Howard Friedman

Boston, MA

Howard Friedman has a private practice in Boston, Massachusetts. His practice emphasizes plaintiff's civil rights litigation, particularly claims alleging police misconduct, police brutality, false arrest, wrongful conviction, inhumane treatment of prisoners, and the right to record police officers. He has also represented plaintiffs in several class actions alleging unconstitutional strip searches at jails or police stations, including a $10 million settlement in a class action for women who were illegally strip searched at the Nashua Street Jail in Boston. Mr. Friedman was part of the “dream team” which won a combined verdict of $101 million for four men who were wrongfully convicted and their families. Mr. Friedman has won multimillion dollar settlements for other clients who were wrongfully convicted. His firm won a $3 million settlement for the family of a man who died from force used by Boston police during his arrest. Mr. Friedman also won a $1.4 million settlement for a victim of police brutality, and one of the police officers sued in this case was fired for using, and lying about his use of, excessive force.

Among Mr. Friedman’s reported cases include: Limone v. United States, 579 F.3d 79 (1st Cir. 2009) (upholding a verdict of over $100 million for intentional infliction of emotional distress for “egregious governmental misconduct” by the FBI in allowing innocent men to be convicted of murder); Gelinas v. Boisselle, 2011 WL 5041497, No. 10–30192–KPN, (D. Mass. Oct. 17, 2011) (holding that a jury could find that the plaintiff’s First Amendment right to free speech was violated when the chairman of the South Hadley School Committee silenced him during public comment period); Garvey v. Macdonald, 665 F. Supp. 2d 47 (D. Mass. 2009) (granting summary judgment to plaintiffs in a class action on behalf of prisoners who were unconstitutionally strip searched on admission to the Franklin County Jail) Pinshaw v. Metropolitan District Commission, 406 Mass. 687 (1988) (Indemnification for civil rights violations); Ocasio v. City of Lawrence, 788 F.Supp. 99 (D.Mass. 1992) (1983 class action challenging a policy of the City of Lawrence Police Department requiring the unlawful seizure of food stamp identification cards); Pasqualone v. Gately, 422 Mass. 398 (1996) (1983 liability for the warrantless seizure of firearms and ammunition); Ford v. Suffolk County, 154 F. Supp. 2d 131 (D.Mass. 2001) (Granting summary judgment on declaratory relief and liability for women who were strip searched while being held pre-arraignment at the Suffolk County jail); and Tardiff v. Knox County, 365 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2004) (Affirming class certification in strip search cases against both Knox County and York County in Maine).

Mr. Friedman is a frequent lecturer on police misconduct and civil rights issues. He is the author or co-author of numerous articles on these issues including a chapter on intentional torts for “ATLA's Litigating Tort Cases,” published by Thomson West. Mr. Friedman has lectured to police groups including the Boston Police Academy, FBI National Academy Associates of New England, and International Association of Chiefs of Police. He also spoke at the International Criminal Justice Expo & Conference. He has trained lawyers in civil rights law at continuing legal education seminars and has been a speaker at events at many law schools.

Mr. Friedman is active in community groups concerned with civil rights. In 2013, he joined the board of the Human Rights Defense Center, the parent organization of Prison Legal News.

Mr. Friedman served as president of the NPAP from 2003 to 2010. He was a founding member of the Police Practices Coalition in Boston. He served as the Chair of the Civil Rights Section of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA), 1996-1997. He also served as the Chair of the Police Misconduct Committee of the Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section of the Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA), 1988-1997. Mr. Friedman is a member of the NLG, ATLA, Massachusetts Academy of Trial Lawyers, MBA and the Federal Bar Association. He is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and Goddard College. To learn more, see