Lee H. Rosenthal

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Judge Lee H. Rosenthal

Lee Hyman Rosenthal (born 1952 in Richmond, Indiana) is a federal judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.

Education[edit]

Rosenthal received her B.A. from the University of Chicago in 1974 and her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 1977, where she was an editor of the Law Review.[1]

Career[edit]

After graduating from law school, Rosenthal completed a one-year clerkship with Chief Judge John R. Brown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Rosenthal practiced with the Houston law firm Baker Botts from 1978 to 1992, becoming a partner in 1985.[2]

She was nominated to the district court by George H.W. Bush on March 20, 1992, was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 12, 1992, and received her commission on May 13, 1992.[3]

Rosenthal chaired the Judicial Conference Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, to which she was appointed in 2007 by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.[4] The committee supervises the rule-making process in the federal courts and oversees and coordinates the work of the Advisory Committees on the Federal Rules of Evidence and of Civil, Criminal, Bankruptcy and Appellate Procedure. Prior to 2007, Rosenthal was a member, then chair, of the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist appointed Rosenthal to that committee in 1996 and as chair in 2003.[5][6] Under Rosenthal’s leadership, the discovery rules were amended to address the impact of changes in information technology in 2006. In 2007, the entire set of civil rules was edited to be clearer and simpler without changing substantive meaning. The work clarifying and simplifying the rules used in the trial courts won the committee the 2007 “Reform in Law” Award from the Burton Awards for Legal Achievement, an award issued with the Library of Congress and the Law Library of Congress.[7]

Law Reform Work[edit]

Rosenthal was elected to the American Law Institute (ALI) and in 2007 was elected to its council. She currently serves on ALI's Executive Committee as an Adviser on four of ALI’s projects: The Restatement of Employment Law; Privacy Law Principles; Aggregate Litigation; and Rules of Transnational Civil Procedure.[8][9] She is also a member of the board of editors for the Manual for Complex Litigation, published by the Federal Judicial Center.

Rosenthal is a member of the Rice University Board of Trustees[10] and a member of the Duke University School of Law Board of Visitors.[11] She is also adjunct faculty at the University of Houston Law Center.[12]

Judicial Reputation[edit]

Rosenthal was selected as the trial judge of the year by the Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists in 2000 and again in 2006.[13] She has received the Houston Bar Association’s highest bar-poll evaluation for judges three times — in 1999, 2005 and 2007.[14] In the 2007 poll, 80.5% of respondents rated her "outstanding" and 16.5% rated her "acceptable."[15] Rosenthal has been mentioned as a possible nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.[16]

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