David Rudolf


  • Rutgers University

    London School of Economics

    B.A., Summa Cum Laude

  • New York University School of Law

    J.D., June 1974. Cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • State of New York
  • State of North Carolina
  • United States District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York;
    • Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of North Carolina
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court.


  • American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section
    • Past Member – Criminal Justice Section Council
    • Past Chairperson – Grand Jury Committee
    • Editorial Board, Criminal Justice
  • National Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers
    • Past Member – Board of Directors
    • Past Co-Chairperson – Amicus Committee
    • Past member – Lawyers Assistance Strike Force
    • Past Co-Chairperson, Long-Range Planning Committee
    • Past Co-Chairperson, Nominating Committee
    • Contributing Editor, The Champion
  • North Carolina Advocates for Justice
    • Past Vice-President for Public Affairs
    • Past Member – Board of Governors
    • Past Chair – Criminal Law Section
    • Past Member – Editorial Board, Trial Briefs
  • American Board of Criminal Lawyers
    • Fellow


  • Adjunct Professor of Law
    • University of North Carolina School of Law
    • Trial Advocacy
  • Adjunct Professor of Law
    • Duke University School of Law
    • Criminal Litigation
  • Faculty, National Institute for Trial Advocacy
    • Death Penalty Resource Center Training Programs
    • Deposition Programs
    • Trial Advocacy Programs
  • Faculty, North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers
    • Trial Advocacy Clinic
  • Faculty, National Criminal Defense College
    • Trial Practice


  • “Criminal Law Update,” Trial Briefs
  • “Grand Jury Update,” Criminal Justice
  • “Behind Closed Doors,” The Champion
  • “In Open Court,” The Champion
  • “Making and Meeting Objections,” Trial Briefs
  • “A Subpoena A Day Keeps the Clients Away,” Criminal Justice
  • “The Attorney Subpoena: You Are Hereby Commanded to Betray Your Client,” Criminal Justice M
  • “Staying Clean,” Litigation
  • “Does RICO Recognize Marijuana,” Inside Drug Law
  • “Insuring the Representativeness of the Jury Pool – Statutory Challenges,” The Champion
  • “Insuring The Representativeness of the Jury Pool – Compositional Challenges,” The Champion

Speaking Engagements

  • Kentucky Bar Association

    Lexington – June 2023

    How Cognitive Biases Affect Critical Decision Making

  • Fifth Judicial Region Conference

    Texas – May 2023

    The Role of Cognitive Bias in Wrongful Conviction

  • Advanced Criminal Law Seminar

    Aspen – January 2023

    Ethical Dilemmas in Creative Advocacy

  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys

    Virtual – December 2022

    The Role of Lawyers in a Free Society

  • National Homicide Investigators Association

    Orlando – November 2022

    The Role of Cognitive Bias in Wrongful Convictions

  • Nebraska Criminal Defense Lawyers

    Omaha – March 2022

    How Junk Science Leads to Wrongful Convictions

  • Kansas State Bar Association

    Virtual – April 2021

    Litigating Prior Bad Acts Evidence

  • Indiana State Bar Association

    Indianapolis, Indiana – September 2019

    Keynote Address – The Role of Lawyers in a Free Society

  • New York Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys

    New York City – May 2019

    Fighting the Abuse of Power and Protecting the Rule of Law

  • Litigating Post-Conviction Innocence Claims

    Atlanta – April 2019

    Blood Stain Analysis

  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

    Las Vegas – April 2019

    Cross Examining Crime Scene Investigators

  • Association for Crime Scene Reconstruction

    Nashville – February 2019

    Panel Member – Flawed Blood Pattern Analysis

  • Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (Ontario)

    Toronto – November 2018

    Keynote Speaker – The Role of Lawyers in a Free Society

  • Mecklenburg Public Defenders

    Charlotte – June 2018

    Jury Selection

DAVID RUDOLF Founding Partner

David Rudolf is one of the preeminent trial lawyers in the country, specializing in high-profile and complex criminal and civil rights cases. Mr. Rudolf has been listed for more than twenty-five years in the Best Lawyers in America and was one of only three criminal defense lawyers selected for the inaugural class of the North Carolina Lawyer Hall of Fame. In recent years, in addition to his work defending individuals accused of crimes in federal and state courts, he has successfully represented individuals in civil rights litigation against law enforcement agencies arising from wrongful convictions. He is the co-host, with his partner, Sonya Pfeiffer, of the award-winning podcast, Abuse of Power.

Rudolf has taught Trial Advocacy at the UNC School of Law and for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, and Criminal Litigation at Duke University School of Law. He has also been recognized for his work with professional organizations, serving in various leadership positions in the ABA Criminal Justice Section, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers and Advocates for Justice. He has received world-wide acclaim for his representation of Michael Peterson in The Staircase on Netflix.