Brian Wolfman (Of Counsel)
Of counsel to the Litigation Group, Brian Wolfman is the co-director of the Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown University Law Center. Mr. Wolfman worked as an attorney at Public Citizen Litigation Group from 1990-2004, and was the Group's director from 2004-2009 Mr. Wolfman's litigation includes cases involving consumer health and safety regulation, freedom of information, expanding access to the courts, opposing federal preemption of state products liability law, consumer law, and class actions. In the preemption area, he has been lead counsel in a range of cases involving injuries from radiation exposure, prescription drugs, pesticides, and medical devices, including Medtronic, Inc., v. Lohr, 518 U.S. 470 (1996). Regarding access to the courts, he has concentrated on litigation regarding court-awarded attorney's fees, including acting as lead counsel in four U.S. Supreme Court cases involving the Equal Access to Justice Act, the principal statute authorizing fee shifting against federal agencies. Richlin Sec. Serv. Co. v. Chertoff, 128 S. Ct. 2007 (2008); Scarborough v. Principi, 541 U.S. 401 (2004); Shalala v. Schaefer, 509 U.S. 292 (1993); Melkonyan v. Sullivan, 501 U.S. 89 (1991).
With respect to class actions, Mr. Wolfman's practice includes representing class plaintiffs. In recent years, however, his class action work has focused on settlement objections. Mr. Wolfman has briefed and argued objections to class action settlements on behalf of absent class members, consumer safety organizations, and labor unions in the Amchem asbestos settlement, the General Motors coupon cases, the Bowling v. Pfizer heart valve settlement, the AcroMed bone-screw case, and the Community Bank and Delta Funding predatory lending settlements, among others. He has written articles on class actions, has testified before Congress regarding the so-called Class Action Fairness Act (and its predecessors) and before the federal Civil Rules Advisory Committee on proposed changes to Rule 23. He is also an advisor to the American Law Institute's project on the Principles of the Law of Aggregate Litigation.
Mr. Wolfman has argued five cases before the Supreme Court (winning four of them), been lead counsel in about a dozen others, and, as co-counsel to his Litigation Group colleagues and others, had substantial involvement in several dozen more.
Mr. Wolfman has taught appellate advocacy at Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School, Georgetown University Law Center, and American University's Washington College of Law.
Before joining the Litigation Group in 1990, Mr. Wolfman was a staff attorney at Legal Services of Arkansas, where he did trial and appellate work in cases involving housing law, welfare law, family law, employment rights, and consumer protection. Before that, Mr. Wolfman clerked for the Honorable R. Lanier Anderson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Law School.