Jim Robinson

Partner, Miami

Biography

Recognized by Chambers USA for his work in complex commercial disputes, sources have praised Jim Robinson as “extremely strategic and an excellent closer of difficult matters,” and as “a strong strategic thinker with a good instinct as to when to fight, hold or concede.”
Chambers USA

Overview

For high-stakes commercial disputes in the United States involving both domestic and international clients, Jim Robinson has substantial first-chair experience leading trial teams from the earliest motion practice all the way through jury trial and appeal.

In addition to international commercial disputes, Jim also has extensive experience defending professional liability lawsuits.  He has led teams that have defended regional, national and international law firms in legal malpractice lawsuits throughout US. With his team, Jim has also defended accounting firms against large malpractice lawsuits.  In all professional liability cases, he takes a hands-on approach, managing all aspects of the lawsuits in order to limit his client's exposure, as he also prepares these cases for trial.

Many of Jim’s recent commercial cases include representation of clients connected to the banking industry. Such cases include representation of financial technology (fintech) companies involved with merchant services, payments and credit card processing in both domestic and international disputes. In addition, Jim has represented a series of banks against multimillion-dollar lender liability lawsuits, most of which were resolved with summary judgment in Jim’s clients’ favor.  Jim represents foreign and domestic corporations in contract disputes, regulatory and compliance matters, and consumer class actions at various stages, including appeals. He has successfully defended numerous director and officer liability actions, and has successfully represented real estate developers and contractors in real estate disputes throughout the country.

Jim is an active member of a number of professional associations, including the Federal Bar Association, the Trial Lawyers Section of The Florida Bar, the International Law Section of The Florida Bar, the Miami-Dade County Bar Association and the J. Reuben Clark Law Society.

He has taken lead roles in a significant number of professional committees, including as the Chair of the International Litigation and Arbitration Committee (2008), the Chair of the International Litigation and Arbitration Committee Conference (2007), as a Steering Committee Member on the International Litigation Update (2005 – 2006), and as a Chair of the FGCU Alumni Association Board of Directors (2009 – 2011). He has also served on the Law Alumni Council, University of Florida Levin College of Law.

Bars and Courts
Florida State Bar
US District Court for the Middle District of Florida
US District Court for the Northern District of Florida
US District Court for the Southern District of Florida
US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
US Court of Federal Claims
Education
JD
University of Florida
BS
Florida Gulf Coast University
Languages
English

Experience

Trial court victory for national law firm
Jim led the White & Case team that secured a complete victory on behalf of a national law firm that was sued in Miami-Dade County. The lawsuit was brought by a successor trustee, who was the opposing party in an underlying probate lawsuit. Under claims for conspiracy and fraudulent transfers, among others, the successor trustee sued a series of law firms and other professionals for disgorgement of fees earned over a multi-year period. While all of the other firms settled, our client wanted to take the case to trial. A few weeks before trial, the trial judge granted final summary judgment in favor of our client on all claims.

Order compelling arbitration for international client
Jim led the White & Case team that represented an overseas hedge fund in an international dispute with a US investor. The plaintiff, the US investor, filed suit in US District Court and sought damages in excess of US$18 million. But the plaintiff had agreed to arbitrate any disputes relating to his investment in a written agreement with our client. In court, the plaintiff sought to avoid arbitration by recasting his investment and arguing that the governing agreement was "null and void" due to fraud. The plaintiff also argued that he was not personally a party to the agreement and therefore could not be forced to arbitrate. Our team successfully argued that, under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, the Court still must compel arbitration because the plaintiff’s fraud and duress defenses were issues for the arbitrator to decide. We also successfully argued that arbitration is appropriate against non-signatories under principles of equitable estoppel. The federal court granted the motion to compel arbitration and stayed all proceedings pending finalization of arbitral proceedings in Israel.

Bankruptcy court victory for banking client
Jim led the White & Case team that represented a banking client in its capacity as a secured creditor of a Florida-based corporation. Following entry of attorney's fees judgments in other courts in favor of the bank as prevailing party —and presumably to avoid paying those judgments—the corporation filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The bank moved to dismiss the chapter 11 case as a "bad faith" bankruptcy filing. Following several months of litigation in the bankruptcy court and multiple hearings, including an extensive evidentiary hearing, the bankruptcy judge dismissed the chapter 11 filing as a bad faith bankruptcy filing, with prejudice for one year.

Order compelling arbitration for international client
Jim was a member of the White & Case team that represented Seoul-based Hyundai Motor Company in an international dispute with Key Motors, Ltd., a distributor of Hyundai vehicles in Jamaica. Key Motors filed a lawsuit in Florida state court claiming, among other things, that Hyundai breached a purported oral agreement commencing in 1999 that allegedly gave Key Motors exclusive rights to distribute Hyundai commercial vehicles in Jamaica. Our team successfully removed the action to Florida federal court under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards and its implementing US legislation. They then moved immediately to compel Key Motors to arbitrate the dispute in Seoul, Korea, based on an arbitration provision in a written distributorship agreement that Key Motors and Hyundai entered into in January 2013. The federal court granted Hyundai's motion to compel arbitration and stayed all proceedings pending finalization of the arbitral proceedings in Korea.

Trial court victory for credit card processor
Jim led the White & Case team that obtained summary judgment in favor of our client, an international fintech company that focuses on credit card and payment processing, in a dispute with one of its merchants stemming from improper credit card chargebacks totaling millions of dollars.

US$2 million judgment over corporate jet following jury trial
Jim led the White & Case trial team that secured a complete victory in a dispute between his client, Ugo Colombo, a Miami real estate developer, and Dacra Development Corp., which is owned by Craig Robins. Following a two-week trial, a Miami jury ordered Dacra Development Corp. to pay more than US$2 million in maintenance fees to Ugo Colombo, for the costs associated with a US$22 million jet that they owned jointly. The jury ruled in favor of Mr. Colombo on all claims brought against him by Dacra. This was a complete victory for Jim's client.

Successful resolution of international arbitration proceedings for credit card processor
Jim was a member of the White & Case team that assisted in resolving a dispute involving our client, an international fintech company that focuses on credit card and payment processing, in international arbitration proceedings. The dispute related to enforcement of a software products licensing agreement that covered sales territories in the Middle East and Africa.

Dismissal of legal malpractice lawsuit
Jim helped lead the team that defended a national law firm against a legal malpractice and conspiracy lawsuit. The plaintiff alleged that the firm and its attorneys conspired to assist a family member in altering/modifying a trust in a way that allegedly caused significant financial damage to the plaintiff. Following a series of briefings and oral argument, the trial court granted our client's motion to dismiss, with prejudice.

Appellate court confirms victory for law firm client
Jim was part of a team that represented a national law firm that was sued in Miami for legal malpractice in connection with the US$42 million sale of a smoked food business. The firm's former client alleged that the firm and its attorneys were negligent in preparing the documents required to effectuate the sale of the company's assets. After several years of discovery, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of our clients. The Third District Court of appeal affirmed this result.

Speaking Engagements

"Circuit Court Boot Camp,” 2017, 2018, 2019: CLE Seminar, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

"Expert Witnesses: 'Prep, Depos, Exam and Cross – How to Get it Right'," 2012, 2014: CLE Seminar, Miami, Florida

Awards and Recognition

Recognized practitioner, Chambers USA, 2017 – 2020

Super Lawyers, Professional Liability & Business Litigation, 2016 – 2020

Rising Star in Business Litigation, Super Lawyers, 2009 – 2014

Rising Stars, Daily Business Review's 40 under 40, 2014 (recipient)

Outstanding Lawyers of Miami-Dade County Award, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s 40 Under 40, 2011