Fred A. Rowley, Jr. is a litigation partner in the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson, where he handles appeals and complex litigation. He is a co-leader of the firm’s Appellate Practice group.
Fred has been recognized by his peers and top publications for his appellate work. An elected member of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers, he has been ranked as a leading appellate lawyer in The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers Magazine. Chambers USA describes him as a “seriously accomplished” practitioner.
Fred represents a wide range of clients, from Fortune 100 companies to non-profit organizations, in appeals before federal and state courts across the country. He has presented argument in more than 40 appeals and served as lead counsel in more than 60 appeals. He has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Ninth and Second Circuits, the Delaware Supreme Court, the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court, and the California Courts of Appeal. His appellate representations cover a wide range of subjects and issues, including securities law, bankruptcy, insurance, utilities and regulatory matters, federalism and foreign affairs, antitrust, RICO, arbitration law, False Claims Act, unfair competition law, patent law, and labor law.
- Arguing a Sixth Amendment challenge before the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Successfully representing a major aerospace company in a defense contract appeal in the Ninth Circuit.
- Successfully representing a major aerospace company in a Ninth Circuit appeal from a multi-week False Claims Act trial.
- Successfully representing a bankruptcy trustee in an arbitration appeal in the California court of appeal.
- Successfully representing a national bank in a contract appeal in the New York state appellate courts arising out of mortgage-backed securities litigation.
- Obtaining summary judgment for the Norton Simon Museum dismissing claims to recover two paintings that were subject to Nazi-coerced sales during World War II. The victory was named among the Daily Journal’s Top Verdicts of 2016 and earned the defense team a Daily Journal 2017 California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award.
Fred has an active practice in the U.S. Supreme Court. He is the co-chair, along with Professor Stuart Banner, of the MTO/UCLA Law School Supreme Court Clinic, which represents indigent criminal defendants in filing certiorari petitions. In that capacity, Fred serves as an Adjunct Lecturer in Law at UCLA Law School. In the October 2015 term, Fred led a team of lawyers from the clinic and the Montana Office of the Appellate Defender in Betterman v. Montana, which considered whether the Sixth Amendment’s speedy trial right applies to sentencing delays. His oral argument, the briefing in the case, and the court’s opinion rejecting the speedy trial challenge can be accessed here. The clinic’s matters can be accessed here.
After originally joining Munger Tolles’ San Francisco office, Fred served for four years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Central District of California, where he handled criminal appeals. He rejoined the firm in 2006.
Fred received an A.B. in political science, with honors and distinction, from Stanford, where was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and played lacrosse. He received his law degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he won the Joseph H. Beale Prize for conflict of laws. During law school, he served as research assistant to Professor Arthur R. Miller, working principally on the Federal Practice and Procedure treatise. Before joining Munger Tolles, Fred served as a law clerk to Judge James R. Browning of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Judge David F. Levi of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.
Throughout his career, Fred has played a leadership role in civic affairs and bar organizations. His current appointments include:
- By appointment of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., Commissioner on the California Commission on Uniform State Laws, which represents the State of California at a national conference on uniform laws issues.
- Co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Committee.
- Elected member, American Law Institute, and adviser to the Restatement (Fourth) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States.
- Elected member, Chancery Club of Los Angeles.
- Board member, ex officio, Federal Bar Association of Los Angeles.
Fred previously served as co-chair of the Central District of California Lawyer Representatives to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, president of the Federal Bar Association of Los Angeles, and member of the California State Bar’s Standing Committee on Appellate Courts. He is a past fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
Outside the law, Fred serves on the boards of Foothill Family Service (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). He coaches baseball and has served as a board member and officer for the Pasadena Southwest Little League.
Fred lives with his wife Sarah, a federal prosecutor, and their three children in South Pasadena, California.