CAROL GARFIEL FREEMAN, ESQUIRE
Oral History Project
The Historical Society of the District of Columbia Circuit
Oral History Project United States Courts
The Historical Society of the District of Columbia Circuit
District of Columbia Circuit
CAROL GARFIEL FREEMAN, ESQUIRE
Interviews conducted by Jodi Avergun, Esquire
February 5, 2021
March 10, 2021
April 22, 2021
October 18, 2021
Oral History of Carol Garfiel Freeman
Table of Contents
Preface. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. i
Oral History Agreements
Carol Garfiel Freeman, Esquire ………………………………………………………………………. iii
Jodi Avergun, Esquire ………………………………………………………………………………….. vi
Oral History Transcripts of Interviews
February 2, 2021 ……………………………………………………………………………………………1
March 10, 2021 ……………………………………………………………………………………………36
April 22, 2021 ……………………………………………………………………………………………..71
October 18, 2021 ………………………………………………………………………………………….98
Index …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. A-1
Table of Cases and Statutes …………………………………………………………………………………B-1
Carol Garfiel Freeman Esquire ……………………………………………………………………C-1
Jodi Avergun, Esquire …………………………………………………………………………….. D-1
The following pages record interviews conducted on the dates indicated. The interviews were
recorded digitally or on cassette tape, and the interviewee and the interviewer have been afforded
an opportunity to review and edit the transcript.
The contents hereof and all literary rights pertaining hereto are governed by, and are subject to,
the Oral History Agreements included herewith.
© 2022 Historical Society of the District of Columbia Circuit.
All rights reserved.
The goal of the Oral History Project of the Historical Society of the District of Columbia
Circuit is to preserve the recollections of the judges of the Courts of the District of Columbia
Circuit and lawyers, court staff, and others who played important roles in the history of the
Circuit. The Project began in 1991. Oral history interviews are conducted by volunteer
attorneys who are trained by the Society. Before donating the oral history to the Society, both
the subject of the history and the interviewer have had an opportunity to review and edit the
Indexed transcripts of the oral histories and related documents are available in the
Judges’ Library in the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse, 333 Constitution Avenue,
N.W., Washington, D.C., the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, and the library of
the Historical Society of the District of Columbia
With the permission of the person being interviewed, oral histories are also available on
the Internet through the Society’s Web site, www.dcchs.org. Audio recordings of most
interviews, as well as electronic versions of the transcripts, are in the custody of the Society.
Oral History of Carol Garfiel Freeman
February 5, 2021
Jodi Avergun: Good morning. So, this is Jodi Avergun. Today is February 5, 2021. It is
1:03 p.m. on the East Coast and 10:03 a.m. on the West Coast, where we
are joined by Carol Freeman:, who has graciously agreed to participate in
the D.C. Circuit Historical Society’s Oral History Project. And we are very
pleased, Carol, to have you doing this project for us. It is an honor, and on
behalf of the board of the Historical Society, thank you. So, well, go ahead.
Carol Freeman: Having been a member of the D.C. Bar since 1964, it’s somewhat of an
honor for me to be chosen to participate in this project.
Jodi Avergun: All right, well that’s good. I would love to start off with you at the
beginning, and I’m going to try and interrupt you as little as possible. So,
feel free to narrate as much as you want, but I reserve the right to ask
follow-up questions. I’d love to hear about your childhood and your
background, where you grew up and your history growing up, and we’ll
start there, OK?
Carol Freeman: That’s fine. Let me say in the beginning, I know that most of the Oral
History Project is done face to face, and the reason this is not being done
face to face is because I am in California where we were last winter when
the Coronavirus sprang up. And we have been reluctant to go back to
Maryland because we didn’t want to fly for medical reasons. We’re healthy,
but we’re of an age where we’re susceptible to the virus, and so we’ve
stayed here in order to preserve our health. We have, since a week ago,
gotten the first shot of the Pfizer virus vaccine, and in two weeks, we’ll get
the second shot. And a few weeks after that, as I understand it, we should
be 95% safe, so that sometime in late April, maybe early May, we will get
back to Maryland, to our home. And, hopefully, after that, we can have a
face-to-face meeting, suitably masked, suitably socially distanced. But it
will be more like the usual Oral History Project. And we’re going to do this
solely on the phone, my phone, because it is apparently better to record
when it’s done on the phone rather than on the Zoom visual. So that’s an
Jodi Avergun: I think, Carol, I just want to interrupt as I told you I might do. That’s
fantastic context, I think, important for the Oral History Project so that
people can see the moment in time that this is happening, and maybe we’ll
even come back to some experiences in your retirement at a later date. But
I promise you that our next meeting will be face to face, masked and
distanced, because I probably won’t qualify for a vaccine by then. But I’m
glad that you are safe and healthy, and coming home in the foreseeable
Carol Freeman: Well, if we can slow it down so that there’s at least one meeting left, we can
do something face to face. That’s the hope. I think what you’re saying is
that people 30 years from now will not understand what was going on in the
winter, or in the year 2020 going over to 2021, and that we need to explain
to them that this was a time when people did not really want to get together
if they were smart.
Jodi Avergun: I think that’s right.
Carol Freeman: So, beginning. OK, I’ve read several of the other oral histories, or at least
parts of them, that have been given. I read ones by Judge June Green, Judge
Joyce Green, both of whom I knew. Zona Hostetler, whom I think I’ve met,
although we grew up in the same legal community, but we had different
paths. And I know that part of the interest is in my background and how I
got to be a lawyer.
Carol Freeman: So let me start by saying I was born in 1937, in New York City. My parents,
Theodore Garfiel and Isabel Levy Garfiel, were both born in New York.
My father’s parents, Charles Garfiel and Marie Lipshitz, came to the U.S.
from Poland/Russia in the early-to-late 1890s. My grandfather came first in
1892, went into business of some sort in New York, and became a citizen.
My grandmother came in 1898 with her mother and a sister and lived in
Philadelphia with a brother who had come over earlier. Supposedly my
grandfather was walking by, saw my grandmother, and decided to court her.
The families were probably relatively affluent. My grandmother spoke
many languages and was working with her brother in his pharmacy when
my grandfather saw her. I was not curious enough when she was alive to
ask her details about her education, but they were an educated family. My
grandfather, when he got to the U.S., somewhat quickly got into doing some
real estate business, so I gather that he was also from a relatively affluent –
and affluent isn’t quite the right word, but he had the ability to get involved
in business quickly. My grandmother became a citizen when she married
my grandfather. By 1900, when their first child was born, they were living
on East 90th Street in Manhattan. They were Orthodox Jews So that’s my
Carol Freeman: My mother’s family came over here much earlier. Her paternal
grandparents, Ernest Abraham Levy and Isabella Levy, were from
London and the word is that they were cousins. They married in London
in 1859 and came over to New York later that year with their oldest son.
The rest of their 12 children, including my grandfather Herman John Levy
(known as Jack), were born in New York. They lived in what was
probably East Harlem, or possibly West Harlem, and they were not
affluent. My mother’s father’s family was Jewish, but not apparently
Carol Freeman: My mother’s maternal grandparents were James Clark and Bridget
Vaughn They were Catholic and came over from Ireland in – I’ve never
quite found their immigration status – but they came over before the
1860s, met and married in New York, and had several children including
my grandmother Alice. They were also not affluent. The Levy and Clark
families lived around the corner from each other. Jack Levy met Alice
Clark, they fell in love, and they got married with the caveat that any
children would have to be brought up Catholic. And this is only really
relevant because it took my parents, Ted and Isabel, a while to get married
because of the religious difference. But once they did get married, they
settled into a Jewish home, although essentially a Reform Jewish home.
OK, so that’s my ancestry, as far as I can tell.
Jodi Avergun: Can I ask you a question about that?
Carol Freeman: Sure.
Jodi Avergun: So, these are your grandparents who – one of your grandparents was Irish
Catholic. Is that right, or are we a generation further beyond?
Carol Freeman: My mother’s mother’s parents came over from Ireland, they were Catholic
and their children including my grandmother Alice were brought up
Catholic. My mother’s father’s parents, who were Jewish, met and married
in London and came to New York from London in 1859 with their first son,
who was not my grandfather.
Jodi Avergun: Got it. Got it.
Carol Freeman: Both of my grandparents on my mother’s side were born in the U.S.
Jodi Avergun: Got it. OK, just wanted to clarify the generations. All right. Well, that is
interesting in that they lived in the same town, and I bet religious
intermarriage back in the old country was probably not that common.
Carol Freeman: You’re talking about towns. This is Manhattan in New York City. This is
the city, this is not a town.
Jodi Avergun: I didn’t understand that we’re talking about your grandparents who are
already in the United States. So, sorry, go ahead.
Carol Freeman: OK, my great-grandparents came over, my great-grandparents, One set of
great-grandparents on my mother’s side came over in 1859, from London.
The other set of great-grandparents on my mother’s side came over from
Ireland, probably around the same time. Both sets of great grandparents
settled in Manhattan, they settled in what is probably the area between 90th
Street and 120th Street, East or West. They moved around a lot. I’ve
tracked them on Census records. I haven’t read that over in preparation for
this meeting interview. But this was not a small town; it was Manhattan.
Jodi Avergun: Got it.
Carol Freeman: Got it?
Jodi Avergun: Yep.
Carol Freeman: OK. So both families happened to be in the same neighborhood, so my
grandfather Jack Levy and my grandmother Alice Clark obviously ran into
each other and knew each other. The child of the English immigrants and
the child of the Irish immigrants were living in the same area, probably, and
that’s how they met.
Jodi Avergun: Uh-huh.
Carol Freeman: I think it was around the Columbia University campus, because I remember
going by with one of my sons, once, trying to find the address, and this
building that they had lived in at one point had been torn down, so around
Columbia University. But, of course, at that point, Columbia University, I
think, was still downtown, somewhere around Rockefeller Center, so it
Jodi Avergun: OK.
Carol Freeman: That’s a sidetrack.
Jodi Avergun: Yeah, but I didn’t know that about Columbia. Maybe that’s another
conversation. Go ahead.
Carol Freeman: We have a lot of Columbia in my family. It may come out as time goes on.
Jodi Avergun: OK.
Carol Freeman: OK, I talked about my grandparents and my great-grandparents. My
father, Ted Garfiel, was born in 1905. He had an older sister. His father
was in the real estate business. His mother did not work. He grew up, he
went to Townsend Harris High School. He was not a serious student at that
point. I think the story was that he flunked Latin, though he ended up
getting admitted to Columbia College in 1920, when he was 15 or 16 when
he was admitted to Columbia College. So he was Class of 1924 at
Columbia. After he graduated he went into business. First, he went down
to Philadelphia and worked with somebody in the clothing industry. He
ended up back in New York, where he had a small hosiery company. His
father died in 1927, and my father then took over a lot of the real estate
business that his father had operated. So he ended up being in real estate.
Not huge, expensive projects, like someone who will not be mentioned here,
but small residential buildings, perhaps, with a store on the ground floor.
80th Street and Third Avenue, he had some buildings on Hunt’s Point
Avenue at one point, he had some on East Broadway at one point, he had
one on 116th and Third. Smallish buildings, but that was what he did.
Carol Freeman: My mother’s parents, Jack and Alice, lived at first in in the neighborhoods
in Manhattan where they had grown up. They had several children. Their
first child was a little girl named Isabel, named after her grandmother
Isabella who had come from London. Baby Isabel died in 1902, and this is
a story that probably has nothing to do with me, but my mother was born in
1903, and she was also named Isabel. She had an older sister, Muriel. There
was Muriel, there was Isabel, there was Elsie, who was born in 1907, and
Eddie, who was born in 1910. So Isabel, my mother, was the second of four
living children. At some point in the 1910’s the family moved to Brooklyn.
My mother went to Erasmus Hall High School. She did not go to college,
because, in those days, most girls didn’t go to college. But she did work
with her father, who also had a real estate business of some sort. He owned
buildings in Brooklyn, I think. I haven’t developed a lot of the evidence,
and I’m not sure any of it still exists, as to exactly what his real estate
business was. I know they did own a building on Eastern Parkway at one
point, and my information was that Jack Johnson, the Black boxer, lived in
one of the apartments at one point.
Jodi Avergun: Ahh.
Carol Freeman: It may have been the same building that my mother’s family lived in at the
same time, but I haven’t tracked that down. I’ve done a fair amount of
genealogy, but there are still a lot of loose ends to be wrapped up if I ever
get around to it.
So my parents, Ted Garfiel and Isabel Levy, met in 1930 at a Halloween
party, which neither of them had really meant to go to, but somebody invited
them. So they met and it was a very dull party, but my father knew of a guy
who could provide some alcohol, this being during the years of prohibition,
and so my father would manage to liven up the party and they started dating.
They got married in 1934. They lived on East 79th Street for a while and
then, when my mother got pregnant in 1937, they bought a house in
Brooklyn, and that was where I grew up. It was 786 East 19th Street in
Brooklyn, the Midwood area of Brooklyn, and I was born in August 1937.
My parents renovated this 1910 house and they moved in sometime in the
fall of 1937. I went to elementary school at P.S. 152, which was walking
distance from our home. I took piano lessons at a school called the Mabel
Corey Watt School of Music, which I, after a while, used ride to on my
bike. I did a lot of bike riding in the neighborhood. What else? I had a
very, very best friend who lived next door. When my parents were
renovating the house, they put in a lot of outlets in the top floor, big front
room for their son’s electric trains. Of course, they never had a son,
although I did get some electric trains from some of my cousins, at one
point. I am an only child. I never had a brother or sister.
Jodi Avergun: Well, Carol, let me ask you about that, because that’s so interesting. How
did you come to learn that the electric outlets were there for a hoped-for son
or a hoped-for brother for you?
Carol Freeman: What was that?
Jodi Avergun: How did you know that they put in electric outlets hoping that they would
have a son who would have electric trains?
Carol Freeman: I’m not sure that they were hoping, but maybe they were just assuming. I
was just told that they put in electric outlets for their son’s electric trains.
Jodi Avergun: OK.
Carol Freeman: And it was a big playroom in the top of the third floor of the house. There
was also a closet under the eaves of the house in that room, and my friends
and I used to play games hiding there from, I don’t know, from Cowboys
and Indians or whatever we were playing. Let’s see. The War, World War
II, came up in the middle, there, and my father joined the National Guard.
He wanted to enlist, but my mother discouraged that because he was 36
years old and had a small child so he went into the National Guard instead.
I think he was a block captain during the air raids, I don’t know what you
would call it. I wasn’t very old at that time. But we had blackouts for a
time and I remember the blackout paint on the windows. What is relevant
to why I became a lawyer is that I used to listen to a lot of radio programs.
There was no television in those days; there was radio and there were two
kinds of programs. There were fifteen-minute programs that would be in
the late afternoon, and they were called soap operas because they were
sponsored, for the most part, by soap companies, like Rinso and Dreft and
some of the other soap companies. But they generally dealt with girls from
the poor neighborhoods who went to the big city and met a guy and became
very wealthy or went over to Europe and became titled wives. So that was
one kind of soap opera. The other kind of radio program was a half-hour
program, which were more adventure programs, like The Lone Ranger,
which was my absolute favorite.
Jodi Avergun: Is that right?
Carol Freeman: And indeed, I have the – I’m blocking as to what it’s called. We do get to
edit this a little bit, don’t we?
Jodi Avergun: We might be able to in the transcript. You can look at the transcript, but the
oral history, as recorded, is recorded. But I’ll check on that for you.
Carol Freeman: OK, I understand that. My ringtone is the William Tell Overture, which
was The Lone Ranger’s music.
Jodi Avergun: Yes.
Carol Freeman: But the other program that was relevant to my professional life was a
program called Hop Harrigan, Ace of the Airways. I don’t remember if it
was a fifteen-minute or a half-hour program, but this was during World
War II and he was obviously a pilot who was flying sorties, either against
Germans or Japanese. And he had a nurse whose name was Gail Nolan,
and I said I wanted to be a nurse like Gail Nolan. And my father said,
“Nurses empty bed pans and take orders from doctors. Be a doctor.” That
is relevant to how I became a lawyer because my parents always encouraged
me to become a professional, to have a profession, which, I gather, was
rather unusual for parents of girls in the 1940s and ’50s. Many of my
college classmates – I’m jumping ahead a little bit – many of my college
classmates, in later years, became lawyers, but very few of us went to law
school directly from college. And many of them have said their parents,
their fathers, particularly, wanted them to do something they could use to
support themselves, like teaching. And I certainly don’t want to denigrate
teachers – my daughter is a teacher – but education and teaching was what
parents of daughters in the ’40s and ’50s thought their daughters should do.
My parents were different and a little unusual in that they wanted me to
become a professional like a doctor or a lawyer. My uncle Eddie, my
mother’s younger brother, was a lawyer and my mother used to help him
study, both, I think, in law school and certainly for the bar exam, and she
probably would have been a very good lawyer. And she was encouraging
me to be a lawyer. I think my father was encouraging me to be a doctor.
So that is something that is definitely relevant to how I became a lawyer.
Jodi Avergun: But you always wanted to have a career outside the home, you think.
Carol Freeman: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. I mean, I always expected to get married and have
children. But it was always assumed that I would do something a little bit
– I’m going to call it a profession – even though teaching and college
education, they’re professions, but in the context of going to – I don’t know
how to put this without –
Jodi Avergun: They wanted you to have an advanced degree?
Carol Freeman: Yes. OK. So, there we are. I’m in the sixth grade. I want to be a doctor
now. And in those days there were three kinds of schools. There was
kindergarten through eighth grade, elementary school. There were junior
high schools, which were seventh, eighth and ninth grades. And there were
high schools, which were ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades. This is
in New York City, possibly elsewhere in the country, but I’m only talking
about New York City. So, in the sixth grade, the educational system had
started a program called Special Progress Classes where selected students
could do the seventh, eighth and ninth grades in two years rather than three.
I don’t know if this was the first year it was started but it was pretty new at
that time. So I was chosen or selected or recommended by P.S. 152 to be
part of this program and my parents agreed. So I and a few of my other
classmates went down to Cunningham Junior High School 234 to be in the
Special Progress Classes. And so I did the seventh, eighth and ninth grades
in two years so, technically, I’m a year ahead of where my birth cohorts
would otherwise be. I ended up being Valedictorian of that class and,
interestingly, two of my classmates from junior high school ended up in my
law school class. And one of my junior high school classmates, my very
best friend at that point, ended up in my college class.
Jodi Avergun: Um hmm.
Carol Freeman: OK. In the year 1951, which was when we graduated from junior high
school, my parents had decided to move from Brooklyn to Manhattan, so I
did not go to the local high school that I would’ve gone to in Brooklyn. I
went to Bronx High School of Science in the Bronx. And the reason I went
there was, the other high school choices were not available or not
interesting. We had moved to an apartment on 77th Street between
Lexington and Third avenues. The local high school was all girls and didn’t
have a very good reputation. The other possible high schools were Hunter
College High School which was also all girls, and the High School of Music
and Art which I understood required students in the music program to study
a second instrument – and I didn’t want to do that. Stuyvesant was all boys
at that point. So, Bronx Science was left and it was a very good high school.
I had a good time there. One of the questions that is suggested was whether
there were differences in the way young men and women were treated and
I would say no, I think we were all treated the same.
Jodi Avergun: So, Bronx Science, for people who don’t know, like its name suggests is a
very science focused school and might even be called a STEM school now.
They were open to girls and boys in the high school having the same
opportunities to learn science and math in the 1950s there.
Carol Freeman: And you had to take an exam to get in.
Jodi Avergun: Yep.
Carol Freeman: It was an exam and it drew people from all over – probably not from Staten
Island – but certainly from Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx. It
was one of the elite schools at that point. I never figured out the percentage
of boys and girls but there were certainly a large number of girls –
Jodi Avergun: OK.
Carol Freeman: – which we were called in those days. The program basically required
four or possibly five years of science and four years of math. There was
only room for three years of language so I continued with French that I
had studied in junior high school for the three years that I was there. They
had two special classes. One was called Science Techniques Laboratory
– which was shop to some extent – and you built a scientific instrument.
I built a microscope. And the other course that was different was
mechanical drawing which was basically creating blueprints for things. I
thought that was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed that one. For extracurricular
activities, the one that I was most involved with was the newspaper called
the Science Survey. We also had four years of English and four years of
social studies – so it was basically a liberal arts course with somewhat of
an emphasis on the science end of it. In those days I do not think there
was any emphasis on what is now called STEM. It was just what you did
[laughter]. Anyway, so I took a journalism course – I guess it must have
been junior year – and both junior year and senior year worked on the
newspaper. We did not have an editor-in-chief but another girl and I were
the women who wrote the editorials. So that was a lot of fun – working
on the newspaper. And we also joined a whole bunch of other clubs
because you wanted to beef up your résumé so you could get into a good
Jodi Avergun: So nothing’s changed between 1955 and 2020 – kids in high school have
to beef up their résumés. [laughter]
Carol Freeman: Yeah, but the only one that was really serious was the newspaper. OK,
now we get to applying to college. The only colleges I considered were
the – what were called the Seven Sisters. In those days there was the Ivy
League and there were the Seven Sisters. The Ivy League schools for the
most part were all male. Cornell was co-ed but for some reason I never
thought about Cornell. Harvard had Radcliffe which has now been
merged into Harvard. I’ve got a friend who went to Radcliffe; she’s a
little annoyed because she keeps getting invitations to Harvard reunions
but she was a Radcliffe graduate, not a Harvard graduate. I guess Penn
had an adjunct that had women. Brown had Pembroke and Pembroke may
have been now merged into Brown.
Jodi Avergun: It is that’s where I graduated from.
Carol Freeman: Hmm?
Jodi Avergun: That’s where I graduated from – is Brown.
Carol Freeman: Is that right?
Jodi Avergun: So Pembroke is Brown.
Carol Freeman: Yeah, like Radcliffe is Harvard.
Jodi Avergun: Like Radcliffe.
Carol Freeman: So there was the Ivy League, which was mainly male, and there was the
Seven Sisters: Wellesley, Smith, Radcliffe, Bryn Mawr, Vassar, Holyoke
and somewhere else which escapes me at the moment. Anyway, we went
Jodi Avergun: Was it Wesleyan?
Carol Freeman: No, that was a boys’ school. Wellesley, Smith, Holyoke, Vassar,
Radcliffe, Bryn Mawr. Well, whichever it was, I didn’t apply to it.
OK, so we went up to Boston for college tour and at that point my first
interview was going to be at Radcliffe. I went up having read the catalog
and thought, “This is terrific.”
Jodi Avergun: It must have been Smith College.
Carol Freeman: But the tour was not as exciting as I thought it would be so I was rather
saddened by that and then we went to Wellesley which I absolutely
adored. It was a beautiful campus; it was a good tour; the catalog was
obviously interesting. So I applied to Wellesley, Radcliffe, Vassar –
where we did go up for a tour – and Smith, where I only had an interview
at an office in New York. My grade guide, which counselors were called
then, told me not to apply to Wellesley because I’d never get in. Wellesley
did not have a good record of taking people from Bronx Science. Well, I
applied, I got in, I went and I loved it. I had a very good time at college.
It was all women then and it’s still all women. That was nice. I made
some very good friends there. I had a good time. I didn’t do anything
particularly outstanding for extracurriculars. I did learn how to play
bridge. We played a lot of bridge and I had a not overly distinguished
academic record. My grades were good enough that I was named a
Wellesley College Scholar for all the time that they designated Wellesley
College Scholars but I wasn’t in the highest group of scholars and I was
not Phi Bete by any means. But, I had a good time and I learned a lot. I
did start off pre-med. I took a lot of science courses – chemistry and
biology – which I did enjoy. Then in the summer of 1955 I read a book
about the history of the Jews and the period of the Middle Ages and pre-
Middle Ages, Middle Ages and just after the Middle Ages, which I found
very interesting. So the next year, sophomore year, I started taking history
courses and I ended up being a history major. I continued to take science
courses but at one point I ended up with Atomic Physics which I passed;
I did all right. But I really didn’t grasp exactly what was going on in the
course. That was when I changed from, that was partly how I changed
from being pre-med to pre-law. In the summer of 1957 when I was
debating what to do after college, my parents suggested that I go to a
program at NYU that would counsel on vocations. I did go there. I
remember taking some preference tests, as well as ability tests and I was
gearing the answers on the preference questions towards medicine but I
scored very high for both law and medicine. My thinking at that point I
think in part was that it would be easier to drop out of a profession for a
few years while raising children in law rather than medicine. As it turned
out, I never really did drop out of one profession, of my legal profession.
I kept going continuously but that was part of my thinking. I guess I must
have enjoyed the professional ability test part of the law. So, I did apply
to law school, I took the law school aptitude exam which at that point was
not the kind of very heavy, very serious test that people, I’m going to say
now, but I know that my sons when they were both taking the law school
aptitude test, the LSAT, they studied, they took courses; it was a very
serious thing. It wasn’t really then, I think it was more of an IQ kind of
test. It had fact situations and you were supposed to answer questions
about the fact situation and it also had those things, which I enjoyed,
where they give you a bunch of cubes stacked together and you’re
supposed to try and figure out how may cubes there are altogether. I
thought it was fun. I enjoyed taking the test. I will say that I had a date
that day who was also taking it and we were going to the
Harvard/Princeton game afterwards and so all I was concerned about was
would we make the kickoff of the football game. I supposed that helped.
I wasn’t stressed taking the exams. I did extremely well on the exam. So,
I ended up going to law school.
The only law school I applied to for some reason was Columbia. It was
assumed that I would go back to New York. Oh, I had forgotten to say
that my father had assumed that I would go to Barnard. Oh, I’m sorry,
Barnard is the seventh of the Seven Sisters. I don’t know why I forgot
Barnard. When I was applying to college he assumed I would go to
Barnard. He had gone to Columbia. He had become very active in
Columbia alumni affairs. But I wanted to go out of the city. So that was
the first real big argument I had with my parents and I won that one and I
went out of the city. But, I came back to Columbia Law School.
One of the questions you had was, “Did I work during high school?” and
I’m going to add, “during college.” I did not work during high school. I
went to summer camp. Then, after I stopped going to summer camp my
parents took a house on a lake somewhere, either in New York State or
Vermont, and we went away for the summer. There was something else
I was going to mention.
Jodi Avergun: You were coming back to – you won the battle not to go to Barnard.
Carol Freeman: I just wanted to mention that was the first big argument I had with my
parents. I had a very pleasant childhood. We were comfortable. We
weren’t overly affluent but we were – the phrase was “comfortable” in
those days. I had normal stresses like friends and being bullied, not doing
that well in a particular course. But it was generally a very comfortable
Where are we here? I’m looking at your little list that I have some notes.
Oh, the other thing you wanted to know was the proportion of my college
classmates that went on to graduate school. I dealt with this a little bit
earlier. There were about four or five of us who went directly to law
school. One other woman came to Columbia. One of them went to
Boston University. I forget where the fourth went. But there was no
office that encouraged and assisted students in applying to graduate
schools or counseled them as to what they could do. At least as far as I
know. There may have been a small group of professors who assisted premeds.
I don’t know because I dropped out of that area. There certainly
was no group that was encouraging people to go to law school. And there
were not that many women in law school in those days.
Jodi Avergun: Did that create any pressures on you?
Carol Freeman: What?
Jodi Avergun: Did that create any unusual pressure? I think of a lot of people who are
reading this, young women, who’ll be listening or reading this now, would
like to know a little bit what that felt like, being just one of the few women.
Was it noticeable? Did people talk about it? Were women ostracized or
just accepted? Did people view it as “You’re taking a spot of a man” as
we’ve heard in Justice Ginsberg’s biography.
Carol Freeman: You mean once I got to law school.
Jodi Avergun: Yes.
Carol Freeman: We certainly did stand out. We started with 15 women out of a class of
300 at Columbia Law School Class of 1961. Two of those 15 women
ended up being among the top five students in the class after the first year.
The Law School recognized the top five students in the class as James
Kent Scholars, and the next group as Harlan Fiske Stone Scholars. Our
first year one woman was third in the class and I was fifth, so 2/5 of the
Kent Scholars were women. I did do an analysis a few years ago. I think
we graduated nine, possibly 10, of the 15 and there were only 230
altogether who graduated. I think, I never calculated the proportion of
people who dropped out. I will say that I did participate in a study group
with four men, one of whom graduated and became a recognized lawyer
in his area, two of whom dropped out and the fourth ended up at a different
law school. In the study group we would be discussing issues and I did
not understand what they were talking about and it turns out that was
because a lot of times they did not know what they were talking about.
The women in the law school generally did better than the men. I was
lucky. I lived at home, I had no distractions. I didn’t have to cook, I
didn’t have to clean. I didn’t have to have a side job. I remember sitting
there for the first several weeks or maybe months sitting on my bed with
Black’s Law Dictionary on one side and the case on the other side and
every other word I had to look up to see what it meant. Even though my
uncle was a lawyer I had no real understanding of what lawyers did. My
uncle did give me a few books, fiction books, right when I was going to
law school to see what it would be about. But, I did not grow up in a
family with lawyers. But, I found it fascinating. I’m one of those strange
people who loved law school. Most people did not like law school. I
loved law school. I found it intellectually interesting. I found it
challenging. I just liked it. So, it clearly was the right place for me. OK.
Were we treated differently? I don’t know that we were. I had no
experience like Justice Ginsberg where she was asked, I think it was she
who was asked, “Why are you here? You are taking the place of a man.”
I do not remember anything like that and women, by the way, had been at
Columbia Law School for decades. At least since 1929-1930 there have
been women in the Law School. So there were almost 30 years’ worth of
women at Columbia Law School, which may be the difference between
Columbia and Harvard. Because Harvard, I think, when Justice Ginsberg
was there, had only had women for a few years so that may have been part
of the difference.
At Columbia there was one professor who taught a course called the
Development of Legal Institutions. It was a legal history course which
might have been very interesting after we’d had a year or so of law school.
But it was a first-semester, first-year course called DLI and I’m going to
say nobody knew what was going on. I certainly didn’t really understand
it. I got an A in the course. On the other hand I got an A in all of my
courses the first year. The professor in the DLI course had what he called
“Ladies Day” and it was a day he would call on ladies to recite in the
course. You never knew when Ladies Day was. He also had a day,
Columbus Day, when he would call on the people with Italian names. I
suspect he probably picked a day and called on people with Irish names
although his course was not being taught in the spring when St. Patrick’s
Day would have been an obvious day to call on Irish people. So, that was
the only overt picking out of women that I remember.
One of the questions you asked was, “What options in the law were
available to women who were graduating law school in 1961?” OK, that’s
easy. Even though you had super, super grades there was absolutely no
question of applying for a Supreme Court clerkship. The Justices did not
take women as clerks in those days. There were judges on the Circuit
Court who would accept women clerks. I was not interested in that
because I had been on the Law Review and I thought it would probably
be just another year of being on Law Review or theoretical legal issues. I
wanted to clerk for a U.S. District Court judge because they conducted
trials. I did not know what I wanted to do after law school but I thought
that would be a good way to find out what possibilities there were. The
downtown law firms generally did not hire women. They did have a few
women in securities, and blue sky law departments. There were women
practicing in areas the fancy firms did not do, areas like domestic
relations. There was not a huge white collar criminal area at that point.
Law has certainly changed greatly since 1961. The big firms, which are
the firms that people on Law Review, people with excellent records would
be likely to apply to, generally did not did not take women and I will also
say they did not take Jewish people. I applied to several of these firms
and I was not given any offers and I never knew whether it was because I
was a woman or because I was Jewish.
Jodi Avergun: Mmmmmmmm.
Carol Freeman: I didn’t really want to work for a firm. I wanted to be a District Court law
clerk. I had worked for a firm between second and third years of law
school. It was interesting. It was one of the “Jewish” firms. I had an OK
time but it wasn’t very exciting. I did not receive an offer from them. I
didn’t expect one and I didn’t really care about that because that isn’t what
I wanted to do. We glossed over the time I did – at that point Law Review
was chosen by grades exclusively. There was no writing contest for a
place on the Law Review. I ended up being fifth in the class and I was
obviously accepted to the Law Review. I spent most of the next two years
of law school mainly working on the Law Review.
Jodi Avergun: So let me stop you there Carol for a minute, because I don’t mean by the
questions I sent you in advance to gloss over anything. So is there
anything that you recall about your time on Law Review and I also want
to get to the job application process. But, anything that you recall or want
to reflect about on your time on Law Review? Do you remember what
you wrote on, anything like that, anything notable or noteworthy?
Carol Freeman: No. I think that was where I got to know about or – the people who were
working on Law Review with me were the people I knew best in law
school. There was one other woman, no two other women, and one of
them actually had gone to Wellesley. Footnote: Many of the senior
women, and when I say senior I mean women who came before me, turned
out to have gone to Wellesley. So even though Wellesley didn’t
encourage people to go to law school there was something in the air there
that ended up producing prominent women lawyers. Not Justice
Ginsberg, she was from Cornell but still. So there were three of us out of
maybe, I don’t know, 30 people on the Law Review. Some were married,
some were not married. I don’t know, we just all worked on the Law
Review. That’s what we did.
Jodi Avergun: That’s OK. Did you publish an article? Did students do that at that time?
Carol Freeman: I wrote a case note published in volume 59 of the Columbia Law Review,
page 1084. On a conflict-of-laws issue. They kept suggesting articles
that I might develop, but I never found, they never suggested one that
ended up being a worthwhile article, so I never did write anything that
was published other than this case note. I did cite checking and reviewing
of article submissions by professors and by practicing lawyers. Of course,
by the third year, I was reviewing things that had been written by juniors.
That was what we did.
Jodi Avergun: Just to go back to the summer associate position. What firm was that that
you worked at?
Carol Freeman: Proskauer Rose.
Jodi Avergun: Were there other women there?
Carol Freeman: I have only a vague recollection of that period. The summer associate
programs were not as structured and as intense or intensive as they have
been now. When I say “now,” I’ve got these two sons who are lawyers
who graduated from law school in ’96 and ’99 so my knowledge of the
summer associate program when I talk about “now” I mean back when
Alan and Pete were summer associates. The summer associate programs
were involved with trying to encourage these young lawyers to come work
for the firm and they had all sorts of baseball outings, dinners and lunches.
I don’t think we had any of that. It was very unstructured. I probably
wrote memoranda. I don’t recall ever going to court with anybody. I
don’t really remember subject matters. Later on I would recognize the
names of some of the people with the firm but I don’t have any real
recollection of that summer. So, that’s that.
Jodi Avergun: OK.
Carol Freeman: On the question of what to do after law school, I did make a note here that
at that point there were very few women teaching law – my only
recollection is of one, Soia Mentschikoff, who taught at, I think, the
University of Chicago but teaching law was not something that women
were likely to do in those days, back in the ’60s. A footnote to that: there
appears now on the Historical Society website an article I wrote a few years
ago that I just polished up about the first 13 women AUSAs in the District
of Columbia. There is a group of present and former women AUSAs from
D.C. who, off and on, over the last some number of years have gotten
together twice a year for dinner. I think in the last five years or so it has
been a little bit more structured than it was before that. But about five or
six years ago this group decided to do a study of the first women in the
D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office. I, at that point, was retired so I undertook it
and Sylvia Bacon, who was one of them, and I got together and I did some
research. Sylvia had some recollections. I wrote up this article which is
now on the Historical Society website.
Jodi Avergun: OK, I am going to have to read that and ask you questions about it at our
next meeting I think.
Carol Freeman: Between 1925 and 1970, there were only 13 women AUSAs in the District
of Columbia. Thirteen.
Jodi Avergun: Wow.
Carol Freeman: I’m trying to pull up my article so I can – OK, yeah. Sorry, 1921. The first
woman AUSA was appointed in 1921. Between then and the end of 1969
there were only 13 altogether. I was the eleventh and I was there from ’64
to the end of ’68. I’m doing a lot of talking, so –
Jodi Avergun: Yes. We could take a break and call back in. Would you like a five-minute
Carol Freeman: No, I have a glass of water here, that’s perfect.
Jodi Avergun: Oh, OK.
Carol Freeman: So, that gives you an idea. In the 1970s, there was a large influx of women
going to law school, and therefore there was large influx of woman AUSAs,
and women in the legal profession, generally, but until 1970, it was pretty
Jodi Avergun: Yeah.
Carol Freeman: Anyway, so read the article it’s sort of interesting.
Jodi Avergun: I’m going to.
Carol Freeman: It was fun to write.
Jodi Avergun: I’m going to.
Carol Freeman: So where are we now? What do I do? Are we through with law school or
do you have any other questions?
Jodi Avergun: What was graduation like?
Carol Freeman: What?
Jodi Avergun: What was graduation like? So, there were you know, fewer of you were, or
was it just a normal graduation ceremony?
Carol Freeman: Yeah.
Jodi Avergun: OK. So were there –
Carol Freeman: It was a big Columbia graduation.
Jodi Avergun: Yup, got it, I guess with the rest of the university.
Carol Freeman: In between the Low Library and Butler Library, and people were lined up
from, on the lawn, there was the college and the nursing and Barnard and
the law school.
Carol Freeman: Yup. Nothing special.
Jodi Avergun: OK, so you knew there were certain jobs that were not going to be open to
you, and that you wanted to work in the District Court. So, let’s sort of start
with, you’re now graduated, and when do you get your first job?
Carol Freeman: I applied to several judges of the U.S. District Courts of the Southern
District and the Eastern District, and I was matched up with, and I guess I
had an interview with, Judge Charles Metzner of the Southern District of
New York, who had been a judge there for about two years by that time. I
was his third law clerk. He turned out to be a Columbia College graduate.
He was not really a friend of my father’s, but I guess my father knew him,
because my father was very active in Columbia College alumni affairs.
After I had accepted the position with Judge Metzner, I got a phone call at
home from Judge Zavatt, who was the Chief Judge of the Eastern District,
and he wanted me to come and be his law clerk, and he tried to persuade me
to do that. Which was very, I felt very good about that, but I said I already
committed to Judge Metzner, so I ended up in the Southern District of New
York. One of the two other woman on the Law Review worked, I think, for
Judge Palmieri on the Southern District. There were some of our classmates
who clerked on the Circuit Court, but let’s see. I was Judge Metzner’s third
law clerk. His first two law clerks were called Mike, their names were
Mike, so for the first few weeks, the judge would call, “Mike!” meaning
me. He was a very, very nice man. I had a wonderful time. I clerked for
him for two years. I remember that most of the other judges had their law
clerks write memoranda and then the judge would turn it into an opinion.
The Judge had me write an opinion and then he would revise it, of course,
but I got into the writing format of writing an opinion rather than writing a
memorandum. The other thing that he felt very strongly about was, he dealt
with sentencings on his own. He did not consult me or anybody else, as far
as I know, on sentencing. This was something that was entrusted to him
personally and it was something he did on his own.
Jodi Avergun: Do you know why that was?
Carol Freeman: Because it was his responsibility. I mean, he obviously read the materials
that the litigants had provided, but he didn’t want any input from anybody
else who might have a different, have an opinion. It was his responsibility
and he thought he should undertake it himself.
Jodi Avergun: OK.
Carol Freeman: We had some very interesting cases. Well, I will mention three of them. I
will mention also, first, a summary of my two years there or even the first
year. When I started, the Judge was in what was called Motions Court and
so he would be hearing motions for summary judgment, motions for this,
motions for that. That was interesting and I have one case I’m going to talk
about. But then we had a civil trial and I thought, “This is it.” I think this
is what I wanted to do. But then we had a criminal trial and that was where
I focused on, because liberty was involved rather than just money. And so
that was a precursor or stimulus for me becoming a criminal lawyer.
Because it involved liberty, it was much more serious, much more – now I
can’t find the word – impactful. That’s not a word.
Jodi Avergun: It is. I think it is.
Carol Freeman: Much more consequential case. Now I know money is important and I
know a lot of civil trials ended up, civil trials do end up with helping people
who have suffered great injury, but criminal cases to me was where I wanted
to go. So that was probably the most important thing in my years there.
However, getting back to Motions Court, one of the cases that the Judge had
in the first Motions Court was a motion for summary judgment by a litigant
called The Community of Roquefort. The Community of Roquefort,
France, had a service mark that said that the word “Roquefort” could only
be applied to sheep’s milk blue mold cheese made in the caves of Roquefort,
France. Well, there was a company in Israel that made Garden of Eden
Heavenly Cheese, but it was made in Israel and they were calling their
cheese Roquefort cheese. It was a sheep’s milk blue mold cheese but it was
made in Israel rather than in Roquefort, France. And the community of
Roquefort brought suit against Garden of Eden Heavenly Cheese Company
for infringement of its service mark. And I guess we must have been
working late a lot, because the Judge and I would go out to dinner and we
would order what the menu would call Roquefort dressing and we would
ask, is it really Roquefort cheese or is it another blue mold cheese?
Jodi Avergun: [Laughter]
Carol Freeman: And I will say as a footnote that the moving papers, which included
wrappings from the various cheeses, was getting a little smelly by this point.
Jodi Avergun: [Laughter]
Carol Freeman: But our informal survey confirmed that there was, in fact, confusion, and
based on the moving papers we ruled for the Community of Roquefort. And
that decision was affirmed on appeal. So that was one of the memorable
cases that I had with the Judge. Another case was when TransWorldAirlines
(TWA) sued Howard Hughes and Hughes Tool Company for various
machinations that had allegedly been detrimental to TWA. Now, Howard
Hughes and maybe Hughes Tool Company owned a large chunk of the stock
of TWA. And I have not gone back and studied all the details of it, but there
was a point at which TWA had noticed the deposition of Howard Hughes
to assist its case. Howard Hughes was a very notoriously reclusive person
and nobody, including his lawyers, really knew where he was. But the
subpoena for his deposition had been served properly and his lawyer, the
Tool Company’s lawyer, said he’s basically not going to appear. So the
Judge held a hearing at 4:00 in the afternoon to determine whether, in fact,
Howard Hughes was going to appear the next day for his deposition. And
the clerk called out three times for Howard Hughes and there was no
answer. And the Judge, ultimately, the question was, is Howard Hughes
present? And nobody answered, so the Judge entered a default judgment
for TWA, which ultimately, twelve years later, I think, was reversed by the
Supreme Court. And I forget why it was reversed because I wasn’t working
for the Judge anymore then. But that was a very dramatic moment.
Jodi Avergun: Yes.
Carol Freeman: And the third significant case that I had with the Judge was a five-month
criminal trial, where the three people were alleged to have used the assets
of a small Oklahoma bank to buy the bank. And that involved a man named
Freeling, who was the president of the bank, a guy named Houlihan, who
was the head of the Grand Bahama Bank and Trust Company, which
basically had no assets, and another guy named Legere. And even though I
skimmed the case last night, I forget what Legere’s role was, but he was tied
up with Houlihan. And basically the major stockholders in the Oklahoma
bank wanted to sell their stock and Houlihan, with his Grand Bahama Bank
and Trust Company, which had no assets, wanted to buy the stock. It
involved Freeling sending bonds that had been lodged for safekeeping with
his bank to Hanover Bank in New York in the account of the Grand Bahama
Bank and Trust Company. Houlihan for the Grand Bahama bank sold the
bonds and the proceeds of the sale were used to buy the stock from the
owners of the Oklahoma bank that wanted to sell. It was a very elaborate
scheme. And it was a five-month criminal trial. Freeling ultimately was
acquitted. Houlihan and Legere were convicted and this is the case, this is
how, I’ll tell you, I learned to be an assistant U.S. attorney, because the
Judge was kind enough to let me sit in all the time during the trial. Well, at
times that I needed to be there, so I would know what issues arose that I
needed to research to give him advice on, an evidentiary issue or some other
issue that might arise during the trial. But I learned how to say, “Showing
you Government Exhibit 1 for identification. Have you ever seen this
Jodi Avergun: [Laughter]
Carol Freeman: You know the scheme. You were an AUSA.
Jodi Avergun: Yep.
Carol Freeman: So this is how I learned to be an AUSA.
Jodi Avergun: That’s probably the best training you could get.
Carol Freeman: It was a lot of fun. I won’t say it was the best job that I ever had. That was
probably being an AUSA. But I had three excellent jobs during my career:
one was the clerkship, two was an AUSA and three was being Deputy
Public Defender in Montgomery County, Maryland. Because being a
defense lawyer is more challenging than being an AUSA.
Jodi Avergun: Yes, you certainly, the government has a lot of advantages. That is true.
Carol Freeman: So that’s where we are.
Jodi Avergun: So you spent two years clerking in the Southern District, right?
Carol Freeman: What?
Jodi Avergun: You spent two years clerking in the Southern District.
Carol Freeman: Two years. And I knew at the end, I knew halfway through, that I wanted
to be an AUSA. And the assumption was that I would apply to the Southern
District. And actually at that point I knew that it would be for the Civil
Division because the Chief of Criminal, who was Silvio Mollo. And I forget
what, Vincent Broderick must have been Deputy U.S. Attorney. The U.S.
Attorney was Robert Morgenthau, who in later years developed a reputation
as being a great promoter for women. But back in 1963, he was not a great
promoter of women. It took him a long time to offer me a position, which
Judge Metzner was annoyed at, because most law clerks got accepted pretty
quickly. He did ultimately offer me a position in the Civil Division. But
by that time, I had decided to move to Washington. I applied to several
branches of the Justice Department and to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in
Washington. I don’t remember what the U.S. Attorney’s Office replied, but
it was probably something like, we don’t have any openings at the moment,
but we’ll keep your rèsumè on file. That’s relevant to what happened later.
Jodi Avergun: Yes.
Carol Freeman: I went down to Washington for interviews. I interviewed with the Criminal
Division and I interviewed with what was then called the Internal Security
Division, which at that point was probably devoted mainly towards
Communists rather than some other kind of terrorists. And I was offered a
position in the Criminal Division, which I accepted. So in the summer of
’63, or the fall, I moved down to Washington.
Jodi Avergun: OK. So I think this is a perfect place to stop. You’ve been talking straight
for an hour and a half. Might remind you of your trial days and jury
openings and closings. So let me, I want to stop the recording here, Carol,
but it will hang up the Zoom while it saves. So can you just email me a
phone number that I can call you back at while this is saving and I’ll phone
you in a moment.
Carol Freeman: Sure. OK.
Jodi Avergun: Let me just exit out of the Zoom and you can send me a regular email. Go
Carol Freeman: Are you going to want me to keep my phone active on the Zoom or should
I hang that up?
Jodi Avergun: No. I’m going to end the meeting for everybody.
Carol Freeman: OK.
Jodi Avergun: And I don’t want to record your phone number here for everybody in the
rest of the world to see and hear forever and ever. So we’ll hang up.
Carol Freeman: I’m going to send you an email right now.
Jodi Avergun: Perfect. Perfect. And I will hang up and I’ll talk to you shortly. So that’s
the end of recording session 1 at 2:30, Eastern time, on February 5. Thank
Oral History of Carol Garfiel Freeman
March 10, 2021
Jodi Avergun: OK, today is March 10th, 2021. This is the second session of the oral history
of Carol Freeman:. It is 1:00 PM Eastern Time and 10:00 AM Pacific. We
are still speaking over Zoom with Carol because COVID still requires that.
Carol is going to go through a number of her cases and her career
experiences once she moved to Washington, D.C. and some important work
that she did for the next couple of decades, I guess you’ll take us through,
Carol. So I’m going to hand it over to you. As last time, I might interrupt
with a question or two but I’m going to hand it over to you to begin.
Carol Freeman: Fine, good morning. We left off my life, when I had just accepted the
position with the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice in
Washington, and I needed obviously to move from New York to
Washington to accept that position. My first cousin, Jack Yatteau, was an
FBI agent, and he and his wife and son had just moved also to Washington
from New York. I went down to Washington at one point, I don’t recall
exactly when. Jack walked around with me to help me find an apartment to
live in. I liked the area of Georgetown, and we looked in Georgetown. My
cousin, the FBI agent, said you cannot move into a basement apartment.
There were some very attractive English basement apartments but he didn’t
think that was safe for his little cousin. I ended up finding a very nice
apartment on M Street, which turned out to be a one-room duplex. It was
one flight up over a store but the kitchen and the living room were on one
level, and there was a staircase that went up to another level where there
was the bathroom. So that was my first apartment living in Washington by
When I reported to the Department of Justice there must have been some
kind of a sign-in procedure. And I met another new lawyer, new hire,
Arthur Burnett, who was assigned to the General Crimes section of the
Criminal Division. Later on Arthur also applied to the U.S. Attorney’s
office and we spent some time talking about when there would be a vacancy
in the office because we were both in line to be Assistant U.S. Attorneys.
Arthur later was a Magistrate Judge in the Federal Court and then was
appointed to the Superior Court. And he’s been involved in the ABA
Criminal Justice Section of the ABA and I’ve known him for years and
years and years. And it just occurred to me that I met him and his wife the
first day I signed into the Justice Department.
But in any event, the Criminal Division had a number of different sections,
one of which was the Appeals and Research section, and they assigned me
to the Research unit of the Appeals and Research section. And I think I was
the only person in the Research unit. They assigned me to start drafting jury
instructions for all the crimes in title 18 of the U.S. Code. They probably
should have given me some better direction on what to do because I started
at the beginning, and I was drafting instructions for criminal trials on
military medals, Smoky Bear, and the flag, which clearly would not be
needed because I’m sure none of those cases ever went to a jury trial.
Maybe the ones involving misuse of military medals did. I believe I have
some recollection of a case involving that recently. But it wasn’t very
Next door to where I was sitting was the Appeals unit headed by a very
impressive woman named Beatrice Rosenberg, who actually was a
Wellesley College graduate and one of the first really prominent woman
lawyers I think in the Washington area. And they did all sorts of interesting
things like responding to cert petitions, drafting appellate briefs, drafting
briefs for the Supreme Court occasionally. And at least a few of them who
I ran into in other contexts like the U.S. Attorney’s office, Ted Wieseman
and Jerry Nelson, became good friends later on. But in any event, I was
there in the Research unit.
One of the most significant events in the fall of 1963 was that one day when
the Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie, was visiting, he and President
Kennedy rode down Pennsylvania Avenue in an open limousine, and I was
standing there on Pennsylvania Avenue and waved at them and saw both
Kennedy and Haile Selassie. This was probably October of 1963.
And obviously the most important event of the fall of 1963 was on
November 22nd, when Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. I suspect that
his trip with Haile Selassie may have been one of the last times a President
traveled around in an open limousine because I’m sure that after the
assassination, Presidents never traveled like that again. The assassination,
of course, was very upsetting to everybody. I didn’t have a TV set at that
point, and so I went up to my cousins’ apartment on Pooks Hill and
Bethesda and watched everything that happened with them. And the day of
the funeral, we went down and stood at the corner of Connecticut Avenue
and K Street. And we watched the funeral procession go to St. Matthew’s
Church. And what I remember most was the absolute dead silence. All you
could hear was the clip-clopping of the horses’ hooves and the feet
marching. Dead silence, except for all the hoof beats and the feet marching
in the procession. And I remember Charles de Gaulle, the President of
France, because he stood out. He was so much taller than everybody else.
That was one of the most dramatic events that I have ever witnessed in my
Now, new hires in the Justice Department always had the opportunity to go
up to the Attorney General’s offices and meet with the Attorney General.
On November 22nd, I and probably a lot of the other new hires had not the
opportunity to do that, and so at some point after the assassination, we did
have the opportunity to go up and meet with the Attorney General, Robert
Kennedy, John Kennedy’s brother. But it was a very subdued meeting, and
it certainly wasn’t the kind of meeting we would have had had it happened
before November 22nd. The other relevant consequence of the assassination
was that Chief Justice Earl Warren was appointed to head a commission on
the investigation into what happened and how it happened. And I called up
Judge Metzner, who I had clerked for, to ask his opinion as to whether I
should apply to be a member of the staff of that commission. And the Judge
suggested that I not do that, and that I stay in the Justice Department. And
that turned out to be a good decision – because I was still in the Justice
Department, I had the opportunity to become an Assistant U.S. Attorney,
which most of us who were there think is the best job we’ve ever had.
Jodi Avergun: Sure. I’ll agree with that.
Carol Freeman: At some point in early 1964, I was transferred from this Research sub-unit
to the General Crimes Section, and that was much more interesting. I only
remember a few things that I did in General Crimes, one of which was
involved with bombings of trains in the upper peninsula of Michigan. I
really don’t remember much more about that. But there was one case that
was really quite interesting. On an ESSO tanker somewhere on the high
seas, a seaman named Johnnie Leonard Schwarzauer knifed one of his
fellow sailors and killed him. And the tanker put in to Mobile, Alabama.
The rule was that if a crime occurred on the high seas, the district where the
ship first landed was the district that had the jurisdiction to try the defendant
for the crime. So Mr. Schwarzauer was charged with murder in the case in
the U.S. District Court in Mobile, Alabama. And this happened to be a case
that was assigned to me for supervision of some sort, and the U.S. Attorney,
Vernol Jansen, came up to Mobile to talk about the case. And this was in
the late spring of 1964. And Mr. Jansen invited me to come down and help
him try the case. And I thought that was a terrific opportunity. Now, if you
remember, which you may not, the spring and summer of 1964 was the
summer when the first Civil Rights Act was passed. And I happened to
arrive in Mobile, Alabama as a Justice Department lawyer at that time, early
July. Now the Justice Department was not very popular with a lot of people
in Mobile, Alabama at the time, and I believe that if I had been a man, Mr.
Jansen probably wouldn’t have invited me down. But I did not look like a
Justice Department lawyer. So I got the opportunity to go down there. The
only time I ever personally witnessed segregation of some sort was the first
morning I was in Mobile, I went out of my hotel into the main area and saw
two drinking fountains, one marked white and one marked colored. Now
in New York City, I never saw anything like that. I had not seen anything
like that in Washington, although it is possible that there were some relics
of that kind of segregation still existing in some parts of the District of
Columbia. But I had not seen anything like that. I’d read about it. I’d heard
about it. But it was a little startling to see it actually.
Anyway, we started the trial and it was very interesting. But then Mr.
Schwarzauer decided to plead guilty. So the trial was short-circuited. But
this being a very friendly town, that evening the judge, the U.S. Attorney,
his assistant and I think probably the defense attorney also, they took me
out to dinner at an old Southern-type restaurant in the bayous somewhere,
which was interesting. And the other memorable thing was that the
newspapers thought I was really newsworthy. Here was a female Justice
Department lawyer and a female criminal lawyer, female lawyer. They
didn’t see a lot of them there. They interviewed me wrote up a story about
me on the front page of their paper. And one of my sons found the paper a
few years ago and framed it, and were we in my apartment in Washington,
I could read you the headline. But it’s something about, I’m trying to think
exactly what it said, something about, I don’t remember, but they talked
about the fact that I liked to make pies. Which was something they thought
was newsworthy. And they noted that I liked trials, and that nobody would
know that I was a lawyer because I was small and whatever. And that was
the same day the paper reported on the passage of the Civil Rights Act.
Jodi Avergun: Uh-huh.
Carol Freeman: Anyway, so that was a very interesting and enjoyable aspect to my life in
Jodi Avergun: Carol, I think we’d love to see the article and maybe even try and get a
picture of it when you’re back in Washington. And we can include it with
the transcript of the oral history, I bet.
Carol Freeman: Absolutely, absolutely. And the other thing that happened in the spring of
1964 was that I got a letter, addressed to me at my New York home with
my parents, from the U.S. Attorney in Washington, asking if I was still
interested in the position there. I think I had said that I had applied, but they
probably sent generic letters saying we don’t have any openings but we’ll
keep your resume on file. And I think they were trying to clear out their
files. They sent me a letter, was I still interested? I said absolutely, and
here I am in Washington. So I went down and I had an interview, probably
with Charlie Duncan, possibly with David Acheson. David Acheson, son
of Dean Acheson, was the U.S. Attorney in the District at that time. And
Charlie Duncan was his principal assistant, very, very nice guy. He ended
up being I think general counsel of the EEOC, and I haven’t tracked exactly
what he did, but I knew him off and on over the years. He unfortunately
died several years ago. Nice, nice, very nice person.
Anyway, so they had me on file and they actually, when I was there at the
interview, sent me to talk to the woman in Criminal Trial at the time. A
woman named Barbara Lindemann, who will appear later in this interview.
It developed that in the summer of 1964, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in
Washington had more appellate briefs to respond to than they had assistants
who were able to respond to them. So they sent over some of the briefs to
the General Crimes Section of the Department of Justice. One of them was
a case called Charles M. Luck v. United States, and I was lucky enough to
be assigned that case to brief and to argue. So I wrote the brief. There were
two issues in it. The police had caught somebody burglarizing a business,
and they interrogated him at the scene. And he made some statements that
were offered in evidence at the trial. The only – this was pre-Miranda – but
there was a case called Mallory, which talked about delay in presenting an
arrested person before a commissioner, who would then advise him of his
rights. So that was one issue. That was what appeared to be the major issue.
But the other issue was that Mr. Luck had been arrested as a juvenile, and
had been waived to the adult court, and convicted of, I forget what, even
though I looked it up last night. Probably housebreaking of some sort.
Housebreaking is what the District of Columbia calls burglary. Anyway,
so the Assistant U.S. Attorney during Mr. Luck’s trial had, Mr. Luck having
testified, impeached him with this prior conviction in adult court after
waiver by the juvenile court. The subsidiary issue, which nobody really
thought was significant, was whether it was appropriate to impeach a
defendant by use of a prior conviction in the adult court after waiver by a
juvenile court. And I argued the case. I had a little moot court with some
of the Assistants in the Appellate Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. I
argued it on September 23rd, 1964. That day –
Jodi Avergun: Why do you remember that date, Carol? I have to ask that.
Carol Freeman: Because that was one date that changed my life.
Jodi Avergun: Ah, OK.
Carol Freeman: Because it – Charlie Duncan came and maybe Mr. Acheson came up to hear
the argument. Justice Brennan that day happened to be escorting a group of
British judges around, and they stopped in to hear the argument. So here I
was, my very first argument, before all these judges and justices. The panel
of the U.S. Court of Appeals was Judge Danaher, Judge McGowan, and I
forget who the third one was. [It was Judge Wright.] But anyway, I got a
call either that afternoon or the next day from Charlie Duncan saying that I
would get the next vacancy in the U.S. Attorney’s Office. So, that’s why I
remember that date. The end of the case was that Judge McGowan took the
impeachment issue and wrote an opinion suggesting that judges have
discretion in allowing prosecutors to impeach defendants with prior
convictions. In exercising this discretion the judges should take all sorts of
things into consideration, such as how long ago the conviction was, what it
was for, whether it was for a crime similar to that which the defendant was
currently on trial for, and a number of other considerations. And so there
were a series of subsequent decisions expanding on that issue. Congress
ultimately enacted a statute, and I’ve lost track of where that went, I meant
to check it out last night, I think severely limiting use of impeachment by
prior conviction, and if I may, I would like to add a little bit to this part of
the interview after I check it out. [District of Columbia Code § 14-305]
Jodi Avergun: Yes, we will [inaudible]. Carol, we’ll put a placeholder. And then when
we meet and record next, we can plot it in. We can start with that, OK?
Carol Freeman: Yeah. I meant to do that last night but got distracted with some of the other
things I was writing up to talk about.
Jodi Avergun: No worries.
Carol Freeman: But this turned into a really big issue in the District of Columbia. So the
Luck case, everybody who was around in the ’60s, ’70s, probably the ’80s
also, everybody knew the Luck case. And that was my case. And if I’d
been on the Warren Commission staff, I wouldn’t have had it. Incidentally
for anybody’s who’s interested, the citation is 348 F2d 763, and it was
decided in early 1965.
Carol Freeman: Perhaps at this point, we should note, everybody probably who’s reading
this knows this, but in the 1960s, all felonies in the District of Columbia,
whether they were under the U.S. Code or the D.C. Code, were tried in the
United States District Court. And appeals from the District Court went up
to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. There was a local court
called General Sessions, which had jurisdiction over misdemeanors in the
DC Code and some civil matters, but I’m not going to talk about them
because I didn’t have anything to do with them. And appeals from this
General Sessions went up to another appellate court, which was probably
called the DC Court of Appeals. The U.S. Attorney’s Office was very small
relatively at that point, I think there were about 50 Assistants altogether,
and there are now over 300, I think. When lawyers began in the Office,
they usually went to General Sessions and learned about charging issues.
They learned about misdemeanors, non-jury trials. They learned about jury
trials in misdemeanor cases, and then after a while, they would go to the
Federal Court, probably to the Appellate Division and then to one of the
other federal sections, a Criminal Trial section, a Special Proceedings
section, and a Grand Jury section. And the Appellate Division handled
appeals from both General Sessions and the U.S. District Court. So,
somebody resigned from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in December of 1964,
and I took over his place. And it would have been a he. As I said, most
people who started in the office, started in General Sessions. But because I
had come from Justice and from the Luck case, they assigned me to the
Appellate Division. The appellate division at that point was headed by
Frank Nebeker, who clearly over the years has been a mentor of mine. He
must have been in his early 30s at that point. He later sat on the D.C. Court
of Appeals, became the first Chief Judge of the Court of Veterans Appeals,
and then returned to the D.C. Court of Appeals as a senior judge. There were
about eight, seven or eight assistants in the section, the division. And Frank
taught us when we’re writing an appeal, to be thoroughly familiar with the
record, go up to the Court of Appeals, dig out the trial record and read it
over carefully, talk to the trial assistant, see what the trial assistant thought
might be an appropriate issue to talk about, depending of course, on what
the defense appellate lawyer is raising. But you have to talk to the trial
assistant, you have to look at the record itself, and the philosophy, I know
it was Frank’s, it may have been in general in the office, was that you are a
better trial assistant for having done appeals, and you’re a better appellate
assistant if you have done some trials. And I personally, having come up in
that system, I think that’s absolutely true. When I went over later on to
Maryland Public Defender’s Office, the people there didn’t have the same
philosophy, but I am convinced that you’re a better appellate lawyer for
having done a trial, and vice versa.
And so that was the Appellate Division. We did have moot courts before
somebody had an appeal. We did our research. People nowadays would
not believe the decennial digests that we had to go through. I don’t know if
you remember them. There was a very extensive library in the U.S.
Courthouse. Our office was in the U.S. Courthouse. And to do research,
WestLaw had published all the appellate opinions with their headnotes, but
they were published, republished every ten years in bound volumes. So you
had to go to the bound volumes, and then there were I think, bound volumes
every five years before the ten-year period. And then there were slip
opinions each year or even each month. It was very, very tedious. So that’s
what we spent a lot of time doing, too.
Jodi Avergun: I don’t remember that, Carol. I don’t remember, you know obviously when
I graduated law school, we were still in books. But I do very well remember
having to Shepardize in red-bound Shepard’s book.
Carol Freeman: Yes, yes.
Jodi Avergun: So, but . . .
Carol Freeman: Very few. The lawyers today do not know how lucky they are.
Jodi Avergun: I agree.
Carol Freeman: So I spent a lot of time in the library there. I don’t remember all of the cases
that I wrote briefs on. There probably were 50 or more. I was in appellate
for about two years. I had saved all the briefs I wrote but when we moved
a few years ago to an apartment, the powers that be told me I had to trash
them, so I don’t have them anymore.
Carol Freeman: I do remember one funny case. Well, it wasn’t funny, but my reaction to a
statement in the transcript was funny. It was probably one of the first briefs
I wrote. It was a murder case where a guy had gone to the house of his
estranged wife with a loaded gun, a revolver, and killed her. And how did
this work? The transcript said that he had gone with a loaded gun and six
rounds of ammunition. And I thought a round would be enough to load the
revolver. So it would be six bullets. So I wrote that he’d gone with a loaded
gun and 36 bullets, which the Assistant who tried the case, who I think at
that point had left the office, Dan Resnick, very, very nice guy, who just
died recently. He was astounded, but here I was from New York City. I
didn’t have any information about guns or revolvers. And somehow,
whatever the transcript said, made me think that he had a fully-loaded gun,
and 36 bullets in his pocket. Anyway, so that was pretty funny. But most
of the appeals that I handled did not include anything as funny as that. And
that case was affirmed anyway, despite that.
We argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals. On the Court at that point
were Warren Burger, who became Chief Justice later, Judge David Bazelon,
Judge J. Skelly Wright, Judge Henry Edgerton. I remember Judge Edgerton
dissented in one of my cases. It was a raid on an after-hours case, and the
issue was that the police had gone in without announcing their authority and
purpose. And Judge Edgerton thought they should have done that. He
dissented. The case was affirmed. A lot of the people in the Office were
not fans of Judges Bazelon or Wright, because they were, tended to be more
liberal in their decisions, writing. But I always enjoyed arguing before
them. Very often, you’d be even, ready to do an appeal, ready to argue a
case. And even if Judges Bazelon or Wright were presiding, they would
say, we do not need to hear from the Government, because the issue raised
was so clearly not one that would warrant reversal.
A footnote about Judge Burger. He had been a friend or an acquaintance of
the judge that I clerked for, and I believe he was the one who swore me in
as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. And some years later, when I was married
and my father-in-law was a partner in a Rochester, New York law firm, we
were going down to Florida to visit my in-laws. I was seated in the plane
and Judge Burger, at that point he was the Chief Justice, he walked on, he
saw me, he said hello, he shook my hand. And my father-in-law was just
so impressed that I knew the Chief Justice. So that was a footnote there.
Jodi Avergun: That’s a great story. I like hearing that.
Carol Freeman: Yeah. My father-in-law was a very, very nice guy and very old-fashioned
in a number of ways. He did refer to the secretaries as the girls. But he was
I think, excited that his daughter-in-law was a lawyer. His daughter got a
Ph.D. His son started at law school but decided it was really not for him,
got an MBA, and became a State Department official. But here he really
had a lawyer in the family, even though the lawyer was a girl. Anyway,
that’s a personal footnote.
So, OK, the summer of ’65, just so that I would get some trial experience, I
was detailed over to General Sessions, where police would bring in the
people they had arrested the night before. And there would be hearings,
preliminary hearings, bail hearings, and there was a big counter that
Assistants would sit at and citizens would come in with complaints or the
police would come in about the cases that they were bringing to court that
day. Well, the one episode of my counter that I remember most vividly was
a man who came in with a bandage all around his neck. And he announced
that he did not want to prosecute, must have been his girlfriend, who had
slit his throat. That was very vivid to me.
The other thing that we used to do would be to have hearings in basically
domestic matters. A lot of the matters that came before the Assistant U.S.
Attorneys in General Sessions were disputes between neighbors, disputes
between family members, and very often, we would get the parties together
and try to settle a case without there being a criminal conviction involved.
The other thing obviously that I did there was I would have trials, and I tried
several non-jury cases. I think the first trial I ever had was before Judge
Catherine Kelly, and it involved somebody who had siphoned gas out of
Tim Murphy’s car. Tim Murphy at that point was the head of the U.S.
Attorney’s Office in the General Sessions division. He later became a judge
of the Superior Court, and was also a very nice guy, and a personal friend.
So I tried that case. Generally, you would be in court handling all matters
before a particular judge. A police officer or a secretary from the U.S.
Attorney’s office would hand you a folder with the charging documents that
you hadn’t seen before, and you’d have to conduct a trial at that point. There
wasn’t a lot of preparation involved, but you’d know who the charging
officer was, and you’d call him and you’d read “directing your attention to
January 12th at 10:00 am. Where were you? What happened?” That was
the way you learned to try cases. But I think I also earlier, in the earlier
interview talked about how we had this five-month criminal trial when I
was a law clerk, and I observed all of the Assistants trying cases and learned
a lot of the lingo from them.
I did have one jury trial in General Sessions. It was a man named Basel
Anthony Poulos, and he was charged with an unpaid board bill. He had
walked out of a hotel on Capitol Hill and not paid his bill. That was the jury
trial, and he was convicted.
OK, so then after the summer, I went back to Appellate and started
somewhat of a campaign to be transferred over to the Criminal Trial
division. Now at that point, there were very few women in the Office. I
don’t know that we’ve talked about that here. I may have mentioned that I
did do a study of the women in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in DC up to 1970,
and there were only 13 women during all that time. The first woman was
appointed in 1921. There was another one in the ’20s. They had resigned
by the middle of the ’30s. There were a few women who were appointed in
the ’40s doing mainly collection work. By the time I got there, there were
two women in the Civil division. There was Sylvia, I’m sorry, there were
three women in the Civil division. Sylvia Bacon, who ultimately became a
judge in Superior Court and a professor at Catholic University. She was in
the Civil division. I’m not sure I’ve counted up all of them. I ended up
being the eleventh woman in the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The woman before
me, Barbara Lindemann with whom I had interviewed, had apparently
committed reversible error, and this is what delayed my transfer to the
Criminal Trial division. And I’ve been saying that for a number of years.
It was what I was told, and it was confirmed last Saturday when I was on a
Zoom call with several of my colleagues in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, one
of whom was a little older and had been there before, in Criminal Trial
before me. And he confirmed that this woman committed reversible error
and was criticized for that. Of course, no man ever committed reversible
Jodi Avergun: They were reluctant to transfer you to the Criminal Trial division because a
different woman had committed reversible error, and they were concerned
that that’s what women do.
Carol Freeman: Yes, exactly. Exactly. In one case, she apparently had things on her table
that did not relate to the case but were prejudicial. So it took me probably
longer than it would have taken other people to get over to Criminal Trial.
During that period when I was still in Appellate, John Terry, who had been
the Deputy Chief, moved over to Criminal Trial, and I was appointed
Deputy Chief of Appellate. John also later became a judge on the D.C.
Court of Appeals. During the year ’65 to early ’66, I started . . . Are you
Jodi Avergun: I’m here. Yes.
Carol Freeman: I had an incoming call, and I needed to delete it.
Jodi Avergun: OK. Yes, I’m here. You didn’t disconnect us.
Carol Freeman: OK. Anyway, I started picking up matters from trial assistants who maybe
had a motion to suppress but they were in trial so they couldn’t handle the
motion to suppress and they would give it to me to handle. So I started
picking things up and ultimately did move over to Criminal Trial. And
many of the cases we had were drug cases. And the drug cases in those
days involved the Harrison Narcotic Act and what you had to do was show
that there was no tax stamp on the drugs that were passed. I do, however,
remember one young man, whose name was John Walsh, who was living in
a converted chicken coop somewhere and he was a marijuana advocate. I
had to prosecute him for possessing marijuana and I remember him saying
something along the lines, “This is not right. I should not be prosecuted for
possessing marijuana.” Most of the drugs involved were heroin, hadn’t
quite gotten into PCP, weren’t involved with cocaine. It was basically
heroin in the ’60s, at least the early to mid ’60s. We also had CDW’s, that
is, carrying a dangerous weapon, which is a pistol without a license, so you
had to make sure that your file contained the certificate of the chief of police
that defendant so-and-so did not have a license to carry a pistol in the
District of Columbia. Of course, nobody had a license, I think, except
policemen and maybe security guards. But you had to prove that. We had
assaults with a dangerous weapon, which could be a car, it could be a beer
bottle, it could be a shoe. We had robberies, pick pocket and armed
robberies. We had second degree murder cases. And I can still picture one
murder case I tried where I had a picture of the deceased sitting in a chair
having been shot. The picture showed the hole. He was shot with a shotgun.
Not hole, but the results of the shooting. I did not handle sex cases. Alfred
Hantman, who was Chief of the Criminal Division, thought of me as his
daughter and he did not want to sully me with any case involving sex. At
this point, Barbara Babcock, who was with the Public Defender Service,
was defending people in rape and other sex type cases, but there were no
women prosecuting sex cases in the ’60s, or at least the mid ’60’s.
Carol Freeman: I didn’t have trouble with any of the judges. I just went in and I did not
expect to have trouble. I went in. I was professional. I did what I had to
do. I didn’t fool around. And I got along quite nicely with all the judges.
One judge, Judge Holtzoff, was alleged to object to people crossing their
legs in court. And I didn’t have a lot before him but one case, I remember,
I was before him I was very careful not to cross my legs. There was one
episode when I was trying a case with Judge Youngdahl. (These are all older
men at that point. I mean really older, like 60s, 70s.) I was trying this case
and the defense lawyer was cross-examining the officer and somehow there
was a pause and I asked to go the bench and I asked if we could have a
recess. This was before redirect and it was because, frankly, I needed to use
the bathroom. The Judge granted the recess and when we came back it
turned out that the defense lawyer thought I wanted to clue the officer into
something or other. But that was cleared up.
Carol Freeman: I do remember a case with Judge Sirica, who turned out to be the hero of
the Watergate cases, where the defense lawyer objected to something and
at the bench I thought it was actually a good objection. The judge was about
to overrule it and I sort of asked him to grant the objection and so he did. I
didn’t have trouble with the jurors. I generally thought they paid more
attention to me than they would to a man because I was different. I thought
they listened more carefully. The one rumor was that postal employees
would vote against the government. So we all tended to strike employees
of the Post Office. I had one case where there was a postal service employee
and I thought he looked like a really good juror and I left him on. And they
acquitted and it turned out that he was the lead juror in advocating for a not
Jodi Avergun: Well. The lesson is, the moral is, don’t listen to rumors that are sweeping
Carol Freeman: Right. I remember two cases that are worth mentioning. There was a very
highly competent Black woman lawyer named Dovey Roundtree. I was
prosecuting a woman for stabbing another woman to death and Dovey
Roundtree was representing the defendant and we were trying it before a
woman judge. Probably June Green. So we had a woman judge, two
women lawyers, a deceased woman and a defendant woman. It was very
interesting. But there was really no defense to the case. In closing argument
I used that old argument that lawyers talk about: If you don’t have the facts,
argue the law. If you don’t have the law, argue the facts. And if you don’t
have either of them, shout. And I said, “Ladies and gentlemen, Mrs.
Roundtree is shouting.” The defendant was convicted.
Jodi Avergun: [laughter]
The other noteworthy case that I had was my one first degree murder case.
A man named Freddie Archie Brooks had killed a relative of Lynwood
Rayford, who was the coroner at the time. I don’t remember much about
the case except that in preparation for trial, the family of the deceased and
some other witnesses came into my office with the detective from the
homicide squad who was in charge and we spent an hour or so talking about
the case and what was going to happen and how it was going to go. And
finally after an hour one of the witnesses, one of the relatives of the deceased
said, “And who is the lawyer who is going to try the case?” He hadn’t
realized that I was the prosecutor. That I was the lawyer. That’s one of the
few instances where somebody really didn’t realize who I was.
We have some more things. It was customary among people in our office
when you were in the trial section to occasionally go out riding with people
from the homicide squad. And I did a few times go out with Robert Boyd
and Bernie Crooke in the evening. We didn’t come upon any homicides
when I was with them but we did go into one house where one had occurred.
So that was sort of fun. You got to know the police officers. Bernie Crooke
ultimately became Police Chief in Montgomery County at one point.
Anyway, so that was there. David Acheson, I guess, resigned and a man
named David Bress became the U.S. Attorney. At one point before
Passover, he told his secretary to contact all the Jewish men in the office
because he wanted to invite them to his house for the Seder. So she took
him literally and did not invite me. Which, you know – There were a few
instances where being a woman was different. But usually I was accepted
and just treated like anybody. Later on – where are we on timing here?
Jodi Avergun: So we have a whole hour. You know we scheduled an hour and one-half
for today so I can go a little bit longer. It’s up to you.
Carol Freeman: Well. There was a professor named Monroe Freedman who advocated
letting lawyers call their clients to the stand if the client wanted to lie about
a defense of some sort. Mr. Bress asked me to write the response to Monroe
Freedman’s article, I think it was in the D.C. Bar Journal, which I did. It
was published in the D.C. Bar Journal or whatever it was called at the time.
If you want I can go into what I wrote here in my notes as a side bar. My
thoughts about defendants who lie. And I can make that very quick.
Jodi Avergun: Well, Carol this is your oral history and we should talk about what you want
to talk about. And if we need to schedule more time, then we’ll do that. So
please, I’m sure it will be fascinating.
Carol Freeman: OK. Over the years, and I’ve defended people in criminal cases from 1969
through 1998, I have only come upon one client who had told me he was
guilty, but wanted to lie to an alibi and I talked him out of it. I have changed
my thinking from when I wrote for Mr. Bress that this is essentially
appalling to think of a lawyer calling a witness to the stand to lie. The
current thinking is that lawyers are not allowed to do that and I absolutely
agree for most witnesses. You cannot put on false evidence, tangible
evidence that you know is false. You can’t call a third party as a witness
who you know is going to lie, but my personal feeling about a client is that
you only know he is going to lie if he has told you that he is guilty but wants
to testify to something different like my one client did. You may be
convinced that the government’s evidence is overwhelming, but in my mind
you do not personally know that he’s going to lie unless he told you he is.
But apparently the current thinking is that if the story the client wants to tell
is contradicted by overwhelming government’s evidence, even if the client
has not flatly said he wants to lie you can’t allow your client to tell his story.
In either event, what are you supposed to do? Well, if you can’t talk him
out of it, you are supposed to ask to be relieved of your representation and
you’re not supposed to tell the judge why, so if he grants your motion to be
relieved, the defendant will just figure out the next time I won’t tell the truth
to my lawyer, I’ll just lie to my lawyer which is not helpful. If the judge
denies your request to be relieved, what do you do? If you call the client to
the stand, you’re supposed to just say, “Tell the ladies and gentlemen of the
jury your name, what do you want to say about the case?” which is clearly
a flag to the jury because this is not what you’ve done with other witnesses
in the case. So, I think this is probably a more academic exercise than a
really practical one. As I say, I only had one client who ever really wanted
to do that and he was, I was able to talk him out of it. So that’s a sidebar.
Jodi Avergun: Did he not testify at all in that case, Carol?
Carol Freeman: What?
Jodi Avergun: Did he not testify at all or he just didn’t tell that party?
Carol Freeman: He did not testify. He was accused of a robbery in Montgomery County.
He had told me he was guilty, but then he said he wanted to testify that he
was out in Arizona. He didn’t have any train tickets or bus tickets or car
tickets of any sort. He just wanted to say he was in Arizona and I told him
that the prosecutor was a very smart guy, and would be able to show that he
was lying, so don’t do it. And he didn’t. I mean I’ve had clients who’ve
testified where, in most cases, they turned out to be cases where the
evidence was iffy. I’ve had clients who testified and been found not guilty,
because I think they really were not guilty. But I’ve never had somebody
who wanted to testify falsely, that I knew was false. I mean, if you have a
self-defense claim, you do not know which story is correct, unless your
client says, “well I really meant to hurt this guy but I’ll say he struck first
even though I know I did.” That never happened.
Carol Freeman: OK, back in January of 1968, I was on a ski trip and I was on a ski lift and
I found myself quoting robbery indictments, and I decided this is enough.
So I applied to a number of firms in the District of Columbia, most of which
did not make me an offer. But one small anti-trust firm did. They thought
perhaps it would be helpful to have somebody who knew how to try cases,
even if they weren’t anti-trust cases. The firm was Bergson, Borkland,
Margolis & Adler, which I joined in September, no I joined in January of
’69. They have since dissolved, when the Reagan administration stopped
pursuing anti-trust issues.
But before that, we have to talk about 1968. 1968 was obviously a very bad
year. I had been to visit some friends in Guatemala. Right after I left the
American Ambassador and some other people were assassinated. Then in
April, Martin Luther King was assassinated. I had been interviewing a firm
on that Friday when the riots in Washington started, and one of the people
in the firm, probably the person who was the reason I went to interview the
firm, was sort of a friend, and so I ended going out to Virginia with him and
staying with him over the night. I went back to my apartment. I was living
in Southwest at the time and fires were burning, National Guard were
patrolling the streets. It was really a very unpleasant situation, somewhat
similar to the situation on January 6th of this year. I went up to the
courthouse and I ended up staying in General Sessions overnight, when the
police were bringing in rioters and other people, and we would be arraigning
them all through the night. So that was April. Then later on I do remember
receiving the trial folder for one of the young men who had been, was
charged with, and I believe convicted of, breaking into a store on D Street
near the courthouse. So that was 1968. I resigned in December of 1968,
and before I went to work at the firm, I went down to General Sessions and
picked up a case. I don’t remember the client’s name, but this was a very
interesting case particularly for somebody who had just left the U.S.
Attorney’s office. It was a young man who had been walking along the
street. Maybe it was New Year’s Day, maybe it was right after New Year’s,
and it was cold and he had a very very bulky coat that he was wearing. And
he was arrested by a police officer for carrying a dangerous weapon, CDW
pistol. And in fact he did have a pistol in his pocket. But I met him,
probably at the courthouse, I talked with him and my recollection is that we
went down to the police property office, and did an experiment with the gun
and the coat. I cannot believe now that we actually had that ability to do
this but I’m confident that we did. So I had the gun in his pocket, I had the
coat and my feeling was you could not see a pistol in a pocket when the guy
is walking with his very bulky coat on. (Whether or not we did the
experiment with the gun at the property office, I had him wear the coat to
court for the motion to suppress.) So we went to the motion to suppress and
at the hearing the officer said, “well as he was walking along he put his hand
in his back pocket and the coat fell away and I saw the handle of a gun.” So
of course, the motion to suppress was denied which was too bad. So I got
home that day and I got a call from the Assistant U.S. Attorney who said,
as we were walking out of the courtroom the officer said to me, “how did
you like what I slipped in there?” He had lied. So the government dropped
the case, and this was very interesting because I know that as an Assistant
U.S. Attorney, we were familiar with what we called “dropsy cases” where
the officer said, well as the defendant was running away from me, he
dropped the drugs, or he dropped the gun. And we didn’t know for sure, we
thought well, maybe they’re fudging a little bit, but here was an instance of
a policeman admitting he lied.
Jodi Avergun: Did that not ever occur to you when you were prosecutor? Because at least
when I was a prosecutor, Carol, I always, and even for a long time as a
defense attorney, always gave the benefit of the doubt to the government,
to government agents, thought that they were completely beyond reproach.
So I’m just wondering if, as a prosecutor, because for the very most part,
DOJ in particular values the integrity of its prosecutors and it wouldn’t even
occur to most prosecutors that this could happen. So, did it never occur to
you when you were a prosecutor?
Carol Freeman: We assumed the police were telling the truth.
Jodi Avergun: Of course.
Carol Freeman: Because we put them on the stand. We wouldn’t have put them on the stand
if they hadn’t been telling the truth.
Carol Freeman: So I resigned from the U.S. Attorney’s office, I went to work for this small
firm. There were four named partners and maybe four or five other
associates. There were a few interesting cases, one of which involved the
Kentucky tobacco farmers who were suing all the networks – ABC, CBS
and NBC – for trade libel for publishing the anti-smoking adds saying
tobacco will kill you. The networks won that one. Then at the very
beginning there was a case involving, we were representing a company
called General Host, a case called Armour versus General Host, ended up
in the Supreme Court. I think the firm must have been hired just for the
Supreme Court issue, and it had to do with a consent decree that had been
entered into by Armour some years earlier. I didn’t do an awful lot on it but
I did get my name on the brief and I did get to sit at the table with the other
lawyers during the Supreme Court argument, and I got one of the white
plumes that they used to give out to lawyers because, in the olden days of
course, you had an ink pen and you wrote with a plume, a feather point. I
still have that white plume! The more interesting case was a case involving
closed circuit telecasting of football. Probably, thinking about it, this is like
50, 49 years ago, it must have involved blackouts of local games that were
not being published, telecast on the regular channels. This was in the early
days of cable TV, and I do not remember exactly what it was about. But it
must have ended up with cable television, so that was sort of fun even
though I don’t remember much about it.
Carol Freeman: The firm was small and congenial and a good firm to work at. We did have
lunches occasionally at the Army-Navy Club where the other woman
Associate and I had to go in the back staircase. Nowadays nobody would
put up with that.
Jodi Avergun: I’m sorry, why did you have to go in the back staircase?
Carol Freeman: Because we were women. We couldn’t go in the front.
Jodi Avergun: Wow. That seems like that could happen in the 1800s, not in the 1970s,
which is where I think we are in the chronology, right?
Carol Freeman: Yeah, this was 1969 to 1971. I was only with the firm basically until the
end of 1971. During that time I did get one of, I got a few appointments to
represent people in criminal cases in the U.S. District Court. One of them
was rather short-lived. It was a man named Charles Manley Williams and
he had knifed somebody and killed him at a place called Manpower Inc.,
which was a place where unemployed people would go to try to get
employment. And Mr. Williams was incarcerated – he was locked up for
want of bail – and I would go over and interview him at either the jail or the
U.S. courthouse cellblock, and he started writing me letters. The last one
of which included the wonderful phrase, “Carol baby, I want your lips, hips
and fingertips now.” At which point I went down to Chief Judge Curran of
the U.S. District Court and asked to be relieved of the appointment. Which
he said, “oh we can’t have that.” He relieved me of the appointment. But I
think it must have been shortly after that, that he appointed me to represent
a man named Rufus Brown who was charged with Samuel Williams and
Paul Proctor in a liquor store robbery at the corner of 24th and Pennsylvania,
at which a judge’s father was killed. Do you want to go a little longer and
get into all of that case, because that’s a big case?
Jodi Avergun: Yeah, whatever you want Carol. I can continue until 3:00, I don’t have
another call until 3:00 o’clock. Noon your time. And that should be enough
time to talk about that case, or we can stop here and pick up. Let’s schedule
Carol Freeman: Let’s do that and we’ll start with Eros Timm next time. OK. Rufus – OK,
where are we now?
Jodi Avergun: We’re at, we were just getting on for armed robbery.
Carol Freeman: No I’m thinking which year we’re in?
Jodi Avergun: ’72?
Carol Freeman: Must have been the fall of ’69. OK, maybe it was in June? Anyway, Rufus
T. Brown, Paul Proctor and Samuel Williams were charged with a liquor
store holdup at 24th and Pennsylvania, at which the father of Judge Burka
from the Superior Court, General Sessions still, was killed. There were
three people, maybe four people, who were in the store at the time of the
robbery. One was Mr. Burka, who was sitting on a stool. There were two
employees of the liquor store and I think Mr. Burka had worked there
previously. And there was a woman from Australia who was living
temporarily in the District who was in there as a customer. And these two
guys went into the store, one of them was clean-shaven and the other one
had a small goatee and a mustache. And the one with the goatee and
mustache, as the case, as the robbery occurred, shot and killed Mr. Burka.
They ran out, they got into a car that was driven by somebody else and they
escaped. Now the clean-shaven and the small goatee and the mustache are
crucial. A week later, the week after the murder, Rufus Brown and Paul
Proctor were at an after-hours club when the police raided it. Now an afterhours
club was a place where somebody would have an establishment where
you could go and get liquor and probably drugs and other stuff after the
official closing time for such establishments in the District of Columbia.
And it wasn’t licensed either, of course. Anyway, so Brown and Proctor
were arrested there, and the police took Polaroid pictures of them. And the
Polaroid pictures showed that Rufus Brown, my client, had a small goatee
and a mustache, and Paul Proctor, the other one, had a full, bushy beard. A
really bushy beard. And, so some months later a reward was posted for
$5,000 for information leading to the arrest possibly and conviction of the
people charged in the murder of Judge Burka’s father. And a guy named
Julius Foreman was sitting in the DC jail. He needed $5,000 to make bond
and he decided he would tell the police that his friends Brown, Proctor, and
a guy named Samuel Williams were the ones who were involved in this
robbery. So they were arrested and charged with felony-murder and other
offenses. The police held a line up, at which at that point lawyers were not
required to be and the woman from Australia picked out Brown and Proctor.
And my recollection is and it must have been that at that point Proctor had
shaved off his big, bushy beard and I don’t know what Rufus Brown was
wearing, but she picked them out. Proctor was represented by Ira Lowe and
Eugene Hines, and Ira Lowe himself had a big, bushy beard. Samuel
Williams was represented, he was supposed to be the driver, he was
represented by a guy named Sol Rosen. Sol was a well-known defense
lawyer, sole practitioner in the District. He was a Columbia Law School
graduate, he was not, if I say he wasn’t classy, I don’t quite know how to
describe it. He was a very good lawyer, but he wasn’t upscale. Is that a fair
way to put it?
Jodi Avergun: Was sophisticated?
Carol Freeman: He was a very good lawyer and a sole practitioner. He had his difficulties
over the years, but he was the one who brought up the idea of challenging
the Australian woman’s identification at the lineup, because the defendants
were not represented at the lineup. And this was before Stovall against
Denno and before the line of cases held that defendants have the right to be
represented in a line up. Anyway, so we raised the issue. The judge, Judge
June Green, granted the motion to suppress her testimony, the Australian
lady’s testimony. And the government had the right to appeal in that case
from the granting of a motion to suppress. They appealed to the Court of
Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. It went en banc, and the Court of Appeals
reversed and they held that the woman’s testimony should have been,
should be admitted.
Carol Freeman: We went to trial in May of 1971. I had previously gotten married in the fall
of ’69 and by May of ’71 I was five or six months pregnant. (Laughs.)
Which may have been one of the first for the D.C. courts. But anyway, so
we went to trial and we put in the Polaroid pictures of our clients, which
had been taken a week after the robbery. Remember my client was
supposed to be clean-shaven during the robbery but in the Polaroid picture
a week later he had a beard, a goatee and a mustache, and Paul Proctor, the
shooter, was supposed to have had the small goatee and the mustache during
the robbery, but a week later he had a big, full, bushy beard The Australian
lady testified that if these pictures were accurate she would doubt her
identification of the defendants. And we also called a beard expert from
Gillette, who said that it was unlikely, I forget if he said it was unlikely or
impossible. He said this beard could not have been grown in a week, and
we had Ira Lowe sitting at the defense table so that in closing argument I
could say, ladies and gentlemen, that is a big, bushy beard. Do you think it
could be grown in a week? And the clients were found not guilty. So that
was a really good case. That was a nice case. And Mr. Brown didn’t get
into very much trouble, if any, after that, as far as I could tell. Now, I can,
I’ll lead into the beginning of the next, but the next is at least 15, 20 minutes,
so we don’t want to do that now.
Jodi Avergun: Sure.
Carol Freeman: At the time –
Jodi Avergun: Can I just ask you a question before we start the next one?
Carol Freeman: Let me just lead into it.
Jodi Avergun: OK.
Carol Freeman: So that you will know where we’re going.
Jodi Avergun: OK.
Carol Freeman: OK. And I can reprise it when we start off the next time. At the same time
that the Rufus Brown jury was hearing and considering that trial, there was
a series of bank robberies in the northwest section of the District of
Columbia. And on one of the last days of May, at the last of those bank
robberies, a police officer was killed and three people were arrested. Eros
Timm, Lawrence Daniel Caldwell and Heidi Fletcher. And Heidi Fletcher
was the daughter of the former Deputy Mayor of Washington, and you do
not get hippies named Heidi being prosecuted for murder often in the
District of Columbia. I went in, I ended up representing Eros Timm and I
can start the next time with how that came about, and that leads into my not
going back to the law firm and becoming basically a criminal defense
Jodi Avergun: OK.
Carol Freeman: How’s that?
Jodi Avergun: I think that’s fine.
Carol Freeman: That good?
Jodi Avergun: Yep, I think that’s great.
Carol Freeman: OK. Because the Eros Timm trial is at least 15, 20 minutes’ worth.
Jodi Avergun: Sure.
Carol Freeman: So we’ll start off with that one.
Jodi Avergun: OK, I’m going to – well let me ask you this one question that I had. You
mentioned, when you were talking about the last defendant and that you
don’t think he got in trouble thereafter. It would be interesting, I think, to
just hear your views on, do defense attorneys, did you develop relationships
with any of your clients where you kept up with them over the years,
especially where you have such a good result and they didn’t go to jail.
Carol Freeman: Sure. There are a few and I can talk about them when I talk about the
particular clients. The guy with the gun in his pocket, I don’t even know
what his name was. I had forgotten this, but I did have contact later with
Rufus “Pete” Brown. In a box of papers saved when we moved to an
apartment I found several cards from “Pete” or “Pete and Mildred.” I also
found a clipping from the Washington Post reporting that Rufus (Pete)
Brown was one of five inmates at Lorton who was furloughed six days a
week to work counseling 1500 youngsters in Southeast. He was serving a
7-21 year term for shooting his father-in-law. He had gotten married to
Mildred and had two children. This must have been in 1974, because I
found a copy of a letter I’d written saying how pleased I was that he was in
this program. But there are a few and I can talk about them. Because they’re
people whose cases are noteworthy.
Jodi Avergun: Right, right. You know I’m not asking for any sort of personal details but
it’s just interesting to me as a defense attorney and I imagine a number of
people who might be looking at this as the kind of relationships that you
form with clients, especially ones that you go to trial with and get acquitted.
So I think that’s an interesting aside to think about if maybe you can share
some of that the next time we talk. Let me, I’m going to – go ahead, I’m
Carol Freeman: I think most of them, particularly if they were acquitted, they really just
wanted to go away and forget the case.
Jodi Avergun: I experience that myself. They can’t wait to see your back. So I was just
wondering if it was different, the, you know, transition –
Carol Freeman: There were definitely clients that I can talk about, and will as we go on.
Jodi Avergun: OK. Let me turn off the recording. Hang on one second.
Oral History of Carol Garfiel Freeman
April 22, 2021
Carol Freeman: We left off the last time after the Rufus Brown case, where the defendants
had been found not guilty, based basically on absence of facial hair. And I
had noted that at the time that that case was in trial, in May 1971, there was
a series of bank robberies in northwest Washington, and all the banks, or a
huge number of the banks in the northwest area, had been staked out,
including one on McArthur Boulevard, just near Arizona Avenue. And
there was, in fact, a bank robbery on the day, at the end of May, a bank
robbery at that bank, at the end of which a policeman was killed. Later that
morning, the police arrested three defendants driving in an old van. The
van was being driven by a woman named Heidi Fletcher, who was the
daughter of the former Deputy Mayor of Washington. And in the back,
suffering from a leg wound from one of the policemen’s guns, was a man
named Eros Timm, and the third defendant, also in the van, was a man
named Lawrence Daniel Caldwell. These were all essentially what, at that
time, would have been called hippies, and they were arrested and charged
at the end of May with felony-murder, bank robbery, and related offenses.
I think I had mentioned that I had gotten married in October of ’69 and that
I was, in fact, pregnant during the Rufus Brown trial, and my oldest son was
born in August 1971. This was in 1971. My appointment to represent Mr.
Brown was under the Criminal Justice Act, which had a limit for
reimbursement of, I think, $15 for out-of-court work, and $30 for in-court,
but there was a provision that if you provided additional services, in certain
cases, if the court approved, and Judge Bazelon, Chief Judge of the Court
of Appeals, agreed, your fee could include what was called excess
compensation. And I had spent a considerable amount of time on the Brown
case, so that even though the fee would go to the firm that I was working
for, I wanted to try to get additional funding from the court for my work on
the Brown case.
So one day in, I think it was in October of 1971, I went down to the court
to see Judge June Green to ask her if she would approve my request for
excess compensation. I left my two-month-old baby with a friend and I
went down to court. And it turned out that that day in court, there was a
hearing on this Eros Timm case. Now, Heidi’s family had retained Edward
Bennett Williams to represent her. Edwrd Bennett Williams was probably
the most prominent criminal defense lawyer in the city at the time. Mr.
Timm’s family had hired a man who was in a group of what would be called
“Fifth Street Lawyers.” He was a sole practitioner; he was an older man. I
don’t know how to describe this, but he was not in the group of highly
creative, energetic defense lawyers in the Fifth Street group. And Caldwell
had a court-appointed counsel. This was a death-penalty case, and so the
defendants were entitled to have two attorneys represent them.
Well, Mr. Timm had stood up in court during the hearing that day and said
that he was not satisfied with the lawyer that had been retained by his
family. He wanted a court-appointed lawyer. He had been speaking to guy
named Michael Fayed, who was with the Georgetown Prettyman program,
and he wanted Mike to represent him. Mike was not very experienced. He
had just recently graduated. And so when I appeared in the courtroom,
Judge Green called me up to the bench and asked if I would be available to
accept an appointment to represent Eros Timm, which floored me at the
moment, because this was absolutely the most important case pending in
the court in Washington at that time. I asked her if she would give me a few
moments to think about it, since I had this newborn baby and I didn’t have
any help in the house. I did go out and talk to my husband over the phone,
who said, of course, take it. And my husband, at the time, had taken a
position with the State Department, so he had a fairly regular schedule. He
was mostly located in Washington, not subject to being transferred
So I accepted the appointment to represent Eros Timm. I was still on
maternity leave. My firm, which had had a very advanced view of what to
do with maternity leave, suggested that I not return to the firm until I
finished with my new case. So over the next four or five months, I was
involved with representing Eros Timm. The first item of interest was—
Jodi Avergun: Let me interrupt you, Carol, I have a couple of questions here.
Carol Freeman: OK. Do I need to finish or do you want to ask them now?
Jodi Avergun: No, I want to ask about this part before you go on, because I don’t
understand about the maternity leave. So, did the firm pay you to remain
on leave while you did this case?
Carol Freeman: I was on maternity leave after August 26 when my son was born. It was a
little unclear at that time, how long the maternity leave was going to last. I
had thought I would definitely go back to working for the law firm after I
had the baby. It was a small firm, I think they had about four partners and
five associates, one of whom was also a woman. She was within a year or
two of my age. She was married but she had no children at that time. And
they were willing to let me go back on an hourly basis, and I said, oh no, I
want to work full-time. And I did, in fact, plan to go back. But it was
unclear how long my maternity leave was going to last. They basically
suggested that I complete the representation of this new case and then come
back to the firm.
Jodi Avergun: But were you paid? Did they pay you?
Carol Freeman: I have no recollection. I mean, this was—
Jodi Avergun: Did you feel it was generous at the time for them to do that? Were they
holding your job open for you?
Carol Freeman: It wasn’t the kind of firm that had a certain number of positions it needed to
fill. They expected me to come back, they wanted me to come back. I have
no recollection of how long they were going to pay me on maternity leave.
Jodi Avergun: OK, all right, and then—
Carol Freeman: That was absolutely not an issue for me.
Jodi Avergun: OK, I understand. And then the judge, who you were going to see about
getting your excess compensation, was she familiar with your work
otherwise? Was she somebody that you knew or you just happened to be a
lawyer on the panel who showed up in her courtroom?
Carol Freeman: She was the trial judge in the Rufus Brown case.
Jodi Avergun: Ah, OK.
Carol Freeman: And I had over a series of years of with her conducted pretrial proceedings,
there was an en banc appeal by the government, there were hearings, and
then there was this trial that had occurred in May over the course of
probably two weeks.
Jodi Avergun: Got it.
Carol Freeman: And I probably had been before her when I was an assistant U.S. Attorney,
because this was ’71, I forget exactly when she joined the bench, but, oh,
she knew me quite well.
Jodi Avergun: OK, perfect. That makes perfect sense.
Carol Freeman: And I was in her courtroom to talk to her about approving the request for
excess compensation for the time I spent on the Rufus Brown case.
Jodi Avergun: Right, I got that part. OK, please go on, I’m sorry to interrupt your flow.
Carol Freeman: There was a law in the District in Columbia, in the federal court at the time,
that somebody under the age of 21 at the time of a crime would be presumed
to be eligible for sentencing under the Youth Corrections Act, which would
allow the court and the prison authorities to send the person to a youth
facility and be flexible and supposedly reform the person and be flexible as
to how much time the person will be spending in custody. This applied even
in the case of a serious felony like murder. And Heidi had the benefit of
turning 21, I’m going to say in November, I forget exactly which months
were involved. And unfortunately, my client, Eros, turned 21 just after the
robbery, before he had a lawyer. So this very favorable sentencing
alternative was not available to him.
Well, Edward Bennett Williams, who represented Heidi, brought her into
court, pleaded her guilty to the whole indictment, and then asked for Youth
Corrections Act sentencing. And when I say the whole indictment, there
was a first-degree murder charge, there probably was a felony murder
charge. There were assault charges, there were a whole bunch of different
charges in the indictment. So she was going to plead guilty, and I felt that
I needed to be in court when she pleaded guilty, in order to make sure that
nothing came out that would be detrimental to the rights of my client, Eros
So Judge Green knew that I didn’t have a babysitter. I brought my three,
maybe three-month-old baby into her chambers in a stroller or a carriage. I
gave her young, male, unmarried law clerk a bottle of Enfamil, and went
into the courtroom to represent my client. Judge Green and her law clerk,
who was so accommodating, it was really, probably a first in the federal
Jodi Avergun: Love that story.
Carol Freeman: They were very, very nice about it. And the plea and the sentencing took
all day. So at the lunch recess, I retrieved my baby and I had one of the
court’s security officers let me into a jury room, and I was at that point,
breastfeeding. So I fed my little baby, appropriately, during the recess, in
the jury room. And then I returned him to Judge Green’s chambers. Alan
has, in fact, turned out to be, he doesn’t call himself a trial lawyer now,
because it’s all civil and very few cases go to trial, but he is a litigator, and
I wonder whether having been with me while I tried the Brown case, and
having this early introduction to the courthouse, prompted him to go along
There’s another instance, when he was about seven years old, I was
representing a woman in a case involving alleged transfer of narcotics in a
lot of a car dealership, and Alan had a sore throat or an ear infection or
something. So I had to take him to the doctor before I went to court. So he
spent most of the trial, I thought, in a witness room. But apparently, at the
age of seven, he found his way into the courtroom and sat there quite quietly
while the case was going on. And at the recess there, he needed to take
some medicine that he didn’t want to take. And again I enlisted the
assistance of the court security officer. Alan tells the story a little bit more
vividly than I do, but he had his medicine, we went back in the courtroom.
The jury went out, the jury found my client not guilty, it turns out it was a
good verdict, and I asked Alan what he thought. And he said he would have
convicted her because he believed the police officer.
So, I’ve got some very interesting and not-stuffy stories about babies in the
courthouse. It was a very nice courthouse to work in. It’s always been, at
least through 2004, which is the last time I was there working, a nice place
to work. The judges were all accommodating and I had a very, very good
time, professionally, with respect to that.
So, going back to the Heidi trial, the Eros Timm trial, we had a few
interesting episodes while it was going on. There was a motion to suppress.
I asked that the courtroom be closed because I didn’t want the press to
publicize the testimony and possibly prejudice prospective jurors. And the
retained lawyer for my client objected because he thought his client was
entitled to an open trial. Judge Green agreed to close the courtroom.
It was clear after some investigation that a psychiatric defense would be
appropriate, and the family had retained a pretty mediocre psychiatrist to
examine Mr. Timm. And so I made contact with a psychiatrist named Jonas
Rappaport, who was the Chief Psychiatrist of the Supreme Bench of
Baltimore. Footnote, he died this past year, and I happened to see the
obituary. He was the founder of the concept of forensic psychiatry. So we
wanted to retain this very competent man to examine our client, and I say
“we” because Mike Fayed from the Prettyman program was co-counsel with
me during all of this activity.
I went into court and asked for the court to approve the appointment,
payment for the psychiatrist, and Judge Green said, she thought perhaps I
was shopping for a favorable psychiatrist. And I said, no Your Honor, I am
not. She did, in fact, grant the motion. The Washington Post published the
article under the headline “Defense Counsel Admits That She Is Shopping
for a Favorable Psychiatrist.” Judge Green was so annoyed, she called the
reporter into court and reamed him out for misrepresenting what had
happened in the courtroom.
We didn’t have a lot of contact with the family, and my client had some
serious difficulty communicating with Dr. Rappaport. So we had a difficult
psychiatric defense. The most vivid part of the trial was when we called
Heidi as a witness to testify to how Timm was behaving around the time of
this activity, this robbery and murder. And we needed that because Heidi
and Caldwell were the only people he was really dealing with. He didn’t
have much contact with his family. And Heidi, of course, took the Fifth
Amendment even though she had already pleaded guilty and sentenced,
because as I will describe, Timm and Caldwell were involved in an
attempted robbery with which Heidi had not been charged. And it was a
very dramatic moment when in court Heidi kept taking the Fifth
Amendment. This was not with a jury present, of course. At least I’m pretty
sure it was. She kept taking the Fifth Amendment. Eros, at one point, stood
up, knocked the table over and said, “You’ve got to testify, it’s my life!”
Anyway, that was one moment during the trial.
There was another moment during the trial, when the prosecution offered
evidence of an attempted robbery in Charlottesville around the same time.
And apparently, the defendants had all been identified, the two male
defendants, had been identified as being involved in that. Well, it turned
out that they had gone into this small bank in Charlottesville. Caldwell,
armed with a shotgun, went over to talk to one of the bank officers who was
at a desk. Eros went up to the teller and asked for her to give him all her
money. And she said, “We don’t have any money, we only have checks,”
which of course was probably not true. And he repeated that, and she said,
“We don’t have money, we only have checks.” So he walked over to
Caldwell and said, “They don’t have any money, let’s get out of here,” and
they left. They were, I think, later on, convicted of that attempted robbery.
Anyway, it was a long trial. The defendants were convicted. They were
not sentenced to death. And we took an appeal, but the conviction was
affirmed, and Eros Timm ended up at Lewisburg Penitentiary. I did visit
him once at Lewisburg, when we were working on the appeal. I found out
later that in 1983, he had been knifed by somebody and died. Many years
later, in October of 1998, when I had become a staff attorney at the U.S.
District Court, I went in and had a long conversation with Judge Green, who
was a senior judge at that point, and we talked about the case. And she said
she really did not intend for him to die in prison. She felt sorry that that had
A footnote about the case: In 1998 I joined court as a staff attorney in the
pro se unit, which handled cases brought by poor people who didn’t have
lawyers. We worked for the judges, not for the plaintiffs, but we were each
assigned a number of pending cases. And the person whose place I took
had been assigned to several cases brought by Lawrence Daniel Caldwell,
who was still a prisoner at Lorton. He had had a rocky few year of
imprisonment, and actually escaped for a while. But then he quieted down,
and he was a very intelligent guy. And he started writing legal papers for
other prisoners and advocating for better conditions for prisoners. And so
he brought down the ire of some of the correctional officers, and he was
really very badly treated by the correctional people at Lorton. So he had a
lot of cases pending, which had been assigned to Judge Gladys Kessler for
consideration. And I went in and told Judge Kessler that Caldwell had been
a codefendant of a client of mine in this very notorious case that Judge
Kessler knew about And I asked her whether I should recuse myself from
working on his cases, and she concluded that because I had not had any
representation of him, I didn’t have to recuse myself. So I did find out what
happened to Caldwell. He had a number of civil cases. He had a federal
Civil Rights Act trial that was conducted when I was working with Judge
Kessler. And he received, I think, $174,000 from the jury for maltreatment
at Lorton. And later, Judge Kessler wrote an opinion essentially granting
him parole. So he’s been paroled since January 2004 and he’s been working
with the National Prison Project.
So that was the ending to this case that was of very great significance in my
career. And the reason it was significant is, I decided criminal law is much
more interesting than anti-trust. And actually, although I had planned to go
back to the firm, I decided I did not want to go back to the firm once I had
the baby. I thought it would be more flexible to be essentially a sole
practitioner. And so for the next ten years I was a sole practitioner, working,
basically, out of my basement. I signed up with all the courts for CJA
appointments, the D.C. Court of Appeals, the Superior Court or General
Sessions, and I think by that time it had become Superior Court, and the
Federal Trial and Appellate Courts. And also over the next ten years, I took
a lot of CLE courses. Domestic relations matters, trusts, bankruptcy,
criminal-law courses, all sorts of CLE courses. And I had a large mixture
of civil work as well as criminal. I did a lot of collection work for some
psychiatric and psychological social-work practitioners, which I got
basically through a friend. I did some real-estate closings. I did some
simple domestic matters. The most vivid of those that I remember was the
case where, these were older people, and the only thing they were disputing
was who was going to get their Redskins tickets that they had. So we settled
We ended up in 1975 selling our house in the District and moving to
Maryland. We engaged a real-estate agent in connection with that move.
And through him, I was retained by an associate of his, a French woman,
who was actually hospitalized and dying. I did a simple will for her. And
I got involved with some international estate matters after she died, which
was interesting. I did some historical preservation work for a company that
had a building down on 7th Street, where there was some issue about
whether the façade could be amended, and some other issues. I had a
bankruptcy case with a very, very nice woman who was addicted to Kron
chocolates. She was a psychiatric social worker, I think. And we worked
together and I got her back on a budget, and she ended up getting back in
sync with her finances. And so I gave her a present of a Kron chocolate
Criminal cases: I think there are two cases that I could mention, one of
which was a client named Eric Atkinson, who was charged with a sale to an
undercover agent, a sale of drugs to an undercover agent. He was not
arrested until a few weeks after the alleged sale. And he had a very, very
distinctive broken tooth in the front of his mouth. And the agent who
allegedly bought from him did not recognize that, did not notice anything
about his teeth. He was, however, convicted. And I filed a notice of appeal
for him, even though I didn’t really think there was much to appeal on. And
I went and talked to him, and he said, “That’s OK, drop the appeal. You
should not feel badly that I was convicted. I did not, in fact, do this sale,
but I’ve done others.” Which, I mean, he was a very nice person.
I represented a woman on a forgery case. I think it had to do with treasury
checks stolen from mailboxes. She had a young son. She was incarcerated
at the Women’s House of Detention, which was at, the number pops into
my mind, 1010 North Capital Street. And she found it difficult to provide
herself with clean laundry. So I ended up buying up clean undergarments
for her and delivering them to her. We kept up a correspondence of some
sort for several years afterwards, and I don’t know what happened to her
The most significant appellate case I had was the case of Harry Laumer, 409
A.2d 190 in 1979, which was the leading case in the District of Columbia
on declarations against penal interests. Generally, until recently, relatively
recently, only declarations against civil interests could be admitted,
declarations that would otherwise be hearsay. And this case determined for
the District of Columbia, that declarations of penal interest would be
admissible under certain conditions: that the declarant was unavailable; that
the court considered when and to whom this out-of-court statement was
made; and that there were corroborating circumstances, circumstances that
would corroborate the truthfulness of the declaration. When the case was
argued en banc before the D.C. Court of Appeals my father-in-law was in
the audience, they were visiting at that point. And I think he enjoyed seeing
a member of his family argue that case. Mr. Laumer had been working for
the Metro construction, and he gave me one of the yellow hats that the Metro
So those are picking out some of the more interesting cases in the first ten
years. I was also, at that point, from 1972 on, active in various bar
association and other activities. Just listing them: I was on the board of
trustees of the Public Defender Service; I was a trustee of the Client
Security Trust Fund; I was on the board of the Young Lawyers Section of
the Bar Association of D.C.; I was active in the Criminal Practice Institute
which was a trial practice program provided in a collaboration between the
Public Defender Service and the United States Attorney’s Office. Going on
further into the 80’s, I was president of our local Citizen’s Association;
President for a year or so of the Montgomery Women’s Bar; and active and
an officer of the Maryland State Bar Correctional Reform Section.
Somewhat more significant is the fact that I was a member of Committee
on Admissions in District of Columbia for several years. I think I may have
mentioned, maybe I didn’t, that in the summer of ’69, Sylvia Bacon, who
was on the Committee on Admissions, asked if I would assist her in grading
some of the bar exams, which I did. And later on, Alan Kay, who was a
Magistrate Judge later on, was a member of the Committee on Admissions,
and I graded some bar exams for him. When Alan’s term ended, he
recommended that I be appointed to succeed him, and I was. And the most
interesting part of that appointment was that we had the cases of several
people who had been convicted of crimes, and then after they had been
released, had gone to law school and wanted to become members of the bar.
The most notorious of those applicants is the man whose name appears on
the reported case, Daniel Manville, who had been a soldier in Vietnam, had
come back and was at Central Michigan University, I believe, and with
some other people, went into the apartment of an undergraduate, supposedly
to recover payment for some drugs, I’m a little fuzzy on the details there.
But during the course of that invasion, they had some chloroform with them,
and Manville used chloroform to knock out one of the people in the
apartment. And the person had an allergic reaction and died, Manville
pleaded guilty, I believe, to manslaughter. But after he was released, he led
an exemplary life, worked for the ACLU’s National Prison Project. One of
the other people involved in the appeal was a young man who had problems
in college and committed an attempted bank robbery. So he served his
sentence, he came out, he went to law school. Then there was a third man
from New York, who had a bunch of, I believe, drug and other kinds of
Anyway, the Committee on Admissions decided that these people had
sufficiently shown their current good moral character and recommended
their admission with, I think, one dissent in the committee. It went up to
the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals concluded that there should be
some additional investigation. It was remanded. The Committee engaged
an entity to conduct additional investigations, did so, had more hearings,
and with the additional information reaffirmed its conclusion that these
people had shown their good moral character and should be admitted. I
wrote the brief for the Committee. I argued it for the Committee, before the
Court of Appeals, en banc. And the Court of Appeals, Judge Ferren, I
believe, wrote the opinion, agreed with our position, with some dissent by
my good friend, Judge Frank Nebeker, that noted that my other good friend,
John Terry, had also dissented, or would have dissented, but he had taken
senior status at the time. [See correction later on.] The Manville case is at
538 A2d 1128, and that was from 1988.
Jodi Avergun: Hold on, who was the opponent? Who’s fighting the admission?
Carol Freeman: I’m not sure there was, the court may have appointed somebody to argue
the opposite position, but it was not really an A versus B appeal. The
decision from the Committee on Admissions needed to be approved by the
Court of Appeals.
Jodi Avergun: OK. I didn’t understand that part.
Carol Freeman: The other major activity that I had was with the ABA Criminal Justice
Section. Over the years, I had been a member of the ABA but not taken an
active part in its activities. But then in 1982, Sylvia Bacon was the Chair
of the Section, and appointed me to chair an appellate issues committee,
which presented some resolutions for the ABA House of Delegates to
consider on procedures involving Death Penalty. I then served on the board
of the Criminal Justice magazine, beginning at least shortly after it was
founded, until maybe ten years ago, maybe it was a little longer than that. I
was a member of the book publishing committee of the Section. At various
times I was Vice Chair of Publications of the Section and also served on the
Council of the Section. I served on the ABA Standing Committee on
Publications. And then after I retired in 2004, I took over writing the Cert
Alert column for the magazine and did that for 15 years until a year-and-ahalf
So that takes me to 1982. I came back from the ABA annual meeting in
1982, thinking that this was really exciting. I really liked criminal law, and
I wished somebody would offer me a regular position to just do criminal
law cases. And at that point, I had three children: Alan, born in ’71; Pete,
born in ’74; and my daughter, Susie, who had been born in ’79. And I was
ready at that point to move out of my basement, into something more
formal. I never had live-in help. I was always lucky enough to find fulltime
day help, some very, very lovely people who helped take care of my
children when I wasn’t there. But I was ready to do something more formal.
And I had known, probably back in the Justice Department, but certainly in
the U.S. Attorney’s office, a man named Ted Wieseman who had been in
the U.S. Attorney’s office, and he had married a woman named Mary
Folliard, who was also an assistant U.S. Attorney. And they had a small
firm in Rockville that did a lot of both criminal and civil cases. And Ted
and Mary and I had been in general discussions about whether maybe I
would come up and join them in their law firm. And at that point, Mary
was appointed to be the Special Counsel in the federal government. And
Ted was appointed District Public Defender for Montgomery County. And
Ted asked whether I would come up and be his deputy in the Public
Defender’s office. And this was exactly what I was looking for at that time.
So beginning in September of ’82, for the next seven years, I was Deputy
District Public Defender for Montgomery County. And the case that I began
with was the Ed Mann case. I don’t know if you were around then. But a
Black professional employee of IBM, named Edward Mann, had run into
the IBM building on Fernwood Road, which was known as the Rusty
Bucket, and he was armed with a shotgun and perhaps some other weapons,
and had shot up the place and killed three people. This had happened,
probably in August 1982. I haven’t looked back to see exactly when it
happened. And he was, in fact, eligible for the public defender. This was
also a death-penalty case, and he was entitled to two lawyers. He turned
out to be paranoid. An investigation showed that he had put strips or threads
at the doors of his house and in the windows, so that people would not come
in without him being aware. I can’t recall exactly what there was about it,
but I would go to talk to him in the jail, and would be having a perfectly
lucid conversation, and all of a sudden I’d realize I had no idea what he was
talking about. He went off on tangents. And there came a point at which
he really thought that his lawyers were working against him. So we had a
hearing, and Judge William Miller found that he was not competent to stand
trial. He was sent to the Clifton T. Perkins State Hospital, supposedly for
treatment. After a year or two, he decided he didn’t want to be there. I
won’t speculate as to what was in his mind, but he agreed to let us represent
him, provided we did not raise the insanity defense. Judge Miller found that
he was competent to stand trial. So, once he was found competent to stand
trial, the decision as to whether to raise the insanity defense was up to him.
He pleaded guilty to 75 counts of murder, assault and various other defenses
and was sentenced by Judge Miller to three consecutive life terms, plus
1,080 years, which at that point was the longest sentence ever imposed in
Jodi Avergun: You said 1,080 years?
Carol Freeman: After the three consecutive life sentences, yes. Judge Miller wanted to make
sure he’d never get out!
Jodi Avergun: Oh my. OK.
Carol Freeman: In 1986, he hung himself in prison.
Jodi Avergun: Oh.
Carol Freeman: He was a very, very unfortunate person. He came from a very lovely,
respectable middle-class family in Washington. I visited his, I don’t know
if it was his mother and his aunt, but I visited some elderly relatives of his
in their very nice brownstone. Very respectable, very good people. And he
was one of the first Black professionals hired by IBM. I don’t know whether
he had some sort of genetic predilection to mental illness, or whether he was
accurately seeing what was happening to him at IBM. But he ended up, he
really was mentally ill. He was paranoid. There would have been a very
fine insanity defense. It was just a very sad case because he felt he was not
well-treated by IBM, and that was why he went into the building — a very
sad case. OK. That was the first case I had with the public defender’s
office. And I can mention a few other cases.
You wanted to know at one point if I had any contact with clients
afterwards. There were two clients that I had and I think of them together
because, supposedly, they were sort of girlfriend / boyfriend in the
Montgomery County Detention Center, although I’m not sure how much
contact they had. I will only use their first names. One of them is still alive,
the other one isn’t. There was a woman named Julie, who was involved
with drugs, and a guy named Jeffrey, who was involved with burglaries.
They were both young, in their early 20s if not just 21 or so. Julie’s father
was a CIA employee. She was addicted to drugs and alcohol. Jeffrey had
been adopted by a couple. The father worked, I recall, for IBM, and the
mother was a special ed teacher. I had contact with Julie’s father. I had
contact with Jeffrey’s parents for many years after I represented him. We
exchanged Christmas cards, nice people. Both Julie and Jeffrey had the
good luck to be assigned to Judge Paul Weinstein, and Jeffrey had the good
fortune to be assigned to a probation agent, Edward Leatherman. Both
Judge Weinstein and Ed Leatherman wanted the two of them to succeed.
They pleaded guilty to various offenses, in separate cases, but I link them
together because they both had the same judge, who was very reluctant to
revoke probation for them.
I remember Julie at one point, she was on drugs, she was off drugs. At one
point, Judge Weinstein continued her probation on condition that she go to
an inpatient drug treatment program, and I drove her out to a facility in
Alexandria to sign her in to this residential program, and we were in contact
off and on. Sometime later her father called me and said she had been doing
well, but she had been walking down the highway late at night and was run
over and she died. Jeffrey was off and on. At one point, Ed Leatherman
and I drove up to his parent’s place in Pennsylvania where he had a pending
case, and Ed testified for him. I spoke to him, actually, via his parents, they
gave me his number. I spoke to him about, oh, ten years ago. He was in
Philadelphia, he was doing well. He had married, he had a child, and he
was doing carpentry. So those are clients I remember with whom I had a
little contact afterwards.
My best case was that of a man named Terry who, in 1983, was charged
with rape of a five-year-old girl named Keisha. Terry was six feet, six
inches tall, and he was living with the little girl’s mother. It was a very
messed up family. There was a child in need of assistance proceeding
involving one of the little girl’s older brothers who had been sexually
abused. And the little girl’s older sister and her boyfriend would engage in
sexual activities in the living room, which the little girl would see. And she
was probably ignored by most of the family. But while they were involved
with her older brother, the social worker started talking to her and she
apparently told the family members that Terry had “goosed” her. And so
she was asked to describe that many times before social workers, before
State’s attorneys, before all sorts of different people. And they gave her
dolls to play with. She probably never had any dolls in her life before that.
They took her to Children’s Hospital, and the doctor said that it was almost
impossible to examine her, because her vagina was very tight. But the
doctor that the state always used in these sex-abuse cases said that she had
been raped. I concluded that for this six foot, six inch man, it was almost
Anyway, we went to trial before Judge John McAuliffe, and after the jury
was sworn the time came for the little girl to be qualified to testify, because
a child at that age, you have to determine that she knows what “to tell the
truth” means. And I, at that point, had a four-year-old daughter. So I asked
my daughter what “telling the truth” meant, and she said, “it’s when you
say what really happened,” which I thought was a perfectly reasonable way
for a little girl to say what telling the truth is. So we went to trial and the
little girl could not properly, sufficiently answer Judge McAuliffe’s
questions on what telling the truth is, so he found her not competent to
testify. She was not able to testify, and so the government dismissed the
case. I felt sorry for the little girl. She came into court, her hair was nicely
braided, she was clutching a doll that she’d been given, very sad case. I
have no idea what happened to her.
However, in the year 2000, I went to Union Hardware on Wisconsin Avenue
to buy a shelf for my bathroom. And after I made the purchase, the
salesperson called for somebody from the back room to carry it out to my
car for me. And as we were walking out, the man said, “You’re Miss
Freeman, aren’t you?” I said yes. He identified himself, and he said, “You
saved my life.” If he had gone to prison as a child molester, his life would
have been worth nothing. To that extent, that’s probably the best case I ever
had. And it was really nice, I felt good about that.
Jodi Avergun: That’s a great story, Carol. I have chills listening to it.
Carol Freeman: That’s a nice story. And I’m glad I went that day to buy a shelf in Union
Jodi Avergun: Union Hardware closed last year. I don’t know if you know.
Carol Freeman: I think I heard that, yeah.
Carol Freeman: Well, let’s see, I had another case of a little old man who used to—and I say
little, he really was little—and he was half blind and half deaf, and he liked
to give candy out to the little girls in the neighborhood. And they had a Safe
Touch program at school, and some of the little girls decided they would
say that this man had molested them. The same doctor that was called by
the state in the previous case said that, definitely, he had molested her. I
talked to my own gynecologist, and had some information, some evidence
with which to cross-examine the doctor, and it was at least very likely that
whatever injury the doctor saw had been caused because the little girl had
done it herself. So my client was found not guilty, that was another good
The other big case from the public defender’s office was the case of
Clarence Leake, and this is public, so I can use his name. Clarence Leake
was accused of kidnapping and various other offenses involving an assault
or an episode at the Kensington Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints. He had had a recommend for the Temple, but it had
expired. And he appeared at the door one day and wanted to be admitted.
And his recommend had expired, but Clarence took the older man who was
at the door hostage, and made him take him up to the top floor to the Solemn
Assembly Room, which is the room which not even everybody who has a
recommend from the Temple is allowed to go into. He had come complete
with some water and some food. And later a guard came up looking for the
older man, and Clarence took him hostage, too.
The police called the hostage rescue team, and there was a siege for a long
period of time, and I’m trying to decide carefully how I phrase what went
on, because I don’t want to disclose attorney-client confidences, even
though this is long past. There was, in fact, a reason, in my client’s mind,
why he had to be in the Solemn Assembly Room. And while that reason
was active, he wasn’t going to let his hostage go. He needed to be up there.
The older man started having chest pains, so he let him go, but he still kept
the security guard with him. And finally there came a point where it was
time to go, and he said to the security guard, “OK, you can go now,” and
the event was over. He surrendered himself. He never answered the
hostage-rescue officer as to what demands he had, because his demand,
basically, was that he needed to be up in that room.
I was assigned to represent him, along with another assistant public
defender. And we had an insanity defense that we raised. I spoke with a
psychologist or a psychiatrist, I forget which, who lived in Utah, who
specialized in hyper-religiosity, and concluded that that was this man’s
problem, because it was a religious factor as to why he needed to be in the
Solemn Assembly Room. During the course of the representation, our
client wanted us to subpoena the Angel Gabriel and some other saints and
angels. The Angel Gabriel is the one whose statue is at the top of the
Temple spire. Now, my investigator and I had the subpoenas typed up, and
we went to the Temple with the subpoenas. We wanted to have the client
have confidence in us, which is why we typed up the summonses, even
though we knew perfectly well that these were dead people, and they
weren’t going to appear. But we went to the Temple with the summonses
and knocked on the door and said what we were there for, and the people
were very, very nice. They knew who we were, they were very cordial, very
friendly, they couldn’t have been nicer. I explained that we wanted to serve
subpoenas and who they were for. They said, “Well the Angel Gabriel is
up on the spire if you want to go up and serve him.” And I said, “Well,
maybe we can just leave them with you,” which we did. So that was an
The Salt Lake City press covered the trial and took some videos. Members
of the ward that the client had been a member of in Virginia came to the
trial. They brought him food, because he claimed there was some problem
with the food provided by the sheriff. There was a moment when the sheriff
would allow the video cameras in the cell block to videotape my client
coming out of the cell, and I objected to that, although I don’t think Judge
Messitte agreed with my objection. I forget exactly what happened with
that. The trial was held before Judge Peter Messitte, who’s an absolutely
excellent judge. He later on went to the federal court in Baltimore. The
most memorable part of the trial was the following: My client was testifying
under cross-examination by John McCarthy, the Assistant State’s Attorney.
He was very quiet, and I was looking down at my notes for something or
other. All of a sudden this voice boomed out! John had asked him
something that required him to say something about what God had said, and
Clarence, in the voice of God, spoke out very loudly. That was pretty
startling. Anyway, he was found, in fact, not criminally responsible of
kidnapping and use of a handgun, so that we won on the major charges. He
was found guilty of two counts of false imprisonment and two counts of
assault. He was sent to Perkins for evaluation. The Perkins doctors had
always concluded that he was not mentally ill and stuck to that opinion. We
appealed the convictions on the false imprisonment and assault counts. The
conviction was reversed because the trial judge rejected our request that the
jury be instructed as to the consequences of a not criminally responsible
verdict. But we went back to Judge Messitte, and the client ended up
pleading to the two counts of false imprisonment (the assault counts had
merged) and was sentenced to four years, all suspended but the time he had
spent in custody, so he was released pretty soon. Later on, a few years later,
there was a pro-choice march on the Mall, and I went down with my then
ten or twelve-year-old daughter. And who did we see but Clarence Leake.
So we spoke and said hello, but that was that.
So what else can I say? Here’s another case. I hadn’t planned much more
than this, but there was one client, an older man, who was a skilled writer.
He had quit high school to join the merchant marine, and then he went to
Vietnam, where he got involved with heroin. He did very well for a while
afterwards, but he committed several housebreakings in Montgomery
County to get money to pay for the drugs. He pleaded guilty. He was
sentenced to a lengthy sentence. I never heard of him after that, this was
probably in the eighties that I represented him. I looked him up in
September of 2015, when I was beginning to write up some of my cases.
He was not in custody. But last October (2020) I got a letter from him,
written the previous April, a year earlier. He wanted me to know that he
had become a success. In prison he had gotten into a 12-step program that
he had continued with. He served 10 years of Judge Mitchell’s sentence
before he was paroled. Ultimately, he started a business and raised a
daughter by himself. So that was really nice. I wrote back to him and said
how nice it was to hear from him, and I was so pleased that he had done
well, and I think I may have said I hoped he continued writing, because he
really wrote very well.
Jodi Avergun: That’s so interesting. Do you still have the letter?
Carol Freeman: Oh, of course I kept the letter, absolutely!
Jodi Avergun: What would you think about including that with the oral history, or would
you want to see if that client would want it published?
Carol Freeman: I’ll think about that because I think it might be personal for him.
Jodi Avergun: Carol, I think we’ve accomplished a lot. I think we should talk about
logistics and next steps.
Oral History of Carol Garfiel Freeman
October 18, 2021
Jodi Avergun: This is Jodi Avergun:. I’m meeting with Carol Freeman: at her apartment
in Chevy Chase, Maryland, for our fourth oral history session.
Carol Freeman: Oh, you’re not visual?
Jodi Avergun: No, this is all. We’re just using this as a tape recorder.
Carol Freeman: OK. Since I am now back in Maryland, I was able to find out some of the
information I didn’t have before.
Jodi Avergun: OK.
Carol Freeman: First of all, I found cards from when I was in the U.S. Attorney’s office.
For some reason, these made it through the dissolution of our house when
we moved to an apartment. I had, as an AUSA, ninety-seven trials, which
did not include uncontested pleas of not guilty by reason of insanity. Most
of these people were found guilty. One interesting footnote, I talked the last
time about a sex abuse trial I had had when I was a private attorney, of a
man, a little old man, who was accused of fondling little girls, and he was
found not guilty. Well, his name turns out to be one letter different – I didn’t
mention the name – one letter different from the name of a man I prosecuted
who was sentenced under the Narcotic Addict Rehabilitation Act. Probably
not the same person, but I thought that was really an odd coincidence.
In 1995, I seem to have made a list of the Appellate Division’s appellate
opinions in which I was listed as an attorney. There were eighty-three by
1995. Eighty-three published appellate opinions, probably some of them
where I was the trial attorney, and six were cases that I argued as a private
lawyer, which included the Manville case – that was the one about the
admission to the bar of a man who’d been convicted of manslaughter. I also
remembered that I had petitioned for cert. in only one case. ( Actually I did
it in another case and cert was denied.) But in this case, I had had a case
from the D.C. Court of Appeals where the issue was whether the police had
probable cause to stop a car and search it and find a gun. A citizen had
reported that the driver of this car had a gun. The question was whether the
government had submitted sufficient evidence of the credibility of the
witness, the citizen who said the man in the car had the gun. The D.C. Court
of Appeals affirmed, Judge Gallagher dissenting. Well, on my cert. petition,
Justice Douglas would have granted cert. on that issue, which I thought was
a bit of a victory.
Jodi Avergun: Yes.
Carol Freeman: To correct a few things, I had said that in Manville, we had assumed that
there probably was somebody arguing against admission, and I found that I
have the material here.
Jodi Avergun: Nice.
Carol Freeman: I saved the Court’s opinion and the decision that I wrote for the committee.
The Court appointed an amicus, and the D.C. bar submitted an amicus brief,
apparently approving admission. I’m not sure what the amicus… well, there
was somebody who submitted a statement in opposition to the brief of the
amicus. Anyway, that’s a footnote there.
Jodi Avergun: I just want to add after this transcript that Carol has an actual slip sheet on
paper that they used to publish slip sheets on, and three-hole punched, and
Carol Freeman: the report of the committee on admissions.
Jodi Avergun: –a typed, you know, a real typewriter on typewriter paper, a report of the
DC bar committee. So what year is this from, Carol?
Jodi Avergun: 1988.
Carol Freeman: Also I said that it was Judge Nebeker who had dissented, and said that his
friend Judge Terry agreed. Actually, it was Judge Terry who said that, who
dissented, who said that Judge Nebeker, who had retired before the opinion
came out, had agreed with Judge Terry, and would have dissented. Both of
them are very good friends. I think I’ve mentioned before that Frank
Nebeker was a mentor of mine, I’ve–
Jodi Avergun: Yup.
Carol Freeman: –seen him many, many times in the succeeding time. Anyway–
Jodi Avergun: Let’s get the name spelling right, while we’re here.
Carol Freeman: N-E-B-E-K-E-R. I will go over the transcript.
Jodi Avergun: OK.
Carol Freeman: So I wanted to answer some of those questions.
Jodi Avergun: Yeah.
Carol Freeman: We left off last time after I talked about the Leake case – L-E-A-K-E –
Jodi Avergun: Right.
Carol Freeman: Which is the man who took hostages in the Kensington Temple of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I reviewed my files and I came
up with some more cases that might be worth mentioning, some of which
were when I was with the Public Defender’s Office, some of which were
court-appointed afterwards, and I suppose one or more of them might have
been retained, I’m not sure. One of the more interesting cases was the case
of the young woman, probably age 18, who was living with her boyfriend’s
family, became pregnant, didn’t tell anyone she was pregnant, and gave
birth to the baby in the bathroom of the house and then put it in a garbage
can outside. The baby survived, and later was adopted, but the young
woman didn’t remember a lot about being pregnant, giving birth, and what
she had done with the baby, so we had to engage a hypnotist, who
hypnotized her to bring back her memories so that we could enter a plea.
She pleaded guilty to child abuse, and was placed on probation, so–
Jodi Avergun: So you were defending her…
Carol Freeman: I was defending her. These were all defense cases.
Jodi Avergun: OK.
Carol Freeman: That was definitely in the Public Defender’s Office, and I had a co-counsel
who was a former DC police officer whom I had known. He was a
motorcycle officer. I don’t want to mention names–
Jodi Avergun: Sure.
Carol Freeman: –in some of these. Anyway that was an interesting case.
Jodi Avergun: Yes.
Carol Freeman: I had several other clients who had mental issues. One of the saddest ones
was a boy, from the rural Montgomery County area, who was severely
retarded… severely mentally deficient…
Jodi Avergun: OK.
Carol Freeman: …and he was accused of, and probably did, light some barns on fire. He
couldn’t get bail, and it was so sad, he used to call me up from the jail and
say “I did good, Ms. Freeman, I took a shower,” and it took me nine months
or more to persuade the Assistant State’s Attorney–who was a very good
prosecutor–that this guy really was mentally deficient…
Jodi Avergun: Right.
Carol Freeman: He claimed he had taken the cows out of the barn before he set it on fire,
but there were no cows in the barns.
Carol Freeman: We finally persuaded the prosecution to agree that he was not competent to
stand trial and he was released to an appropriate facility. But before that
happened somebody in the community got word of him and wrote outraged
letters to the local paper about how the defense counsel wasn’t doing
anything, this man was kept in jail, and the Public Defender had to write a
letter saying not true, it’s the prosecutor’s fault–
Jodi Avergun: Right.
Carol Freeman: That was an interesting case. I felt sorry for the guy.
Jodi Avergun: Yeah.
Carol Freeman: Very sad.
And then there was a woman, a Hispanic woman, who was living as a
housekeeper in the basement of a house near Churchill High School. They
allowed her to have her young son live with her. She developed some
serious mental disorders and ended up knifing the daughter, who was a
teenager at the time, causing serious but not life-threatening injury. I
represented her with an Assistant Public Defender who was Spanishspeaking,
and we ended up with a trial in which she was found guilty but
not criminally responsible. She ultimately, I think, did get out of Perkins,
the mental hospital, on conditional release. But I’ve lost track, as I
mentioned before, I’ve lost track of a lot of these people.
Jodi Avergun: Sure.
Carol Freeman: There were a few repeat clients that I had, mainly women with serious drug
addictions. Sometimes I was able to get them into Second Genesis or
another program, sometimes I wasn’t. But they would keep coming back.
They were not young people at this time, they were middle-aged women.
There was one young woman who got into a fight at a house and ended up
stabbing one of the people to death. We had a good trial with her. She was
found not guilty, self-defense. I felt good about that one.
Jodi Avergun: Sure.
Carol Freeman: There were some other murder cases where the people were guilty. There
was one case of a man who was accused of burning or setting fire to his
house where his wife was sleeping. That got me into research on arson and
arson investigation. Very interesting. I ended up not going to trial with that
one because the Public Defender thought I was spending too much money
– this is the State Public Defender, not my friend Ted Wieseman – thought
I was spending too much money on expert opinions, and they decided that
this client was not qualified for the Public Defender.
Jodi Avergun: Wow.
Carol Freeman: So he did have another lawyer, who had a trial and he was found not guilty.
But I think part of that was because I had already done–
Jodi Avergun: The research.
Carol Freeman: –all the research and gotten an arson investigator as a witness. Interesting
Then there was a very sad case of a woman who had a diabetic son about
age twelve, and she belonged to a church that believed in prayer over
medicine. She had taken her son to a doctor who had prescribed insulin. But
one day, with the support of members of her church, she prayed rather than
giving him insulin and he died. The county found indicated child neglect
which she appealed. She didn’t like my opinion that she might be found
guilty of manslaughter and perhaps murder so she fired me (this was not a
PD case) and retained another lawyer. I don’t know what happened
ultimately. That was a sad case, because the boy could have lived if they
had just treated him, given him insulin.
Jodi Avergun: Seems parallel to things that are going on today, doesn’t it?
Carol Freeman: Yeah.
Jodi Avergun: Yeah.
Carol Freeman: I had one nice case, a teacher at the Muslim school, an older man, well, I
was going to say in his fifties, because most of the clients were in their
twenties or thirties.
Jodi Avergun: Right.
Carol Freeman: He was accused of tweaking a student’s ear. I presented all sorts of
character witnesses for him. That was a “not guilty” verdict in twenty
minutes. That was a nice case.
I could go on and on because I’ve got pages and pages and pages, but there
were people in robbery cases, drug cases, murder cases, simple theft cases.
Jodi Avergun: Did you have any…
Carol Freeman: A lot of interesting people.
Jodi Avergun: …white collar cases?
Carol Freeman: Not really.
Jodi Avergun: Like frauds…
Carol Freeman: Not serious white collar.
Jodi Avergun: They seem to have some money to pay.
Carol Freeman: Exactly.
Jodi Avergun: Right.
Carol Freeman: By the winter, the fall of 1989, I’d been at the Public Defender’s Office for
seven years. My father had died and I had some estate matters to deal with.
Jodi Avergun: Right.
Carol Freeman: We decided it was time – I decided it was time to leave the Public
Jodi Avergun: Right.
Carol Freeman: So I left and I resumed private practice, sharing space with Paul DeWolfe –
D-E, capital W-O-L-F-E – who had been an Assistant Public Defender
when I was in the PD’s office, but he had left the Office somewhat earlier,
I think. So we shared space generally from 1989 until 1998, where I left
private practice, we’ll go into that later.
I had a general practice, mostly criminal, including a lot of appeals in the
DC Court of Appeals, some domestic cases. One involved an adoption by
a non-parent, which was more of a paternity case, because the – and I
certainly am not giving names here – the woman, who was a teacher, had
become pregnant by a high school senior. My client, a man, a government
employee, had met her while she was pregnant, took care of her, they got
married, and the teenager had shown no interest in the baby until they
sought to have my client adopt him or her. Then he showed an interest. So
it involved depositions and other issues. That ended up with a settlement.
That was interesting, that was basically a civil case.
I had several CINA cases, “Child In Need of Assistance” cases – in juvenile
court, where – I had a lot of them – where usually men were accused of
abuse – how do I put this? I haven’t looked at the details of all of them, but
they were not very pleasant cases. I had one long-ranging divorce case
where I represented a man who was another government employee. I don’t
know if this is appropriate to say, but I would probably rather represent a
guilty person in a murder case than somebody in a contested divorce case.
They are awful, because as a lawyer, as a person, I can see what should
Jodi Avergun: Right.
Carol Freeman: But you can’t make the client do what should happen.
Jodi Avergun: Right.
Carol Freeman: Or the other party’s client do what should happen. They’re fighting over
children, they’re fighting over access, awful, awful cases.
There were some estate matters that I handled for a friend, and for family
members. Then I had some civil cases. One was a case involving – this
may or may not reveal names, which I don’t want to do.
Jodi Avergun: Sure. We can review the transcript after and you can see if it reveals too
Carol Freeman: I’m not going to use a name.
Jodi Avergun: Sure.
Carol Freeman: But this was a person who had access to the facility at the Montgomery
Aquatic Center. He was accused of spying on girls undressing themselves,
changing their clothes – through a camera, not through a hole in the wall.
Jodi Avergun: Right.
Carol Freeman: And he was charged criminally. That case was dismissed because it was not
a crime then.
Jodi Avergun: I’m shocked.
Carol Freeman: The Maryland legislature subsequently enacted a statute making that
criminal. But the case did end up in an equal employment opportunity case,
an EEOC case in the federal court, with related state law claims such as
invasion of privacy, where one girl who was spied on sued the county and
my client in federal court. So that was interesting, because we got into some
civil depositions and ultimately settled that. The county went to trial and
the plaintiff won substantial damages.
Then I had another case where Paul and I were co-counsel. A three-yearold
girl was in a daycare center, and it appeared that she may have been
abused by one of the daycare workers. That ended up in a hotly contested
civil case in state court, depositions, discovery, all sorts of things like that.
That ultimately was settled.
Then I had a case where a – not your law firm – but a woman who was
employed by another one of the prominent law firms was fired, and she
claimed it was because she had multiple sclerosis. That also ended up in
discovery and depositions – I think we had depositions – and that also was
settled. That’s why my son calls himself a litigator and not a trial lawyer.
I call myself a trial lawyer because most of what I did was trials.
Jodi Avergun: Right.
Carol Freeman: He calls himself a litigator because hardly ever does he go to trial.
The last client I specifically remember from that period of my life was a
man who had filed a post-conviction claim with Judge Mize in the Superior
Court, claiming that he had gotten ineffective assistance of counsel. Judge
Mize picked my name out of a hat – I didn’t know him before – and he
appointed me. With the help of an investigator, we did a lot of research, we
went to the area, we took pictures, and investigated the officers involved,
and showed that they were lying. They could not have seen the drug deal
that they claimed they saw. So Judge Mize vacated the conviction, and the
man went home. That was nice. Judge Mize wrote a very nice opinion
which I hope is in a box that I hope to find downstairs. It isn’t in the box
that I brought upstairs. [I found it in another box.] But that was a nice way
to sort of end up.
Jodi Avergun: Happy to help you find it easily. Carol, how do you spell Mize?
Carol Freeman: M-I-Z-E.
Jodi Avergun: M-I-Z-E? And what case, it was Superior Court?
Carol Freeman: Superior Court.
Jodi Avergun: How did you – can I, can I ask a question – how did you research the
officers, it was before the internet, I assume. So what were some research
Carol Freeman: Oh, I may have, I think I must have contacted the PDS people – the Public
Jodi Avergun: Right.
Carol Freeman: Or I talked to other lawyers and I found that there had been complaints about
the man and the government didn’t want to reveal his personnel report –
personnel file, and we had some litigation about that, I think –
Jodi Avergun: Right.
Carol Freeman: – or there were discussions about that. But what was significant was that I
went out with the investigator, it had to do with an… OK… Here is… here’s
Jodi Avergun: Mhmm.
Carol Freeman: Here’s an alley.
Jodi Avergun: Mhmm.
Carol Freeman: Here’s across the street.
Jodi Avergun: Mhmm.
Carol Freeman: It’s one of these row houses.
Jodi Avergun: Mhmm.
Carol Freeman: It’s up from the curb, and there, there’s an area before you get up to the
Jodi Avergun: OK.
Carol Freeman: The officer was in the alley over here and claimed to have seen my client
on the steps give drugs to somebody else. Well, we took pictures, it was
physically impossible, it couldn’t have been seen. I went out, and I talked,
I talked to the family, I went into their house and visited with them, nice
people. And I felt good about that.
The other thing that happened during that nine-year period, and I don’t want
to go into details – on several occasions I was nominated for a Maryland
district court judgeship. I was not appointed.
Jodi Avergun: Mhmm.
Carol Freeman: That’s OK.
Jodi Avergun: Yeah.
Carol Freeman: In the summer of 1998, in one of the legal periodicals I saw an ad for an
attorney for the pro se unit of the U.S. District Court. It wanted somebody
with some experience who knew something about criminal law and civil
law, and it was to assist the judges. I thought “that looks like something I
could do.” I applied, and I was appointed. At the time there were – there
were originally – at that point, three attorneys in the pro se unit. One of
them had left, and it was her position that I was going to take. These are
people I can name. One was Addie, A-D-D-I-E, Hailstorks,
H-A-I-L-S-T-O-R-K-S, there was Mike Zoeller, Z-O-E-L-L-E-R, and the
judges on the appointment committee had me go down and talk with them
before they appointed me, probably to find out if Addie and Mike thought
they could get along with me, because it’s a very small unit.
Jodi Avergun: Sure.
Carol Freeman: I will say the woman who left remains friends of the group and we have
lunch every six months or so. We actually had a Zoom lunch last fall.
Jodi Avergun: Mhmm.
Carol Freeman: I’m trying to figure out if we can meet in person this fall. But nobody’s,
they’re not going back to their office yet. Mike left and became a federal
government attorney. I think his place was taken by Michelle Singletery,
S-I-N-G-LE-T-E-R-Y. So for a long time, Addie, Michelle and I were the
unit. We still are in touch, even though I left there in 2004. That was a very
Jodi Avergun: Mhmm.
Carol Freeman: Interestingly, I started off as a law clerk to a federal judge in New York, and
I ended up as a senior law clerk to a bunch of federal judges in DC. I thought
that was very symmetrical. My responsibilities were, of course, more
significant when I ended up, because I was an experienced attorney at that
point. But we worked very closely with all the U.S. District Court judges,
some of whom I knew before, some of whom I didn’t know before. They
were all very fine judges, and very fine people, and it was really a pleasure
and an honor to be working with them.
What did we do? We did not handle post-conviction cases, 28 U.S.C. 2255s,
even though that technically, I think they’re civil cases. We would handle
the in forma pauperis applications by people who wanted to proceed
without prepayment of fees. These were, these could be interesting. There
were a lot of petitions by people with serious mental issues. I actually did
screen a petition by somebody who said that the CIA had planted
transmitters in her teeth. Really.
Christmas one year, right before Christmas, somebody wanted the President
to extend a force field over the United States because something awful was
going to happen. Needless to say, we had a little semi-form order, opinion
that we would draft up granting the IFP, but dismissing the complaint as not
warranting federal intervention.
Some of them were more meritorious, there were employment cases, there
were Freedom of Information Act cases. I’ll get to the prisoners’ Civil
Rights Act cases later, in a few minutes. There was one man who, I forget
what his issue was… had to, may have had to do with parental leave, but he
had a daughter – he worked for the Post Office – and he had a daughter who
suffered from a very, very serious genetic disease, and I forget what his
issue was, but it was a sad case, because he was, he claimed he was not
being treated properly by the government. Probably had to do with leave,
Anyway, so we reviewed these IFP applications, some of which were
handwritten, some of which were typed. We would either grant – we’d
almost always grant the IFP, and sometimes we would dismiss the case
immediately. If we did not dismiss the case immediately we would
authorize the clerk to issue summonses to the defendants. When I say “we”
– we would prepare Orders which we would then bring to a judge to sign.
We didn’t sign them. After these summonses were served, the defendants
very often would come in with a motion to dismiss or for summary
judgement. There was a form order that we would issue to the plaintiff,
giving him or her a certain amount of time to respond to the motion, or the
motion would be granted. Most of the time they came in with some sort of
a response. Then we’d review the papers, decide whether there was a triable
issue – first of all, whether the complaint stated a valid claim under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), or whether summary judgement should
be granted. Most of the time we would draft an opinion granting the motion
to dismiss or for summary judgement. Sometimes, we denied the motions,
and in those cases we would recommend appointment of counsel. When I
say “we do this.”
Jodi Avergun: Right, you mean the people who, are, right, the judges sign–
Carol Freeman: It’s assumed the judge signs it.
Jodi Avergun: Right. Like every law clerk. You do your drafting, the judge signs.
Carol Freeman: I will say there were, most of the time, most of the judges would sign what
we gave them. Sometimes, they would make a few changes. I remember
one discussion I had with Judge Kessler, where I would have granted a
motion to dismiss, she didn’t want to do that. So we had some serious legal
discussions about how we could avoid dismissing the case. Usually, our
understanding – and I say “our” but I only really have personal knowledge
of mine, but I assume, since my colleagues are still there, that the judges
agree, most of the time, our understanding of the law turns out to be correct.
Or at least, the judges agreed with us. So, we then, if the case survived a
dispositive motion, we would recommend appointment of counsel for the
pro se plaintiff and there is a body of lawyers, a stable of lawyers who
agreed to accept these appointments, and we’d appoint a lawyer for the
plaintiff, and it would go into general civil proceedings. That’s what
happened in – I think – I talked the last time, or maybe the first time, about
the Lawrence Caldwell case, where he had lawyers from the National Prison
Project, and went to trial and received 174 thousand dollars or something,
from the city for really bad maltreatment at the District’s local prison,
Lorton. Now, it may be that the Prison Project found him, or he found the
Prison Project before, but occasionally one of these cases would go to trial.
I think that’s the only one I had that went to trial but I know some of my
colleagues had cases that went to trial. So that was good. We did justice
Jodi Avergun: Did you stay involved, once another counsel was appointed?
Carol Freeman: Yeah, because they would file a motion or have discovery issues that had to
be ruled on. Most cases then settled.
Jodi Avergun: So you remained the law clerk, the staff in that office remained as the law
clerk for the case, whether or not there was counsel. OK.
Carol Freeman: It didn’t go back to chambers.
Jodi Avergun: Got it.
Carol Freeman: OK. There were cases I didn’t mention before that were prisoners Civil
Rights Act cases (42 U.S.C. 1983). We had a lot of them, and one
interesting part of that was that I learned a lot about conditions in prison.
Because although for thirty-five, or what, thirty-eight years I’d been either
sending people to prison or saving them, trying to save them from prison, I
didn’t know much about conditions in prison. There are really very bad
conditions in most prisons. These were federal prisons, usually. I mean,
they, the prisoners were not well treated by the prison staff. Unfortunately,
after – I forget which year – Lorton closed at one point, all the DC prisoners
were sent around the country. The prisoners would file the Civil Rights Act
cases in the federal court in D.C. but at that point we needed to transfer the
cases. We almost always we would not dismiss cases of prisoners’ civil
rights issues but we’d have to transfer them to the state where the prisoner
was incarcerated because you needed to get personal jurisdiction over the
guard or the correctional officer who had committed the impropriety and at
that point the position became somewhat less interesting because I liked the
prisoner cases because these are people I had dealt with. I’m trying to think,
I think once, there was one case where somebody appeared who I had
represented at one point. I think that’s the case. Usually it wasn’t somebody
that I knew but it was somebody who I could have known.
Jodi Avergun: I’m just getting out a charger.
Carol Freeman: I kept out an opinion in one case which was not a prisoner Civil Rights Act
case. This is a case I had with Judge Friedman, Paul Friedman, called
Warren v. United States. This was a case involving guano. Bird poop. The
opinion is at 234 F.3d 1331 (D.C.Cir. 2000). I read this over last night.
There’s an island called Navassa in the Caribbean somewhere which had
been taken jurisdiction of by the government 150 years ago or so.
Jodi Avergun: The US government?
Carol Freeman: Yes.
Jodi Avergun: OK.
Carol Freeman: Up until the year 2000, 1900, 19 oh something, there was a company that
had the license to mine guano on this island. Guano apparently is rich in
phosphate and some other minerals but the market for that deteriorated and
the license lapsed. Somewhere in 1996 Mr. Warren apparently got some
jurisdiction over the assets or the name of this Navassa phosphate company
and brought his claim to confirm title thinking he had title to it. Well some
years before that, 12 years before he filed his claim, the government, the
U.S. government, the Coast Guard, had exercised jurisdiction over Navassa;
they had a white house there, they had it ringed with do-not-trespass signs.
Anyway, so Judge Friedman and I did some research, some investigation
and it involved all sorts of interesting issues that you don’t usually come
upon and there was a hearing on a motion and Judge Friedman issued an
oral opinion which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
Jodi Avergun: And what was the result?
Carol Freeman: Oh, well Mr. Warren lost.
Jodi Avergun: He lost. OK.
Carol Freeman: So there came a point when we had a lot of FOIA cases, Freedom of
Information Act cases, which came up with high stacks of affidavits from
the FBI or the CIA or whoever, most of which were blacked out as
privileged. Very tedious to go through. The U.S. Court of Appeals had
held that you had to be very careful and very stringent in reviewing these.
So it was a very cumbersome uninteresting process to write an opinion in a
Jodi Avergun: Right. So how did it get to the District Court? Was it that—
Carol Freeman: Some Pro Se filed a—
Jodi Avergun: Right. But he went through the FOIA process with the agency and didn’t
like something that the agency did and then sued.
Carol Freeman: Yes.
Jodi Avergun: OK. But they weren’t interesting opinions to write?
Carol Freeman: Well there was one set of cases brought by a woman who was very obsessed
with Scientology and I cannot tell you because I haven’t read any of
opinions recently what the particular claims were but she had some serious
issues with people involved in the Scientology Church and there were a
bunch of opinions involving that and this is another one of the obsessed
plaintiffs that we had to deal with. Then there was another woman, I forget
why she was suing, but there was one woman who ended up filing
complaints against us and the Court based on our actions. Truth be told I
don’t remember much more about it.
Jodi Avergun: You didn’t get deposed on the case?
Carol Freeman: No no, it didn’t last very long. So there came a time in 2004 when this
became repetitive and wasn’t as interesting anymore and if I say that my
older son who had at that point a four-year-old son wanted me to quit and
spend more time with his four-year-old son. That wasn’t the main reason I
retired, though. My husband had retired ten years earlier. I was going to
talk about that a little bit later but I can do that now. We met in the late
winter of 1969 and got married that October. In 1971, as I have mentioned,
I had my first son, in 1974 I had my second and in 1979 I had my daughter.
When I met Arthur, he was working for a small consulting company that
did basically OEO (Office Economic Opportunity) consulting down in
Appalachia. In the winter of 1970, 1971, when I was pregnant, he thought
perhaps he should get a more stable position. He had gone to Columbia
College, Columbia Business School, and worked for the New York
Telephone Company, then came down to work for ComSat and then to the
small consulting company. We were living in this, not really a dorm, but
Hamilton House on New Hampshire Avenue and there were a whole bunch
of singles living up there and several of them were State Department people
and one of them knew of an opening in the Economics Bureau of the State
Department. Arthur applied for it and was appointed. So beginning in
January of 1971 he had this stable job. He was a Foreign Service Reserve
Officer. He was not subject to being transferred overseas so, anyway, he
worked there doing some very interesting things. My son Alan has spent
two days doing an oral history of Arthur which he had been bugging him to
do for years but given the fact that I’m doing it, Arthur finally agreed to do
Jodi Avergun: That’s good. So you’re an inspiration. So we have to thank the D.C. Circuit
Historical Society for that too.
Carol Freeman: So my husband represented the United States in conferences involving
international satellites, international telecommunication. He said, and he’s
been telling the grandchildren, there’s something special about being at an
international conference and sitting there behind a plate saying United
States. The same feeling I got when I would stand up in court and say Carol
Garfiel for the United States. We both understand what it’s like and you,
having been AUSA, you understand
Jodi Avergun: Completely.
Carol Freeman: Anyway, so Arthur had retired in 1994, 1996 but had gone back for a while
on special assignments, but by 2004 he wasn’t doing that anymore and we
wanted to do some traveling, so I retired. Technically, retired. I did two
other things, legal things while I was retired. I probably mentioned that I
was involved in the American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section
beginning mostly in 1982. I was on the editorial board of the Criminal
Justice magazine. At least for while I was Chair of the Board of Editors. I
was on the Publications Committee. There was a book that the publications
committee brought out written, the original one written by William
Greenhalgh, who was a professor at Georgetown. The Fourth Amendment
Handbook. The book included a summary of every federal court, every
Supreme Court Fourth Amendment decision, and it went through several
different editions and I think there has not been one since the one maybe
five years ago that I basically was involved mostly with getting out.
Jodi Avergun: My law review article was about Fourth Amendment issues and the
reliability of confidential informants so Illinois v. Gates and then the Leon
exception so issues close to my heart.
Carol Freeman: I was Vice Chair of Publications from some period. I was also appointed to
the main ABA Standing Committee on Publication Oversight that my son
Alan, who was active in the law student division, claims credit partly for
that because he got the law student division to support me. When I retired,
Paul Rashkind, who was a federal Public Defender in Florida, had been
writing the Cert Alert column for the Criminal Justice magazine for years
and he retired so I took over the Cert Alert column and I wrote that for 15
years until about a year ago or two years ago when I decided that I was
bored with it. That was very interesting and actually I used to keep running
into judges or friends who said they read my column. I wasn’t sure if
anybody read it but it was something I could do being retired because you
can get all the Supreme Court information online. For a while we were
putting in citations – I’d go up to the Montgomery County law library to
use their computer to get the citations and if I was in California when the
column was coming out, Alan would get them for me. But then we realized
nobody needs citations anymore, they just google the name of the case. So
we don’t do citations anymore. I thought what would be helpful would be
to quote the precise questions presented and then, when there was an
opinion, to write it up in some detail, including dissents. I tried to be
somewhat judicious but there were occasions, one I remember in particular,
where Justice Ginsburg dissented and wrote this so much more powerful
dissent than Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion that I had much more space
for Justice Ginsburg.
Jodi Avergun: [Phone ring?] I’m sorry, can you just, I don’t know what’s going on here.
I’m sorry we have a meeting with a district attorney this afternoon in New
York, so my associate is, telephone. I was in New York last week. I wasn’t
going to get there on time. No worries.
Carol Freeman: Anyway I learned more from the Supreme Court while writing the column
than I did when I was a practicing lawyer.
Jodi Avergun: How often was it published, your column?
Carol Freeman: Four times a year.
Jodi Avergun: And how did you choose which cases to review, because you couldn’t do
all, right? You couldn’t review and write on all the cases that the court
granted cert. on.
Carol Freeman: Only criminal. Criminal issues and I added prisoner civil rights cases. I
added immigration cases that had a criminal aspect to them. But not civil
cases and I think it was an SEC case that I decided that I didn’t have to write
about because I didn’t understand it. [laughs] I didn’t want to bother
burdening them that way. I did write up criminal post-conviction cases.
The Guantanamo cases I wrote up. Things that I thought a criminal
practitioner should be aware of. A lot of immigration cases had criminal
aspects. Sadly. Anyway, I met with the man who took it over after I retired.
He’s got a whole different approach to it. It’s interesting, it’s not the way I
did it, but I was comfortable. I felt more comfortable when I ran into
somebody who said I read your column. OK. the other thing that I did very
seriously, particularly after I retired, was the William B. Bryant American
Inn of Court. That was founded in 1987. I got a letter asking if I wanted to
be a founding member. A group met at the US District Court and we
established the William B. Bryant American Inn of Court. From 1987 until
maybe two or three years ago I was very active in that. Are you familiar
with the Inns of Court?
Jodi Avergun: I am. And was there Edward Jennings Bryants Inn of Court? Also, here in
Carol Freeman: No. It was an Edward Bennet Williams.
Jodi Avergun: Edward Bennet Williams. OK. I wanted to be in that one and then spoken
to it but they have, they had a policy that there could only be two senior
lawyers from each private law firm. We had several former senior Justice
Department officials so I didn’t get in. No, it’s a great thing.
Carol Freeman: It was fun. It was interesting. After a while I was on the administrative
board. I was Counselor to the President of the Inn for a few years. I was
President finally and the last two years I have not been active. I’m an
emeritus member. At one point my son Alan whom I’ve mentioned often,
he wanted to do something legal with me so he joined the Inn and we were
on a team together for a few years and so that was fun. The other two things
that I’ve done since I retired, well I’ve been doing them beforehand, I’ve
done a lot of needlepoint including dining room chair seats and if you look
around, a lot of pillows…
Jodi Avergun: Oh that’s yours. Wow.
Carol Freeman: and I didn’t, now I’m doing them for my grandchildren. My oldest grandson
is at Elon University. I’ve done a pillow for him. I’m now starting on a
pillow for my second grandson who just started at the University of
Rochester and I’ve done for the little girls, my daughter Susie’s two little
girls Winnie the Pooh designs, so I do a lot of that and I’ve done a lot of
that watching baseball.
Jodi Avergun: So do you take your needlework to the ballgame and you do it there?
Carol Freeman: No, no. I do it while I’m sitting here watching TV. While I’m not excited
about the current post-season I do like Max Scherzer and so I’m sort of
interested in the Dodgers although having been a Brooklyn Dodger fan, it’s
very difficult to root for the Dodgers.
Jodi Avergun: Exactly. They deserted you.
Carol Freeman: But I’m rooting for Max Scherzer. The other thing that I’ve done a lot of is
genealogy. We started off several weeks ago with a genealogy of my family
which the way it came out orally was totally inarticulate and mixed up and
when I was going through the transcripts, I rewrote the part of it but I didn’t
realize at that point that I hadn’t done the tracking properly, so it comes out,
I’ll ask about that later, anyway I rewrote it so it makes more sense but
nobody probably is going to listen to the transcript. They’ll read what’s
Jodi Avergun: I don’t know what they’ll do because I think a part of the oral history the
attraction of it to people is listening to the speakers speak. We’ll see. I
don’t know. It’ll be an interesting question to ask the society how it’s
Carol Freeman: We can talk about that later. So I think what I’ve done here summarizing
my life. Most of the defendants I represented were not evil people although
a few of them were. Most of them grew up in undesirable situations. They
didn’t have family who had education. They didn’t have family who
necessarily worked regularly. There were drugs around most of the time. I
had one client, a young man, like 20, 21, who kept missing court
appointments, missing appointments. Why? Nobody in the house he lived
in had an alarm clock. He didn’t have a calendar. So I tore a calendar out
of one of my little books and gave him a calendar. But nobody had an alarm
clock. These are not people who have stable working lives and the kids who
grow up are handicapped by that. It’s not a racial thing. In Montgomery
County I had a lot of White defendants, Hispanic also, but a lot of White
defendants. Including one family with a very sad young woman. I first
heard of her because she was living with a guy who ended up killing
somebody and I had him in a murder case. A few years later I forget how
she came to the justice system and then her husband was having problems
and I went to their house. I helped them out. They lived off Twinbrook
Parkway somewhere. These were White people who were… and the
husband’s brother I ended up representing. That was when I was a private
lawyer. She ended up killing herself. I went to her funeral. Very sad. Very
sad. She was doomed from the beginning. Then there was another family.
African American or Black, The woman, the mother was studying at Trinity
University. The kid got involved, I think mainly beginning in juvenile court
but I forget exactly. He had a few cases. The mother had cases. A daughter
had a case. These people were better educated than the White family but
they still all had problems. They were family type problems. So when I
say most of them grew up in bad situations and they were not evil, it wasn’t
racial. I have had clients of all sorts of different races.
Jodi Avergun: It was economic more than anything?
Carol Freeman: Education and economics. Many of them were into drugs. Most of them
wanted to do well but once they were released they get back in the same
community and these young men who were in jail would tell me A B C in
order to do this that and the other thing. Then they’d go home and their
friend would say come on have a little fun with us and they’d get back into
the same thing. There were basketball players I represented who got into
drugs and into problems. Very sad. I don’t know what the answer is. Better
education and support would help. Decriminalizing drugs would help.
Mainly better education and I’m all for the Biden proposal creating a
mandatory pre-school and family support. We’ve got to do something to
help these people and education and family support is important. That’s a
summary of 35 years or more 38 years in the criminal justice system. I
always treated clients with respect and I think back to when I was a AUSA
there was somebody with the Public Defenders’ office who, when he was
interrogating his client on the stand, would call him by his first name. I
never did that. I’d call them Mr. so and so or Mrs. so and so. I would not
wear jeans to go to the jail to talk to people. I dressed like a lawyer. I think
that’s important. I don’t want to be friends with them. I want them to think
I’m their lawyer and that I respect them. I think generally my clients
appreciated what I was doing for them. I think they were comfortable with
their representation. A few of them occasionally, and I have no problem
with it, would file post-conviction claims which were always dismissed. I
think particularly of one client who was on the Mariel boat from Cuba when
a prison in Cuba was opened up and a whole bunch of people came over to
Florida. He and his brother and somebody else were involved with a drug
distribution ring. The brother was more involved than this particular man.
But I would always – he didn’t speak English and I would interview him at
the jail and I’d have a colleague with me or an investigator who spoke
Spanish to him. Nice man. One day around the Jewish High Holy Days, I
went to see him and he said Gut Yontiff (Happy Holiday) which was so
sweet. These were not evil people. I liked him. Unfortunately I heard, he,
they were obviously going to be deported. He was out in detention in the
Eastern shore and he died of an infection of some sort.
Jodi Avergun: Oh no.
Carol Freeman: But I remember him. Usually I agreed with the verdicts. Certainly, when I
was the prosecutor if they were guilty I agreed with them. I do remember
one case I had as a prosecutor where there had been a shooting and an
undercover policeman had witnessed the event – I forget how it worked –
but the victim was a bad guy and the defendant was not the bad guy. The
victim didn’t come to trial and I was in trial before Judge George Hart and
we went up to bench and I said this victim is not here. He said is there any
reason I shouldn’t dismiss the case (which I had tried unsuccessfully to get
the government to let me dismiss). I said not at all, Your Honor. So the
case was dismissed. There were two defense cases that I remember that I
really wasn’t sure about. One was a guilty and one was a not guilty. The
guilty verdict was for a man who was alleged to have assaulted a Hispanic
woman who was in her car off Georgia Avenue somewhere and the assailant
left in a bicycle and they found a bicycle near my client’s house, apartment.
He was convicted and I’m still not sure, he probably was guilty but I wasn’t
100% comfortable with that. I think he’s one who filed a post-conviction
petition claiming ineffective assistance of counsel that was denied but I kept
trying to get that case dismissed. I remember having more conversations
afterwards with the Assistant State’s Attorney about that. Then there was
another man who was… He wasn’t homeless but he had met a woman, a
religious not religious but if I say a good Christian woman you’ll know what
I mean. A spinster, straight laced spinster, who he met at I think some kind
of community center and at one point she ended up driving him home. He
made a sexual approach to her. I forget how much detail there was. He
certainly tried to kiss her. Kissed her. He may have fondled her. He was
found not guilty of attempted rape but guilty of battery and a fourth degree
sex offense. He probably was guilty of a more serious offense. So these
are the two cases that I think of where I wasn’t totally comfortable with the
verdict. I had not guilty verdicts where I was confident the client was not
guilty or at least that the government hadn’t proved it. Those were two
cases. Generally my opponents were ethical and were reasonably
competent. That’s both when I was in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, when I
was opposing the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and when I was a Public Defender
opposing Assistant States Attorneys. I think I was lucky as a defense
counsel to always be opposing good prosecutors and I think most of them,
I think most of my colleagues – and I include a whole bunch of different
people – follow the Department of Justice mantra that the government
always wins when justice is done. I recognize that I came from privilege.
My family was comfortable economically. They prized education. I was
expected to be a professional. My family supported me in all the choices I
made. That includes my married family as well as my birth family. I went
to Columbia which as I mentioned earlier I think had women in law school
back to the 1930s if not earlier. So I wasn’t subjected to nonsense. It took
me longer to attain the goals that I wanted because I was a woman probably
partly because I was Jewish but I always got there. Although as a footnote,
there were times when I thought, you know it would be fun to apply to Ruth
Bader Ginsberg to be a law clerk. I don’t know if you’ve ever had that
thought. But you know I never worked on the Supreme Court and I wonder
what that would be like.
Jodi Avergun: Amazing.
Carol Freeman: But I’ve wanted, as I said, my husband was always supportive. We never
were transferred out of the country. He had a more regular – career isn’t
the word I want – position. Because he would always be home by six unless
he was out of the country for three weeks for an international conference. I
never had live- in help. I always had fulltime day help. The one time that
my daughter Susie age two broke her arm, I felt OK because I had been off
trying to find navy blue pants for my older son who was going to be a school
safety patrol. I was doing mother things. Not law things when she hurt her
arm. She continues to remind me that I failed to pick her up at ballet one
day because I was at the jail with a client. She says it was twice, it was only
once. At dinners when they were growing up we would have legal
discussions and I would give them a fact situation. Should we go to trial or
should we get a plea and depending how they chose I might recommend an
action to my client. They all grew up knowing mommy is a lawyer and the
funniest time probably was when Alan was a first-year law student. He and
Susie were both at home. We had a wonderful discussion Alan and I at
dinner about the Washington Shoe case, personal jurisdiction and the others
were sitting there lost. So that, that’s my life in the law. I feel very fortunate
that I was able to have an interesting career, during which I believe I
participated in the doing of justice, and that I had a supportive husband with
whom we raised three children who have useful careers that they enjoy, are
public service minded, and have married excellent people and produced all
together six wonderful grandchildren.
Jodi Avergun: Carol, it’s been wonderful. I have enjoyed hearing about this. I’m sure the
people who access the DC Circuit Historical Society will love reading about
this. I’m going to stop the recording.
Oral History of Carol Garfiel Freeman
Acheson, David, 44, 46, 59
Atkinson, Eric, 87
Babcock, Barbara, 57
Bacon, Sylvia, 27, 54, 89, 92
Bazelon, David, 51, 76
Boyd, Robert, 59
Brennan, Williiam, 46
Bress, David, 59-60
Broderick, Vincent, 35
Brooks, Freddie Archie, 59
Brown, Rufus, 67-69, 71, 75, 79
Burger, Warren, 51
Burka, Alfred, 68-69
Burnett, Arthur, 38
Caldwell, Lawrence, 71, 75-76, 83-85
Capitol Hill State Bank, 33
See also Grand Bahama Bank and Trust Company, Hanover Bank, John Houlihan,
Martin Legere, James Freeling
Charles M. Luck v. United States (case), 45
CINA cases, “Child In Need of Assistance”, 112
Civil Rights Act, 42-43, 85, 118, 121-22
Clark, Alice (grandmother), 6
Clark, James (maternal great-grandfather), 4
Committee on Admissions, 89-91, 106
Community of Roquefort, 31-32
Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, 46-48, 51, 55, 70, 76, 86, 88, 90-91, 105, 112
Criminal Justice (ABA magazine), 92, 127
Criminal Justice Act, 76
Crooke, Bernie, 59
Curran, Edward, 67
Danaher, John, 46
de Gaulle, Charles, 40
DeWolfe, Paul, 112, 114
Douglas, William, 105
Duncan, Charlie, 44, 46
Edgerton, Henry, 51
Fayed, Michael, 77, 83
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 119
Ferren, John, 91
Fletcher, Heidi, 71-72, 75-76, 80, 82-83
Folliard, Mary, 93
Foreman, Julius, 69
forensic psychiatry, 82
Freedman, Monroe, 60
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 118, 123
Freeling, James, 33
See also Capitol Hill State Bank, Grand Bahama Bank and Trust Company, Hanover
Bank, John Houlihan, Martin Legere
Freeman, Alan (son), 92, 125, 127, 136
Freeman, Arthur (husband), 124-26
Freeman, Carol – Personal
Bronx High School of Science, 13
Columbia Law School, 19, 21-25, 29, 69
Columbia Law Review, 25
Hop Harrigan, Ace of the Airways (radio program), 11
piano lessons, 9
Science Survey (newspaper), 15
Seven Sisters, 15
unavailability of Supreme Court clerkships for women, 23
The Lone Ranger (radio program, 11
Wellesley College, 16-17, 25, 39
Wellesley College Scholar, 17
World War II, 10-11
Freeman, Carol – Professional
American Bar Association (ABA)
Criminal Justice (magazine), 92, 127
Criminal Justice Section, 38, 91, 126
Standing Committee on Publication Oversight, 126
Vice Chair of Publications, 126
Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA), 27, 34-35, 41, 45, 51, 64,
Criminal Trial, 44, 48, 54-56
General Sessions, 52
Bergson, Borkland, Margolis & Adler, 62
CINA cases, “Child In Need of Assistance”, 112
Client Security Trust Fund (trustee), 89
Committee on Admissions in District of Columbia, 89
Criminal Practice Institute, 89
Guantanamo cases, 128
Maryland Public Defender’s Office, 49, 111
Maryland State Bar Correctional Reform Section (officer), 89
Montgomery Women’s Bar (President), 89
moot courts, 49
private practice, 112
Proskauer Rose, 26
Public Defender Service (board of trustees), 89
Title 18 of the U.S. Code, 38
United States Department of Justice
Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, 37
Appeals and Research Section, 38
General Crimes Section, 38, 41, 43-44
women in the Civil division, 54
United States District Court for the District of Columbia
attorney, pro se unit, 117
views on defense attorneys, 72
William B. Bryant American Inn of Court, 129
Young Lawyers Section of the Bar Association of D.C. (board member), 89
Freeman, Pete (son), 92
Freeman, Susie (daughter), 92, 103, 136
Friedman, Paul, 122-23
Gallagher, George, 105
Garden of Eden Heavenly Cheese, 31
Garfiel, Charles (paternal grandfather), 3
Garfiel, Isabel Levy (mother), 3
Garfiel, Theodore “Ted” (father), 3, 7-9, 11-12, 19, 29, 111
National Guard, 10
General Host, 65
Grand Bahama Bank and Trust Company, 33
See also Capitol Hill State Bank, Hanover Bank, John Houlihan, Martin Legere, James
Green, June, 3, 58, 70, 76, 77, 80, 83, 84
Hailstorks, Addie, 117
Hanover Bank, 33
See also Capitol Hill State Bank, Grand Bahama Bank and Trust Company, John Houlihan,
Martin Legere, James Freeling
Hantman, Alfred, 56
Harrison Narcotic Act, 56
Hart, George, 133
Holtzoff, Alexander, 57
Houlihan, John, 33
See also Capitol Hill State Bank, Grand Bahama Bank and Trust Company, Hanover Bank,
Martin Legere, James Freeling
Hughes Tool Company, 32
Hughes, Howard, 32
IFP (in forma pauperis), 118-19
Illinois v. Gates (case), 126
In Re Manville (case), 91
Jansen, Vernol, 42
Kay, Alan, 89
Kelly, Catherine, 53
Kennedy assassination, 40
Kennedy, Robert, 40
Kessler, Gladys, 85, 120
King, Martin Luther assassination, 63
Laumer, Harry, 88
Laumer v. United States (case), 87
Leake, Clarence, 99, 102
Leatherman, Edward, 96
Legere, Martin, 33
See also Capitol Hill State Bank, Grand Bahama Bank and Trust Company, Hanover Bank,
John Houlihan, Martin Legere, James Freeling
Leon exception See United States v. Leon
Levy, Eddie (maternal uncle), 12
Levy, Ernest Abraham (maternal great-grandfather), 4
Levy, Herman John (Jack) (maternal grandfather), 4
Levy, Isabel (mother), 3, 8
Levy, Isabella (maternal great-grandmother), 4
Levy, Jack (grandfather), 4, 6
Lindemann, Barbara, 44, 54
Lipshitz, Marie (paternal grandmother), 3
Luck case, 47-48
Luck, Charles, 45
Mallory v. United States (case), 45
Mann, Ed, 93
Manville, 90, 105
Manville (case), 105
Manville, Daniel, 90
Miranda v. Arizona (case), 45
McAuliffe, John, 97
McCarthy, John, 101
McGowan, Carl, 46
Mentschikoff, Soia, 27
Messitte, Peter, 101-02
Metzner, Charles, 29, 35, 41
Miller, William, 94
Miranda v. Arizona (case), 45
Mitchell, John, 102
Mize, Gregory, 114-15
Mobile, Alabama, 41
Mollo, Silvio, 35
Morgenthau, Robert, 35
Murphy, Tim, 53
Narcotic Addict Rehabilitation Act, 104
National Prison Project, 86, 90, 120
Nebeker, Frank, 48, 91, 106
Nelson, Jerry, 39
Poulos, Basel Anthony, 54
Proctor, Paul, 67-70
Rappaport, Jonas, 82-83
Rashkind. Paul, 127
Rayford, Lynwood, 59
Resnick, Dan, 50
Rosenberg, Beatrice, 39
Roundtree, Dovey, 58
Schwarzauer, Johnnie Leonard, 41-43
Second Genesis Foundation (drug treatment), 109
Selassie, Haile, 39-40
Singletery, Michelle, 117
Sirica, John, 57
Stovall v. Denno (case), 70
Terry, John, 55, 91, 96, 106
Timm, Eros, 67-78, 80- 84
TransWorldAirlines (TWA), 32
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 123
United States Supreme Court, 23, 33, 39, 65, 126-28, 135
United States v. Armour & Co. (case), 65-66
United States v. Leon (case), 126
Vaughn, Bridget (maternal great-grandmother), 4
Walsh, John, 56
Warren v. United States (case), 122
Warren, Earl, 41
Washington Post (newspaper), 73, 83
Weinstein, Paul, 96
Wieseman, Ted, 39, 93, 110
Williams, Charles Manley, 66
Williams, Edward Bennett, 76, 80
Williams, Samuel, 67-69
Wolfe, Paul, 112, 114
Wright, J. Skelly, 46, 51
Yatteau, Jack (cousin), 37
Youngdahl, Luther, 57
Youth Corrections Act, 80
Zoeller, Mike, 117
Oral History of Carol Freeman
Table of Cases and Statutes
Charles M. Luck v. United States, 348 F.2d 763 (D.C. Cir. 1965), 45
Community of Roquefort v. William Faehndrich, Inc., 198 F. Supp. 291 (S.D.N.Y. 1961), 31-32
Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213, 126
In Re Manville, 538 A.2d 1128 (D.C. 1988), 91
James R. Freeling v. Carl B. Sebring et al., 296 F.2d 244 (10th Cir. 1961), 33
Laumer v. United States, 409 A.2d 190 (D.C. 1979), 87
Mallory v. United States, 354 U.S. 449 (1957), 45
Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U. S. 436 (1996)
Stovall v. Denno, 388 U.S. 293 (1967), 70
Trans World Airlines, Inc. v. Howard R. Hughes et al., 449 F.2d 51 (2d Cir. 1971), 32
United States v. Armour & Co., 398 U.S. 268, 65-66
United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897, 126
Warren v. United States, 234 F.3d 1331 (D.C.Cir. 2000), 122
Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 1983, 42-43, 85, 118, 121-22
Criminal Justice Act of 1964, 18 U.S.C. § 3006A, 75
District of Columbia Code, § 14-305, 47
Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, 118, 123
Harrison Narcotics Tax Act, Ch. 1, 38 Stat. 785, 55
Narcotic Addict Rehabilitation Act, Pub. L. 89-793, 104
Youth Corrections Act, 28 CFR § 2.64, 78
Carol Garfiel Freeman
As a criminal defense attorney for almost 30 years, Carol Garfiel Freeman represented
hundreds of primarily indigent defendants in the local and federal trial and appellate courts of the
District of Columbia and the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland. Her typical client
was charged with a serious felony such as first-degree murder, armed robbery, kidnapping, child
abuse, drug sales, and serious assaults. Among her clients were the defendant charged with
murdering the father of D.C. judge Alfred Burka, the defendant charged with shooting a police
officer in the case in which Heidi Fletcher, daughter of the former Deputy Major of Washington,
was a co-defendant, and the defendant charged with taking hostages in the Mormon Temple in
Kensington, Maryland. Several of her clients raised mental responsibility defenses which were
accepted by the juries or the prosecution. Carol argued several appellate cases en banc, one of
which established new law in the District of Columbia on the issue of admissions against penal
interest (Laumer v. United States, 409 A.2d 190 (1979)). As a member of the District of
Columbia Committee on Admissions, Carol argued for the Committee in In re Manville, 538
A.2d 1128 (1988), where the Committee recommended and the Court approved admission to the
bar of three applicants who had been convicted of felonies but had established their current good
moral character. From 1982 – 1989 Carol served as Deputy District Public Defender for
Montgomery County, representing individual clients, and assisting in the administration of the
Carol began her legal career as a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice, after a
clerkship in the U.S. District Court for the S.D.N.Y. She then became the 11th woman to serve
as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, where she argued appeals for the
government, for a time as Deputy Chief of the Appellate Division, and then represented the
government in felony prosecutions in the U.S. District Court. She concluded her career as a staff
attorney in the Pro Se Unit of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, where she
assisted the judges in civil cases filed by indigent plaintiffs not represented by counsel.
As a sole practitioner for many years, in addition to defendants in criminal cases Carol
represented private clients in domestic matters, real estate purchases, estate matters, commercial
issues, and general civil matters. From 1969-71 she was an associate in the firm of Bergson,
Borkland, Margolis & Adler.
Carol graduated from Columbia Law School in 1961, where she was a James Kent
Scholar (1959) and a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar (1960, 1961) and a Member of the Board of
Editors of the Columbia Law Review. She received a B.A. from Wellesley College in 1958,
where she was a Wellesley College Scholar (1957, 1958) and received the Erasmus Prize in
Carol was a founding member of the William B. Bryant American Inn of Court and held
various executive positions in the Inn including President, Counselor, member of the executive
board, and team leader. In the Criminal Justice Section of the American Bar Association she has
been Chair and a member of the editorial board of Criminal Justice magazine,
Vice-Chair of Publications and a member of the Book Board, and a member of various other
committees. From 2004-2019 Carol wrote the Cert Alert column for Criminal Justice and she
has authored various other articles for the magazine.
Carol has been a member of the D.C. Bar Committee on Admissions, a
Trustee of the D.C. Public Defender Service, a member of the D.C. Clients Security Trust Fund,
President and member of the executive board of the Montgomery County Women’s Bar
association, and President and member of executive board Maryland State Bar’s Correctional
Reform Section. She has also served as President and member of the executive board of the
Tulip Hill Citizens Association.
Carol is married to Arthur L. Freeman, a career State Department officer, and has three
children and six grandchildren. Her hobbies include needlepoint, genealogy, and photography.
Jodi L. Avergun
Jodi Avergun is Chair of the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations Group and a noted
expert in Anti-Money Laundering law and regulated substances. Her practice focuses on
representing corporations and individuals in criminal and regulatory matters involving, among
other things, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, securities enforcement, health care, and general
white collar matters. Jodi has successfully represented both companies and senior executives in
internal investigations, matters before regulatory bodies including the SEC and the U.S. Drug
Enforcement Administration, and in civil and criminal matters in federal court.
She is the former Chief of the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section of DOJ’s Criminal Division
and the former Chief of Staff of the DEA. She is also a former federal prosecutor, having been
an AUSA in the Eastern District of New York for more than a decade. She advises clients in the
burgeoning legal cannabis space, particularly as it relates to banking and financial transactions,
and represents companies and individuals in cases involving both traditional and unusual
applications of the Controlled Substances Act. She counts among her clients companies
throughout the entire supply chain, as well as private equity firms that invest in the
pharmaceutical space. She successfully represented the employees of FedEx in grand jury
investigations and at trial, as well as the clubs of the NFL in CSA-related matters and is the first
independent reviewer appointed to oversee a CSA settlement. She has written and lectured
widely on all aspects of controlled substance law and is a regular speaker and commentator at
business seminars and conferences.
Jodi was recognized as a global leader in Who’s Who Legal: Investigations 2019. She also was
selected to Global Investigations Review’s Who’s Who Legal: Investigations 2017 and was
profiled in Global Investigations Review’s “2018 Women in Investigations,” a special feature
highlighting remarkable women in the field of investigation. Super Lawyers magazine has
consistently recognized Jodi as a leading white collar defense lawyer in Washington, D.C., since
2016. She has also been recognized among the top 30 “White Collar Crime” practitioners in the
Euromoney Expert Guides 2021 edition of the Best of the Best USA and in Euromoney Legal
Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business Law. She contributed to the
leading treatise on corporate investigations, co-authoring a chapter titled “Internal Investigations:
The US Perspective” in Global Investigations Review’s “The Practitioner’s Guide to Global
Investigations,” published in 2017. Jodi also authored a chapter titled “Monitorships in the
Pharmaceutical Industry” in the forthcoming “Guide to Monitorships,” to be published by Global
Jodi is a graduate of Brown University and a graduate, magna cum laude, of Brooklyn Law
School, where she was an editor of the Brooklyn Law Review. Jodi is a member of the Bars of
the District of Columbia and New York State and is admitted to practice before the U.S.
Supreme Court and various other federal circuit and district courts, including the Second Circuit,
the Fifth Circuit, the District of the District of Columbia, and the Eastern and Southern Districts
of New York. Jodi Avergun is a member of the Washington, D.C., Chapter of the Women’s
White Collar Defense Association (WWCDA).