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David C. Frederick

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David Frederick represents clients across a broad spectrum, principally in appellate courts.  He has argued more than 100 appeals, including 55 in the Supreme Court, in every U.S. Court of Appeals, and in five state supreme courts.  He has won or settled cases in the Supreme Court thirteen years in a row, including, most recently, Apple Inc. v. Pepper, Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo, Tibble v. Edison Int’l, Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Amgen Inc. v. Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, Pacific Operators v. Valladolid, CSX v. McBride, Matrixx v. Siracusano, Jones v. Harris Associates, Merck v. Reynolds, Wyeth v. Levine, and Altria v. Good.  In the Supreme Court, he has represented individuals, investors, immigrants, classes of consumers, farmers, Native Americans, small corporations, trade associations, large companies, foreign governments, states (Alaska, Delaware, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Vermont), the United States, and the European Community.

A former law clerk to Justice Byron White and Judge Joseph Sneed, he graduated from the University of Texas School of Law (J.D., with honors); the University of Oxford (D.Phil.), where he was a Rhodes Scholar; and the University of Pittsburgh (B.A., summa cum laude), where he was a Truman Scholar.  He served in the Department of Justice as Assistant to the Solicitor General (1996-2001) and as Counselor to the Inspector General (1995-1996).

Noteworthy Representations

Lead Counsel for National Credit Union Administration, as liquidating agent, in lawsuits against Bank of America, Barclays, Bear Sterns, Countrywide, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Nomura, Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS, Wachovia and Washington Mutual

Apple Inc. v. Pepper, et al., successfully argued that iPhone owners may sue Apple as direct purchasers under § 4 of the Clayton Act and Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois, 431 U.S. 720 (1977), for monopolizing the market for iPhone apps

Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo, 135 S. Ct. 2806 (2015) – successfully represented workers in meat processing plant in upholding class certification in case for overtime pay under Fair Labor Standards Act

Tibble v. Edison Int’l, 135 S. Ct. 1823 (2015) – successfully represented members of ERISA plan asserting breach of fiduciary duty against statute of limitations defense

Mississippi v. Tennessee, No. 143 Original – represent Tennessee in boundary dispute over Memphis Sands Aquifer

Amgen Inc., et al. v. Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, 133 S. Ct. 1184 (2013) – successfully represented investors in securities class action on principle that materiality need not be proved at class certification stage

Pacific Operators Offshore, LLP, et al. v. Luisa L. Valladolid, et al., 132 S. Ct. 680 (2012) – successfully represented widow of Mexican-American roustabout on oil drilling platform to obtain spousal death benefits under OCSLA

CSX Transportation Inc. v. McBride, 131 S. Ct. 2630 (2011) – successfully represented rail worker in rejecting railroad’s assertion that proximate cause needs to be proved under FELA

Matrixx Initiatives, Inc. v. Siracusano, 131 S. Ct. 1309 (2011) – successfully represented investors in establishing that materiality in securities fraud case is not established solely by statistical significance of drug adverse event reports

Merck v. Reynolds, 130 S. Ct. 1784 (2010) – successfully represented investors in case defining when statute of limitations arises in securities cases

Jones v. Harris Associates, 130 S. Ct. 1418 (2010) – successfully represented mutual fund investors in case defining when fund advisor breaches fiduciary duty to investors

South Carolina v. North Carolina, 130 S. Ct. 854 (2010) – successfully represented South Carolina in obtaining settlement for additional water in boundary dispute with North Carolina

14 Penn Plaza v. Pyett, 556 U.S. 247 (2009) – represented union members in age discrimination case involving arbitrability of claims under collective bargaining agreement

Wyeth v. Levine, 555 U.S. 555 (2009) – successfully represented woman whose arm was amputated in failure-to-warn case against preemption defense for prescription drugs 

Altria v. Good, 555 U.S. 70 (2008) – successfully represented consumers against cigarette company asserting preemption defense to claims of fraudulent representations of “light” cigarettes

Plains Commerce Bank v. Long Family Land & Cattle Co., 554 U.S. 316 (2008) – represented Native American family in case concerning scope of tribal court jurisdiction over claims of fraud by off-reservation bank 

New Jersey v. Delaware, 552 U.S. 597 (2008) – successfully represented Delaware in boundary dispute with New Jersey over licensing of liquefied natural gas facility that was to encroach across Delaware’s boundary

Watson v. Philip Morris Cos., 551 U.S. 142 (2007) – successfully represented consumers in preventing tobacco company from deploying federal officer removal statute as basis for removing state-court action to federal court 

Bates v. Dow AgroSciences LLC, 544 U.S. 431 (2005) – successfully represented peanut farmers whose crops had been killed by pesticides

Represented Mid-Atlantic Sports Network in matters pertaining to carriage and Washington Nationals television rights fees

Represented 35 states in common proceeding against tobacco companies arising out of Master Settlement Agreement



Supreme Court and Appellate Advocacy (Thomson Reuters, 2003, 3d ed. 2019)

The Art of Oral Advocacy (West Academic, 2003, 2d ed. 2011)

Rugged Justice:  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the American West, 1891-1941, (Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1994)


Tips for Representing Consumers and Investors in the Supreme Court, 44 Litigation 2 (2018) (co-authored with Brendan J. Crimmins)

Supreme Court Advocacy in the Early Nineteenth Century, 30 Journal of Supreme Court History (2005)

Advocacy Before the Supreme Court:  1791 to the Present, in Christopher Tomlins, ed., The United States Supreme Court:  The Pursuit of Justice (New York:  Houghton Mifflin, 2005)

Justice White and the Virtues of Modesty, 55 Stanford Law Review 21 (2002)

Prejudgment Interest in Seamen’s Personal Injury Cases:  Supreme Court Precedent Lost in a Sea of Procedural Confusion, 33 Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce 423 (2002) (co-authored with Michael F. Sturley)

Constitutional Law and Separation of Powers Decisions, in Developments in Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, 1998-1999 (Jeffrey S. Lubbers ed., 2000)

Reforming Congressional Ethics Procedures:  Lessons from the Attorney Disciplinary Process, 48 Administrative Law Review 69 (1996)

Commentary on the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995:  A Section-by-Section Analysis, in Lobbying the New Congress:  Compliance with the Legal, Regulatory and Ethical Requirements (Susman and Timmer eds., 1995)

The Ninth Circuit and the Development of Natural Resources in the Early Twentieth Century, 6 Western Legal History 183 (1993)

Railroads, Robber Barons, and the Saving of Stanford University, 4 Western Legal History 225 (1991)

John Quincy Adams, Slavery, and the Disappearance of the Right to Petition, 9 Law and History Review 113 (1991)

Political Participation and Legal Reform in the International Maritime Rulemaking Process:  Lesser Developed Countries and the Hamburg Rules, 22 Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce 81 (1991)


University of Texas School of Law, Austin,  J.D., with honors, 1989

  • Articles Editor, Texas Law Review, 1988-1989

University of Oxford, D.Phil., 1987

  • Rhodes Scholar

University of Pittsburgh, B.A., summa cum laude, 1983

  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Truman Scholar


Law Clerk, Justice Byron R. White, U.S. Supreme Court, 1991-1992

Law Clerk, Judge Joseph T. Sneed, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1989-1991

Government Service

Assistant to the Solicitor General, U.S. Department of Justice, 1996-2001

  • Coast Guard Medal for Distinguished Public Service, 2000
  • Department of Justice Inspector General’s Award for Exceptional Service, 1997
  • Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award, 1998

Counselor to the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice, 1995-1996

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