Hon. Paul L. Friedman, a U.S. District Court judge for the District of Columbia for more than 25 years, received the University at Buffalo School of Law’s 2022 Edwin F. Jaeckle Award .
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson provided pre-recorded remarks. Hon. Beryl A. Howell, chief judge for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia provided in-person remarks, along with former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Jamie S. Gorelick, now a partner at WilmerHale in Washington, D.C. The program included pre-recorded remarks by Hon. David S. Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and Nina Totenberg, legal affairs correspondent for National Public Radio.
Judge Friedman has had a varied and distinguished career. As a U.S. District Court judge, he has presided over many noteworthy cases including John Hinckley’s requests for unsupervised release from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in the wake of his shooting of President Ronald Reagan; class action lawsuits against the Department of Agriculture for decades of discrimination against Black farmers; a challenge to the Affordable Care Act subsidies provision, which threatened to upend Obamacare; and, currently, approximately two dozen January 6 Capitol insurrection cases.
Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Friedman was a partner in the international law firm of White & Case LLP and the managing partner of its Washington, D.C. office. He has also served as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States, and associate independent counsel for the Iran/Contra Investigation. He has represented the United States and private parties in cases before numerous federal and state courts around the country and argued six cases before the United States Supreme Court.
Judge Friedman is a past president of the District of Columbia Bar, the largest unified bar in the country. He has served as chair of the District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission and as a member of the board of trustees of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. He was instrumental in founding the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless and the Frederick B. Abramson Memorial Foundation, which gives college scholarships to inner-city high school students. He is currently the Secretary of the American Law Institute and has been an Advisor to the ALI’s Projects on Sentencing and Corporate Compliance.
A graduate of Cornell University before attending UB School of Law, Judge Friedman began his legal career as law clerk to Hon. Aubrey E. Robinson, Jr., a U.S. District Court judge for the District of Columbia, and later to Hon. Roger Robb, U.S. Court of Appeals judge for the D.C. Circuit.
Judge Friedman received Distinguished Alumni Awards from the UB Law Alumni Association in 1998 and the Buffalo Law Review in 2016. He has been a steady supporter of the law school and its students, giving the keynote address at the 2005 Commencement Ceremony and hosting summer networking events for UB Law alumni and students at the U.S. District Courthouse. He is an emeritus member of the Dean’s Advisory Council.
The Jaeckle Award is named for Edwin F. Jaeckle ’15, a founding partner of the Buffalo law firm Jaeckle, Fleischmann & Mugel, and a major benefactor of the school. Judge Friedman joins several other esteemed members of the legal community who have previously received this award including Hon. Charles S. Desmond, Hon. Matthew J. Jasen, Manly Fleischmann, Jacob D. Hyman, Hon. M. Dolores Denman, William R. Greiner, and Hon. Hugh B. Scott, among others.