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James E. Rogan

James Edward Rogan (born August 21, 1957) is a judge of the Superior Court of California, a law professor, an author, and a former Member of the United States House of Representatives from California. He also was United States Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, California State Assembly Majority Leader, a judge of the California Municipal Court, a gang murder prosecutor with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, and a civil litigator in private law practice. In January 2007 President George W. Bush nominated Rogan to be a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Rogan's nomination is pending currently before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary.


The illegitimate son of a bartender father and cocktail waitress mother, Rogan was born in the hardscrabble Mission District of San Francisco, California. Rogan's father abandoned his mother when he learned of her pregnancy. Raised by his grandmother Helen and grandfather James Kleupfer - - a longshoreman for over 40 years on the docks of San Francisco - - Rogan was still a boy when both grandparents died. He then lived with his great aunt, Della Glover, until her death. In his early teens Rogan joined his mother and three younger siblings. The family lived on hard times: his single mother (by now a convicted felon) worked at a variety of unskilled jobs while collecting welfare and food stamps.

Rogan dropped out of high school in the tenth grade to go to work, taking a string of low-paying jobs like mopping and sweeping floors, scrubbing toilets, fast-food cook, stacking truck tires, and selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door. Although he never completed high school formally, Rogan attended Chabot Community College- now Las Positas Community College- in Livermore, California, before earning a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and later his law degree from UCLA Law School, where he was a member of the prestigious UCLA Law Review. Rogan helped pay his way through law school by working as a bartender and bouncer at several of Hollywood and the Sunset Strip's rougher night clubs, including a Hell's Angels hangout, "Filthy McNasty's," and the legendary "Palomino Club."

Rogan married Christine Apffel in 1988; they have twin daughters — Dana and Claire.

Early professional career

Rogan did a short stint (1983-1985) as a civil litigation attorney in one of Los Angeles’ oldest law firms (Lillick McHose & Charles). He resigned from his firm and signed on as a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney, where he later was recruited to the “Hardcore Gang Murder Unit.” Rogan specialized in the prosecution of some of L.A.’s most notorious street gangs. In a 1990 statewide poll of prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges, California Lawyer Magazine named Rogan as one of the state’s most effective prosecutors.

Later that year California Governor George Deukmejian appointed the 33 year-old prosecutor to be a judge of the Glendale Municipal Court. Rogan was California's youngest sitting state court judge at the time of his elevation to the bench. During his service on the municipal court (1990-1994) Rogan presided over thousands of civil and criminal cases. In 1993 his colleagues elected him presiding judge of their local court.

Rogan began teaching as an adjunct professor of law in 1987; over the next two decades he taught at various law schools in Southern California, and continues teaching to date. He has been an adjunct professor of criminal law, criminal procedure, trial practice and trial advocacy, and has lectured in many other areas of law, including evidence and intellectual property.

California State Assembly

In 1994, Rogan ran for and won a special election to the California State Assembly, where in his freshman term his colleagues elected him Majority Leader. California Journal Magazine named him the Assembly’s most effective legislator, and ranked him “number one in integrity” and “number one in effectiveness.” Rogan served on the Assembly’s Appropriations, Budget, Public Safety, Natural Resources, and Education Committees.

United States Congress

In 1996, Rogan won the first of two terms to the United States House of Representatives. Elected in a very close election with just 50.1% as a Republican in a heavily Democratic district, Rogan became one of only two House members to serve on both the House Commerce Committee and the House Judiciary Committee - - two of the most prestigious committees in Congress.

As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, Rogan and his colleagues were responsible for reviewing all proposed legislation dealing with a variety of complex issues, including all intellectual property issues (copyrights, patents and trademarks); protection of trade and commerce against unlawful restraint of trade and monopolies; the judiciary and all judicial proceedings (civil and criminal); administrative proceedings; immigration issues; bankruptcy law, and all proposed constitutional amendments.

As a member of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property, Rogan developed an international reputation as a leader on both the protection of intellectual property and the modernization of intellectual property laws to protect America’s economic interests.

As a member of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Rogan was a leader in helping to increase the number of H1-B immigration visas that are critical to America’s high-tech community.

As a member of the House Commerce Committee, Rogan served on the oldest and most powerful Committee in the House. Further, as a member of the two most critical subcommittees (the Telecommunications, Trade and Consumer Protection subcommittee, and the Energy and Power subcommittee) Rogan shared responsibility for helping to craft legislation on all matters of interstate and foreign commerce and trade; interstate and foreign telecommunications, regulation of commercial practices (including the Federal Trade Commission); consumer affairs and consumer protection; product liability issues; motor vehicle safety; and all laws relating to national energy policy, including utility issues, and regulation of nuclear facilities.

During his congressional service, Rogan was Assistant Majority Whip for the House Republican Conference. In this capacity, Rogan helped mobilize House votes on key legislative objectives, provided legislative information to Members and the House leadership, and helped to coordinate legislative and political strategies within the Congress. He also was a member of both Speaker Newt Gingrich’s and Majority Leader Richard Armey's “Kitchen Cabinet” advisory groups: Rogan met regularly with the Speaker and the Majority Leader to discuss political and legislative strategies and tactics during the congressional session. Speaker Gingrich named Rogan as co-chairman of the Speaker’s High Tech Task Force, and also named Rogan to be Speaker Pro Tempore on many occasions when Rogan presided over the House during debate and votes on legislation.

The Impeachment Trial of President Bill Clinton

Because of his background as a prosecutor and his reputation for fairness among Republicans and Democrats alike, the House of Representatives selected Rogan to be one of the 13 House Managers in the historic impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton. This role gave Rogan worldwide recognition for his fairness during a painfully partisan episode in American history.

However, as a Republican representing a heavily Democratic district that was home to many of the Hollywood movie studios and whose constituents strongly opposed the impeachment of Clinton, Rogan’s vote caused his defeat for reelection in 2000 in what remains the most expensive House race in American history.

Post-Congressional career

Shortly after leaving Congress, President George W. Bush selected Rogan to be the U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Although controlled by a Democratic majority, the U.S. Senate confirmed Rogan unanimously, and he assumed office in December 2001.

In this new role, Rogan ran one of the oldest agencies in the federal government, overseeing 8,000 employees and a $1.5 billion budget. He served as chief advisor to the president on all matters of intellectual property. Rogan authored the USPTO’s 21st Century Strategic Plan, a reorganization of the 214 year-old agency to modernize and integrate its operations with the leading world intellectual property offices. As Under Secretary and Director, Rogan headed over a dozen U.S. delegations on overseas visits to negotiate bilateral and multilateral intellectual property agreements.

Rogan left the Bush Administration in early 2004, and joined the law firm of Venable LLP, where he works as a partner in their Southern California and Washington, D.C offices. Later, he joined Preston Gates & Ellis LLP as of counsel, working out of their Orange County, California and Washington, D.C. offices.

In 2004 Harper Collins published Rogan’s memoir, Rough Edges: My Unlikely Road from Welfare to Washington. Later, Reader's Digest selected Rogan's popular autobiography as one of its top nonfiction books for 2004-2005.

In July 2006, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Rogan to serve as a judge on the Superior Court of California in Orange County; Rogan took office in October 2006.

In January 2007 President George W. Bush nominated Rogan for a federal judgeship for the United States District Court for the Central District of California. .

External links

  • Congressional biography

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