Charlie is the first college graduate in his family and the oldest of five brothers raised on a farm in Loudonville, Ohio. Yes, the Ohio connection remains strong at the Gearinger Law Group.
Charlie attended Ohio State University where he worked as an English Composition and History tutor for the athletic department. Soon after earning his B.S., Charlie was hired by legendary football coach Woody Hayes as an athletic counselor for the OSU football team. While working for Coach Hayes, Charlie met innumerable sports celebrities along with many political, business and professional leaders. He also completed his M.A. in physiology and Ph.D. in organizational theory. In 1979, when Earle Bruce was named head football coach at OSU, Charlie continued working closely with the football staff. During his six years at OSU, Charlie worked with future head coaches Gary Tranquill, Glen Mason, Pete Carroll, Fred Zechman, Nick Saban, Dom Capers, Jim Tressel, Mark Dantonio, Larry Kindbom and Steve Szabo
After twelve years and three degrees at OSU, Charlie moved west to the University of Colorado, Boulder where the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and, especially, the football program, were in complete disarray saddled with a $1 million-dollar deficit and on NCAA probation. Bill McCartney was hired as the head football coach after a hugely successful tenure as defensive coordinator at the University of Michigan. Browning and McCartney shared many stories about Woody, Bo and the OSU-Michigan rivalry. McCartney’s staff included future head coaches Jim Caldwell, Les Miles, Gerry DiNardo, Gary Barnett, Lou Tepper, Ron Vander Linden, Steve Lucas and Ron Dickerson.
In 1986, Charlie resigned as Assistant Director of Athletics at the University of Colorado and began law school at the University of Michigan where he soon met a classmate and fellow Ohio native Brian Gearinger. After three years of grueling legal study, dedicated participation in the culture of legal receptions and innumerable evaluations of the quality of coaching in the Big Ten, Charlie and Brian graduated on May 13, 1989. In attendance at the graduation ceremony was a tall attorney from Akron, Ohio, Buck Gearinger, who Charlie met for the first time. Buck’s timely and perceptive comments ring true today as he proudly addressed his son, “Brian, I know that you are joining a prestigious defense firm in San Francisco, but I must remind you that I paid your tuition with fees earned as a plaintiffs’ attorney. Someday, you’ll be a plaintiffs’ attorney, too.” Charlie failed to realize then that Buck’s prophesy would resonate for him, as well as Brian.
Passing the California bar examination in 1989 lead to three years of defense litigation and truly superior legal training at Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May in Oakland followed by six months of defense litigation at Sarrail, Lynch & Hall in San Francisco. Charlie easily moved to the plaintiffs’ side when he received an offer from Jack Stein, litigation partner at the Boccardo Law Firm in San Jose. Two years later, he joined the Cartwright Law Firm in San Francisco where he worked with Mary Alexander, soon to be president of the American Trial Lawyers Association, and Mike Moore, soon to be Charlie’s law partner in Moore & Browning, founded in April 1996. The lifetime of Moore & Browning extended almost 11 years to December 31, 2006 when Browning chose to dissolve the partnership and establish his own law practice in the East Bay while maintaining an Of Counsel relationship with Gearinger Law Group.