A graduate of Harvard University, Mr. Edelman received his law degree from Harvard Law School. He served as law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun, and is widely considered to be a preeminent appellate advocate. He has been active and successful at all levels of state and federal courts.
Mr. Edelman drafted the critical appellate brief that precipitated the landmark civil rights victory, Jenson v. Eveleth Mines, the first-ever sexual harassment class action, handled by the law firm Sprenger & Lang. The Jenson case was the basis for the 2002 book “Class Action” and the 2005 movie “North Country.” “Class Action” noted that the plaintiffs called in Mr. Edelman because they needed “to deliver nothing less than a brilliant appellate brief.” Mr. Edelman delivered mightily. See C. Bingham & L. Gansler, Class Action (2002).
Over the course of more than three decades, Mr. Edelman has been recognized for his outstanding representation of employees in a wide range of labor and employment litigation, nationally and in the Washington, D.C. area. Martindale-Hubbell has rated Mr. Edelman "AV Preeminent," the highest possible peer review rating in legal ability and ethical standards, for the past 30 years. He is also listed in the 2009-2013 editions of Super Lawyers in the category of labor and employment, as well as in the 2010-2013 editions of The Best Lawyers in America in the employment law category.
Mr. Edelman successfully represented the City of Detroit, its police department and individual officials in defense of protracted suits challenging the constitutionality of Detroit’s affirmative action programs for police offer promotions and layoffs. Detroit Police Officers Association v. Young, 920 F. Supp. 755 (E.D. Mich. 1995) (defense of constitutional challenge to affirmative-action promotions); NAACP v. Detroit Police Officers Ass’n and City of Detroit, 900 F.2d 903 (6th Cir.), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 983 (1990) (defense of constitutional challenge to lay-offs of minority police officers).
Mr. Edelman is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States and the bars of several federal courts of appeals. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the UDC School of Law Foundation. He is also member of the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association, the National Employment Lawyers Association and the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Mr. Edelman is a recipient of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s pro bono award.