Lee H. Rosenthal

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Lee Hyman Rosenthal
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
Assumed office
November 13, 2016
Preceded byRicardo Hinojosa
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
Assumed office
May 13, 1992
Appointed byGeorge H. W. Bush
Preceded bySeat established by 104 Stat. 5089
Personal details
Born (1952-11-30) November 30, 1952 (age 66)
Richmond, Indiana
EducationUniversity of Chicago (B.A.)
University of Chicago Law School (J.D.)

Lee Hyman Rosenthal (born November 30, 1952 in Richmond, Indiana) is the Chief United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.


Rosenthal received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Chicago in 1974 and her Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School in 1977, where she was an editor of the Law Review.[1][2]


After graduating from law school, Rosenthal completed a one-year clerkship with Chief Judge John Robert Brown of the United States 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.[3] She was nominated to the district court by President 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.[2] She became Chief Judge on November 13, 2016.[4]

Rosenthal chaired the Judicial Conference Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, to which she was appointed in 2007 by Chief Justice John Roberts[5] 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.[citation needed]

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 her to that committee in 1996, and as chair in 2003.[3][5] Under her tenure, 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.[5]

Law reform[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.[3][5] She is a member of the board of editors for the Manual for Complex Litigation, published by the Federal Judicial Center.[citation needed]

Rosenthal is a member of the Rice University Board of Trustees[5] and a member of the Duke University School of Law Board of Visitors.[6] She is also an adjunct faculty at the University of Houston Law Center.[7]


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.[3] She has received the Houston Bar Association's highest bar-poll evaluation for judges three times — in 1999, 2005 and 2007.[5] In the 2007 poll, 80.5% of respondents rated her "outstanding" and 16.5% rated her "acceptable."[8]


  1. ^ "The University of Chicago Law Review" (PDF). lawreview.uchicago.edu. 1976. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  2. ^ a b "Rosenthal, Lee Hyman - Federal Judicial Center". www.fjc.gov.
  3. ^ a b c d "Hon. Lee H. Rosenthal | The Sedona Conference®". Thesedonaconference.org. Retrieved 2014-08-22.
  4. ^ "New Chief Judge Lee H. Rosenthal - Southern District of Texas". www.txs.uscourts.gov.
  5. ^ a b c d e f [1]Archived 27 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Welcoming new board members". Law.duke.edu. 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2014-08-22.
  7. ^ The State of Texas and The University of Houston Law Center (2011-10-01). "University of Houston Law Center Adjunct Faculty". Law.uh.edu. Retrieved 2014-08-22.
  8. ^ Houston Bar Association (July 24, 2011). "Judicial Poll Results" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 24, 2011. Retrieved May 28, 2018.


External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Seat established by 104 Stat. 5089
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
Preceded by
Ricardo Hinojosa
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas