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.
Robbie has extensive experience representing clients such
as Fitch Ratings, Airbnb and JPMorgan
Chase in complex, high-profile matters. In recent years,
she has been active in matters involving mortgage-backed
securities, structured finance transactions, and credit rating
opinions. As a result, Robbie has developed an expertise dealing
with the complex interplay between regulatory investigations,
criminal prosecutions, and the onslaught of civil lawsuits that
Robbie successfully argued before the United States Supreme Court
on behalf of Edith Windsor in United
States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court case that may be
the most significant civil rights decision of our time. 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.
Although Robbie has been described as a "new hero to the gay
rights movement," she 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 recently 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. She previously served as lead
trial counsel representing California following the bankruptcy of
Pacific Gas & Electric Company resulting from the California
energy crisis in 2001.
Robbie has published on a variety of legal topics, including the
chapter, "Investigating the Case" in Commercial Litigation in
New York State Courts, as well as the chapter, "Interplay
Between Commercial Litigation and Criminal Proceedings" in
Commercial Litigation in the Federal Circuit Courts. She
also recently published an article entitled "Proof vs. Prejudice"
in 37 N.Y.U. Review of Law & Social Change (2013).
While serving as a senior law clerk to then Chief Judge Judith S.
Kaye, Robbie assisted Judge Kaye in connection with a number of
articles, including 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
Robbie's achievements have been honored by many public interest and
civic organizations, including the American Constitution Society,
the Family Equality Council, the Human Rights Campaign, and the New
York County Lawyers' Association. In 2011, she was honored as
the distinguished alumna of the year by the Columbia Law School
Women's Association. This year, she is to receive Stanford
University's Public Service Award.
Robbie currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Gay Men's
Health Crisis and the New York County Lawyers' Association. She
served on New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman's Task Force on
Commercial Litigation in the 21st Century and continues to serve on
The 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.