2013 Legal Elite profile: Appellate Law
Frank K. Friedman
Woods Rogers PLC
Other legal specialties: Trial waiver topics
Birthplace: New York City
Education: Harvard College, bachelor’s degree; Vanderbilt University School of Law, law degree
Spouse: Melissa W. Friedman
Children: Nathan Windham Friedman, Sarah Paulina Friedman, Amelia Quinn Friedman
Hobbies or pastimes: “I am a big sports fan, and I confess to following fantasy football and baseball — occasionally to excess. I enjoyed coaching rec league basketball, soccer and softball when our children were young. I play a little guitar, occasionally write on nonlegal subjects and frequently lumber on the treadmill.”
First job as a lawyer: “My first job as a lawyer is the same job I have now. I have spent my entire legal career (including my summer clerkship!) at Woods Rogers.”
Fan of: “I am a fan of football, basketball and baseball: my teams are Vanderbilt, Harvard, SEC football, and the Jets, Giants, Mets and Royals.”
Favorite vacation spot: Ocean Isle, N.C.
Recently read books: “City of Thieves” by David Benioff and “The Round House” by Louise Erdrich
Career mentor: William B. Poff
How is appellate law different from other legal specialties?
“Appeals raise unique time pressures. Appellate attorneys receive very limited time to argue their case — and while trial attorneys often have significant control over their opening statements and closing arguments, appellate lawyers spend their fleeting 15 minutes of action fielding questions and going where the court takes them. A trial attorney also usually gets a verdict in the courtroom at the end of a trial — there is no such instant gratification (or disappointment) for an appellate attorney who finishes a hard-fought argument and then receives the result miles away and months later. Appellate decisions also face the test of time — they will be reviewed, studied and distinguished by future lawyers, perhaps over many years. As an appellate lawyer, I very much appreciate the opportunity to be involved, even peripherally, in the process of shaping jurisprudence.”