Ezra Rosenberg is the co-director of the Voting Rights Project, overseeing all voting rights litigation. A former member of the Board of Trustees of the Lawyers’ Committee, Ezra joined the Lawyers’ Committee in November 2014 as Special Senior Counsel in the Legal Mobilization Project, continuing a 40-year career in the public and private sectors, before being named co-Director in July 2015.
Prior to joining the Lawyers’ Committee staff, Ezra was a partner in the Princeton office of Dechert LLP, where for two decades he had a leading role in the defense of many industries in consumer fraud, product liability and mass tort class action suits. He served several terms on the firm’s Policy Committee and as a Deputy Chair of the firm, assigned to oversee issues relating to associate development. In that capacity, Ezra helped institute a “Critical Skills” program designed to teach associates essential core competencies. He is also a former co-chair of Dechert’s Product Liability and Mass Torts Group. Ezra was consistently ranked among the top product liability litigators both in New Jersey and nationwide by numerous publications, including Chambers, The Legal 500 United States, Benchmark Litigation.
In 2014, Ezra was named as one of the top 500 lawyers by Lawdragon.That same year, he was honored at the Lawyers’ Committee Annual Awards Program with the Brooks R. Burdette Best New Board Member Award. In 2015, Ezra received the ACLU of New Jersey’s Legal Leadership Award for his commitment to social justice, including important contributions to the ACLU-NJ’s work while a partner at Dechert LLC, in groundbreaking cases involving jail conditions and the intersection of the First Amendment and racial justice.
At Dechert, Ezra was actively involved in pro bono representations, including several significant cases with the Lawyers’ Commmittee. He has been one of the lead counsel challenging Texas’s photo ID voting law, serving as co-lead trial and lead coordinating counsel in both the Section 2 and Section 5 cases (tried in 2014 and 2012 respectively); served as co-lead trial counsel in a school desegregation case tried in Pitt County, North Carolina in 2013; and supervised the advantageous settlements of a minority profiling case in New Jersey and of a prison conditions case in Passaic County, New Jersey. In 2014, Ezra successfully argued an appeal on behalf of the NJ-ACLU before the New Jersey Supreme Court, dealing with the admissibility of a defendant’s rap lyrics in his attempted murder trial, helping to persuade the court to adopt stringent standards before admitting such evidence. In 2014, Ezra was named to The National Law Journal’s “Pro Bono Hot List” for his role in significant public interest cases of national importance.
Ezra began his career with the New Jersey Department of the Public Advocate, focusing on “special project” criminal appeals, arguing several times before the New Jersey Supreme Court, including a landmark case that set the standard for judicial review of prosecutorial denials of pretrial intervention, and a series of cases which established protections against discovery by the prosecution of investigative and expert reports criminal defendants did not intend to use at trial. He joined the Lands & Natural Resources Division of the United States Department of Justice in 1979, where, as a Senior Trial Attorney, he handled a variety of cases relating to the nation’s lands, including the defense of surface mining regulations and a pre-Chadha “one House veto” case under the Wilderness Act.
Ezra is a past president of the Mercer County Bar Foundation and Mercer County Bar Association, which in 2014 awarded him with its highest honor, the Michael J. Nizolek Award for Service to the Bar. In 1997, the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law presented Ezra with its Professional Lawyer of the Year Award, and in 2011, Ezra received the American Jewish Committee Judge Learned Hand Award, given annually to an outstanding leader in the legal profession who exemplifies the “high principles and noble tradition associated” with Judge Hand.
Ezra graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, B.A., Cum laude, in 1971 and from New York University School of Law, J.D., 1974, Cum laude, where he received the Founders Day Award and was admitted to the Order of the Coif. He is a member of the bars of the District of Columbia and the State of New Jersey and numerous federal bars.