For more than 40 years, Edward S. Rosenthal has been engaged in the private practice of law, primarily in Northern Virginia, as well as throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the District of Columbia, and in various other state and federal trial and appellate courts across the country.

Mr. Rosenthal has enjoyed notable accomplishments throughout his career. At the trial level, his achievements include the successful defense of a notorious capital murder prosecution; six- and seven-figure awards and settlements in complex personal injury and product liability cases; a writ of mandamus entered against a local City Manager in a police officer’s pension dispute; jury verdicts in excess of $350,000 for compensatory and punitive damages following a three-week trade secrets trial; and the establishment, following a three-month trial against Nissan Motors, of a design defect in the seating configuration of the 1982 Nissan 200SX—which verdict resulted in a lifetime, structured settlement on behalf of a client who suffered quadriplegic injuries.

In the appellate courts, Mr. Rosenthal has briefed and argued successful appeals resulting in decisions establishing limits on the introduction of reputation evidence and hearsay opinion testimony under the Federal Rules of Evidence; requiring the testimony of patients to support each instance for which a physician may be prosecuted for issuing illegitimate drug prescriptions; refining the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine under the Fourth Amendment’s search and seizure requirements; vindicating the rights of state prisoners to a drug- and weapons-free environment at the Virginia State Penitentiary; requiring insurance carriers paying settlements to see to the proper application of proceeds disbursed on behalf of a child plaintiff; enforcing a federal trial court’s obligation to evaluate and honor an accused’s Sixth Amendment request to represent himself in a criminal prosecution; establishing that a police department’s collection and storage of motor vehicle location data using Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) technology involves “personal information” under Virginia’s Data Collection and Dissemination Act (the “Data Act”); and obtaining an injunction in a subsequent phase of that electronic privacy case against the police department’s continued collection and storage of such ALPR data in violation of the Data Act’s protections.

Mr. Rosenthal has frequently litigated matters in the famous “Rocket Docket” (the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia) and the Fourth Circuit. His practice there has included trials and settlements involving:

  • Criminal defense, including charges of mail and wire fraud, prison riot, counterfeiting, prescribing narcotics without medical justification, and denial of right to self-representation;
  • Title VII actions (e.g., employment discrimination);
  • Section 1983 litigation (e.g., excessive force, illegal search and seizure, unlawful interrogations, unconstitutional conditions of confinement, medical care alleged to constitute cruel and unusual punishment);
  • Lanham Act cases (e.g., unfair trade practices, commercial advertising);
  • Qui Tam actions (false government claims);
  • Infant settlements (e.g., mishandling of fiduciary funds);
  • Federal Tort Claims Act actions (e.g., unlawful immigration arrest, personal injuries/automobile accident); and
  • Business torts (e.g., business conspiracy, trade secrets, noncompetition agreements, non-solicitation agreements, nondisclosure agreements, and the like).

Mr. Rosenthal received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College as an Independent Scholar in 1973. He graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in 1976.

Mr. Rosenthal is the author of “The Bill of Rights in Its 200th Year: A Casualty of the War on Drugs?”, which was featured in the 1992 George Mason University’s Civil Rights Law Journal. He has been an occasional lecturer on the Constitution and criminal law at schools and universities. Mr. Rosenthal has testified on the constitutionality of proposed legislation before the Courts of Justice Committee of the Virginia House of Delegates. As the former chair of the Alexandria Bar Association’s Legislative Affairs Committee, Mr. Rosenthal contributed to the successful effort to establish a Public Defender’s Office for the City of Alexandria, one of the first such offices in Virginia. He has served as an evaluator in the D.C. Street Law Mock Trial Program sponsored by Georgetown University. Under the auspices of the Federal Judicial Training Center, Mr. Rosenthal has participated in the training of new federal trial judges. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the ACLU of Virginia and is the Chair of its statewide Legal Panel, which helps select the cases that the organization will undertake.

Notable Cases: Hart v. Commonwealth, 221 Va. 283 (1980); Shrader v. White, 761 F.2d 975 (4th Cir. 1985); United States v. Dobson, 753 F.2d 1295 (4th Cir. 1986); Reed v. Swank, Inc., 900 F.2d 254 (4th Cir. 1990); United States v. Tran Trong Cuong, 18 F.3d 1132 (4th Cir. 1994); Halterman v. Radisson Hotel Corp., 259 Va. 171 (2000); Medina v. United States, 92 F. Supp. 2d 545 (E.D. Va. 2000); Bhatia v. Mehak, Inc., 262 Va. 544 (2001); Staton v. Commonwealth, 2001 Va. App. LEXIS 673 (2001); Staton v. Commonwealth, 2002 Va. App. LEXIS 453 (2002); Starrs v. Commonwealth, 752 S.E.2d 812, 2014 Va. LEXIS 11 (2014); Neal v. Fairfax Cty. Police Dep’t, 295 Va. 334 (2018); Neal v. Fairfax Cty. Police Dep’t, 102 Cir. Ct. 11 (Fairfax 2019).

Mr. Rosenthal has maintained an AV-rating (“Pre-Eminent”) by Martindale Hubbell for nearly three decades.