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Photograph of Judge Leslie B. Rothenberg Judge Leslie B. Rothenberg

Judge Rothenberg who joined the Third District Court of Appeal in January of 2005, has an extensive history as a litigator, trial attorney, and trial judge, and has handled a large variety of criminal, civil, and appellate matters. Prior to her appointment to the appellate court, she tried nearly 400 jury trials, authored numerous orders and opinions and both argued and ruled upon thousands of motions.

Judge Rothenberg began her legal career in 1986 as a prosecutor in the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office prosecuting drunk drivers as a member of the federally funded DUI Task Force. After a year, she was promoted to the felony division and then the career criminal unit, where she prosecuted repeat and violent offenders. During her last two years in the State Attorney’s Office, she served as a felony division chief where she supervised a felony division while trying first degree murder and capital sexual battery cases.

In 1992 Judge Rothenberg was elected to the Circuit Court Bench serving for eleven years in the criminal, civil, and the appellate divisions, and distinguishing herself as a very hands-on, trial active judge.

In October of 2003, after eleven years on the Circuit Court, Judge Rothenberg stepped down from the Bench and became a partner with the International law firm of Steel Hector & Davis, LLP., where she handled a variety of civil matters. In December the following year, she was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to the Third District Court of Appeal, where she continues to serve with distinction as an appellate court judge.

Judge Rothenberg’s community service is as broad and as extensive as is her contribution to the legal profession. She has worked with youthful offenders and inner-city children, teaching a juvenile diversion program for first time offenders, serving on the Board of Directors for the Manhood Development Council which targeted at-risk inner city boys, and working for many years with the Police Explorers of Homestead. Judge Rothenberg has also worked with abused and neglected children, serving as a guardian ad litem, and on the Board of Directors for Kristi House, and with Women and Children First.

Judge Rothenberg, while being a prolific writer and known for her careful review of the record and her analytical opinions, has continued to be involved with the legal system outside of her appellate duties. She currently sits on the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee and was recently appointed by the governor to sit on the Capital Crimes Commission. Additionally, Judge Rothenberg is an instructor on campaign and election law, and has lectured on a number of issues including the standards of appellate review, the application of stare decisis, and the preservation of error.

Her personal life is also just as full and as diverse as is her professional career. She has been married for 43 years, has two grown sons, four grandchildren, holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, was a competitive 10K and marathon runner, and served as a volunteer on an army base in Israel during the first Gulf War.