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 over 22 years, Judge Rosenthal has been invited to sit by designation with courts of appeals around the country, including the Second Circuit, the Third Circuit, the Fifth Circuit, the Sixth Circuit, the Ninth Circuit, and the Eleventh Circuit.
Chief Justice Rehnquist appointed Judge Rosenthal as a member of the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules in 1996. She served as chair of the Class Actions subcommittee during the development of the 2003 amendments to Rule 23. Chief Justice Rehnquist appointed Judge Rosenthal chair of the Civil Rules Committee in 2003. In 2007, Chief Justice Roberts appointed Judge Rosenthal to chair 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. That appointment was extended through October 1, 2011.
Judge Rosenthal is a member of the American Law Institute, and served as an advisor for the Restatement of Employment Law, the Principles of Aggregate Litigation, and the Transnational Rules of Civil Procedure. She is currently an advisor for the Conflicts of Law project. In 2007, she was elected to the ALI Council and from 2011 to 2015 served as chair of the Projects Committee. In 2015, Judge Rosenthal was elected as the ALI’s Second Vice-President. Judge Rosenthal has taught, written, and lectured extensively, concentrating on topics in complex litigation and civil procedure, including class actions and discovery. Judge Rosenthal serves on the Board of Trustees of Rice University, chairing the Academic Affairs Committee, and on the Board of Trustees for the Baylor College of Medicine. She is a past president of the District Judges’ Association of the Fifth Circuit. Judge Rosenthal is the 2012 recipient of the Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Award for Professionalism and Ethics given by the American Inns of Court. In 2014, Judge Rosenthal was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Judge Rosenthal and her husband have four daughters.