Bruce Rosen

Bruce  Rosen

In February 2016, veteran criminal defense attorney Bruce Rosen joined Murphy Desmond S.C. His nearly 50-year legal career includes successfully representing individuals and companies that are subject to Federal or State criminal investigations or prosecutions. He has worked with clients on an array of criminal matters including white collar criminal defense, drug offenses, fraud, theft, money laundering, and criminal appeals.

With 19 years of experience as an Investigator and Special Investigator for the Office of Lawyer Regulation (appointed by Chief Justice Abrahamson), Rosen has successfully represented lawyers, doctors and other licensed professionals in all licensing matters and before licensing bodies. He was appointed to the Federal Nominating Commission by Senator Russell Feingold, where he was responsible for recommending applications for consideration to the President of the United States for lifetime appointments to the Federal bench.

Rosen’s guiding principle throughout his career has been to work hard and prepare every aspect of a case, whether for trial or negotiation. He says, “I believe the only way to begin the path to victory is to work harder than the opponent.” As a result, Rosen has consistently received awards for his work in criminal defense from Best Lawyers® in America, Wisconsin Super Lawyers, Nation’s Top 1 Percent, and Madison Magazine’s “Top Lawyers.” He is rated AV (top rating) by Martindale-Hubbell and In 2012, Rosen was awarded “Madison Lawyer of the Year - Criminal Defense Non-White Collar" and in 2013 he was named "Madison Lawyer of the Year - Criminal Defense White Collar" by Best Lawyers.

As an experienced lecturer, Rosen frequently enjoys speaking engagements at the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense, the Federal District Court Bar, the State of Wisconsin Criminal Law Section, and the University of Wisconsin Law School.

In his free time, Rosen has served as Chair of the Board for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County, and he is a member of the Board of Directors for the Remington Center at the University of Wisconsin Law School, which advises the school’s clinical programs.

  • Wisconsin, 1971
  • District of Hawaii, 1997
  • Western District of Michigan, 1995
  • United States Supreme Court, 1985
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1985
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1985
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit, 1984
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin, 1971
  • University of Wisconsin Law School, Madison, Wisconsin, 1971, J.D.
  • University of Wisconsin Law School, Madison, Wisconsin, 1968, B.A. History
Awards & Recognition
  • Madison Lawyer of the Year - Criminal Defense White Collar, Best Lawyers in America (2013)
  • Madison Lawyer of the Year–Criminal Defense Non-White Collar, Best Lawyers in America (2012)
  • Best Lawyers® in America – Criminal Defense (1986-present)
  • Best Lawyers® in America – Criminal Defense – White Collar (1986-present)
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers – Criminal Defense (2005-present)
  • Rated AV (Top rating) by Martindale-Hubbell/
  • Nation’s Top 1% (2015)
  • “Top Lawyer” – Criminal Defense, Madison Magazine (2003, 2006, 2009)
Associations and Memberships
  • Wisconsin State Bar Association, Member (1971-present)
  • Dane County Bar Association, Member (1977-present)
  • Office of Lawyer Regulation, Special Investigator, Appointed by Chief Justice Abrahamson of the Wisconsin Supreme Court (2001-2012)
  • Office of Lawyer Regulation, District Committee Nine, Investigator (1987-1995)
  • Federal Nominating Commission, Member, Appointed by U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (2007)
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers , Member (1979-present)
  • Dane County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Member (1997-present)
  • Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member (1995-present)
  • UW Law School Remington Center for Clinical Programs, Board Member (2015-present)
  • Dane County Bar Association Mentorship Program, Mentor (2007)
  • Wisconsin State Bar Association – Criminal Law Section, Member (1996-2000)
  • Wisconsin State Bar Association – Professional Ethics Committee, Member (1994-2000)
Community Involvement
  • Building Committee of Hillel Center at U.W. Madison
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters Foundation (1999-2003), Vice President of Board (2015-2016), Chair of the Board (2017)
  • Goodman Campus MJCC Site Committee, Chair (2007)
Seminal Cases
  • United States Supreme Court
    • U.S. v. Mechanik, 475 U.S. 66, 106 S. Ct. 938, 89 L. Ed.2d 50 (1986).  Government  misconduct before a grand jury
  • Wisconsin Supreme Court
    • State v. Hajicek, 2001 WI 3, 240 Wis.2d 349, 620 N.W.2d 781 (2001).  Legality of “probation searches”
    • State v. Dr. James Thiel, 2003 WI 111, 264 Wis.2d 571, 665 N.W.2d 305 (2003), 7-0 reversal.  Seminal case on ineffective assistance of counsel

With a passion for boats and adventure trips, Mr. Rosen has always wanted to be a charter boat captain in the Caribbean, but acknowledges that is not imminent.