David Freedman was posthumously awarded the John B. McMillan Distinguished Service award on March 10, 2023, at the Temple Emanuel in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he was an active member and past-president. Speakers included Rabbi Charlie Citron-Walker, Judge Richard Gottlieb, State Bar Counsel Katherine Jean, and State Bar Deputy Counsel Carmen Bannon. Former State Bar President Barbara Christy presented the award to Mr. Freedman’s family.
Mr. Freedman graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1979 and from its law school in 1982. He moved to Winston-Salem after completing his law degree where he worked as an attorney for nearly 40 years. During his career, Mr. Freedman represented numerous judges and attorneys in state disciplinary actions. He won jury verdicts in complex civil trials representing both plaintiffs and defendants. He also handled hundreds of serious felonies, including those involving clients charged with first-degree murder. In addition, Mr. Freedman often represented local law-enforcement officers through the Police Benevolent Association. Mr. Freedman was most recently a partner in the law firm of Freedman, Thompson, Witt, Ceberio & Byrd.
Mr. Freedman was a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in both federal and state criminal law. He previously served as president of the Forsyth County Bar Association, chair of the Criminal Law Section of the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers (now known as the North Carolina Advocates for Justice), and past-president of the Forsyth County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. He was a past recipient of the Harvey Lupton award from the Forsyth County Criminal Defense Trial Lawyers Association, and was named the state’s best criminal defense attorney in 2006 by Business North Carolina magazine.
Mr. Freedman was heavily involved in legal education during his career. He was an adjunct professor of law at Wake Forest University School of Law for 15 years, where he taught criminal procedure and trial practice. He wrote and presented the Criminal Law Update for the WFU Annual Review from 2001 to 2010. Mr. Freedman spoke at numerous Continuous Legal Education Seminars for the North Carolina Bar Association and North Carolina Advocates for Justice. He also spoke to the Virginia Bar and the solicitors of Kentucky as well as to an ethics class at Harvard University.
Mr. Freedman gave generously of his time, knowledge, and experience. He was always gentle and kind, and his generosity of spirit reverberated through the legal community. He engaged in many pro bono endeavors.
During his nearly 40-year career as an attorney, Mr. Freedman was a zealous advocate for his clients and a dedicated mentor to his friends and colleagues.
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