Episco-Pal

Jeremy Rosen

Published in 2010 Southern California Rising Stars — July 2010

When Harvard-Westlake School (formerly Harvard School) in Los Angeles needed to retain counsel for a property dispute that would rise to the California Supreme Court, one name came to the front: a nice Jewish boy named Jeremy Rosen. One of its alums.

Rosen jumped at the chance to help the church with the crucial appeal. “The preparation I got at Harvard made me who I am today,” says Rosen, who used to attend chapel at Harvard and then head to bar mitzvah lessons after school. The court found unanimously for Rosen’s client, decreeing that the buildings and property of individual churches that split from the Episcopal Church belong to the national entity, not the congregation.

The 2009 case was not Rosen’s first dance before the California supremes. He had argued five cases before the state’s top justices and been involved with a dozen more. Rosen finds special satisfaction in handling precedent-setting cases, especially matters involving state anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) statutes, First Amendment rights and defamation.

Rosen enjoys the intellectual challenges of a constantly evolving menu of legal questions.

“It’s like a puzzle. Everything is in a box—transcripts, pleadings, exhibits—and you put it together in a logical order and try to identify the legal issues,” he says. “You can’t change what’s in the box but you can come up with a clever legal argument that convinces the appellate court to go against its natural inclination to affirm.”

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