Brief Biography

A Brief (well, perhaps not that brief) Biography:

Ronald D. Rotunda is the Doy & Dee Henley Chair and Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence, at Chapman University, the Dale E. Fowler School of Law. He joined the faculty in 2008. Before that, he was University Professor and Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law.  From 2002 to 2006, he was the George Mason University Foundation Professor of Law. Before that, he was the Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Professor of Law, at the University of Illinois.  He is a magna cum laude graduate of both Harvard College and  Harvard Law School, where he was a member of Harvard Law Review. He joined the University of Illinois faculty in 1974 after clerking for Judge Walter R. Mansfield of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, practicing law in Washington, D.C., and serving as assistant majority counsel for the Senate Watergate Committee. He has co-authored the most widely used course book on legal ethics, Problems and Materials on Professional Responsibility (Foundation Press, 12th ed. 2014) and is the author of a leading course book on constitutional law, Modern Constitutional Law (West Academic Co., 11th ed. 2015)(Abridged & Unabridged editions). He is the coauthor of, Legal Ethics: The Lawyer’s Deskbook on Professional Responsibility (ABA- West/Thompson Reuters Publishing, St. Paul, Minnesota, 2016-2017 ed.) (Jointly published by the ABA and West/Thompson Reuters Publishing) (with John Dzienkowski). Rotunda is also the co-author (with John Nowak) of the six-volume Treatise on Constitutional Law (West/Thompson Reuters Publishing, 5th ed. 2012)(with annual updates), and a one volume Treatise on Constitutional Law (West Academic, 8th ed. 2010). He is also the author of several other books and more than 500 articles in various law reviews, journals, newspapers, and books in this country and abroad. His works have been translated into French, Portuguese German, Romanian, Czech, Russian, Japanese, and Korean.  These books and articles have been cited more than 2000 times by law reviews, by state and federal courts at every level, from trial courts to the U.S. Supreme Court, and by foreign courts in Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America. He has been interviewed on radio and television on legal issues, both in this country and abroad. In 1993 he was the Constitutional Law Adviser to the Supreme National Council of Cambodia and assisted that country in writing its first democratic constitution. He has consulted with various new democracies in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, including Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine, on their proposed constitutions and judicial codes. He chaired the subcommittee that drafted the American Bar Association’s Model Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement; was a member of the Publications Board of the A.B.A. Center for Professional Responsibility from 1994 to 2016; was a member of the A.B.A. Standing Committee on Professional Discipline (1991-1997); and was Liaison to the A.B.A. Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility (1994-1997). He was a Fulbright Professor in Venezuela in 1986 and a Fulbright Research Scholar in Italy in 1981. In 1996 he assisted the Czech Republic in drafting the first Rules of Ethics for lawyers in that country.  During the Spring, 1999 semester, he was Visiting Professor at the University of Alabama School of Law, holding the John S. Stone Endowed Chair of Law. During the summer and fall of 2000, he was the Visiting Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute, in Washington, DC. In the fall of 2001, he was visiting professor at George Mason University School of Law. During November-December, 2002, he was Visiting Scholar, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Faculty of Law, Leuven, Belgium. In May, 2004, and December, 2005, he was visiting lecturer at the Institute of Law and Economics, Institut für Recht und Ökonomik, at the University of Hamburg. From early June 2004 to May 2005, he was the Special Counsel to the Department of Defense. He was on the Panel of Contributing Editors that produced, Black’s Law Dictionary (West/Thompson Reuters Publishing, 8th ed. 2004; Thomson-Reuters, 10th ed. 2014). From 2005-2006, he was a member of the Task Force on Judicial Functions of the Commission on Virginia Courts in the 21st Century: To Benefit All, to Exclude None.

In May, 2000, American Law Media, publisher of The American Lawyer, the National Law Journal, and the Legal Times picked Professor Rotunda as one of the ten most influential Illinois Lawyers.   Also in 2000, a lengthy study that the University of Chicago Press published, which sought to determine the influence, productivity, and reputations of law professors over the last several decades, listed Professor Rotunda as the 17th highest in the nation.  The 2002-2003 New Educational Quality Ranking of U.S. Law Schools (EQR) [the last year for which such records are available] ranks Professor Rotunda as the eleventh most cited of all law faculty in the United States. See http://www.leiterrankings.com/faculty/2002faculty_impact_cites.shtml.

In July, 2007, he was one of the main speakers at the International Judicial Conference hosted by the United States Embassy, the Supreme Court of Latvia, and the Latvian Ministry of Justice. The other main speakers were Justice Samuel Alito, the President of Latvia, the Prime Minister of Latvia, the Chief Justice of Latvia, and the Minister of Justice of Latvia.  On February 27, 2008, President George W. Bush nominated Ronald D. Rotunda  to become a member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) for an initial four-year term and sent his nomination to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs for confirmation hearings on the nominees.  He was selected the Best Lawyer in Washington, DC, in 2009 in Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law, as published in November 2008 in the Washington Post in association with the Legal Times.  When he moved to California, he was also selected as one of the Best Lawyers in Southern California, in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, also in Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law as published in the Los Angeles Times, U.S. News, and American Law Media.  On June 17, 2009, he became a Commissioner of the Fair Political Practices Commission, a state regulatory agency (analogous to the Federal Election Commission) that is California’s independent political watchdog.  He served until January 31, 2013, when his term expired. In 2012, he became a Distinguished International Research Fellow at the World Engagement Institute, a non-profit, multidisciplinary and academically-based non-governmental organization with the mission to facilitate professional global engagement for international development and poverty reduction http://www.weinstitute.org/fellows.html. In 2012, Chapman University honored him with The Chapman University Excellence In Scholarly/Creative Work Award, 2011-2012. Since 2014, he has been a member of the Editorial Board of, The International Journal of Sustainable Human Security (IJSHS), a peer-reviewed publication of the World Engagement Institute (WEI).   Rotunda was a Member of the Editorial Board of ABA’s Journal of Legal Education (2014 to 2016).

See alsowww.ronaldrotunda.org & www.ronaldrotunda.com 

 Dates, Names, Places, Bar Memberships, etc. 

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Positions:

Since August, 2008 Doy & Dee Henley Chair and Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence, Chapman University, Fowler School of Law

June 17, 2009 – Jan. 31, 2013

Commissioner, Fair Political Practices Commission, a regulatory body of the State of California

2006- August 2008 University Professor and Professor of Law, George Mason University

2002-2006

The George Mason University Foundation Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law

Nov. to Dec. 2002

Visiting Scholar, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Faculty of Law, Leuven, Belgium

May 2004

Visiting Lecturer, The Institute for Law and Economics, Institut für Recht und Ökonomik, The University of Hamburg, Germany

June 2004-May 2005

Special Counsel to Department of Defense, The Pentagon

December 2005

Visiting Lecturer, The Institute for Law and Economics, Institut für Recht und Ökonomik, The University of Hamburg, Germany

1993-2002 The Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Professor of Law, University of Illinois College of Law

Since 2002

The Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Professor of Law, Emeritus, University of Illinois College of Law

Fall, 2001

Visiting Professor, George Mason University School of Law

Spring & Fall 2000

Cato Institute, Washington, D.C.; Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies [Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, 2001-2009]

Spring, 1999 Visiting Professor, holding the John S. Stone Endowed Chair of Law, University of Alabama School of Law
1997-1999 Special Counsel, Office of Independent Counsel (Whitewater Investigation)
August 1980 – 1992

Professor of Law, University of Illinois College of Law

March 1986 Fulbright Professor, Maracaibo and Caracas, Venezuela, under the auspices of the Embassy of the United States and the Catholic University Andres Bello
January – June, 1981 Fulbright Research Scholar, Italy
Spring 1981

Visiting Professor of Law, European University Institute, Florence, Italy

August 1977 – August, 1980 Associate Professor of Law, University of Illinois College of Law
August 1974 – August 1977 Assistant Professor of Law, University of Illinois College of Law
April 1973 – July 1974

Assistant Counsel, U.S. Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities (Senate Watergate Commission)

July 1971 – April, 1973 Associate, Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, Washington, DC
August, 1970 – July 1971 Law Clerk, Judge Walter R. Mansfield, 2nd Circuit, New York, N.Y.

 

 Education:

Legal:

Harvard Law School (1967- 1970)

Harvard Law Review, volumes 82 & 83

J.D., 1970 Magna Cum Laude

College:

Harvard College (1963- 1967)

A.B., 1967 Magna Cum Laude in Government

Member:

American Law Institute (since 1977); Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation (since 1989); Life Fellow of the Illinois Bar Foundation (since 1991); The Board of Editors, The Corporation Law Review (1978-1985); New York Bar (since 1971); Washington, D.C. Bar and D.C. District Court Bar (since 1971); Illinois Bar (since 1975); 2nd Circuit Bar (since 1971); Central District of Illinois (since 1990); 7th Circuit (since 1990); U.S. Supreme Court Bar (since 1974); 4th Circuit, since 2009.  Member: American Bar Association, Washington, D.C. Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Seventh Circuit Bar Association; The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination Committee of the National Conference of Bar Examiners (1980-1987); AALS, Section on Professional Responsibility, Chairman Elect (1984-85), Chairman (1985-86); Who’s Who In America (since 44th Ed.) and various other Who’s Who; American Lawyer Media, L.P., National Board of Contributors (1990-2000).  Best teacher selected by George Mason U. Law School Graduating Class of 2003.

Scholarly Influence and Honors:

Symposium, Interpreting Legal Citations, 29 Journal of Legal Studies (part 2) (U. Chicago Press, Jan. 2000), sought to determine the influence, productivity, and reputation of law professors.  Under various measures, Professor Rotunda scored among the highest in the nation.  E.g., scholarly impact, most-cited law faculty in the United States, 17th (p. 470); reputation of judges, legal scholars, etc. on Internet, 34th (p. 331); scholar’s non-scholarly reputation, 27th (p. 334); most influential legal treatises since 1978, 7th (p. 405).

In May 2000, American Law Media, publisher of The American Lawyer, the National Law Journal, and the Legal Times, picked Professor Rotunda as one of the ten most influential Illinois Lawyers.  He was the only academic on the list.  He was rated, in 2014, as one of “The 30 Most Influential Constitutional Law Professors” in the United States.

  • 2012, Honored with, The Chapman University Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Work Award, 2011-2012.
  • Appointed University Professor, 2006, George Mason University; Appointed 2008, Doy & Dee Henley Chair and Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence, Chapman University.
  • The 2002-2003 New Educational Quality Ranking of U.S. Law Schools (EQR) ranks Professor Rotunda as the eleventh most cited of all law faculty in the United States. See http://www.leiterrankings.com/faculty/2002faculty_impact_cites.shtml
  • Selected University Scholar for 1996-1999, University of Illinois.
  • 1989, Ross and Helen Workman Research Award.
  • 1984, David C. Baum Memorial Research Award.
  • 1984, National Institute for Dispute Resolution Award.
  • Fall, 1980, appointed Associate, in the Center for Advanced Study, University of Illinois.

Other Activities:

March-April, 1984, Expert Witness for State of Nebraska on Legal Ethics at the Impeachment Trial of Nebraska Attorney General Paul L. Douglas (tried before the State Supreme Court; the first impeachment trial in nearly a century).

July 1985, Assistant Chief Counsel, State of Alaska, Senate Impeachment Inquiry of Governor William Sheffield, (presented before the Alaskan Senate).

Speaker at various ABA sponsored conferences on Legal Ethics; Speaker at AALS workshop on Legal Ethics; Speaker on ABA videotape series, “Dilemmas in Legal Ethics.”

Interviewed at various times on Radio and Television shows, such as MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour, Firing Line, CNN News, CNN Burden of Proof, ABC’s Nightline, National Public Radio, News Hour with Jim Lehrer, Fox News, etc.

1985–1986, Reporter for Illinois Judicial Conference, Committee on Judicial Ethics.

1981-1986, Radio commentator (weekly comments on legal issues in the news), WILL-AM Public Radio.

1986-87, Reporter of Illinois State Bar Association Committee on Professionalism.

1987-2000, Member of Consultant Group of American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law Governing Lawyers.

1986-1994, Consultant, Administrative Conference of the United States (on various issues relating to conflicts of interest and legal ethics).

1989-1992, Member, Bar Admissions Committee of the Association of American Law Schools.

1990-1991, Member, Joint Illinois State Bar Association & Chicago Bar Association Committee on Professional Conduct.

1991-1997, Member, American Bar Association Standing Committee on Professional Discipline.

Chair, Subcommittee on Model Rules Review (1992-1997).  [The subcommittee that I chaired drafted the Model Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement that the ABA House of Delegates approved on August 11, 1993.]

1992, Member, Illinois State Bar Association [ISBA] Special Committee on Professionalism; Chair, Subcommittee on Celebration of the Legal Profession.

Spring 1993, Constitutional Law Adviser, Supreme National Council of Cambodia.  I traveled to Cambodia and worked with officials of UNTAC (the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia) and Cambodian political leaders, who were charged with drafting a new Constitution to govern that nation after the United Nations troop withdrawal.

1994-1997, Liaison, ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility.

1994-1996, Member, Illinois State Bar Association [ISBA] Standing Committee on the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.

Winter 1996, Constitutional Law Adviser, Supreme Constitutional Court of Moldova.

Under the auspices of the United States Agency for International Development, I consulted with the six-member Supreme Constitutional Court of Moldova in connection with that Court’s efforts to create an independent judiciary.  The Court came into existence on January 1, 1996.

Spring 1996, Consultant, Chamber of Advocates, of the Czech Republic.

Under the auspices of the United States Agency for International Development, I spent the month of May 1996, in Prague, drafting Rules of Professional Responsibility for all lawyers in the Czech Republic.  I also drafted the first Bar Examination on Professional Responsibility, and consulted with the Czech Supreme Court in connection with the Court’s proposed Rules of Judicial Ethics and the efforts of the Court to create an independent judiciary.

Consulted with (and traveled to) various counties on constitutional and judicial issues (e.g., Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Cambodia) in connection with their move to democracy.

1997-1999, Special Counsel, Office of Independent Counsel (Whitewater Investigation).

Lecturer on issues relating to Constitutional Law, Federalism, Nation-Building, and the Legal Profession, throughout the United States as well as Canada, Cambodia, Czech Republic, England, Italy, Mexico, Moldova, Romania, Scotland, Turkey, Ukraine, and Venezuela.

1998-2002, Member, Advisory Council to Ethics 2000, the ABA Commission considering revisions to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

2000-2002, Member, Advisory Board to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (This Board was charged with removing any remaining vestiges of organized crime to influence the Union, its officers, or its members.)  This Board was part of “Project RISE” (“Respect, Integrity, Strength, Ethics”).

2001-2008, Member, Editorial Board, Cato Supreme Court Review.

2005-2006, Member of the Task Force on Judicial Functions of the Commission on Virginia Courts in the 21st Century: To Benefit All, to Exclude None

July, 2007, Riga, Latvia, International Judicial Conference hosted by the United States Embassy, the Supreme Court of Latvia, and the Latvian Ministry of Justice. I was one of the main speakers along with Justice Samuel Alito, the President of Latvia, the Prime Minister of Latvia, the Chief Justice of Latvia, and the Minister of Justice of Latvia

2014-2017, Member, Advertising Committee, Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL).  The Committee published, and APRL adopted this Report, in June, 2015, http://www.aprl.net/publications/downloads/APRL_2015_Lawyer-Advertising-Report_06-22-15.pdf

1994-2016, Member, Publications Board of The Professional Lawyer, the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility; vice chair, 1997-2001.

Since 1996, Member, Executive Committee of the Professional Responsibility, Legal Ethics & Legal Education Practice Group of the Federalist Society; Chair-elect, 1999; Chair, 2000

2014-2016, Member, Editorial Board of The Journal of Legal Education of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) (2014 to 2016)

Since 2003, Member, Advisory Board, the Center for Judicial Process, an interdisciplinary research center (an interdisciplinary research center connected to Albany Law School studying courts and judges)

Since 2012, Distinguished International Research Fellow at the World Engagement Institute, a non-profit, multidisciplinary and academically-based non-governmental organization with the mission to facilitate professional global engagement for international development and poverty reduction, http://www.weinstitute.org/fellows.html

Since 2014, Member, Board of Directors of the Harvard Law School Association of Orange County

Since 2015, Member of Editorial Board, Revista Estudos Institucionais, vinculada à Faculdade Nacional de Direito, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

May 2015-May 2016, Member, Substitute Board of Managers, Cosmos Club.