Who We Are
Led by Charles LiMandri, the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) is a team of experienced trial lawyers who provide pro bono legal services and spearheads educational initiatives on issues related to religious freedom, bioethics, and family values. Specifically, we defend the conscience rights and constitutional liberties of people of all or no faith — free of charge. What makes us unique — and much-needed — is our focus on trial-level litigation. Whereas other public interest law firms tend to focus their work at the appellate level, we have seasoned expertise to defend Americans in courtrooms nationwide.
The importance of trial level litigation is critical:
Too many cases never get to the appellate level because harassed, oppressed, and intimidated men and women do not have the financial resources to defend their rights at trial. That’s where we come in.
Conscience is the inner voice in a man that moves him to do good under any circumstances and to avoid evil by all means. More than ever, the government and secular humanists have trampled on Americans’ conscience rights. That’s why we provide protective legal services at the trial level to vindicate the American people of their fundamental inalienable rights.
Charles LiMandri has been involved with pro bono religious liberty cases for over a decade, defending Mt. Soledad Cross, San Diego Firefighters, and many other organizations when their rights were being violated. For years, LiMandri’s private law practice funded these types of cases until it became apparent that the need was increasing, and he could no longer fund the work personally.
LiMandri had attended a private summit on marriage and religious liberty in New York, which gathered together Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Princeton University’s Robbie George, evangelical pastor Jim Garlow, and many others. At that summit, it quickly became clear that serious Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and Mormons all agree: if we do not halt the secular progressive agenda of harassment and intimidation of people of conscience, our children will not experience or enjoy the freedom and liberty that we have long known as Americans.
At the urging of many friends, LiMandri founded FCDF in 2012 to allow others to support the mounting escalation and intensity of religious freedom cases.
Since our founding, individuals and organizations—victims of discrimination and defamation—have sought our attorneys’ experience and expertise. In extreme cases, people of conscience—especially supporters of life, marriage, and the family—have literally had their jobs or even their lives threatened.
We are proud to be one of the key allied attorney firms with Alliance Defending Freedom, and we have been co-counsel with many other religious liberty firms, including Life Legal Foundation and the Thomas More Society.
FCDF is available to represent and file amicus curiae briefs on behalf of all whose freedom of conscience is threatened, including churches, nonprofit organizations, business owners, professors, and other individuals.