Michelle T. Friedland

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Michelle Friedland
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Assumed office
April 29, 2014
Appointed by Barack Obama
Preceded by Raymond Fisher
Personal details
Born July 1972 (age 46)
Berkeley, California, U.S.
Alma mater Stanford University
Wolfson College, Oxford

Michelle Taryn Friedland (born July 1972) is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


Early life and education

Friedland was born in Berkeley, California.[1] She received a Bachelor of Science degree in ecology and population biology in 1995 from Stanford University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. She then studied philosophy at Oxford University as a Fulbright scholar, returning to California for law school. She received a Juris Doctorate in 2000 from Stanford Law School, graduating Order of the Coif and second in her class.[2] She served as a law clerk to Judge David Tatel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and then served as a law clerk to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor of the United States Supreme Court. She completed a two year lectureship at Stanford Law School before entering private practice. [3]

Professional career

Before her confirmation, Friedland served as a litigation partner in the San Francisco office of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP. She joined the firm in 2004 as an associate, becoming a partner in January 2010. She has extensive litigation experience at the state and federal trial court and appellate levels, including litigating before the United States Supreme Court.[1][3]

During her legal career, Friedland represented a number of corporate clients in cases involving a wide range of legal issues, including antitrust, tax, patent, copyright, and consumer class actions. She also frequently represented the University of California in cases involving constitutional issues. She maintained an active pro bono practice, for which the State Bar of California recently named her company a recipient of the 2013 President’s Pro Bono Service Award.[4] Friedland also has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia Law School, teaching a course on constitutional issues in higher education.[3]

Federal judicial service

Friedland being applauded by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (Ret.) after being administered the oath of office (June 13, 2014)

On August 1, 2013, President Barack Obama nominated Friedland to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.[1] She fills the seat that was vacated by Judge Raymond C. Fisher, who took senior status on March 31, 2013.[3] On January 16, 2014, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to forward her nomination to the full Senate in a 14-3 committee vote. Cloture was filed on her nomination on April 8, 2014. On April 10, 2014 the motion to invoke cloture was agreed to by a vote of 56-41.[5] On April 28, 2014 her nomination was confirmed by a final vote of 51-40.[6] She received her judicial commission on April 29, 2014.[7] Justice Sandra Day O'Connor administered the oath of office to Judge Friedland at her formal investiture on June 13, 2014, in the James R. Browning United States Court of Appeals Building in San Francisco.

Friedland taking her seat as Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit

Friedland is currently the youngest serving federal appellate court judge in the nation. At age 41, Judge Friedland ranks fourth among the youngest appointees to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.[8]


Friedland is married to Daniel Kelly and lives in Mountain View, California.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Dolan, Maura (August 1, 2013). "Two lawyers from same California firm nominated for 9th Circuit". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 2, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Biography at Munger, Tolles and Olsen LLP
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Nomination announcement from whitehouse.gov
  4. "President's Pro Bono Service 2013". The State Bar of California.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 113th Congress - 2nd Session". Vote Summary: Vote Number 106. United States Senate. Retrieved 10 April 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 113th Congress - 2nd Session". Vote Summary: Vote Number 108. United States Senate. Retrieved 28 April 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Friedland, Michelle Taryn". Biographical Directory of Federal Judges. Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 29 April 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Senate Confirms Michelle T. Friedland to Seat on Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals" (PDF). Public Information Office. United States Courts for the Ninth Circuit. Retrieved 30 April 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. http://www.nytimes.com/2000/06/18/style/weddings-michelle-friedland-daniel-kelly.html

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Raymond Fisher
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit