MINNEAPOLIS, July 27, 2015 — Robins Kaplan LLP is pleased to announce that Martin Lueck, chairman of the firm’s executive board, and Roman Silberfeld, national trial chair, have been named to Law360’s first-ever list of national Trial Aces.
Law360 received 200 submissions, selecting only 50 top litigators for this recognition. Winners were selected based on the number of high-stakes trials they’ve worked on, the role they played at trial, and the trial outcome. According to Law360, “Trial Aces are champions in the courtroom, leaders in their law firms and heroes to their clients.”
A jazz musician who sidelines as a trial lawyer and as Chairman of Robins Kaplan, Mr. Lueck makes great use of his musical talents in the courtroom. He had a direct hand in the firm’s string of outsized successes in billion-dollar cases—helping earn a summary judgment victory for UnitedHealth Group Inc. and other insurers in the face of $1 billion in price-fixing and fraud claims, the dismissal of a suit challenging NRG Energy’s rejection of an $8 billion takeover bid, and working with class counsel to secure a $7.25 billion settlement in antitrust litigation over credit card fees, believed to be the largest in the history of the Sherman Act.
Universally respected for his trial skills, Mr. Silberfeld, who served as the firm’s managing partner in Los Angeles for two decades, has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in tort, contract, trade secret, high technology, and entertainment litigation. He gained national recognition in recent years as lead trial counsel against The Walt Disney Company in litigation over profits from the “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” television game show. In that matter, he secured the largest verdict ever in a “Hollywood accounting” lawsuit, recovering $319 million for his clients. As national trial chair, he takes on a position that has never existed before, demonstrating Robins Kaplan’s dedication to bringing the best ideas, techniques, and tactics to the firm’s national trial practice.
A few of their additional career highlights are outlined below.
- Eolas Technologies, Inc. and Regents of the University of California v. Microsoft Corporation (N.D. Ill. 2003): Mr. Lueck and his team won one of the largest jury awards ever issued in a patent infringement suit—$520.6 million—in a case against Microsoft over web-browser technology. The case determined ownership of the technology, developed by a University of California researcher in 1993, that elevated the World Wide Web from a digital reader into something that users could interact with by, for instance, bidding on online auctions or accessing real-time stock quotes. It’s the technology, in short, that makes the Internet what we know it as today.
- Fonar Corp. v. General Electric Co. (E.D.N.Y. 1995): In what was then one of the 10 largest patent awards ever issued, and the largest jury verdict in a patent case ever upheld on appeal, Mr. Lueck and his team secured a $110.5 million jury verdict for General Electric’s infringement of two magnetic resonance imaging patents. The watershed verdict vindicated Fonar CEO Dr. Raymond Damadian, who had contended for years that GE and other multinationals had misappropriated his company’s technology.
- Celador International, Ltd. v. The Walt Disney Company (C.D. Cal. 2010): Mr. Silberfeld and his team won the fifth largest plaintiffs’ verdicts of 2010 and the largest award ever in a Hollywood accounting lawsuit in a high-profile battle against Walt Disney over profits from ABC’s hit game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” Though he had never before tried a Hollywood accounting lawsuit, Mr. Silberfeld dove into the opaque (and document-filled) arena of television bookkeeping, and after a month-long trial, emerged with a $270 million jury verdict that got pushed to $319 million with interest. The verdict was the largest among three recent awards in Hollywood profit-participation cases that the Daily Journal called a “shock to the system” that “emboldened plaintiffs.”
- TFT-LCD (Flat-Panel) Antitrust Litigation (N.D. Cal. 2013): Mr. Silberfeld has represented Best Buy in a diverse array of litigation, including would-be class actions over alleged gender and race discrimination as well as overtime pay in California. In the TFT-LCD (Flat-Panel) Antitrust Litigation, he took the offensive for the electronics retailer on antitrust claims growing out of the Department of Justice’s investigation into a global price-fixing conspiracy in the market for flat-panel displays—used in televisions and other products that Best Buy sells. Mr. Silberfeld succeeded in achieving eight settlements with certain defendants, recovering in excess of $400 million for Best Buy. Best Buy’s case against HannStar and Toshiba Corp. was the first by an individual plaintiff to go to trial in the multi-district litigation, and would set the tone for suits by Costco, Motorola, and other individual plaintiffs. Mr. Silberfeld emerged with a verdict against HannStar for $7.5 million, trebled to $22 million.
Visit Law360 to view profiles on Mr. Lueck and Mr. Silberfeld to learn more.