David J. Strachman is a Providence, Rhode Island attorney noted for his representation of terror victims in civil suits against terror entities including the PLO, Palestinian Authority, Hamas and the Islamic Republic of Iran. He has won judgments on behalf of the victims of terrorism from each of these entities.


Strachman is a 1986 graduate of Brandeis University and a 1990 graduate of Boston University School of Law.

Strachman’s approach to terrorism cases is credited with having “made legal history.” [1] He describes his motivation as hoping to “create an economic disincentive for terrorists. If the terrorists know that they can be forced to pay a lot, can even be bankrupted, then they may rethink their strategy. Appeals to any sense of morality have failed; appeals to their pocketbooks may work." [1]

Strachman won a landmark judgment against the Palestinian Authority in a case involving the 1996 murders of Brooklyn-born Yaron Ungar, a US citizen, and his pregnant Israeli wife, Efrat, whose car was attacked by Hamas militants. Those convicted of the crime were found to be carrying uniforms issued by the Palestinian Authority. Strachman was successful in attaching the U.S. assets of the Palestinian Authority as compensation for the victims.[2][3]

In the case of Jenny Rubin, et al. vs. the Islamic Republic of Iran, et al., Strachman successfully sued the Iranian government for funding a 1997 Hamas bombing of the Ben Yehuda street mall in Jerusalem, which killed five and wounded 192. This was based on Iran's having financed Hamas, which made Tehran legally responsible for the actions of Hamas. The judge in the case, Ricardo M. Urbina, noted that Iran budgets "between $50 million and $100 million a year sponsoring various organizations such as Hamas." [4]

Strachman is attempting to collect the judgment by suing for possession of ancient Persian artifacts in museum collections, including that of the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago. In doing so, Strachman has been criticized for valuing money over archaeological research.

In March 2008, the US government refused to support efforts by the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization to avoid paying millions of dollars in lawsuit judgments to American families who were victims of terrorism. [5]


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