Max Rosenn (February 4, 1910 – February 7, 2006) was a United States federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit from 1970 to 2006.
Born to a Jewish family in Plains, Pennsylvania, Rosenn received a B.A. from Cornell University in 1929 and an LL.B. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1932. Upon completing law school, Rosenn entered private practice in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Rosenn was an Assistant District Attorney in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania from 1941 to 1944, and a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army during World War II from 1944 to 1946 (in the JAG Corps in the Philippines). In 1954, Max Rosenn, Mitchell Jenkins and Henry Greenwald founded the Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania law firm of Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald, which has grown to become a 40 member regional law firm with offices in Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton, Pennsylvania. He was a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He was the Pennsylvania Secretary of Public Welfare 1966 to 1967. In 1972, when Wilkes-Barre and the entire Wyoming Valley (Pennsylvania) area was devastated by a flood, he chaired the Flood Recovery Task Force.
Federal judicial service
On September 3, 1970, Rosenn was nominated by President Richard M. Nixon to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit vacated by David Henry Stahl. Rosenn was confirmed by the United States Senate on October 6, 1970, and received his commission the following day. Rosenn assumed senior status on January 21, 1981, serving in that capacity until his death.
Rosenn was widely respected in his community and by his fellow judges of all judicial temperaments and across the political spectrum. His opinions are more frequently cited than almost any other federal appellate court judge.
During his years on the court, Rosenn had more than seventy law clerks, who became extraordinarily devoted to him. In 1980, to commemorate his tenth anniversary on the bench, they established the annual Max Rosenn Lecture Series in Law and Humanities at Wilkes College (now Wilkes University) in Wilkes-Barre. Following his death, they formed the Association of Law Clerks of The Honorable Max Rosenn. The Max Rosenn United States Courthouse in Wilkes-Barre is named for him, as is the Max Rosenn Memorial Law Library in the Luzerne County (Pennsylvania) Courthouse. In 2012, one of his former law clerks published a book about her experiences clerking under Rosenn.
Rosenn was married to Tillie Hershkowitz, who died in 1992. He himself died in Wilkes-Barre on February 7, 2006 at the age of 96.
- Max Rosenn at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
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