With twenty years of experience in over twenty court trials, arbitrations, and administrative hearings in jurisdictions all over the San Francisco Bay Area, Mr. Robbins is a veteran trial lawyer and advocate. His practice focuses on business litigation, real estate disputes, employment controversies, and entertainment law. Mr. Robbins cut his teeth serving as an intern for the United States Attorneys in San Francisco and Philadelphia. Subsequently, he practiced at one of the most prominent law firms in Silicon Valley, and then, for over a decade, as a name-partner for a boutique San Francisco firm specializing in complex commercial disputes and professional liability.
Mr. Robbins deploys the end-game strategy, oriented toward strengthening his client’s penultimate position by predicting, and then leveraging, future litigation outcomes. Once properly positioned, the lawsuit can either be tried to a court or resolved in settlement with maximal results. And contrary to certain conventional wisdom, Mr. Robbins is of the opinion that successful outcomes in the practice of law are often enhanced, not undermined by adherence to the State Bar's rules of professional civility.
Business Litigation, involving breach of contract, partner disputes and breakups, employment discrimination, wage and hour, and labor misclassification matters
Real Estate Litigation, including the purchase and sale of real property, landlord/tenant disputes, neighbor-to-neighbor disputes, HOA disputes, and actions against municipalities regarding zoning, variances, conditional use, building, demolition, and other permits
Intellectual Property Litigation, including copyright and trademark infringement for film, visual art, music, video games, apps, and internet IP
Malpractice Litigation, including professional liability actions for and against attorneys, accountants, architects, and real estate agents/brokers
Discovery Referee, for the adjudication of discovery motions, the resolution of objections made during depositions, and facilitating a lower-conflict, lower-cost discovery plan
Member of the Board of Directors, Conference of California Bar Associations, 2018-2021
Fee Arbitrator and Mediator for the San Mateo County Bar Association, since 2016
Member of the Board of Directors, San Mateo County Bar Association, 2017 to 2020
Mock Trial Coach at Aragon High School in San Mateo, California 2016 to 2020
Chair of the SMCBA Committee to the Conference of California Bar Associations, 2013 to 2018
Member of Arts Arbitration and Mediation Services Panel for California Lawyers for the Arts, Feb. 2013 to 2018
Chair of the San Mateo County Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Section, 2012 to 2017
California Discovery Manual (2023). Legal practice guide and reference source for practitioners making and defending discovery motions in the California superior courts.
Other Limitations on Discovery, Practical Guidance (Lexis Nexis 2023). Discussing the non-statutory rights to privacy, statutory privileges, and certain other limitations on discovery in California.
The Bogus Hiring Entity Defense to the ABC Misclassification Test, 2021 Bender’s Cal. Lab. & Emp. Bull. 243, 247 (2021). Arguing that under the California Supreme Court’s new Dynamex ABC labor misclassification standard, workers are employees for the company for which they perform work--regardless of who "hires" them.
Steal and Destroy Evidence Doctrine, S.F. Daily J., Aug. 9, 2016, at 1. Discussing the spoliation of evidence doctrine and the unintended consequences of converting the claim into a mere discovery sanction.
The Fifth Element, 14 Intell. Prop. L. Bull. 95 (2010). Discussing the unspoken “fifth element,” in the fair use exception to copyright infringement claims.
Why Fair Use Matters, New Matter, vol. 35, no. 2, 2010, at 24. Discussing why it is important, as a policy matter, to take advantage of the fair use exception.
Copyright Basics, CLA (Jul. 28, 2010). Introduction to U.S. copyright law and the limitations of copyright protection.
Debate Team (Green Lamp Pictures 2008). Feature-length documentary; official selection at the San Francisco International Documentary Film Festival, 2008; aired in Summer 2009 on KQED, public television for Northern California.
Resurrection from a Death Sentence, 149 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1115 (2001). Arguing that capital sentences should be commuted to life when the wrongdoer experiences an authentic ethical transformation. Cited by the Utah Court of Appeal. See State v. Todd, 2007 UTApp 349, 349, ¶ 39.
Aside, Challenging Law Review Dominance, 149 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1601 (2001). Satirizing law review culture, the rules of citation, The Bluebook, and the publish-or-perish paradigm.
University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D. 2001 (Executive Editor of the Univ. of Pennsylvania Law Review)
University of California, Berkeley, A.B. in Philosophy, 1992 (member of the California Debate Team)
University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, 1991 Summer Session
Member of the State Bar of California (No. 219413)
California Real Estate Broker (No. 2049049)
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