About Us

Lawyers Defending American Democracy is a diverse and nonpartisan group of attorneys, including former federal and state judges, United States Attorneys, managing partners of large law firms, law deans and other distinguished lawyers from around the country.

As members of the legal community, we have a unique responsibility to defend the Constitution and the underlying values and norms on which our democracy depends. As such, we believe the virtually unprecedented assaults on our democracy by our President must not stand.

Since our founding in January 2019, we have authored multiple Open Letters and statements demanding President Donald Trump and Congress honor the fundamental principles, norms and values of our democracy, and urge the legal community – in particular, members and leaders of America’s national, state and local bar associations, law schools, law firms and fellow lawyers nationwide – to join us in speaking out against the threats to our democracy.

Steering Committee Members

  • Scott Harshbarger, Chairman – Former National President of Common Cause and two-term Attorney General of Massachusetts
  • Christine H. Chung – Former partner, Selendy & Gay PLLC and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP; Former Senior Trial Lawyer, International Criminal Court
  • Fernande (Nan) R.V. Duffly– Former Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
  • Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal – Executive Director, Lawyers for Civil Rights
  • Evan Falchuk – Former independent gubernatorial candidate for Massachusetts
  • Nicholas Fels – Retired partner, Covington & Burling LLP
  • Eugene R. Fidell– Senior Research Scholar, Yale Law School, and counsel, Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP (New Haven, CT)
  • Carmen F. Francella – Boston, MA
  • Fred M. Lowenfels– General Counsel Emeritus at Trammo, Inc.
  • Stanley J. Marcuss – Former Counsel to the U.S. Senate’s International Finance Subcommittee; former Senior Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Commerce Department; former partner, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy; former Senior Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School; retired partner, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner
  • James F. McHugh – Former Associate Justice, Massachusetts Appeals Court
  • Thomas Mela – Retired Managing Attorney of the Massachusetts Advocates for Children
  • John T. Montgomery – Ropes & Gray, former managing partner (retired)
  • Cheryl Niro – Past President, Illinois State Bar Association; Past President, National Conference of State Bar Associations; Former Partner, Quinlan & Carroll, Ltd.
  • Gershon M. (Gary) Ratner – Co-founder, LDAD; Founder & Executive Director, Citizens for Effective Schools; former Associate General Counsel for Litigation, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development; former Associate Director for Litigation, Greater Boston Legal Services
  • Neal R. Sonnett – Former Assistant U.S. Attorney and Chief, Criminal Division, Southern District of Florida; Past President, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; Managing Partner, Sonnett Law, Miami, FL
  • Lauren Stiller Rikleen – President, Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership
  • Estelle H. Rogers – Retired Voting Rights Attorney  
  • Emanuel L. Rouvelas – Washington, DC
  • Lucien Wulsin – Founder and retired Executive Director, Insure the Uninsured Project