Fred A. Rowley, Jr. is a litigation partner in the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson, where he focuses on appeals and complex litigation. He has represented clients at all stages of trial and in appeals before the federal Courts of Appeals, state appellate courts and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mr. Rowley first joined the firm’s San Francisco Office in 1999 and following four years of government service, rejoined the firm in May 2006. Since returning, he has handled appeals in a wide range of areas, including patent law, the First Amendment, federalism and foreign affairs, federal antitrust and RICO, state unfair competition law, class action law, labor law and criminal law. In his appellate practice, Mr. Rowley has represented a diverse group of clients, from major corporations to nonprofit organizations. His most recent engagements include:
Successfully representing a museum in an appeal raising complex constitutional issues. Persuaded the trial court to dismiss the plaintiff’s case and strike down a California statute of limitations on foreign affairs preemption grounds; then obtained an affirmance by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, see Von Saher v. Norton Simon Museum of Art at Pasadena, 578 F.3d 1016 (9th Cir. 2009); then persuaded the Circuit to deny petitions for rehearing and rehearing en banc, see 592 F.3d 954 (9th Cir. 2010); then represented the Museum in certiorari proceedings in the U.S. Supreme Court, which included persuading the U.S. government to file an amicus brief in support of the Museum and persuading the Supreme Court to deny review, see 131 S. Ct. 3055 (2011).
Successfully representing a major insurance company before three-justice and en banc panels of the Delaware Supreme Court. The appeal raised novel issues about the application of the in pari delicto defense in a shareholder derivative action. See In re AIG Consolidated Derivative Litig., 11 A.3d 228 (Del. Supr. Dec 29, 2010) (affirming 976 A.2d 872 (Del. Ch. 2009)).
Obtaining a precedent-setting victory before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in a California wage and hour class action. See McFarland v. Guardsmark, LLC, 588 F.3d 1236 (9th Cir. 2009).
Serving as lead-counsel for a major American bank in appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit arising out of lawsuits challenging mortgage-backed securities.
Serving as lead counsel for a major petroleum company in appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and the California Court of Appeal raising tort, contract and regulatory issues.
Serving as lead counsel for a major telecommunications company in writ proceedings in the California Court of Appeal raising complex regulatory issues.
Between 2002 and 2006, Mr. Rowley left private practice to join the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, where he served in the Criminal Appeals Section. As an assistant U.S. attorney, Mr. Rowley argued 21 cases in the 9th Circuit, filed dozens of briefs in that court, and supervised the preparation of many other appellate briefs. He also successfully tried to jury verdict cases involving bank and wire fraud, and theft of government property.
Mr. Rowley maintains an active pro bono practice. He presented oral argument on behalf of autism researchers, participating as amici curiae, in an appeal raising the eligibility of people with Asperger’s Disorder for state benefits. Among other matters, he prepared amicus briefs on behalf of child advocacy groups in United States v. Williams, 553 U.S. 285 (2008) (child pornography case) and on behalf of minority-owned business groups in Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Mineta, 534 U.S. 103 (2001) (affirmative action case).
Mr. Rowley is an elected member of American Law Institute, and currently serves as a lawyer representative to the 9th Circuit Judicial Conference. He is a board member and past president of the Federal Bar Association of Los Angeles and previously served as a member of the California State Bar’s Standing Committee on Appellate Courts. He has been named a “Rising Star” in the appellate practice field by Law & Politics Media Inc., as published in Los Angeles magazine. And he is secretary of the Cutthroat Lawyers Bar Association, a group dedicated to the twin arts of lawyering and fly fishing.
In addition to his work with legal organizations, Mr. Rowley is a member of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council and the Pacific Council on International Policy, and a past Fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. He also serves on the boards of directors of Foothill Family services, a non-profit that provides counseling and educational services to needy families in the Los Angeles area and the Center for Asian Americans United for Self-Empowerment, a non-profit that promotes Asian-Americans in politics.
Mr. Rowley received his undergraduate degree with departmental honors and distinction from Stanford University. While at Stanford, he played lacrosse, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and received the Leavelle Prize for Best Honors Thesis in Political Theory. Mr. Rowley received his J.D., magna cum laude, from the Harvard Law School, where he received the Joseph H. Beale Prize for Conflict of Laws and served as a research assistant to Professor Arthur R. Miller. After graduating law school, Mr. Rowley clerked for Judge James R. Browning, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit (1997-1998) and Judge David F. Levi, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California (1998-1999).
Mr. Rowley lives in Pasadena with his wife and their three children.