Judge Lee H. Rosenthal was appointed a United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division in 1992. Before then, she was a partner at Baker & Botts in Houston, Texas, where she tried civil cases and handled appeals in the state and federal courts. She received her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Chicago and served as law clerk to Chief Judge John R. Brown, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. In addition to serving as a district court judge for 30 years, Judge Rosenthal has been invited to sit by designation with courts of appeals around the country.
Judge Rosenthal was a member, then chair, of the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules and then chair of the Judicial Conference Committee on the Rules of Practice and Procedure, which coordinates and oversees the work of the Advisory Committees for the Civil, Criminal, Evidence, Appellate, and Bankruptcy Rules. She was a leader in improvements to the rules governing class actions, discovery of electronic information, and to the overall revisions to the rules to make them clearer and easier to read and to make it easier to determine time periods and deadlines. Judge Rosenthal was chief judge of the Southern District of Texas from November 2016 to November 2022. The Fifth Circuit judges selected her as their District Judge representative on the Judicial Conference of the United States for 2016–2019. Judge Rosenthal is a member of the American Law Institute and of its Council and serves as the ALI’s Vice President. She is currently an advisor on the Restatement of Conflict of Laws and the Restatement of Constitutional Torts. She has served as an advisor on the project to revise the Model Penal Code sections on sexual assault, the Restatement of Employment Law, the Principles of Aggregate Litigation, and the Transnational Rules of Civil Procedure. From 2014 to 2016, she was chair of the ALI Projects Committee.
Judge Rosenthal has taught, written, and lectured extensively, concentrating on topics in complex litigation and civil procedure, including federal courts, class actions, and electronic discovery. Judge Rosenthal served on the Board of Trustees of Rice University in Houston, Texas from 2008 to 2016, and currently serves on the Board of the Baylor College of Medicine. Judge Rosenthal is the 2012 recipient of the Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Award for Professionalism and Ethics given by the American Inns of Court and is a three-time recipient of the Trial Judge of the Year Award from the Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists. Judge Rosenthal is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Judge Rosenthal and her husband have four daughters.
The Global Class Actions and Mass Torts Conference is a prestigious international event that focuses on the concept of collective redress, which refers to legal mechanisms that allow a large group of individuals who have suffered similar harm or injury to pursue their claims together as a single entity.