Douglas E. Fierberg


Over three decades ago, Douglas E. Fierberg expanded his commercial trial practice in Washington D.C. to establish the only national legal practice focused on representing school violence victims and survivors nationwide. The work began on behalf of a high school student who survived brutal sexual assaults in Washington, D.C. by two assailants, and a college student hospitalized after being hazed at Omega Psi Phi Fraternity at the University of Maryland. From there, the practice went to Texas on behalf of 4 college students killed outside a fraternity house whose chapter president ignored a direct warning from the police the night before to make their operations safer before someone was killed.

What became clear quickly is that misconduct underlying such tragedies – sexual assaults, brutal hazing, uncontrolled drinking, gun violence – had many things in common: toxic masculinity, insular and unsupervised male groups, and delusions grounded in a patriarchy experienced in shaming survivors and defending perpetrators, conspirators, and negligent institutions in shameful ways. Cases successfully handled by the firm that exemplify such issues include:

  • Freshman high school athletes hazed and sodomized by upperclassmen;
  • Women sexually assaulted in fraternities that labeled them as “rape bait,” kept scorecards of women assaulted, and advised members to “use more alcohol” to disable women to gain sex;
  • Universities that exposed males to dangerous fraternity rituals by tolerating these rituals under the guise that “boys will be boys,” while meting out harsh penalties to sororities that engaged in hazing;
  • Celebrities and esteemed members of the clergy who used their power to groom and assault vulnerable women and men;
  • Women sexually assaulted at schools by athletes who were allowed to remain on campus afterward; and
  • Groundbreaking claims – establishing compelling precedent – against fraternities circumventing the maze of corporate structures and insurance exclusions specifically implemented to deprive victims and survivors of the financial justice they deserve.

Today, the firm and its attorneys constitute the premier national trial practice dedicated to serving victims, families, and survivors. Achievements include:

  • Settlements and trial verdicts against fraternities, colleges, schools, students, perpetrators/rapists, liars, and other wrongdoers in excess of $375 Million;
  • Success representing students and others killed or wounded in mass shootings and women sexually assaulted by powerful persons in the entertainment industry and professional, amateur, college, and high school athletics;
  • Victories in Title IX and related proceedings causing rapists to be expelled, universities and schools to be held financially liable to survivors, and resulting in specialized accommodations for survivors necessary to protect their educational rights; and
  • Establishment of legal precedent in state and federal courts across the country to hold colleges, schools, fraternities, and other wrongdoers responsible for campus violence.

Mr. Fierberg was lead counsel for twenty families whose loved ones died or suffered catastrophic injuries because of the April 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech. The result: a historic settlement with the Commonwealth of Virginia valued at more than $11 Million. Since then, he has successfully represented persons killed in mass shooting incidents at schools and workplaces in Alabama, Washington, D.C., and Missouri. Mr. Fierberg also served as the lead trial attorney for Rolling Stone Magazine and its founder in defending multiple defamation lawsuits filed against them arising out of an article Rolling Stone published about sexual assaults at college fraternities. Since the inception of his practice, Mr. Fierberg has continually represented local and national businesses as trial counsel to protect them in transactions and litigation.


  • J.D., The National Law Center, George Washington University, With Honors
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, University of Michigan, Class Honors

Lectures and Professional Presentations:

  • Fordham University School of Law, The Law and Neuroscience of Mass Shootings: The Law, Ethics, and Psychology of Mass Shootings (November 2022)
  • Harvard Law School, Sports, Sex and Equality on Campus: Litigating the Title IX Case (October 2021)
  • Miami University, Building a Better Campus Community: Understanding the Principal Dynamics Underlying the Deaths, Injuries and Sexual Violence in the Greek Community (March 2021)
  • Harvard Law School, Gender Violence, Law, and Social Justice: Litigating Against Fraternities, Schools, and Students in Cases of Sexual Violence, Hazing, and Other Deadly Misconduct (March 2018; March 2015)
  • Cornell University, Student Rights and University Responsibilities: Fraternities, Sexual Violence, and Other Wrongdoing on Campus (September 2018)
  • National Center for Victims of Crime:  Third Party Liability in Cases of Sexual Violence and Other Deadly Misconduct in Schools (December 2015)
  • Miami University, Campus Sexual Violence: Student Rights, University Responsibilities, and Legal Liability in the Hunting Ground (March 2020, October 2016)
  • Chrysalis Network: Campus Sexual Violence: Student Rights, University Responsibilities, and Legal Liability in the Hunting Ground (December 2016)
  • National Center for Victims of Crime: Holding Universities, Campus Institutions, and Students Accountable for Mass Violence, Campus Crimes, and Other Wrongdoing: Civil Justice for Victims of Campus Crime, Sexual Assault and Other Wrongdoing (2011 National Conference)
  • National Legal Aid and Defender Association: Holding Universities, Campus Institutions, and Students Accountable for Mass Violence, Campus Crimes, and Other Wrongdoing: Civil Justice for Victims (2010 National Conference)
  • American Association for Justice:  Holding Universities, Campus Institutions, and Students Accountable for Mass Violence, Campus Crimes, and Other Wrongdoing: Civil Justice for Victims at Virginia Tech and Other Schools (2009 National Conference)
  • American Trial Lawyers Association:  School Safety: Threat Assessments, Rapid Response, and Lockdowns (2008 National Conference); Student Victims: Strategies and Issues for Successful Civil Litigation (2007 National Conference)
  • American Trial Lawyers Association: Student Victims of Sexual Assault: An Overview of Administrative and Legal Remedies (2006 National Conference)
  • National Student Legal Services Association: Student Victims: An Overview of the Problem, Civil Litigation, and Related Proceedings (2005 National Conference)
  • American Trial Lawyers Association: The Greek Industry: Strategies for Litigating Claims Involving Serious Injury, Death, Hazing, and Alcohol Misuse (2005 National Conference)
  • American Trial Lawyers Association: Fraternity Litigation: A Basic Primer on the Status of Violence, Injury, Death, Alcohol Misuse, and Litigation Involving the Fraternity Industry (2004 National Conference)

Media Features:

Mr. Fierberg’s expertise, cases, and clients have been featured multiple times on/in:

Professional Organizations:

  • American Association of Justice: Founding member and chair of the Litigation Group, Schools: Violence, Misconduct, and Safety
  • National Crime Victim Bar Association: Past President of the Advisory Board
  • DC Trial Lawyers Association (“DCTLA“)
  • Michigan Association for Justice (“MAJ”)
  • National Trial Lawyers Association (“NTL”)
  • Reproductive Justice Lawyers Network (“RJLN”)
  • Women’s Resource Center in Traverse City, Michigan: Board Chair 2023


  • Hazing:  Destroying Young Lives; Chapter 9, Universities and College Groups Must Begin Disclosing Threats of Sexual Assault and Other Campus Violence (Author, Hank Nuwer, Indiana University Press 2018)
  • Victim Advocate: Representing Victims of Hazing and Other Group Violence on Campus (Vol. 3, No. 2, Fall, 2001)
  • Synthesis: Law and Policy in Higher Education (Vol. 10, No. 3, Winter, 1999)
  • The School Administrator: Hazing Prevention Deserves Attention, Too (Vol. 57, No. 9, October 2000)

Bar & Court Admissions:

  • District of Columbia
  • State of Maryland
  • State of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit
  • Numerous other state and federal courts across the country by permission to represent individuals and families on specific cases

Mr. Fierberg has been recognized by Super Lawyers as one of Washington DC’s Top Schools & Education Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers Top 100, a professional organization composed of premier trial lawyers from across the country who exemplify superior qualifications as civil plaintiff or criminal defense trial lawyers, and by The National Association of Distinguished Counsel, which less than 1% of practicing attorneys in the United States are members of the “Nation’s Top Attorneys”.

Let Us Help. Contact Us Today.