Florida Trial and Appellate Lawyer

The Hon. Leslie Rothenberg is a former Florida trial judge and appellate court judge. She served for eleven years as Circuit Court Judge for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Miami-Dade County, and fourteen years as an appellate court Judge on the Third District Court of Appeal. During her tenure on the Third District Court of Appeal, she was elected by her peers to serve as Chief Judge and then as the President of the District Court of Appeal Judges, where she represented the appellate judiciary state-wide and ran the judicial education program. Her twenty-five years on the bench and her experience litigating and trying complex cases and issuing written opinions on the law have earned her the respect of her colleagues, the legal community, and the community at large.

In 2021, Judge Rothenberg was elected, and in 2023, re-elected, to The Florida Bar Board of Governors, for the 11th Circuit. As one of the 52 members of The Florida Bar Board of Governors, Judge Rothenberg serves all 111,000 members of The Florida Bar, and along with her colleagues, is responsible for creating and implementing all policy changes and regulating the lawyers practicing law in this state.

Prior to Judge Rothenberg’s tenure on the bench, she served as a prosecutor for the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office where she prosecuted violent and repeat offenders, homicides, and capital sexual battery cases, while supervising an entire felony division, and then as a commercial and corporate litigator for a large Miami-based law firm. 

Over the course of her career, Judge Rothenberg has tried over 100 jury trials as a lawyer and over 300 jury trials as a judge. She has authored nearly 1,000 published opinions on the law. Her writings include comprehensive opinions regarding tobacco and asbestos litigation, and wrongful death, constitutional, zoning, corporate liability, attorney’s fees, and closing argument issues. She also has extensive expertise in personal injury, appeals, and commercial litigation, and serves as an expert witness and as a mediator, making her an invaluable resource to her colleagues and clients. 

Judge Rothenberg is known for her dedicated work ethic and effectiveness both in and out of the courtroom, and one of her strengths, from having worked for twenty-five years as a neutral judge, is her ability to see issues from competing interests, which makes her an effective mediator and arbitrator, and advocate for her clients both as plaintiffs and defendants.

Judge Rothenberg has also lectured on a number of topics including human trafficking, public corruption, sexual predators, preservation of error, how to avoid closing argument error, effective appellate advocacy, stare decisis, constitutional issues, statutory interpretation, ethics, professionalism, and the use of technology in the current legal landscape, and she is a well-known and highly regarded panel member and moderator at educational seminars and conferences.


  • JD, Nova Southeastern School of Law, 1986
  • BA, Florida Atlantic University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
    • University of Denver, Denver, CO.

Bar Admissions

  • Florida, 1986
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, 2019

Professional Associations

  • Dade County Bar Association
  • The Florida Bar [elected to The Florida Bar Board of Governors in 2021]
  • Cuban American Bar Association
  • Florida Association for Woman Lawyers


  • Selected National Trial Lawyers ‐ Civil Plaintiff ‐ Top 100 Trial Lawyer in the state of Florida.
  • Elected and served as Chief Judge of the Third District Court of Appeal
  • Elected to The Florida Bar Board of Governors, 2021
  • Distinguished Service Award, Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency
  • Mattie Belle Davis Award, Florida Association for Women Lawyers
  • Honored by the Dade county trial lawyers for dedication to public service
  • Community Services Award, Spanish American League Against Discrimination (SALAD)
  • Contribution to Operation Desert Storm Award, The Florida bar
  • Honored by the Israeli government for services as a volunteer during the Gulf War
  • Outstanding Support and Leadership Award, The Police Explorers of Homestead
  • Dedicated Service Award, Criminal Division, Miami-Dade Circuit Court
  • Justice Award, Miami-Dade League of Prosecutors
  • Honored by the World Federation of Tae Kwon Do for contribution to the development of Tae Kwon Do as a world sport
  • 2022 Distinguished Leader Honoree Florida Legal Awards

Community Involvement

Alongside her work, Judge Rothenberg is incredibly active in her community.

Her community service roles include:

  • Guardian Ad Litem for abused, neglected and abandoned children.
  • Board of Directors, Kristi House (for abused children)
  • Board of Directors, Urban League: Manhood Development Council (at-risk inner-city children)
  • Dade County Criminal Justice Victims Rights Committee
  • Capital Crimes Commission (Appointed by Governor Bush)
  • Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee (Appointed by the Florida Supreme Court)
  • Co-Chair, Israeli Affairs Committee, National Council of Jewish Women
  • Instructor, Juvenile Diversion Program for First-Time Offenders
  • Domestic Violence Sub-Committee, National Council of Jewish Women
  • Instructor, The Florida Bar Career Prosecutor / Public Defender Program
  • Volunteers for Israel Program: Volunteered to work on an army base in Israel during the Gulf War


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