best Advocate for LGBT Families” by Salt Lake City Weekly. He has been recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine and as one of the "Up & Coming Legal Elites" by Utah Business Magazine.

As an active community volunteer, Chris has done pro bono work for the ACLU of Utah, Equality Utah, the Utah Pride Center, and the Rainbow Law ClinicChris has served as President of the Utah Young Lawyers Division (2015-2016), Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Utah Pride Center (2014-2015), and Chair of the Salt Lake City Human Rights Commission (2012-2014)Chris currently serves on the board of the LGBT & Allied Bar Association of Utah and on the Utah State Bar Board of Bar Commissioners as the Young Lawyer Representative to the American Bar Association House of Delegates.

Outside the office, Chris enjoys independent films, local politics, history, art, Netflix, and food trucks.

Professional Memberships

  • Utah State Bar (admitted 2010)
  • Utah Young Lawyers Division
  • Utah State Bar Family Law Section
  • Utah Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys
  • LGBT & Allied Lawyers of Utah
  • Watkiss-Sutherland II American Inn of Court
  • Salt Lake County Bar Association
  • National LGBT Bar Association
  • Utah Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

Publications

  • “More Than Marriage: Utah’s System of De Jure Denigration Goes Before the U.S. Supreme Court,” Utah Bar Journal, Volume 26 Number 3.
  • “Fighting Like Cats & Dogs: The Rising Number of Pet Custody Battles,” University of Utah Journal of Law and Family Studies, Volume 10 Number 2.
  • “Deserted in Deseret: Emancipating Polygamist & Queer Homeless Youths,” University of Utah Journal of Law and Family Studies, Volume 10 Number 1.
  • "What Can YLD Offer YOU: A Preview of Events and Programs for Young Lawyers 2014-2016," Utah Bar Journal, Volume 28 Number 5.