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Expanded Bio
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Roberta A. Kaplan

Partner

Tel: 212-373-3086
Fax: 212-492-0086  
rkaplan@paulweiss.com

New York
1285 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10019-6064

A partner in the Litigation Department, Roberta (Robbie) Kaplan has been described as a “powerhouse corporate litigator” and “pressure junkie” who “thrives on looking at the big picture” whether “in the gay-marriage legal fight or high-profile corporate scandals.” Robbie has been selected as one of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers” and one of the top “40 Under 40” lawyers in the United States, as well as a 2013 “Litigator of the Year” by The American Lawyer and 2013 "Lawyer of the Year" by Above The Law. Robbie had also been profiled in a documentary produced by the PBS MAKERS series.

Experience

Robbie has extensive experience representing a diverse group of clients such as AIG, MacAndrews & Forbes, CI Capital Partners, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Fitch Ratings, Airbnb, and Hailo in complex, high-profile matters. She has been active, for example, in matters involving stock analyst's recommendations, market timing in mutual funds, reinsurance transactions and structured finance transactions During the period from 2007 through the most recent financial crisis, Robbie represented Fitch Ratings in regulatory investigations and civil litigations relating to Fitch's credit ratings of RMBS, CDO, and municipal bond transactions. As a result, Robbie has developed an expertise dealing with the complex interplay between regulatory investigations and the onslaught of civil lawsuits that often follow.

Robbie recently represented a number of companies in the "sharing economy." Robbie won a victory for Hailo when a New York state court vacated a temporary restraining order that halted implementation of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission's innovative taxi e-hail pilot program. On behalf of her client Airbnb, she succeeded in quashing a subpoena from the New York Attorney General from seeking vast amounts of Airbnb's user data. She also served as lead trial counsel in a successful representation of the State of California following the bankruptcy of Pacific Gas & Electric Company resulting from the California energy crisis. She currently represents the Minnesota Vikings in connection with its dispute with former NFL player, Chris Kluwe.

Robbie successfully argued before the United States Supreme Court on behalf of her pro bono client Edith Windsor in United States v. Windsor, the landmark Supreme Court case. In Windsor, the nation's highest court ruled that a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violated the U.S. Constitution by barring legally married same-sex couples from enjoying the wide-ranging benefits of marriage conferred under federal law. The consequences of the Windsor decision have been both rapid and profound. Literally dozens of courts throughout the United States, including in Arkansas, Kentucky, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wisconsin, have agreed that the logic and language of Windsor requires that equal rights be extended to gay people under the law. As a result, Professor Lawrence Tribe of Harvard Law School has observed that he cannot "think of any Supreme Court decision in history that has ever created so rapid and broad a lower-court groundswell in a single direction as Windsor." And Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSblog similarly commented on the Windsor winning "streak," noting that "the pace and frequency of the decisions … is, surely, unprecedented …. Some historians have said that they know of no instance when the Court has bucked a trend such as this one has become." Robbie's historic representation of Edie Windsor was chronicled by Ariel Levy in her piece in the September 30, 2013 issue of The New Yorker entitled "A Perfect Wife."

Robbie has published articles on a variety of legal topics, including "Investigating the Case" in Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts, and "Interplay Between Commercial Litigation and Criminal Proceedings" in Commercial Litigation in the Federal Circuit Courts. She recently published an article entitled "New York City Taxis and The New York City Legislature: What Is Left of The State Constitution's Home Rule Clause After The Court of Appeals Decision in The HAIL Act Case?" in 77 Albany Law Review (2013/2014). While serving as a senior law clerk to then Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye, Robbie assisted Judge Kaye in connection with State Courts at the Dawn of a New Century: Common Law Courts Reading Statutes and Constitutions, 70 NYU L Rev 1 35 (April 1995). Robbie also clerked for Judge Mark L. Wolf of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

Robbie's achievements have been honored by many, including the American Constitution Society, LOGO/MTV, the Family Equality Council, the Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee, Stanford Law School, Columbia Law School, and the New York County Lawyers' Association. Last year, she received an honorary doctorate from Johns Hopkins University, and this year, she will receive one from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Although she has been described as a "new hero to the gay rights movement," Robbie has credited her friends and family "for helping her get through the 'out-of-body experience' and historic, high-stress litigation work for which she is noted."

Robbie currently serves as the co-chair of the Board of Directors of the Gay Men's Health Crisis and as a board member of the New York County Lawyers' Association. She serves as a subcommittee chair on Chief Judge Lippman's Commercial Division Advisory Council. She also is an adjunct professor of law at Columbia Law School, where she co-teaches a course on Advanced Civil Procedure.

Practices
Internal Investigations
International Arbitration
Securities Litigation
White Collar Crime & Regulatory Defense

Education

J.D., Columbia Law School, 1991


A.B., Harvard University, 1988

magna cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa
Clerkships

Hon. Judith S. Kaye, New York Court of Appeals

Hon. Mark L. Wolf, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts

Bar Admissions

New York
Massachusetts

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP