Emma Freudenberger / Partner

Emma is one of the country’s top trial lawyers for complex civil rights cases. Her practice focuses on civil wrongful conviction and jail death cases. She has won record-breaking verdicts and settlements in both areas, including the 2014 $41.65m verdict for Jeffrey Deskovic, then the highest-ever wrongful conviction jury verdict in the U.S. Emma regularly lectures about litigating civil wrongful conviction cases at various institutions including Columbia Law School, Yale Law School, and Cardozo Law School.

Representative Successes:

  • Deskovic v. Putnam County: won $41.65 million jury verdict against New York officer who fabricated confession from innocent teen, causing his 16 years wrongful imprisonment. One of the largest and largest per-year wrongful conviction jury verdicts ever.
  • McIntyre v. Kansas City, Kansas: $12.5 million settlement from Kansas City, Kansas for man who spent 23 years wrongly imprisoned based on acts of corrupt detective.
  • Wilson v. City of New York: $16.6 million in total settlements for coercing and fabricating confession from innocent New York teen, causing 22 years wrongful incarceration.
  • Moyer v. Lebanon County: Approximately $5 million settlement for family of teenager who died from heroin withdrawal in Pennsylvania jail.
  • Nagle v. Gusman: $2 million settlement for jail’s failure to prevent man’s suicide, highest settlement against the Orleans Parish Sheriff.
  • Denny v. City of New York: with co-counsel Cravath, Swain & Moore, LLP, obtained $14.75 million in total settlements for 29 years of wrongful imprisonment.
  • Fernandez v. City of New York: with co-counsel Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, obtained $12 million settlement for 25 years of wrongful imprisonment based on NYPD detectives’ police misconduct.
  • Hatchett v. City of New York: $14.75 million in total settlements for fabrication of eyewitness identification evidence, causing nearly 25 years of wrongful incarceration.
  • Tankleff v. County of Suffolk: over $13 million in settlements for 17 years wrongful imprisonment.
  • Columbia University School of Law, J.D.
    • Editor-in-Chief, A Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual
    • Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
  • Wesleyan University, B.A., with honors
Selected Recent Honors & Awards
  • New York Super Lawyers “Rising Star” (multiple years)
  • Mentor-in-Residence, Yale Law School (2013)
  • New York State Bar Association 2007 Law Student Legal Ethics Award

Phone: (212) 965-9081
Fax: (212) 965-9084

Hon. Virginia A. Long, Supreme Court of New Jersey (death penalty clerk)
New York
E.D.N.Y., S.D.N.Y., W.D.N.Y, E.D. Mich.
U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th Circuits

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