Minneapolis (5-24-07): -- The Hennepin County Bar Association (HCBA) recognizes two individuals each year—a judge and a lawyer—for their commitment to the highest of professional standards in the legal community. These professionalism awards are granted in the belief that professionalism serves the best interests of clients, fosters respect and trust between lawyers and the public, promotes the efficient resolution of disputes, and improves the administration of justice. The 2007 Professionalism Awards recognize the Honorable James M. Rosenbaum, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, and Lisa Brabbitt, an assistant dean at the University of St. Thomas Law School. Recipients were honored at the Annual Meeting of the HCBA, Thursday, May 24.
Chief Judge James M. Rosenbaum received the 2007 Professionalism Award recognizing his devotion to the profession and to the rule of law as well as the independence of the judiciary. David Sasseville announced the award to Judge Rosenbaum during the HCBA annual meeting, "because of his service to the cause of judicial independence, integrity and professionalism, and for his many accomplishments as a lawyer, judge and member of this community.” He stated, "The hallmarks of professionalism are independence of judgment and integrity. Judge Rosenbaum exemplifies both."
A graduate of the University of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota Law School, Rosenbaum then entered VISTA service in Chicago. He returned to Minnesota, working in private practice from 1973 until 1981when he was appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, serving until his appointment to the federal bench by President Ronald Reagan in 1985. He became chief judge in 2001. Rosenbaum is the Eighth Circuit's representative on the Judicial Conference of the United States, and served on its Executive Committee from 1999 to 2001.
Lisa Brabbit is the recipient of the 2007 Professionalism Award for a lawyer. The annual award is presented to a member of the Hennepin County Bar who “best exemplifies the pursuit of the practice of law as a profession, including the spirit of public service and promotion of the highest level of competence, integrity and ethical conduct.”
Brabbit is the assistant dean for external relations at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, and oversees the Mentor Externship Program, alumni outreach, and external relations at the school. She is a graduate of St. Mary’s College (Indiana) and the William Mitchell College of Law. Brabbitt has a long and varied history of service to the Hennepin County and Minnesota State bar associations, the Trial Lawyers Association, and the Minnesota Women Lawyers, where she is a past president.