MINNEAPOLIS (March 2013) – Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, continuing to honor the premise on which it was created – to provide equal access to justice to all.
What started as a two-person partnership in Minneapolis in 1938 has grown to a national powerhouse litigation firm with offices today spread across the country in six states. The firm has stayed true to the foundation from which it was established: the bottom line conviction that wrongs should be righted, regardless of the odds.
A central core belief of the firm since these early beginnings is that everyone deserves equal access to the justice system regardless of race, religious beliefs, nationality or economic situation. This creed is the central premise that formed the firm from the beginning when in 1938, Solly Robins and Julius Davis started their own law firm. Due to antisemitism they could not find a place at the table among the established firms in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
“Solly Robins and Julius Davis would be so proud that their grit and determination to stake their claim in the legal community has developed into a full service business and litigation firm today that helps individuals and clients around the world. We have stayed true to the values that they built this firm upon, despite our growth, and that is what makes this firm so remarkable,” said Martin R. Lueck, Chairman of the firm's Executive Board.
“In every part of the law that we have touched, we have been able to bring something new to the table,” said Elliot Kaplan, name partner and past chair of the firm’s Executive Board. “Solly Robins always stressed the importance of exploring new frontiers and taking risks, and we have never wavered from that path.”
The firm has historically taken on cases cast aside as unwinnable and unprofitable by more traditional firms. That willingness to take risks, to challenge convention, remains a fundamental part of the firm’s culture today. The firm’s trial lawyers are involved in legal issues of lasting civic importance and they have secured tens of billions of dollars for their clients over the years. A sampling of some of the firm’s most notable cases that demonstrate this principle include:
Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster, Celador International, Ltd. v. Walt Disney Co., Eolas Technologies, Inc. and the Regents of the University of California v. Microsoft Corporation, Fonar v. General Electric, Honeywell v. Minolta, Minnesota Tobacco Litigation, Interchange Fee and many more can be found here.
“These extraordinary trial successes, on behalf of our clients, have allowed us to serve our communities in many meaningful ways throughout the firm’s history. All of our lawyers give back in some way; it’s a basic tenet of our firm culture and we provide many avenues to support their efforts,” said Michael V. Ciresi, prior named partner and former Chairman of the firm’s Executive Board.
Pro bono work is a fundamental core value of the firm since its origin. Since 2008, 7% of total attorney billable time has been contributed to pro bono work, helping clients win shelter, support, and in some cases, freedom from oppression. The firm’s largest pro bono effort to date recovered more than $77 million for I-35W bridge collapse survivors and those who lost loved ones; the firm’s attorneys and staff devoted more than 20,000 pro bono hours to the case during a period of more than three years.
In 1998, the firm established the Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi Foundation for Children to achieve a long-term impact in promoting education and equal opportunities for all Minnesota’s children and youth. The Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. Private Foundation contributes to nonprofit organizations nationwide. Together, they have donated more than $35 million to those in need.