Skip to main content
John A. Freedman

John A. Freedman

Senior Pro Bono Counsel

John Freedman is Arnold & Porter's Senior Pro Bono Counsel and devotes his practice to litigating significant civil rights matters in trial and appellate courts. During his tenure at the firm, Mr. Freedman has always maintained a significant pro bono practice. In recent years, he has led teams that successfully challenged the proposed addition of a citizenship question to the decennial census, the proposed rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and the use of a criminal background employment screen by Washington Metro. He was also a member of the trial team in the successful challenge to Pennsylvania's gerrymandered congressional map.

Prior to assuming his current position in 2020, Mr. Freedman was a partner in Arnold & Porter's litigation group, where his practice focused on complex commercial litigation, government investigations, white-collar criminal matters, and parallel proceedings involving simultaneous civil litigation and government investigations. Mr. Freedman's litigation experience includes representing corporations, accounting firms and accountants, broker-dealers, investment advisers, corporate boards and committees, and individual corporate officers and directors in securities fraud litigation and investigations; representing clients in shareholder derivative and other fiduciary duty litigation; defending corporations in antitrust class actions and merger litigation; and other commercial litigation, including real estate, contract disputes, intellectual property, false advertising, civil rights, employment, and other commercial matters in federal and state courts, as well as in arbitrations.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Freedman served as law clerk to the Honorable Walter Jay Skinner, United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. He has also volunteered on numerous political campaigns as a speechwriter, policy analyst, researcher, and as legal counsel.


  • Defendant in antitrust class action litigation. In re Municipal Derivatives Antitrust Litigation (S.D.N.Y).
  • Officer defendant in securities fraud class action litigation. In re SafeNet. Inc. Securities Fraud Litigation (S.D.N.Y.).
  • Outside auditors in securities fraud class action litigation, including parallel proceedings in California, Illinois, and New Jersey state courts, as well as related government investigations. In re Qwest Communications Int'l Securities Litigation, 396 F. Supp. 2d 1178 (D. Colo. 2004).
  • Officer defendants in trustee litigation arising from bankruptcy of Doctors Community Health Care Corporation. Alberts v. Tuft et al. (D.D.C.).
  • Private equity firm and outside directors in trustee litigation arising from bankruptcy of PT Cable. Donahue v. The Carlyle Group L.P. et al. (E.D. Wash.).
  • Acquirer in emergency litigation to enjoin short-form merger. Next Level Communications, Inc. v. Motorola, Inc., 834 A.2d 828, 844 (Del. Ch. 2003).


ACLU Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award (2024)
Washington Lawyers’ Committee
Wiley A. Branton Award (2022)
Latin Lawyer 250
White Collar Crime and Compliance (2018-2021)



  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 1995
  • B.A., Williams College, 1991


  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts
  • New York


  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, The Honorable Walter Jay Skinner


  • Mr. Freedman is a member of the firm's pro bono committee.
  • His pro bono practice focuses on civil rights litigation, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, voting rights, and employment discrimination. He has worked on matters with counsel from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, the Brennan Center for Justice, and the American Bar Association Death Penalty Representation Project.
  • Mr. Freedman is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Washington Lawyers' Committee, where he served as Board Co-Chair from 2018 through 2020.