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Friedberg was born in Märkisch Friedland in West Prussia. He studied law at the University of Berlin, earning his degree in 1836. He was attached to the Kammergericht at Berlin, where he became district attorney in 1848. Transferred to Greifswald, he was appointed (1850) attorney, and became privatdozent at the university. In 1854 he was called to the Prussian Department of Justice in Berlin. He became a member of the Prussian House of Lords (1872); assistant secretary of the Prussian Department of Justice (1873); "Kronsyndikus" (treasurer of the crown of Prussia (1875); German secretary of justice ("Reichsjustizminister) (1876); and received the same portfolio for Prussia (1879). In 1888 he was knighted and decorated with the Prussian Order of the Black Eagle. He resigned from his official positions in 1889.
Friedberg became a Protestant early in his career. He died in Berlin. Among his works may be mentioned "Entwurf einer Deutschen Strafprozessordnung", Berlin, 1873