Judge Victoria A. Roberts
Victoria A. Roberts was commissioned by President William Jefferson Clinton on June 29, l998 to serve as a United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan, with the unanimous advice and consent of the United States Senate. Prior to that, Judge Roberts was in private practice and served as the managing partner of the Detroit law firm of Goodman, Eden, Millender & Bedrosian. At the Goodman firm, Judge Roberts' primary areas of practice were personal injury cases, with an emphasis on general negligence, product liability, housing discrimination and medical malpractice. She also served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Michigan.
Judge Roberts was the 62nd president of the State Bar of Michigan and has been the only black female to hold that position. An author, teacher and lecturer, Judge Roberts has served as a faculty member for numerous legal education seminars, both in the United States and abroad. She traveled to Nairobi, Kenya and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to train lawyers and judges and to Serbia to lecture on collaborating/cooperating witnesses. She was part of a faculty that presented on Intellectual Property issues to Peruvian Judges in 2016. From January, 2008 until May, 2014 Judge Roberts was an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor where she taught “Federal Sentencing: Evolution and Dynamics.”
In August, 2013, Judge Roberts was appointed by Chief Bankruptcy Court Judge Steven Rhodes to serve as a mediator in the City of Detroit Bankruptcy case, which was completely mediated and resulted in Judge Rhodes confirming the Plan of Adjustment on November 7, 2014. Judge Roberts was primarily responsible for negotiating collective bargaining agreements between the City, its public safety unions and AFSCME, the largest union representing City employees. Judge Roberts also mediated collective bargaining issues in 2015 on behalf of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department as the City of Detroit continued to bring closure to bankruptcy related issues.
She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the two highest conferred by the State Bar of Michigan: The Roberts P. Hudson Award and the Champion of Justice Award. In May, 2004, Judge Roberts received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Northeastern University. She was named Michigan Lawyers Weekly “Woman of the Year” in 2013 and received the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Foundation Dennis W. Archer Public Service Award in 2012. In 1997 she was named one of the Lawyers of the Year by the Michigan Lawyers Weekly.
Judge Roberts received her Juris Doctor degree in 1976 from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston. Her undergraduate degree, in journalism and sociology, is from the University of Michigan. A native of Detroit, she was Valedictorian of the 1969 graduating class of St. Martin de Porres High School.
Prior to her appointment, Judge Roberts provided legal services on a pro bono basis to the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization, and served on its Board of Directors. She is also a past chair of the Board of Directors of the Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit. Currently, she serves on the Court’s Pro Bono, Jury, Information Technology, and Magistrate Judges Committees, and is a board member of the State Bar of Michigan Foundation.