Peter Lenard Zimroth (January 11, 1943 – November 8, 2021) was an American attorney whose career included service as a legal academic, public official and private practitioner. As New York City Corporation Counsel (the municipal government's chief legal officer for civil and juvenile delinquency cases) from 1987 to 1989, he unsuccessfully defended the constitutional purview of the New York City Board of Estimate in protracted litigation, culminating in its disestablishment under the Equal Protection Clause (pursuant to Reynolds v. Sims) in 1989. In 2013, he became the court-appointed monitor of the New York City Police Department's stop-and-frisk policies and practices.
Peter Lenard Zimroth was born on January 11, 1943, in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Sol and Ruth (née Sadowsky) Zimroth. Raised in the Bensonhurst and Sheepshead Bay sections of Brooklyn, he graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School, Columbia University and Yale Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal.
After receiving his law degree in 1966, he served as a law clerk to Chief Judge David L. Bazelon of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and then for Associate Justice Abe Fortas of the United States Supreme Court. In 1970, he joined the faculty of the New York University School of Law. The next year, he represented police detective and whistleblower David Durk during his testimony before the Knapp Commission.
Zimroth later served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and as the Chief Assistant District Attorney of New York County under longtime District Attorney Robert Morgenthau. Following a period of private practice, he served as the New York City Corporation Counsel during the mayoralty of Ed Koch. He argued three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including Payton v. New York and Board of Estimate of City of New York v. Morris. After leaving the municipal government, Zimroth became a partner at Arnold & Porter in 1990. Following his retirement from the firm in 2015, he rejoined New York University's law faculty as a Distinguished Scholar in Residence.
On August 12, 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin appointed Zimroth to oversee court-ordered reforms to the NYPD’s policies and training related to stop-and-frisk, one of the remedies opinions in the multi-faceted Floyd v. City of New York decision.
Zimroth was married to actress Estelle Parsons from January 1983 until his death. The couple had been together for ten years when they chose to marry to honour the pending adoption of their child, son Abraham (born 1983).
- ALAN FINDER (January 3, 1987). "MAN IN THE NEWS; A Seasoned Counselor: Peter Lenard Zimroth". The New York Times. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
- J. DAVID GOODMAN (August 13, 2013). "Court-Appointed Police Monitor Has Fought for City and Against It". New York Times. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
- ROCCO PARASCANDOLA (November 8, 2021). "Peter Zimroth, federal monitor overseeing reform of NYPD's stop-and-frisk, dead at 78". New York Daily News. Retrieved November 8, 2021.
- Roberts, Sam (2021-11-10). "Peter L. Zimroth, Who Oversaw Stop-and-Frisk Reforms, Dies at 78". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-11-10.
- "Peter L. Zimroth". Arnold & Porter. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
- Kahn, Toby (1983-09-26). "Actress Estelle Parsons Tackles Her Toughest Role: At 55, She's a Mom Again". People. Retrieved 2018-04-17.