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Robert J. Romero is an accomplished trial lawyer. Leveraging more than 30 years of experience, Robert defends the interests of his clients in complex commercial matters, directors and officers liability claims, and insurance bad faith issues, as well as intellectual property disputes, professional liability, and catastrophic loss cases.

Committed to providing his clients with the best representation and ensuring understanding in the courtroom, Robert breaks down the complex and presents it in a thoughtful, understandable, and relatable manner—especially in jury trials. His demonstrated courtroom skill has led to several clients to retain him in disputes that are unable to be resolved short of trial.

A considerable portion of Robert's practice is devoted to defending lawyers and law firm's insurance and financial brokers, real estate, and design professionals. That work—which involves a disciplined approached to a case within a case—has led to a broad trial practice on behalf of Fortune 50 clients. Robert also serves as national counsel to several of Hinshaw's corporate clients, providing guidance in high-exposure, extra contractual, and punitive exposure cases.

Robert is the Partner-in-Charge of the San Francisco office, and is also a member of Hinshaw's Management Committee, the firm's principle governing body. He joined Hinshaw in January 1998, following being a partner of a California firm that primarily defended lawyers and law firms. He is also a former Legislative Assistant to the Chairman of the California State Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Professional Affiliations

  • Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
    • Judiciary Committee, Former Member
  • Claims & Litigation Management Alliance
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Professional Liability Underwriters Society (PLUS)

Honors & Awards

  • Named a "Top 16 Rainmaker" in the United States, Minority Corporate Counsel Association's Diversity & The Bar, December 2008
  • Recognized on the Super Lawyers list by Northern California Super Lawyers magazine, 2006 – 2019
  • AV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for ethics and legal ability

Representative Matters

  • In 2019, Robert successfully defended a multidistrict director and officer case arising out of the fracking, oil and gas industry.
  • Robert has defended and counseled media and other clients in defamation and intellectual property disputes in California and New York.
  • Robert obtained a defense verdict in a million dollar fraud, negligence and breach of contract lawsuit, venued in the San Mateo County Superior Court following a three-week trial. The case arose out of various allegations of professional negligence, misrepresentation, and included a claim of punitive damages.
  • Successfully defended a national insurer in a breach of contract and insurance bad faith case arising out of sexual molestation case. The case was predicated on various acts of alleged misconduct, which the insured argued constituted "negligent" misconduct. Judgement was obtained on behalf of the insurer defendant, eliminating the potential for tort and punitive damage recovery.
  • In October 2012, Robert successfully obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a large real estate brokerage in a fraud, breach of contract and negligence claim following a two week trial in Alameda County, California.
  • Obtained a $5 million dollar unanimous jury verdict in Alameda County, California in favor of an International Insurer that was affirmed at the Court of Appeal and satisfied including over $1 million in post judgment interest.
  • Unanimous jury verdict in Alameda County, California in favor of insurance agent and broker sued for negligence and insurance bad faith.
  • Unanimous jury verdict in Los Angeles County in favor of insurer sued for breach of contract and negligence.
  • Verdict in San Mateo County in favor of National Real Estate Brokerage in fraud, breach of contract and negligence case.
  • Jury verdict in favor of law firm for professional negligence in the San Francisco Superior Court.
  • Successfully defended international insurer in action filed in California and London, alleging bad faith and breach of contract. Case affirmed by the California Court of Appeal.
  • Successfully defended International Insurer in advertising injury coverage claim stemming from trademark and patent litigation.
  • Successfully defended National Insurer in catastrophic bodily injury and property damage claim arising from Ka Loko Dam break in Kuai, Hawaii.
  • Successfully defended law firm in malpractice allegation arising from wrongful termination claim by airline employee.
  • Successfully defended law firm in malpractice allegation arising from mishandling of underlying trademark and patent infringement claims.
  • Successfully defended law firm in malpractice claim involving allegations of family law standard of care issues.
  • Verdict in favor of San Francisco landowner in breach of contract case.
  • Successfully defended International Financial Institution in Unfair Business Practices and fraud claims.
  • Successfully defended disability insurer in ERISA matter alleging insurance bad faith.
  • Successfully defended design professional in negligence claim arising from multimillion underlying construction project.

Successfully defended law firm against allegations against abuse of process and malicious prosecution.

Presentations

  • Moderator, "Voir Dire: The Art of Jury De-selection in a Legal Malpractice Case," LMRM Conference, Chicago, Illinois, March 4, 2020
  • "Direct Examination; Trial Objections," California Trial Advocacy 2016, San Francisco, California, August 3, 2016
  • "Attorney-Client Privilege in House Counsel Environment," at the Twenty-Sixth Annual Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC) General Counsel Seminar July 22, 2015

Robert's additional presentations include:

  • "Hot Topics in Professional Liability, Medical and Products Liability Law," Markel Corporation
  • "California Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations," Colony Insurance Company
  • "Preparing Your Case for Trial, Including Motions in Limine/Deposition Designations," Practising Law Institute
  • "Expert Witnesses—Can't Live With 'Em—Can't Live Without 'Em. Tips on the Use and Misuse of Experts in Bad Faith and Coverage Case," American Bar Association's Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee Meeting
  • "Panel Discussion on Professional Development," American Bar Association Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity Spring Program
  • "Insuring the Information Age," Professional Liability Underwriting Society
  • "Is It OK to Be Wrong? Can an Insurer Avoid an Extra-Contractual Liability if its Position is Fairly Debatable?" Hinshaw's Insurance Services Symposium
  • "Indemnity Agreements (Contract & Coverage Issues)," In-House Client Presentation
  • "Beyond Bad-Faith and Non-Cooperation: Moving to an Appraisal-Centric Model for Resolving Property Damage Claims," American Bar Association's Litigation Section, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar
  • "Recognizing and Avoiding the Enhanced Risk of Extra-Contractual Exposure," Hinshaw's Insurance Services Symposium
  • "The Industry Responds to the Economic Storm," Hinshaw's Insurance Services Symposium
  • "How Not to Respond to Catastrophic Loss," Hinshaw's Insurance Services Symposium
  • "Litigating the 'Bad Faith' Claim," Hinshaw's Insurance Services Symposium
  • "Electronic Discovery," Association of Minority Corporation Counsel's 2nd Annual Continuing Education Conference
  • "Mock Trial," Association of Legal Administrators' National Conference
  • "Cyber-Tort Liability," Annual International Professional Liability Underwriting Society Conference

J.D., University of California Davis School of Law, 1988

B.A., California State University – Sacramento, 1985