Robert J. Kaler is a trial and appellate lawyer, and a partner in the firm's litigation section, practicing in the area of complex business, financial, engineering, intellectual property, trade secrets, and commercial contract and construction disputes, both national and international. He is ranked in Best Lawyers in America (Commercial Litigation, Construction Law), Martindale Hubbell (AV Preeminent), U.S. News & World Report and other prominent legal reviews, including the 2019 Chambers USA – America's Leading Lawyers for Business (Litigation: General Commercial), which reports that he handles "a variety of commercial disputes, class actions, and IP litigations on behalf of major corporations," is active in "both trial and appellate courts," and is considered "an incredibly smart lawyer." He was named one of the "Top Ten Lawyers" of 2003 by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly for his high-tech defense of Raytheon Engineers & Constructors in a federal court jury trial that year, is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America (LCA), and is a member of the Massachusetts, New York and District of Columbia bars, both state and federal.
Mr. Kaler has served as lead counsel for public and private companies, major banks and financial institutions, government authorities and agencies, and private organizations and individuals in numerous high stakes jury and non-jury trials, and domestic and international arbitrations. He represented one of the nation's largest Convention Centers in a highly publicized litigation against its design firms, for example, and after five weeks of jury trial obtained a recovery of more than $24 million in damages to repair the structure. In the financial area he defended one of the world's largest private leasing companies against $55 million fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claims in a federal court jury trial, and obtained a jury verdict exonerating the company, and awarding it substantial damages and costs. In the intellectual property area, he represented a major electronics manufacturer in a lengthy federal court trial in New York in which he obtained a jury verdict clearing his clients of trade secret misappropriation claims, and awarding them $1.2 million in contract damages.
In arbitration, he has, among other cases, successfully represented a NYSE manufacturing company in a multimillion-dollar claim against its robotics system provider, defended a technology company against $20 million fraud and negligent misrepresentation claims, presented multiple engineering and construction delay and disruption claims, and defended a large European financial institution against major breach of contract claims arising out of its acquisition of a defective computer system. In recent years, he successfully represented a leading healthcare organization in federal court litigation in Virginia over the failure of its new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system; obtained federal court injunctions in Massachusetts requiring the operator of a client's 1,200-mile fiber optic telecom network to continue to perform its contract during the pendency of a dispute; and successfully defended a medical device manufacturer against $150 million class action securities fraud claims, among other cases.
Mr. Kaler has substantial appellate as well as trial and arbitration experience, having represented clients in the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Third and Fourth Circuits, and various state appellate courts, including the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the New York State Appellate Division, among others. Many of the cases he has argued on appeal have established significant legal precedents in the areas of complex commercial contracts, see Axia NetMedia Corp. v. Mass. Tech. Park Corp., 889 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2018); engineering and construction law, G4S Technology v. Mass. Tech. Park Corp., 479 Mass. 721, 99 N.E.2d 728 (2018); federal securities law, In re Boston Scientific Securities Litigation, 686 F.3d 21 (1st Cir. 2012); false and deceptive advertising law, Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufacturers Inst. v. Saks Fifth Avenue, 284 F.3d 302 (1st Cir. 2002), cert den. 537 U.S. 1001 (2002), CCIA v. Associated Dry Goods Corporation., 799 F.2d 6 (1st Cir. 1986); insurance law, Tamerlane v. Warwick Insurance Co., 412 Mass. 486, 590 N.E.2d 191 (1992), and other areas.
More detailed descriptions of illustrative cases in which Mr. Kaler has appeared as lead counsel are listed under the Experience section below. In the area of public service, he also spends a significant amount of time on pro bono work, advising and representing mentally disabled applicants for Social Security disability benefits, both administratively and in U.S. District Court. See, e.g., Cordeiro v. Saul, 391 F.Supp.3d 170 (D. Mass. 2019) (vacating Social Security Administration decision denying SSDI disability benefits to pro bono client), recons. den., 2019 WL 7039613 (2019). He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, supporting its public interest legal research programs, and is a member of the LCA's Diversity Law Institute, which works toward achieving greater diversity in the legal profession and justice system. He is also a member of the American and International Bar Associations, the Defense Research Institute, the Federal Bar Association, and many other professional organizations and groups.
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