Attorney David Frakt
An honors graduate from Harvard Law school, David J. R. Frakt brings a tremendous amount of experience to Leon Law Firm clients. Mr. Frakt graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Irvine, where he was named “Outstanding Senior” of his graduating class of 1990. He graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1994 and became a member of the New Jersey bar later that year. Immediately after law school, he clerked for the late Honorable Monroe G. McKay, former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. David was commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and entered active duty as a member of the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps. After a decade on active duty, he served 13 more years as a JAG Officer in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 2018.
A noted scholar, David also has been a law professor, teaching at several law schools including Georgetown, the University of Pittsburgh and Duke University Law School between 2005 and 2013, and guest lecturing at dozens of schools, including Harvard, Stanford, Duke, NYU and UCLA Law School, and the Wharton School of Business.
From April 2008 to August 2009, David served as lead defense counsel with the office of military commissions, representing two detainees at Guantanamo facing war crimes and terrorism charges before the U.S. military commissions. He was the first defense counsel to win the pretrial dismissal of all charges against his client, Mohammed Jawad, a juvenile from Afghanistan, and also won Mohammed’s release through a habeas corpus petition in federal court. His representation of Jawad earned him an international reputation as a champion of human rights and the rule of law. He was also the sole defense counsel in one of the only two military commission trials completed during President Bush’s tenure in office, representing Ali Hamza al Bahlul. In 2014, David became a member of the Florida Bar and he has been in private practice ever since. David’s practice has focused on criminal defense, military and Veteran’s law, immigration law, consumer law, family law, and real estate law (David is also a licensed Realtor). David has been admitted to practice in Florida State Courts and in the Northern, Middle and Southern Federal District Courts of Florida. He has represented clients in matters ranging from juvenile offenses, drug offenses, property offenses, sex offenses, and violent crimes, up to and including multiple homicide capital murder cases.
David is a highly regarded expert in the field of criminal law, international war crimes, military law, and terrorism and has been quoted frequently in the national media, including in the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, Los Angeles Times, New York Review of Books, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Miami Herald, The Nation, the ABA Journal and Atlantic Monthly. He has written widely in both scholarly and popular periodicals. His articles and letters have been published in the Washington Post, New York Review of Books, Duke Law Journal, Harvard Human Rights Journal, American Journal of Criminal Law, Air Force Law Review, Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, and Florida State University Law Review, as well as online on Salon.com, CNN.com, Huffington Post, and truthout.org. He has been a repeat guest on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show and on PRI’s “The World” and debated terrorism issues on the “Intelligence Squared” debate series, broadcast nationally on Bloomberg News and NPR. David was featured in the books The Guantanamo Lawyers: Inside a Prison, Outside the Law and Obama’s Guantanamo: Stories from an Enduring Prison.
Harvard Law School, Cum Laude