Robert Haney is a partner in the New York office with 25 years of experience litigating complex commercial disputes including conducting arbitrations, jury trials, bench trials, and mediations for major corporations (JPMorgan Chase, UBS, Bank of America, Verizon, USA Networks, and Linear Technology) as well as small and mid-sized financial and technology firms (Rockefeller & Co., Clinton Group, Broadstreet Group, Interworld, America First). While experienced in the full range of business and financial disputes, Mr. Haney has particular proficiency conducting arbitrations and trials involving the departure of senior executives and partners, trade secrets and securities and consumer class actions.
Significant Litigated Matters
- Defending the Board and offices of Linear Technology Corp. in six derivative actions related to the Company’s stock option granting practices over a 10 year period.
- In Milex v. Pitney Bowes, a class represented by Milberg Weiss alleged claims under New York's consumer protection statutes as well as common law claims related to PBCC’s practice of collecting “last lease payments” at the inception of the business equipment leases. The class argued that “last lease payments” were effectively deposits and that PBCC used the “last lease payment” mechanism to avoid holding the deposits in a separate account and paying interest. After extensive briefing, we defeated national class certification. Ultimately a limited New York State class was certified. The case was ultimately settled for less than $250,000 including legal fees for class counsel.
- Representing the co-founder of a major private equity firm in obtaining a settlement of his lawsuit and derivative action alleging breach of fiduciary duties and breach of contract in Delaware Chancery Court. The action was settled on the first day of trial after accelerated discovery and the settlement allowed Covington’s client to regain control of the business he had founded.
- Representing one of the world’s leading private equity firms in pursuing legal malpractice claims against a major law firm.
- In Triflo v. Lapeyre, Mr. Haney represented the terminated CEO of a medical technology firm, who invented the Company’s technology, in a complex dispute involving ownership of intellectual property, trade secrets and ownership of company stock. Mr. Haney defeated all of the Company’s claims for damages and obtained a multimillion dollar jury verdict after a three week trial in Federal Court in Orange County, California, on the counterclaims asserted by our client based on claims of breach of a technology license agreement.
- In Hirsch v. Jackoway Tyerman, he represented Jackoway Tyerman, one of the nation's leading entertainment law firms, and several members of its Board of Directors in a seven-week trial in Los Angeles. After Covington obtained dismissal of the dissolution claim, the plaintiffs amended their complaint to seek millions of dollars in damages for breach of fiduciary duty, alleging, among other things, that they had been unfairly forced to leave the firm. The court rejected most of the plaintiffs’ remaining claims against our client, including their core claim to have been forced out of the firm. The court also found that the departed partners were entitled to future fee payments from clients who had left Jackoway Tyerman with them.
- In Wilmington Trust v. Calpine Corporation, Mr. Haney represented Calpine in a major trial in Delaware Chancery Court concerning interpretation of a bond indenture covenant, and an appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court.
- In Madison Avenue Investment Partners v. America First Real Estate Investors Partners L.P., he represented America First in defeating at trial the bulk of the plaintiff’s information demands in a Delaware books and record action.
- In Leo v. Milbank Tweed Hadly & McCloy, he represented the purchaser of a Swiss bank in obtaining a $3.2 million jury verdict in Federal Court in Manhattan for breach of fiduciary duty against one of the nation’s leading law firms.
- In Zissu v. Bear, Sterns & Co., et al., he represented Bear Stearns in defeating securities fraud claims in a three week Federal jury trial in Manhattan. Mr. Haney second chaired this trial but argued all of the post-trial motions, and successfully argued that Bear Sterns should receive its attorneys’ fees for the entire case.
Honors and Rankings
- Steering Group, ABA International Arbitration Committee
- ABA Committee on Employment Law
- ICC, International Center for Dispute Resolution
- International Bar Association, International Arbitration Committee
- New York Super Lawyers (2006-2007)
Memberships and Affiliations
- Member, State Board of Education, New Jersey
- Board Member, New Jersey City University Foundation
Publications and Speeches