Leo Goodwin Sr. Hall, NSU Main Campus
Faculty and Staff Profiles

Bruce Rogow

Bruce Rogow

Founding Professor of Law and Adjunct Professor


Bruce Rogow has been a professor of law at Nova Southeastern University Law Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, since 1974. In 1978-79, he was co-dean of the Law Center, and in 1984, Acting Dean. Before joining Nova, he was on the faculty at the University of Miami. Mr. Rogow has taught Civil Procedure, Federal Jurisdiction, Constitutional Law, Appellate Practice, Criminal Law and Legal Ethics. He began his career in 1964-1966 with the Lawyers Constitutional Defense Committee, representing civil rights workers in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.

Mr. Rogow has litigated extensively over the past 47 years. He has argued over 400 civil and criminal cases in federal and state appellate courts, including eleven cases in the Supreme Court of the United States. He was Supreme Court counsel in Beach v. Ocwen Federal Bank, Seminole Tribe v. State of Florida, Florida Bar v. Went For it Inc., Campbell v. Acuff-Rose, Argersinger v. Hamlin, Gerstein v. Pugh, Ingraham v. Wright, Mathews v. Diaz, Davis v. Scherer, co-counsel in Fuentes v. Shevin, and was appointed by the Supreme Court to represent the petitioner in Francis v. Henderson. In three cases, Waldron v. United States, Arthur v. Hillsborough County, and in Scrushy v. United States, in June 2010, the Supreme Court granted certiorari, vacated, and remanded the decisions below without argument. In the 2000 Presidential election litigation, he was counsel in the Supreme Court for the Palm Beach County Canvassing Board in Bush v. Palm Beach Co. Canvassing Bd. He was co-counsel in United Haulers v. Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Management Authority, decided favorably in April 2007. In December 2007 he was retained by the Kentucky Retirement System to prepare its lawyer for a January 2008 Supreme Court argument in Kentucky Retirement System v. EEOC. The case was decided in favor of the Kentucky Retirement System.

Mr. Rogow has been listed in every edition of The Best Lawyers In America for the past twenty -five years. In the 2012 edition he has been named in six categories: Appellate Law, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, White Collar Criminal Defense, First Amendment Law, and Municipal Litigation. Few lawyers have been named in six categories; none have been named in all these six. Best Lawyers named him 2012 Lawyer of the Year in Appellate Practice in Miami, and 2010 South Florida Lawyer of the Year in "Bet-the-Company Litigation." He is also listed in Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Florida Trend's Legal Elite, Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition and Who's Who Legal Business, Crime Defense 2011, and 2011 Florida Super Lawyers, Top 100 Miami Area. Law Dragon has named him as one of the 500 leading lawyers in the United States. He is one of three lawyers in Florida to have been Board Certified in both civil and criminal appellate law. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and is also a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Mr. Rogow has also won numerous awards over the years for his public service, litigation, and teaching, including the Reginald Heber Smith Award from the National Legal Aid and Defender Association and the Playboy Foundation First Amendment Award. In 2000, he was awarded the James C. Adkins Award, given to Florida's outstanding appellate jurists or practitioners. He was the first practicing lawyer to receive the award. In 2006 he was a finalist for Most Effective Appellate Lawyer in South Florida and in December 2007 he was named the Most Effective Appellate Lawyer in South Florida. In December, 2011, he was named Most Effective Class Action Lawyer for his MDL Bank Overdraft Litigation. In 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, he was chosen as one of Florida Trend's Florida Legal Elite.

Mr. Rogow has represented governmental entities, public officials, trial and appellate judges, law firms, lawyers (including F. Lee Bailey), and corporations in major trial and appellate work. His clients in 2007– 2011 included Morgan Stanley, Progress Energy Corp., Merrill Lynch, Donald Trump, Don King, David Koch (Koch Industries), Leonard Lauder, Kentucky Derby winning jockey Jose Santos (whose defamation case against the Miami Herald he settled in March 2008 for a large confidential sum), Churchill Downs Corporation (Calder Race Track), Richard Scrushy, the former CEO of HealthSouth Corp., a Florida State Senator (whose convictions he reversed in December 2007), a mayor and five municipalities and all the pari-mutuels in Dade and Broward counties. In May, 2009 he reversed a $5 million judgment against a developer with directions to enter judgment for the developer, and, as a Special Assistant State Attorney, successfully moved the Florida Supreme Court to set aside a capital conviction and death sentence because of inappropriate undisclosed conversations between the trial judge and prosecutor. In August 2009, he was selected as Lead Counsel in the Multi-District Litigation (MDL) Bank Overdraft cases consolidated in the Southern District of Florida. He has argued and won every motion in the MDL case. In February 2011, Bank of America agreed to settle the overdraft case against it for $410 million. Thirty-five more banks remain in the litigation.

In March 2010, Mr. Rogow affirmed and collected a $42 million judgment for a cancer victim against various tobacco companies. In March 2007, representing Morgan Stanley against investor Ronald Perelman's CPH Holdings, he reversed the $1.6 billion judgment entered against Morgan Stanley in West Palm Beach, with directions to enter a judgment in favor of Morgan Stanley. In October 2009, he preserved that judgment, obtaining an appellate affirmance of the trial court's denial of CPH's attempt to vacate the judgment in favor of Morgan Stanley. In 1995 he secured the reversal of a $52 million judgment against Florida?s largest sugar companies, and the reversal of a $1.7 million contempt judgment against an attorney. In 1993 and 1994 he won Florida Supreme Court victories for a mayor denied municipal pension benefits, and for a special taxing district denied self-governing authority. In 1997 he reversed a million dollar federal judgment against Palm Beach County. In 1998 he obtained reversal of an order quashing charging liens, allowing lawyers to pursue their claims to 25% of Florida's $11 billion tobacco settlement. In 1996 his Florida Supreme Court victory for a brain damaged child led to a $9 million settlement and in 1998 he was appellate counsel in a civil rights case against the State which was settled for $17.75 million. In July 1999, he obtained a federal appellate affirmance establishing Indian Tribes' immunity from suits by the State under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. In February and March 2006 he reversed a potential billion dollar class action against Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and obtained a jury defense verdict in a $25 million suit against Jet Aviation International, Inc. and Hirschmann Industrial Holdings, Ltd., major Swiss companies. In May 2006 he reversed a multi-million dollar award against a physician and won an appellate decision for the Mayor of Miami -Dade County allowing a strong Mayor change of government to be presented to voters. In December 2006, he reversed an obscenity conviction and obtained the release of a Russian entrepreneur who had been incarcerated on the charge.

Since May 2006 Mr. Rogow has argued over fifty appeals in the various Florida District Courts of Appeal and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He argued nine cases in the Florida Supreme Court in 2007-2011 and in March 2008 reversed a trial court and prevailed in the Fourth District Court of Appeal for the City of Hollywood, Florida in a major eminent domain case, and upheld a $5 million fraud judgment against a corporation and its principal. He lectured for the past ten years in Tallahassee on Appellate Practice Before the Supreme Court of Florida; was a featured speaker for the Florida County Judges Conference in July 2006 and the Florida District Court of Appeal Judicial Conference in June 2007. In October 2006 he was a panelist for the State Bar of Georgia's "11th Circuit Appellate Practice Institute" in Atlanta. The subject was "Characteristics of Effective Oral Argument." He has been the Law Day speaker for the Broward County Bar Association and the Palm Beach County Bar Associations.

In Nov. - Dec. 2000 he represented Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Theresa LePore and the Palm Beach County Canvassing Board in numerous cases in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the Supreme Court of the United States and the Supreme Court of Florida. In July 2000, he obtained a federal injunction against enforcement of the Miami-Dade County "Cuba Affidavit," which required applicants for cultural grants to swear they had no ties to any Cuban nationals. He successfully defended Palm Beach County on appeal in a Title VII employment discrimination case in April 2000; and in 1999, he won a defense decision for the City of Boca Raton in United States district court in the first trial under the Florida Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1998; a decision affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals in 2005. Earlier, he successfully defended the Chief of the Seminole Tribe of Florida against federal and state Endangered Species Act criminal charges for killing a Florida panther on the Reservation, and 2 Live Crew in their federal and state obscenity trials and appeals. He obtained the acquittal of a South Florida mayor charged with theft in office. He successfully represented the Cuban Museum against the City of Miami?s attempt to evict the Museum for its artists' political views, obtaining a federal injunction against the City. He also obtained the first federal court appellate decision declaring that a musical work was not obscene. His Supreme Court success in Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music established copyright protections for commercial parodies.

Among Mr. Rogow's successful criminal appeals are Siplin v. State (Fla. 5th DCA 2007) (reversing convictions with order to acquit); Pizzo v. State (Fla. 2d DCA 2005 and Fla. Sup. Ct. 2006) (reversing fraud convictions); Billie v. State (Fla. 3d DCA 2003) (reversing second degree murder conviction and life sentence); Hebel v. State (Fla. 2d DCA 2000) (reversing conviction and 12-year sentence for sexual battery) (in February 2001, he tried the case in Arcadia, Florida, and obtained an acquittal); United States v. Arnold, 117 F.3d 1308 (11th Cir. 1997) (reversed money laundering and Travel Act and conspiracy, for Brady violation); United States v. Kramer, 73 F.3d 1067 (11th Cir. 1996) (reversed money laundering conviction and 20 year sentence, reversed $9 million forfeiture); DeFreitas v. State, 701 So. 2d 593 (Fla. 4th DCA 1997) (reversed agg. assault w/ firearm for prosecutorial misconduct; fundamental error). Over the years Mr. Rogow has handled numerous criminal trials and appeals as well as federal habeas corpus proceedings and appeals, and has been repeatedly appointed by the Florida Supreme Court to represent indigent prisoners. In November 2007, in Spera v. State, he reversed an 11-0 4th DCA en banc decision with a 7-0 Florida Supreme Court victory and in July 2008 he established the right in Florida to seek post-conviction relief for defendants whose lawyers advise them to reject a favorable plea offer (Morgan v. State).

Mr. Rogow has served as a consultant to lawyers and legal aid organizations, and as an expert witness on attorneys' fees; has lectured to judges and lawyers; writes, and has been President of the Legal Aid Society of Broward County, Florida, and Special Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Florida, Special Counsel to The Florida Bar, Special Assistant Attorney General, and a Special Assistant State Attorney. In January 2009, he became Special Counsel to Alters Law, a law firm in the Miami Design District that has played a leading role in the Chinese Drywall, Bank Overdraft and BP Oil Spill, Multi-District Litigation cases.

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