Robert L. Lieff
Phone: (415) 788-8000
Fax: (415) 788-8002
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Robert L. Lieff was the founder as well as principal architect and visionary in the development of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP. Under his direction, Lieff Cabraser has become one of the largest plaintiffs' law firms in the world, with 75 lawyers and 200 employees in San Francisco, New York and Nashville. Mr. Lieff founded the firm in 1972, after seven years as a name partner with the late Melvin Belli in San Francisco (Belli, Ashe, Ellison, Choulos & Lieff).
Mr. Lieff managed the mass torts practice group at Lieff Cabraser which has litigated Sulzer hip and knee implant, silicon breast implants, Fen Phen and is presently litigating cases involving Vioxx, Celebrex, Bextra and Guidant medical devices. He has been a key player in landmark cases including Exxon Valdez, Holocaust litigation and the National Tobacco Settlement. In the past seven years, he has focused his practice on the international litigation including hemophiliac tainted blood litigation, representing two-thousand plaintiffs from 24 countries, and created an aviation department within Lieff Cabraser. Lieff Cabraser has been recognized by The National Law Journal as one of the top plaintiffs' firms in the country for the last six years, one of only two such firms.
Mr. Lieff has created an international network of lawyers which meets annually at the Global Justice Forum. The Global Justice Forum has taken place in London in 2005, Paris in 2006, Rome in 2007, New York in 2007 and 2009, co-sponsored by Columbia Law School in 2009. More than 200 lawyers from 30 countries on six continents have attended. This international forum is the 21st century version of the creative energy that brought together American tort practitioners in the 20th century under the leadership of the Belli Firm.
Through a gift of all the attorneys' fees from the firm's Holocaust litigation, Mr. Lieff endowed the Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein Clinical Professorship of Human Rights Law at his alma mater, Columbia Law School. Mr. Lieff has also endowed a chair in Cross-Border Litigation at Columbia. Mr. Lieff has undertaken to endow a second chair at Columbia Law School as The Robert L. Lieff Professorship chair in Cross-Border Litigation.
Mr. Lieff was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on September 29, 1936, and is admitted to practice in California, 1966; U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1969.
Mr. Lieff and his wife Gretchen reside in homes in San Francisco, Rutherford (Napa Valley) and Montecito, California. They operate Lieff Wines, LLC producing wine in Rutherford and operating vineyards at Alamo Creek Ranch their 2,500 acre property in San Luis Obispo, California.
Mr. Lieff is a Member of the Board of Trustees of The Land Trust of Napa County; and a Member of the Board of Trustees of Legal Aid of Napa Valley.
Admitted to practice in California, 1966; U.S. District Court, Northern District of California and U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1969; U.S. Supreme Court, 1969; U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 1972; U.S. Tax Court, 1974; U.S. District Court, District of Hawaii, 1986.
Awards & Memberships
Mr. Lieff has been recognized by Law & Politics magazine as a “Northern California Super Lawyer” in 2005–2008. He is a member of the Bar Association of San Francisco, State Bar of California (Member: Committee on Rules of Court, 1971–74, Special Committee on Multiple Litigation and Class Actions, 1972–73), American Bar Association (Section on Corporation, Banking and Business Law), Lawyers Club of San Francisco, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, California Trial Lawyers Association, Consumer Attorneys of California, the American Association for Justice; the Board of Visitors, Columbia Law School, 1992–2006; Dean’s Council, Columbia Law School, 2006–Present.
Bar Association of San Francisco; State Bar of California (Member: Committee on Rules of Court, 1971-74; Special Committee on Multiple Litigation and Class Actions, 1972-73); American Bar Association (Section on Corporation, Banking and Business Law); American Association of Justice; Lawyers Club of San Francisco; San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association; Consumer Attorneys of California.