David J. R. Frakt is an Associate Professor of Law at the Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law and a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps Reserve. He earned his B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of California, Irvine and his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School. After law school, he clerked for the Honorable Monroe G. McKay, former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. From 1995 to 2005, he served on active duty with the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAG) before transitioning to the Air Force Reserve and becoming a law professor. He was Director of the Criminal Law Practice Center at Western State University College of Law from May 2005 to July 2010. He has also been an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center.
From April 2008 to August 2009, Professor Frakt took a military leave of absence from teaching to serve as lead defense counsel with the Office of Military Commissions, representing two detainees at Guantanamo facing war crimes and terrorism charges before the U.S. military commissions. He was the first defense counsel to win the pretrial dismissal of all charges against his client, Mohammed Jawad, a juvenile from Afghanistan, and also won Mohammed's release through a habeas corpus petition in federal court. He was the sole defense counsel in one of the only two military commission trials completed during President Bush's tenure in office, representing Ali Hamza al Bahlul.
Professor Frakt is a highly regarded expert in the field of international war crimes, military law and military commissions and has been frequently quoted in the national media, including in the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, Los Angeles Times, New York Review of Books, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Miami Herald, The Nation and the Atlantic Monthly. He has written widely in both scholarly and popular periodicals. His articles and letters have been published in the Washington Post, New York Review of Books, Harvard Human Rights Journal, American Journal of Criminal Law, and Florida State University Law Review, as well as online on Salon.com, CNN.com, Huffington Post, and truthout.org. He has been a repeat guest on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show, and on PRI's "The World" and recently debated terrorism issues on the “Intelligence Squared” Debate series, broadcast nationally on Bloomberg News and NPR. Professor Frakt is a frequent guest speaker at law schools, conferences and symposia. Recent speaking appearances include Harvard, Duke, UCLA, Case Western, Seton Hall, and NYU Law School. Professor Frakt is a contributor to the ACLU National Security Project’s Torture Report and was featured in the book The Guantanamo Lawyers: Inside a Prison, Outside the Law.
Professor Frakt teaching and scholarship areas are criminal law, criminal procedure, evidence, international war crimes and international humanitarian law. His latest articles will be published in the Duke Law Journal, the Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law and the Air Force Law Review.