Ralph Robinson is a member of the firm's Senior Trial Group. His primary areas of focus are general liability, municipal claims, employment practices liability, medical malpractice and product liability. A member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Ralph has tried more than 100 cases to verdict throughout Northern California. In addition to appearing in virtually every jurisdiction in California, he has handled a variety of legal matters in Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii. Additionally, Ralph has handled cases before the International Court of Arbitration, and matters of catastrophic loss in France, Germany, Italy, Australia and Spain.
Ralph's extensive litigation experience and his prominent positions within the firm enable him to serve clients as a guiding force behind their cases and the attorneys who handle them.
Awards & Distinctions
AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Selected for inclusion in Northern California Super Lawyers, 2013-2014
Areas of Focus
Ralph has extensive experience in product liability matters involving a wide variety of mechanized vehicles and other manufactured products. During his career, Ralph has represented makers of tractors, motorcycles, ATVs, watercraft, forklifts and bicycles. He has also represented the manufacturers of punch presses, industrial heaters, air conditioning systems, power saws, chemical manufacturers, agricultural tractors and related heavy machinery, earth moving equipment, industrial chippers, industrial packaging machinery, forestry heavy machinery, equipment hydraulics, cranes, assembly line facilities, marine loading facilities and related machinery, cement plant machinery, lumber mill equipment, wind turbines, electrical machinery failures, chemical storage facilities & industrial grinders. In addition, Ralph has addressed for clients a variety of asbestos-related cases and trials involving gaskets, motorcycles and tractors. He also has handled class action claims, Consumer Product Safety Commission and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recalls, California Proposition 65 toxic matters, and Business and Professions Code unfair practices claims.
Ralph handles all aspects of transportation defense, including hundreds of liability matters for trucking and bus companies and insurers. He also defends product liability claims involving motorcycles, ATVs, personal watercraft, power boats, and related products such as tractors and heavy equipment. Ralph works very closely with the leading experts in the areas of accident reconstruction, human factors, biomechanics and related fields.
Ralph has represented lawyers, architects, engineers, insurance agents and brokers, and security broker-dealers in state and federal actions. He has also handled arbitrations before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and other regulatory bodies.
Ralph's experience in representing municipalities includes matters of liability, civil rights claims, land subsidence, first amendment issues and inverse contamination cases.
Robinson, Rhodes and Fannon Obtain Summary Judgment for Bay Area Law School in Dispute over Interpretation of Student Handbook
January 29, 2015
U.S. Supreme Court Addresses Whether Arbitration Agreements That Are Silent Concerning Class-wide Arbitration Can Be Arbitrated as a Class
Supreme Court Clarifies Need for Class Arbitration Disclaimer
June 14, 2013
A recent Supreme Court decision makes clear that businesses should affirmatively disclaim class arbitration in their arbitration provisions. Absent this disclaimer, if an arbitrator demonstrates an interpretation of the arbitration provision, the parties might be bound by this ruling with no judicial recourse.
The Changing Landscape for the Effectiveness of Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements
Bloomberg BNA Class Action Litigation Report
March 8, 2013
Will Satisfying the Claims of a Named Plaintiff in a Class Action Lawsuit Moot the Case?
The Voice: DRI Newsletter
December 6, 2012
Nicastro and its Progeny: Did the U.S. Supreme Court Usher in a New Liability Landscape 25 Years After Asahi?
Bloomberg Law: Occupational Safety & Health Reporter
July 12, 2012
The Bloomberg Law newsletter, Product Safety and Litigation Reporter, has published an article written by David Ross that examines the U.S. Supreme Court's divided opinions on personal jurisdiction.
U.S. District Court Affirms That “Foreseeability” and “Stream of Commerce” Are Insufficient Grounds to Establish Personal Jurisdiction Over Foreign Defendants
February 2, 2012
Foreign defendants should keep abreast of developing case law stemming from J. McIntyre Machinery, Ltd. v. Nicastro, which may clarify what activities are most likely to give rise to personal jurisdiction under the still developing precedent.
Co-author, “U.S. District Court Affirms that 'Foreseeability' and 'Stream of Commerce' Are Insufficient Grounds to Establish Personal Jurisdiction Over Foreign Defendants,” American Bar Association's Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section Newsletter, Legal Insights, and Martindale Hubbell, February 2012
Co-author, “An Effective Compliance and Ethics Program, ECEPs Fables,” 27th Annual Corporate Counsel Institute, University of Texas School of Law and the Corporate Counsel Section of the State Bar of Texas, March/April 2005
Co-author, “Nicastro and its Progeny: Did the U.S. Supreme Court Usher in a New Liability Landscape 25 Years After Asahi?,” Bloomberg BNA Product Safety & Liability Reporter, June 2012