Robert Shwarts

Partner

San Francisco


Read full biography at www.orrick.com

Robert Shwarts is a first chair trial lawyer and Chair of Orrick's Global Trade Secrets Practice Group who has tried or arbitrated more than 35 cases in the areas of commercial litigation, employment and intellectual property.

He represents plaintiffs and defendants in complex trade secret misappropriation cases and has conducted numerous TRO and preliminary injunction hearings in aid of these cases. His practice also includes counseling relating to trade secrets misappropriation and non-compete/non-solicitation agreements.

Rob has broad experience in commercial litigation, having litigated claims of securities fraud, lender liability, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of warranties, claims arising from securitization transactions and other business fraud.

Rob's experience in employment-related litigation includes defending claims of discrimination, wrongful discharge, retaliation, sexual harassment and breach of contract. His practice also includes counseling relating to trade secret misappropriation and non-compete/non-solicitation agreements.

U.S. and international clients with significant California presence turn to Rob to represent them in complex matters, including numerous financial services companies. He handles both jury and bench trials, as well as AAA, JAMS and FINRA (formerly NASD and NYSE) arbitration hearings.

Rob serves as the chair of the Firm’s Practice Management Committee, and is a member of the firm’s Risk Management Committee. Rob previously served as head of the San Francisco office. Rob contributes pro bono hours to the Humane Society and Point Blue Conservation Science each year.

Rob is a contributing author to the Orrick trade secrets blog, Trade Secrets Watch.

Posts by: Rob Shwarts

The New Space Race: Protecting Trade Secrets on the Final Frontier

Space: The final frontier.  For millennia, people have wanted to explore the great unknown of outer space, and series like Star Trek and Star Wars continue to our fuel our fantasies about what lies beyond our stratosphere.  This fascination, as well as countries’ desires to maintain their military prowess, led to the First Space Race after World War II.  Today, while NASA’s dominance may have fizzled out, private companies have embarked on a commercialized space race to gain market dominance from their designs. Indeed, the House of Representatives recently passed the SPACE Act to enable commercial space mining activities. READ MORE

CHRISTMAS EDITION [FROM THE ARCHIVES]: Trade Secrets Litigation Delayed to Save Christmas?

On Christmas, Santa and his elves have their work cut out for them and sometimes even they can use help to get their jobs done. During the holiday season, a variety of businesses assist Santa & Co. to import and distribute Christmas merchandise and other seasonal goods to retail stores in time for the holidays. Unfortunately, those companies can be as susceptible to a trade secrets dispute as anyone else, and one year just such a dispute threatened to put a damper on Christmas. READ MORE

DONATE, DON’T TELL? The Red Cross says it has trade secrets, upsetting activists

Can a non-profit charity have trade secrets?  The Red Cross thinks so.  Its claim to trade secret protection over information related to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts made headlines and left some journalists and activists feeling, well, cross.  But is the Red Cross’s trade secrets claim really so unusual?  And what can other non-profits learn from it?

The Red Cross’s trade secrets claim grew out of a letter from the New York State Attorney General’s office seeking information on how the Red Cross spent Hurricane Sandy relief donations READ MORE

UPDATE: Money, Money, Money: Top 10 Trade Secret Verdicts (With Our Runner-Up Overturned)

Big IP verdicts aren’t limited to patent cases. Trade secrets can mean big money, too. Really big. As in multi-, multi-million dollar verdicts. And the trend is up with more than half of the top ten verdicts coming out in just the past two years.
shutterstock_122151922
Trials are expensive. They’re also unpredictable. So when a plaintiff seeking damages in a trade secret case decides to take the case all the way through trial, it’s hoping for a jackpot. Otherwise the costs and risks of trial likely wouldn’t make it worth gambling the result on a jury.

For the parties below, the gamble paid off.

Trade Secrets Watch reviewed trade secret misappropriation cases over the past decade and dug up the largest verdicts on record. We also noted any post-verdict information to the extent it was available. READ MORE

UNMASKING BLOGGERS: Hedge Fund’s Bid to Unveil Blogger’s Identity Highlights First Amendment, Trade Secrets Clash

America’s reverence for anonymous speech is as old as the republic itself, tracing its roots to Thomas Payne’s pamphlet “Common Sense” and the Federalist Papers.  But the right to speak namelessly has limits, and hedge fund billionaire David Einhorn recently demanded that a court unmask a blogger who anonymously disclosed confidential investment information.

Early last month, Greenlight Capital, Inc., Einhorn’s hedge fund, filed suit in New York state court against Seeking Alpha, Inc., a popular stock market blogging website.  In the suit, Greenlight asked the court to order Seeking Alpha to identify a blogger who anonymously exposed Greenlight’s stake in Micron Technology before Greenlight revealed it. READ MORE

CHRISTMAS EDITION: Trade Secrets Litigation Delayed to Save Christmas?

On Christmas, Santa and his elves have their work cut out for them and sometimes even they can use help to get their jobs done.  During the holiday season, a variety of businesses assist Santa & Co. to import and distribute Christmas merchandise and other seasonal goods to retail stores in time for the holidays.  Unfortunately, those companies can be as susceptible to a trade secrets dispute as anyone else, and one year just such a dispute threatened to put a damper on Christmas. READ MORE

UPDATE: Money, Money, Money: Top 10 Trade Secret Verdicts (Plus One Jumbo Arbitration Award)

Revised post available here.

Big IP verdicts aren’t limited to patent cases. Trade secrets can mean big money, too. Really big. As in multi-, multi-million dollar verdicts. And the trend is up with more than half of the top ten verdicts coming out in just the past two years.
shutterstock_122151922
Trials are expensive. They’re also unpredictable. So when a plaintiff seeking damages in a trade secret case decides to take the case all the way through trial, it’s hoping for a jackpot. Otherwise the costs and risks of trial likely wouldn’t make it worth gambling the result on a jury.

For the parties below, the gamble paid off.

Trade Secrets Watch reviewed trade secret misappropriation cases over the past decade and dug up the largest verdicts on record. We also noted any post-verdict information to the extent it was available.

(Editor’s note: After we posted our Top 10 list, below, a Minnesota state appeals court affirmed a $630 million arbitration award against Western Digital Corp. over allegations of trade secret misappropriation. See Seagate Tech. LLC v. Western Digital Corp., No. A12-1944, Minn. Ct. App. (St. Paul) (July 22, 2013). This would have ranked at No. 3 on our list, had a jury made the award. Regardless, this case confirms that the era of massive trade secret awards has arrived.)
READ MORE

Money, Money, Money: Top 10 Trade Secret Verdicts

Revised post available here.

Big IP verdicts aren’t limited to patent cases. Trade secrets can mean big money, too. Really big. As in multi-, multi-million dollar verdicts. And the trend is up with more than half of the top ten verdicts coming out in just the past two years.
shutterstock_122151922
Trials are expensive. They’re also unpredictable. So when a plaintiff seeking damages in a trade secret case decides to take the case all the way through trial, it’s hoping for a jackpot. Otherwise the costs and risks of trial likely wouldn’t make it worth gambling the result on a jury.

For the parties below, the gamble paid off.

Trade Secrets Watch reviewed trade secret misappropriation cases over the past decade and dug up the largest verdicts on record. We also noted any post-verdict information to the extent it was available.
READ MORE