Brian Wolfman


Director, Appellate Courts Immersion Clinic, Associate Professor of Law

B.A., University of Pennsylvania; J.D., Harvard

Areas of Expertise:

Administrative Law, Civil Procedure and Trial Practice, Civil Rights and Discrimination, Clinical Education, Consumer Protection, Courts and Judges, Labor and Employment Law

Professor Wolfman re-joined the Georgetown Law faculty in 2016 as the Director of the new full-time, semester-long Appellate Clinic. He was previously a Professor of the Practice...

Continue Reading

Professor Wolfman re-joined the Georgetown Law faculty in 2016 as the Director of the new full-time, semester-long Appellate Clinic. He was previously a Professor of the Practice of Law and Co-Director of Stanford Law School's Supreme Court Litigation Clinic. Before that, from 2009 to 2014, Professor Wolfman served as Director of the Civil Rights section of Georgetown Law's Institute for Public Representation, a student clinic that handles complex trial court and appellate litigation focused on civil rights and other public-interest litigation. While at Georgetown, he also taught the standard doctrinal course on Federal Courts and the Federal System and a course on appellate courts. Before Georgetown, he spent nearly 20 years at the national public interest law firm Public Citizen Litigation Group, serving the last five years as the Group's Director. Earlier in his career, he conducted trial and appellate litigation as a staff lawyer at a rural poverty law program in Arkansas. Professor Wolfman has handled a broad range of litigation, including cases involving health and safety regulation, class action governance, court-access issues, federal preemption, consumer law, public-benefits law, and government transparency. He has argued six cases before the Supreme Court (winning five), and he has litigated hundreds of cases before federal and state appellate and trial courts around the country. He directed Public Citizen's Supreme Court Assistance Project, which helps "underdog" public-interest clients litigate before the U.S. Supreme Court. He has testified before Congress and federal rules committees on a range of issues, and he was an Advisor to the American Law Institute's Principles of the Law of Aggregate Litigation. Since 2004, he has taught an intensive Appellate Courts Workshop during the January Term at Harvard Law School. Professor Wolfman has authored articles on a variety of subjects, often on the intersection of state tort law and federal preemption doctrine and on class actions.



Recent Scholarship

Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals

  • Brian Wolfman, Judges! Stop Deferring to Class-Action Lawyers, 2 U. Mich. J.L. Reform Online 80-90 (2013).    [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Brian Wolfman & Alan B. Morrison, What the Shutts Opt-Out Right is and What It Ought to Be, 74 UMKC L. Rev. 729-764 (2006).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
View all scholarship

All Scholarship 2005 - Present

Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals

  • Brian Wolfman, Judges! Stop Deferring to Class-Action Lawyers, 2 U. Mich. J.L. Reform Online 80-90 (2013).    [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Brian Wolfman & Alan B. Morrison, What the Shutts Opt-Out Right is and What It Ought to Be, 74 UMKC L. Rev. 729-764 (2006).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]

U.S. Supreme Court Briefs

  • Reply Brief for Petitioners, McBurney v. Young, No. 12-17 (U.S. Feb. 13, 2013).   

Selected Contributions to Other Publications

  • Brian Wolfman & Anne King, Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Bartlett and Its Implications, 41 Prod. Safety & Liab. Rpt. (BNA) 1236-1244 (Oct. 14, 2013).   
  • Brian Wolfman & Anne King, Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Bartlett and Its Implications, 41 Prod. Safety & Liab. Rpt. (BNA) 1268-1277 (Oct. 21, 2013).   
  • Brian Wolfman & Anne King, Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Bartlett and Its Implications, 82 U.S.L.W. 627-635 (Oct. 29, 2013).    [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Brian Wolfman & Anne King, Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Bartlett and Its Implications, 82 U.S.L.W. 667-676 (Nov. 5, 2013).    [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Brian Wolfman & Dena Feldman, PLIVA v. Mensing and Its Implications, 39 Prod. Safety & Liab. Rpt. (BNA) 972-982 (Sept. 5, 2011).    [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Brian Wolfman, Foreword: The National Association of Consumer Advocates Standards and Guidelines for Litigating and Settling Consumer Class Actions (Second Edition, 2006), 255 F.R.D. 215-219 (2009).    [W]
  • Brian Wolfman, Wyeth v. Levine and Its Implications, 24 Toxics L. Rpt. (BNA) 643-652 (May 21, 2009).   
  • Brian Wolfman, Wyeth v. Levine and Its Implications, 37 Prod. Safety & Liab. Rpt. (BNA) 550-558 (May 11, 2009).    [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Brian Wolfman, Why Preemption Proponents Are Wrong, Trial, Mar. 2007, at 20-28.    [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Brian Wolfman & Allison M. Zieve, The FDA's Argument for Eradicating State Tort Law: Why It Is Wrong and Warrants No Deference, 21 Toxics L. Rpt. (BNA) 516-525 (May 25, 2006).   
  • Brian Wolfman & Allison M. Zieve, The FDA's Argument for Eradicating State Tort Law: Why It Is Wrong and Warrants No Deference, 34 Prod. Safety & Liab. Rpt. (BNA) 308-316 (Mar. 27, 2006).   
  • Daniel Mosteller & Brian Wolfman, Bates v. Dow Agrosciences: Will the Lower Courts Finally Start Listening?, 33 Prod. Safety & Liab. Rpt. (BNA) 949-954 (Sept. 26, 2005).    [SSRN]
  • Brian Wolfman, Preventing the Subversion of Devlin v. Scardelletti, 6 Class Action Litig. Rpt. (BNA) 453-457 (June 24, 2005).    [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
Recent scholarship

In the News

"Koby v. ARS National Services, Inc.," coverage by The Recorder (Cal.), January 25, 2017, mentioning Associate Professor Brian Wolfman.

"9th Circ. Rips 'Worthless' Deal In ARS Debt Collection Row," coverage by Law 360, January 25, 2017, mentioning Associate Professor Brian Wolfman.

CNBC Nightly Business Report interview with Professor Brian Wolfman, September 27, 2016.

Nightly Business Report, on PBS featuring Professor Brian Wolfman, September 27, 2016. 
 
 

"Should Late Shopping of Class Settlements Draw Sanctions?," coverage by Bloomberg BNA, September 19, 2016, quoting Associate Professor Brian Wolfman, Director of the Appellate Litigation Clinic.

View all News

All News

"Koby v. ARS National Services, Inc.," coverage by The Recorder (Cal.), January 25, 2017, mentioning Associate Professor Brian Wolfman.

"9th Circ. Rips 'Worthless' Deal In ARS Debt Collection Row," coverage by Law 360, January 25, 2017, mentioning Associate Professor Brian Wolfman.

CNBC Nightly Business Report interview with Professor Brian Wolfman, September 27, 2016.

Nightly Business Report, on PBS featuring Professor Brian Wolfman, September 27, 2016. 
 
 

"Should Late Shopping of Class Settlements Draw Sanctions?," coverage by Bloomberg BNA, September 19, 2016, quoting Associate Professor Brian Wolfman, Director of the Appellate Litigation Clinic.

 "Labor Law: Third party harassment," coverage in Work It, Richmond, May 11, 2013, featuring Ms. Anne W. King, LLM'17, and Visiting Professor Brian Wolfman, co-director, Institute for Public Representation.

"Court Revives Third-Party Harassment Claim, Saying Jury Could Find Employer Negligence," coverage by Bloomberg BNA, May 6, 2014, featuring Anne Warren King, LL.M.'17 and Visiting Professor Brian Wolfman, codirector of the Institute of Public Representation.

The Columbus Dispatch and Reuters reported on an opinion by U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff that cites the scholarship of Professor Adam J. Levitin. The plaintiffs in the case were represented by Visiting Professor Brian Wolfman, Co-Director of Institute for Public Representation, and Adjunct Professor Deepak Gupta L'02.

"Court Must Revisit Legal Fees in Audi-VW Sludge Case," a post in the New York Times blog "Wheels," August 1, 2012, featuring Visiting Professor Brian Wolfman, co-director of the Institute for Public Representation.

Recent News