Jonathan M. Freiman


Jonathan M. Freiman
office New Haven
phone 203-498-4584
view LinkedIn profile


Jonathan is an experienced litigator who represents companies, foundations, universities, individuals, and sovereign nations in complex disputes, ranging from appeals and disputes over art and artifacts to complex transnational litigation involving foreign states and foreign officials.

Jonathan's recent appellate victories include a reversal in a high-profile California Supreme Court case that reinstated a client's $13.5 million claim; a reversal in the Connecticut Supreme Court that knocked out a $35 million judgment (believed to be the largest class-action judgment ever reversed in the state); and a major patent victory in the Federal Circuit in D.C. He has handled appeals in almost every federal circuit court and in state appellate courts coast-to-coast.

He has represented clients in a variety of art litigation matters, including the defense of title to one of Van Gogh's most famous paintings; representation of a museum in a dispute over Incan artifacts claimed by a Latin American nation; and representation of investors in an art investment fund. He also advises clients regarding provenance, chain of title, export, and cultural property.

Jonathan's representation of sovereign nations and former sovereign officials includes the successful defense of a former president of Mexico against alleged international law violations; representing a foreign sovereign nation in a RICO appeal; and representing the government of Germany and a Berlin-based consortium of state-run museums in a case alleging that the sale of a large art collection was the result of Nazi duress.

His commercial trial litigation experience includes the defense of class actions and multiple-jurisdiction actions against insurance companies and banks. These cases include the defense of a bank in a nationwide class action related to Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme and the defense of insurance companies against allegations of violations of the False Claims Act.

Chambers USA ranks Jonathan as one of the leading litigators in Connecticut, with clients describing him in recent years as "absolutely brilliant," "a fiercely bright appellate lawyer who handles high end problems," "a very cost-effective resource in contentious matters" who is "very good at checking back with [clients] on strategy," and "probably the very best appellate advocate I have ever seen. He can very quickly grasp a difficult question and package an argument in a way that is both elegant and totally clear and understandable to someone who is not an expert in the matter."

He has also been lauded in Benchmark Litigation, The Best Lawyers in America, and Super Lawyers. The Connecticut Law Tribune named him Attorney of the Year in 2016 across all categories, and he accepted that publication's inaugural Litigation Department of the Year Award for Appellate Practice on behalf of the practice group that he leads. In 2017, Finance Monthly named him Lawyer of the Year in its Appellate and Complex Legal Issues category.

A trained stage actor and produced playwright before becoming a lawyer, Jonathan uses what he learned in the theater about the power of candor, truth, and narrative when representing clients in briefs and court. Clients seek him out for this insight as well as his reputation for successfully handling high-stakes cases.

Jonathan has written on constitutional law for Lexis, on international treaty-based arbitration in the National Law Journal, and on state supreme court case law for the Connecticut Law Tribune. He has lectured in Europe, Canada, and the United States, at venues including the Federalist Society and a United Nations Expert Roundtable. He co-founded the National Litigation Project (NLP) of the Allard K. Lowenstein Clinic at Yale Law School, teaching at Yale for five years while directing the NLP's litigation work and serving as a senior human rights fellow. In that capacity, he litigated important cases involving the intersection of civil liberties and national security, including the representation of a U. S. citizen seized and detained incommunicado and without charge in a military prison.

Jonathan received his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was Senior Editor at the Yale Law Journal, and received a Keck Foundation fellowship in legal ethics and awards from the Florida Supreme Court and the Cuban-American Bar Association. After graduation, he clerked for the late Judge Louis H. Pollak, former Dean of Yale Law School.

He is currently a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a Life Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation, and a member of the Committee on Art, Cultural Institutions, and Heritage Law at the International Bar Association.


  • Albom Award for Excellence in Appellate Advocacy (Yale Law School)
  • Advocacy of the Law Award (Connecticut Law Tribune)
  • McQuillan Public Service Award (Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association)


  • American Bar Association
  • American Bar Foundation
  • Connecticut Bar Association
  • Connecticut Bar Foundation, James W. Cooper Fellow (elected)
  • Connecticut Supreme Court Historical Society
  • International Bar Association
    • Committee on Art, Cultural Institutions and Heritage Law


05.01.2015Art and Museum Law Update
04.26.2013Is Art Infringement? (Cariou v. Prince, 2nd Cir., April 25, 2013)

Published Works

11.17.2017US changes the rules for claims of Nazi-looted art against foreign sovereigns and foreign public museumsInternational Bar Association: Art, Cultural Institutions and Heritage Law
04.10.2014Gathering Facts and Documents Inside the United States for Use in Disputes Outside the United StatesTerraLex Connections
07.09.2012Defense Can Contact Members Of Proposed ClassConnecticut Law Tribune, Vol. 38, No. 28
05.21.2012Judge's Human Touch Helped Turn Wheels of JusticeConnecticut Law Tribune, Vol. 38, No. 21
09.26.2007New Limits To The Corporate Veil?Connecticut Law Tribune
09.14.2006Rivals Have Standing To Sue For Statutory ViolationsThis article is reprinted with permission from the September 2006 edition of THE CONNECTICUT LAW TRIBUNE. © 2006 ALM Properties, Inc.
04.04.2006Jurist, Padilla's Real Message: The Grace Period is Over
04.18.2005A Brave New World For ADR?The National Law Journal, April 11, 2005
06.01.2002Maritime Migrants: Law and PracticePrivate Monograph
06.01.1998Remodeling McDonnell Douglas17 Quinnipiac L. Rev. 725
04.01.1998Steps Towards a Pedagogy of Improvisation in Legal Ethics31 John Marshall L Rev. 1279
06.01.1997The Problem of Qualified Immunity: How Conflating Microeconmics and Law Subverts the Constitution34 Idaho L. Rev. 61


08.15.2018Best Lawyers in America Recognizes 29 Lawyers from Wiggin and Dana
06.13.2018The Legal 500 U.S. 2018 Recognizes Wiggin and Dana Practices and Lawyers
05.04.2018Chambers USA 2018 Recognizes Wiggin and Dana Practices and Lawyers
11.20.2017Super Lawyers Recognize 37 Wiggin and Dana Attorneys
10.24.2017Benchmark Litigation 2018 Ranks Eight Wiggin and Dana Partners "Litigation Stars" and Five Partners as "Future Stars"
10.20.2017Federal Circuit Affirms Federal Court Decision Argued By Wiggin and Dana Attorneys
09.05.2017Law360 Highlights Wiggin and Dana's "Persuasive" Oral Arguments in U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
08.24.2017Finance Monthly names Wiggin and Dana Partner "Lawyer of the Year - Appellate and Complex Legal Issues"
08.15.2017Best Lawyers in America Recognizes 30 Lawyers from Wiggin and Dana
06.05.2017Chambers USA 2017 Recognizes Wiggin and Dana Practices and Lawyers
03.01.2017Wiggin and Dana Partner Wins Georgia Supreme Court Appeal, Reversing $3.7 Million Verdict
10.28.2016Super Lawyers Recognizes 40 Wiggin and Dana Attorneys
08.15.2016Best Lawyers in America Recognizes 30 Lawyers from Wiggin and Dana
05.31.2016Chambers USA 2016 Recognizes Wiggin and Dana Practices and Lawyers
05.26.2016Wiggin and Dana Partner, Jonathan Freiman, Named Attorney of the Year by the Connecticut Law Tribune
05.26.2016Two Partners Honored with Connecticut Law Tribune Awards
04.28.2016Jonathan Freiman is Nominated for the Connecticut Law Tribune Lawyer of the Year Award
03.28.2016ABC News Reports on Wiggin and Dana Win on Van Gogh Case in U.S. Supreme Court
02.12.2016Benchmark Litigation Names Wiggin and Dana's Litigation Department as The 2016 Connecticut Litigation Department of the Year
01.04.2016The Wall Street Journal Quotes Wiggin and Dana Federal Circuit Brief in Veteran's Appeal
12.03.2015Jonathan Freiman Quoted in The Art Newspaper on Motion Filed in Guelph Treasure Case
12.02.2015Kim Rinehart and Jonathan Freiman Quoted in Law360 Story on First Decision of Supreme Court Term
11.02.2015Leading German Newspaper Mentions Wiggin and Dana Efforts in Guelph Treasure Case
10.27.2015Benchmark Litigation 2016 Highly Recommends Wiggin and Dana
10.20.2015Super Lawyers Recognizes 38 Wiggin and Dana Attorneys
10.20.2015Wiggin and Dana Partner Jonathan Freiman Wins Second Circuit Appeal in Battle Over Van Gogh Painting
08.17.2015Best Lawyers in America Recognizes 31 Lawyers from Wiggin and Dana
08.13.2015Wiggin and Dana Convinces California Supreme Court to Reverse in Major Insurance Case
08.03.2015Law360 Cites Appellate Chair Jonathan Freiman in "Head to Head" California Supreme Court Battle with Gibson Dunn Appellate Chair
07.14.2015On Behalf of Insurer, Wiggin and Dana Nets Biggest Known Reversal of Class Action Judgment in Connecticut
06.16.2015Wiggin and Dana Partner Jonathan Freiman Wins $5 Million Appeal in Construction Dispute Case
06.01.2015Appellate Partner Jonathan M. Freiman Featured in Law360 for Major California Supreme Court Case
05.28.2015Appellate Partner Jonathan M. Freiman Argues Major California Supreme Court Case
05.21.2015Chambers USA 2015 Recognizes Wiggin and Dana Practices and Lawyers
04.20.2015Wiggin and Dana Partner Jonathan Freiman Wins Reversal in Eleventh Circuit Appeal for Insurance Company
02.20.2015Wiggin and Dana Partner Featured in Connecticut Law Tribune for Work With Iran Human Rights Organization
01.14.2015Wiggin and Dana Appellate Partners Featured in Connecticut Law Tribune
10.29.2014Super Lawyers Recognizes Wiggin and Dana Lawyers
10.21.2014Benchmark Litigation 2015 Highly Recommends Wiggin and Dana
10.14.2014Wiggin and Dana Wins Second Circuit Appeal for Energy Company
10.13.2014Jonathan Freiman Quoted in ABC News Regarding Victory for Former President of Mexico
08.19.2014Best Lawyers in America Recognizes 33 Lawyers from Wiggin and Dana
05.27.2014Chambers USA Recognizes Wiggin and Dana Practices and Lawyers
03.26.2014Jonathan Freiman Quoted in Washington Post
02.18.2014Second Circuit Victory for Former President of Mexico
01.29.2014Wiggin and Dana Art Law Partner Quoted in U.S. Copyright Office Report
01.24.2014Wiggin and Dana Wins Second Circuit Appeal for Aerospace Company
01.20.2014Benchmark Litigation Recognizes Wiggin and Dana Partners
10.31.2013Wiggin and Dana Wins Key New York Appeal for The Hartford
10.03.2013Benchmark Litigation Recognizes Wiggin and Dana Partners
08.16.2013Best Lawyers in America Recognizes Three Appellate Practice Lawyers from Wiggin and Dana
08.15.2013Best Lawyers in America Recognizes 35 Lawyers from Wiggin and Dana
07.24.2013Jonathan Freiman Quoted in Connecticut Law Tribune
07.18.2013Victory in Defense of Former Mexican President
06.07.2013Chambers USA Ranks Wiggin and Dana Practices and Lawyers in Connecticut and Nationwide Categories
05.22.2013Wiggin and Dana Selected to Receive Litigation Department of the Year Award for Appellate Practice
11.27.2012Wiggin and Dana Recognized by Benchmark Litigation 2012
09.01.2012Wiggin and Dana Attorney Quoted in The Economist
06.19.2012Chambers USA Ranks Wiggin and Dana Practices and Lawyers in Connecticut, New York and Nationwide Categories
10.21.2011Super Lawyers® Recognizes Wiggin and Dana Lawyers
09.14.2011Jonathan Freiman Featured in Connecticut Law Tribune Article
09.13.2011Best Lawyers in America Recognizes 32 Lawyers from Wiggin and Dana
06.17.2011Chambers USA Ranks Wiggin and Dana In Connecticut and Nationwide Practice Areas
06.06.2011Wiggin and Dana Appellate Partner Jonathan Freiman Quoted in Connecticut Law Tribune
05.12.2011Judgment for Connecticut Community Bank in Madoff-Related Cases
06.17.2010Wiggin and Dana Ranked in 2010 Edition of Chambers USA
04.20.2009Appellate Partner Jonathan Freiman Featured in Connecticut Law Tribune
10.08.2007Wiggin and Dana LLP Partner Jonathan M. Freiman Honored by Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association with Paul J. McQuillan Public Service Award
08.24.2007Padilla sues US officials over confinement
04.02.2007Tribunals go too far, Pittsburgh experts say
04.02.2007Jurist 10th Aniversry Conference - Law as a Seamless Web | Site
03.08.2007Wiggin and Dana Promotes Three Attorneys to Partner and Two to Counsel
05.24.2006Wiggin and Dana Counsel Earns Big Win in Second Circuit for University in Long-Running Patent Dispute
11.22.2005Padilla Defense Counsel, Jonathan Freiman, Comments on Indictment
10.04.2005Twenty-Two Wiggin and Dana Attorneys Named in Best Lawyers 2006
09.16.2005Premiere Appellate Lawyer Jonathan M. Freiman, Esq. Named Counsel At Wiggin And Dana
09.14.2005A PBS Special - In The Balance: City Under Siege
03.02.2005Attorney Scores Upset Victory in Major Terror Case
01.11.2005Wiggin and Dana Attorney Interviewed Live on BBC-TV News
01.10.2005Wiggin and Dana Appellate Attorney Argues Historic Case
12.29.2004City lawyer challenging terror policy
07.06.2004'Dirty bomb' suspect Padilla odd man out in ruling
06.29.2004Jonathan Freiman quoted in New York Times re U.S. Supreme Court Padilla decision
06.29.2004Rulings On Detainees A Mixed Bag For Bush
06.28.2004U.S. Supreme Court issues Opinions in Padilla, Hamdi and Guantanamo Bay Cases
06.22.2004U.S. Supreme Court Expected to Issue Opinions in Padilla, Hamdi and Guantanamo Bay Cases by Monday
04.27.2004U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Rumsfeld v. Padilla Oral Argument
03.11.2004Wiggin and Dana Launches – Comprehensive Web Site on Rumsfeld v. Padilla
03.02.2004Bush Counsel: How U.S. Classifies Terror Suspects
02.26.2004'Dirty Bomb' Suspect Allowed to See Lawyer
02.23.2004Military Leaders Join Forces To File Brief On Behalf Of 'Enemy Combatant'
02.23.2004Pentagon Will Allow Padilla To See Lawyer
02.20.2004Giving Due Process Its Due
02.20.2004A Dirty Bomb
02.20.2004Fred Korematsu v. George W. Bush, 'No Law Protects Them, No Court May Hear Their Pleas.'
02.11.2004Government Allows Suspected 'Dirty Bomber' To See Lawyers — Move Marks Sudden Shift On Eve Of Supreme Court Consideration
01.14.2004Legal Brief Filed By Unprecedented Coalition In Guantanamo Detainees’ Case
01.12.2004Court Agrees To Hear Groundbreaking Case In War On Terror
01.05.2004Wiggin & Dana appellate attorney, Jonathan Freiman, writes amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in Hamdi case on behalf of former prisoners of war
12.18.2003Court Issues Groundbreaking Decision In War On Terror
12.04.2003Former POWs Urge Supreme Court to Hear U.S. Citizen Detainee’s Appeal
12.02.2003High Court to Consider Arrests Abroad: Alien Tort Act Used in War on Terrorism, Suits for Damages in Human Rights Cases
12.02.2003Law students write for Guantanamo detainees
11.14.2003'Enemy Combatant' Appeal Tests Separation of Powers
11.12.2003CLT - Vision, Contribution and Achievement 2003
10.13.2003Bush's Vanished Prisoner
09.29.2003Bush Accused by Lords of the Bar
08.13.2003Even A Vanished Man Has Rights
08.13.2003U.S. steps on rights of imprisoned 'dirty bomb' suspect
08.12.2003Habeas Be Hanged
08.08.2003Reuters Quotes Wiggin & Dana's Brief in Padilla Case
07.24.2003Freiman Named Senior Counsel by Lawyers Committee for Human Rights


05.05.2016Special Aspects of Federal Appellate Practice
11.13.2013Legal Issues and Museums: Are Lawyers Needed Now More Than Ever?
05.08.2013Art Law: Litigation and Risks
04.04.2013Art Law: Litigation and Risks
02.28.2013Art Law: Litigation and Risks
04.28.2008State Secrets, Moderator
11.01.2007Three Conversations in the War on Terror
11.01.2007“Terror, Secrets, and the Law”
New York Political Salon
10.04.2007Annual Meeting Honoring J. Freiman with McQuillan Public Service Award
03.29.2007Law As A Seamless Web: Law and War
01.19.2007To Save the Soul of America: Torture and the Heart of Law
12.15.2006Torture and the Heart of Law
09.29.2006An Independent Judiciary?
09.29.2006Role of the Judge: An Independent Judiciary?
04.20.2006The Demands of Memory: The Purposes, Forms and Moral Obligations of Remembering Atrocities
04.15.2006The Noble Luster in Our Eyes
04.01.2006Comparative National Security Law Roundtable
03.15.2006The Supreme Court and the War on Terror
03.01.2006Terror, Ethics and the Law
02.03.2006Coercive Interrogations
02.03.2006Annual Survey of American Law Symposium
02.02.2006Terrorism, National Security, and Executive Authority
09.19.2005A PBS Special - In The Balance: City Under Siege
09.01.2005In the Balance: City Under Seige
01.11.2005Interview on Release of British Guantanamo Detainees
01.05.2005Interview on Jose Padilla
06.24.2004Interview on White House Release of the "Torture Memos"
06.16.2004Practice Before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals
04.28.2004Interview on the "Enemy Combatant" Cases
04.16.2004Supreme Court Update: Human Rights This Term
12.01.2003The War on Terror and the War on Law
04.01.2003Maritime Migrants at the Crossroads
04.01.2002Application of Human Rights Principles to Rescue-at-Sea
05.01.2000Incorporating International Human Rights into U.S. Law

office New Haven
phone 203-498-4584
view LinkedIn profile



  • Yale Law School, J.D., 1998
  • Oberlin College, B.A., 1987, Phi Beta Kappa


  • Connecticut
  • Pennsylvania


  • US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • US District Court (District of Columbia)
  • US District Court (District of Connecticut)
  • US District Court (Eastern District of New York)
  • US District Court (Southern District of New York)
  • US District Court (Western District of New York)
  • US Supreme Court

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