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Hon. James M. Rosenbaum

Hon. James M. Rosenbaum (Ret.)

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Upcoming Events
General Biography
Practice Areas
Business Commercial
Civil Rights
Class Action & Mass Tort
Employment Law
Environmental Law
Federal Law
Indian Tribal Law
Intellectual Property
Life Sciences
Pharmaceuticals & Mass Torts
Special Master Discovery Referee
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Hon. James M. Rosenbaum (Ret.) served as a United States District Judge for the District of Minnesota for 25 years, having previously served as Minnesota’s United States Attorney.

During his service, he was the District’s Chief Judge, and was elected by the Judges of the Eighth Circuit to serve as their representative on the Judicial Conference of the United States.  He was appointed to the Conference’s Executive Committee by Chief Justice Rehnquist.  

While on the Bench, he presided over several Multi-District Litigation (MDL) matters, including cases involving Anti-Trust, and Pharmaceutical and Medical Device issues.  He was recognized for his work on Intellectual Property and Indian Law issues.

Judge Rosenbaum has taught seminars for judges and lawyers in 20 countries, worldwide, on subjects ranging from International Patents and Intellectual Property to Judicial Ethics.  He has published articles on Neutral Evaluations, Law/Privacy and Computers, and Mediation practice.  

While maintaining an active JAMS practice of Arbitration, Mediation, Early Neutral Evaluation, and Special Master appointments, he continues his writing and teaching.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Presided over cases including:
    o Arbitration, domestic and international
    o Bankruptcy
    o Business and commercial law
    o Civil rights
    o Class actions and Multi-District Litigations (MDL)
    o Employment
    o Environmental law
    o Insurance coverage
    o Intellectual property, patent, and trade secrets
    o International terrorism
    o Medical devices and pharmaceuticals
    o Mass tort/product liability
    o Securities
    o White collar crime

Representative Matters

  • Civil Rights
      • Presided over many cases involving claims against federal agencies, states, and municipalities including Hollman Consent Decree; Beaulieu v. Ludeman, Civ. No. 06-4045 (JMR); Holly v. Konieska, Civ. No. 04-1489; Schaub v. County of Olmsted, 656 F. Supp. 2d 990 (D. Minn. 2009)
  • Class Action & Mass Tort
      • In re Medtronic, Inc., Implantable Defibrillators Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 05-1726, presided over a 2005 action involving a group of plaintiffs implanted with faulty Medtronic defibrillators; most cases settled and the MDL was dissolved in December 2008
      • In re Mirapex Product Liability Litigation, MDL No. 07-1836, presided over bellwether trials in the Mirapex cases involving patients prescribed the drug Mirapex who developed pathological gambling and other compulsive behaviors as a side effect; majority of cases settled
  • Employment Law
      • Jenson v. Eveleth Mines, certified the first hostile work environment dispute in the nation, on behalf of female miners in the Iron Range; this landmark case was the basis for the book “Class Action” and later the major motion picture “North Country” starring Oscar Award winner Charlize Theron
      • Holden v. Burlington Northern, Inc., 665 F. Supp. 1398 (D. Minn. 1987), presided over a long-running sexual harassment class action by female employees of the Burlington Northern railroad; approved payment of $2.5 million to the class
  • Environmental Law
      • Atlantic Research Corp. v. United States, 459 F.3d 827 (8th Cir. 2006), affd., United States v. Atlantic Research Corp., 551 U.S. 128 (2007), sat by designation on the Eighth Circuit panel which heard the claim of a government contractor which sought to share with the United States the burden of voluntarily cleaning up its property.  The Court found the contractor was able to pursue a claim under CERCLA § 107, a decision later affirmed by the Supreme Court
      • As a trial judge, Judge Rosenbaum oversaw many environmental cases, including a decade-long environmental litigation claim between the buyer and seller of a contaminated industrial property, Kennedy Building Associates v. CBS Corp.
  • Indian Tribal Law
      • Minnesota is a state with Federal Indian Reservations. As such, Judge Rosenbaum has extensive experience in matters involving sovereignty, land patent, and jurisdictional issues, as well as tribal compact/state tax questions, in “Indian Country”
  • Insurance
      • Suits against federal crop as well as private insurers are a regular part of a Federal Judge's caseload in Minnesota.  The Red River of the North flows between Minnesota and North Dakota.  The River lies in a notorious flood plain, and "seriously" floods on frequently.  In doing so, it floods residential, agricultural, and business properties. Suits against private and federal insurers are a regular result of this flooding
      • In the early 2000's the Twin Cities experienced a "500 year" rain.  Rainfall measured between 71/2 and 8 inches in a matter of hours.  This event generated a number of flood and rain claims against both private and government insurers
  • Intellectual Property
      • Patent: presided over cases involving various medical devices including:
        • Medtronic, Inc. v. Advanced Cardiovascular Systems, Inc., 182 F. Supp. 2d 810 (D.Minn. 2000) involving coronary stents
        • Arthrex Inc. v. Depuy Mitek, Inc. (Middle District of Florida, 2010) plaintiff sought, and the Judge granted, summary judgment of infringement of a patent relating to a surgical method for loading tendons into the knee
      • Trademark Infringement
        • American Dairy Queen Corp. v. New Line Productions, Inc. 35 F. Supp. 2d 727 (D. Minn. 1998), granted a preliminary injunction to the owner of the “Dairy Queen” trademark against a film studio which had planned to release a movie entitled “Dairy Queens,” satirizing contestants in a Minnesota beauty pageant.  The movie was subsequently released under the title “Drop Dead Gorgeous”
  • Securities
      • In re UnitedHealth Group Incorporated PSLRA Litigation, presided over simultaneous class action and shareholder derivative suits arising out of stock options backdating.  The Judge ultimately approved settlements in both cases.  As part of the PSLRA settlement, UnitedHealth paid $895 million, and its ex-CEO paid $30 million and forfeited 3.6 million shares stock options
  • Special Master Discovery Referee
      • Lectured extensively throughout the United States on electronic discovery, served on the Sedona Conference since 2006, and is a regular participant at TechShow and other conferences dedicated to exploring the intersection of law and technology

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Judge of the Trial and Appellate Courts of The Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians 2024
  • Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS
  • Member, Academy of Court Appointed Masters
  • Recognized as Best Lawyer, Alternative Dispute Resolution Category, Best Lawyers in America, 2014
  • Author, How Lawyers Benefit from Early Neutral Evaluation, Law360, April 2013
  • Honoree, Power 100 Advocate, On Being a Black Lawyer (OBABL), 2013
  • Recipient, Minnesota Lawyer’s Attorney of the Year Award for Outstanding Service to the Profession, Minnesota Lawyer, 2012
  • Designated one of “The 100 Most Influential Minnesota Lawyers of All Time, Minnesota Law & Politics, August 2007
  • Recipient, Hennepin County Judicial Professionalism Award, 2007
  • Recipient, Honorary Doctor of Law, Western New England College, 2007
  • Member, Federal Bar Association, Minnesota chapter, 1981-present (President, 1992-1993)
  • Board of Advisors, The Green Bag, 2008-present
  • Board of Directors, Hennepin Theater Trust, 2008-2013
  • University of Minnesota:
    • Alumnus of Notable Achievement, 2010
    • Alumni Association and Board of Advisors, 2009-present (Chairman 2012-2013)
    • English Department Advisory Committee, 2008-present
    • Law School Board of Visitors, 1991-1997
  • Judicial Board of Advisors, The Sedona Conference (a legal community think tank that examines forward-looking principles, best practices, and guidelines in specific areas of the law), 2004-present (taught programs on Antitrust, E-Discovery, Patent Law, Co-Author “Cooperation Proclamation”)
  • Founding member ["Master'], Minnesota's first Patent Law Inn of Court, 2014 
  • Frequent speaker and teacher, including:
    • Faculty Member, National Judicial College, Reno, Nevada, 1998-2006 (taught courses in complex litigation, legal technology)
    • Teacher at “Baby Judges School” (training and orientation for newly appointed federal judges), prosecutor and defender school, and Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute, 1990-present
    • Inaugural James M. Rosenbaum National Security Symposium: Trans-Atlantic Approaches to Counterterrorism, William Mitchell College of Law, April 2010
  • Select publications:
    • "Negotiating the Shoals of Mediation," 18 The Green Bag 2D 305 (2015)
    • “In Defense of Rule 808, Federal Rules of Evidence,” 12 Green Bag 2D 165 (2009)
    • “The Death of E-Discovery,” The Federal Lawyer 26, July 2007
    • “Rohwer v. Federal Cartridge Co.,” The Green Bag Almanac & Reader 316, 2006
    • “In Defense of the Sugar Bowl,” 9 Green Bag 2D, Autumn 2005
    • “In Defense of the Hard Drive,” 4 Green Bag 2D 169, 2001
    • “In Defense of the Delete Key,” 3 Green Bag 2D 393, 2000
    • Retiring the Gavel,” Minnesota Public Radio Audio Interview, July 6, 2010

Background and Education

  • Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, 1985-2010
  • U.S. Attorney, District of Minnesota, 1981-1985
  • Partner, Gainsley, Squier & Korsh, 1979-1981
  • Partner, Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, 1977-1979
  • Associate, Katz, Tuabe, Lange & Frommelt, 1973-1977
  • Staff Attorney, Leadership Council for Metropolitan Communities, 1970-1972
  • Staff Attorney, VISTA, Chicago, Illinois, 1969-1970
  • J.D., University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN, 1969
  • B.A., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 1966


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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