Robert M. Palumbos helps companies and entrepreneurs resolve complex legal issues in appellate and commercial litigation. He is an experienced appellate lawyer with a track record in over three dozen appeals of preserving trial-court victories and getting clients another chance to win. Mr. Palumbos has briefed or argued appeals in state and federal courts throughout the United States, including as lead counsel in more than a half-dozen successful appeals. His appellate work covers a wide range of legal areas, such as RICO, corporate governance, administrative agency law, real estate and zoning, insurance coverage and contracts.
In addition to his appellate work, Mr. Palumbos represents companies in complex commercial litigation in trial courts throughout the United States. He handles high-stakes cases involving RICO, antitrust, securities, and class actions, often winning those cases early in the process before trial through strategic motions practice. His clients include leaders within the Internet, venture capital investment, software and hardware design, pharmaceutical, and financial services industries.
Before entering private practice, Mr. Palumbos was a judicial clerk to the Honorable Marjorie O. Rendell of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Mr. Palumbos is a 2005 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and former editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. He is also a graduate of Johns Hopkins University (M.A., B.A.), where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Mr. Palumbos chairs the firm's Philadelphia office Inclusion Committee.
· Obtained a precedential decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, as lead appellate counsel for the Latin American Coalition, affirming the dismissal of a RICO claim and establishing that property owners do not violate the Immigration and Naturalization Act by knowingly renting apartments to undocumented aliens. Delrio-Mocci v. Connolly Properties, Inc., 672 F.3d 241 (3d Cir. 2012).
· Successfully argued in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit that a district court erred by denying a preliminary injunction in a corporate governance dispute involving a closely held limited liability company. Health & Body Store, LLC v. JustBrand Ltd., 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 9604 (3d Cir. May 11, 2012).
· Lead counsel in successful appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversing agency error in immigration proceedings. Grenade v. Holder, 324 F. App'x 88 (2d Cir. 2009).
· Obtained from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court a reversal on behalf of Toll Brothers, Inc., holding that parties to a zoning hearing, who are not party appellants to the land use appeal, lack independent standing to appeal. Stuckley, et al. v. ZHB of Newtown Twp., 79 A.3d 510 (Pa. 2013).
· Represented former NFL star Jason Taylor and two business partners in a successful appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit that resulted in a reversal and entry of a multi-million dollar judgment in Mr. Taylor's favor in connection with a failed real estate transaction in the Virgin Islands. Addie v. Kjaer, __ F.3d __, 2013 WL 6577144 (3d Cir. 2013).
· Obtained a precedential decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit confirming the proper test for taxpayer residency in the U.S. Virgin Islands and reversing the district court's finding after a nonjury trial that several taxpayers had failed to establish Virgin Islands residency. Vento v. Dir. V.I. Bureau of Internal Revenue, 715 F.3d 455 (3d Cir. 2013).
· Represented the Association of Corporate Counsel, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Philadelphia Bar Association, as amici curiae, in an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in which the court, quoting extensively from the amicus brief, reversed a line of intermediate appellate decisions by holding that the attorney-client privilege protects communications made by attorneys to clients. Gillard v. AIG Insurance Co., 15 A.3d 44 (Pa. 2011).
· Represented the Pennsylvania Department of Banking in two groundbreaking enforcement actions to enjoin illegal payday lending at approximately 100 stores across Pennsylvania, and by a Nevada-based Internet lender. Pa. Dep't of Banking v. NCAS of Delaware, LLC, 948 A.2d 752 (Pa. 2008); Cash America Net of Nevada, LLC v. Pa. Dep't. of Banking, 8 A.3d 282 (Pa. 2010).
· Counsel to Travelers Insurance in a cross-appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit resulting in a favorable reversal on the issue of coverage under a legal malpractice policy and affirmance on the issue of bad faith. Post v. St. Paul Travelers Insurance Co., 691 F.3d 500 (3d Cir. 2012).
· Obtained reversal of summary judgment against Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., surety for a $100 million construction project, in an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit based on the interpretation of a conditional payment clause in a construction subcontract. Sloan v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., 653 F.3d 175 (3d Cir. 2011).
· Counsel to a major regional grocery chain in an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit from the denial of class certification in a putative class action alleging violations of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act. Stillmock v. Weis Markets, Inc., 385 F. App'x 267 (4th Cir. 2010).
· Obtained a complete victory prior to trial for AcademyOne, Inc., a Pennsylvania-based internet company, in action brought by a competitor alleging violations of RICO, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and the Lanham Act. CollegeSource, Inc. v. AcademyOne, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43684 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 22, 2011) (dismissing RICO claims); 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153197 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 25, 2012) (granting summary judgment).
· Counsel to one of world's largest software vendors in civil RICO litigation brought by municipality that was dismissed at the pleading stage. County of Marin v. Deloitte Consulting LLP, 836 F. Supp. 2d 1030 (N.D. Cal. 2011).
· Obtained dismissal of RICO claims at motion-to-dismiss stage on behalf of major commercial real estate developer. Litigated remaining contract and fiduciary duty claims and obtained a settlement the client found favorable. Kolar v. Preferred Real Estate Investments, Inc., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48781 (E.D. Pa. June 19, 2008), aff'd, 361 F. App'x 354 (3d Cir. 2010).
· Class counsel in antitrust class action that resulted in multimillion-dollar settlement for a class of terminated truck dealerships. Cumberland Truck Equipment Co. v. Detroit Diesel Corp., Case Nos. 05-cv-74594 (E.D. Mich.).
· Defeated two putative class actions against a leading yacht manufacturer based on alleged product defects. ACH Enters. 1 LLC v. Viking Yacht Co., 817 F. Supp. 2d 465, 466 (D.N.J. 2011); Cauble v. Viking Yacht Co., 10-cv-61892 (S.D. Fla. 2011).
· Represented international supplier and trader of precious metals in AAA arbitration hearings relating to supply contracts and pricing issues. Johnson Matthey Inc. v. E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co.
· Duane Morris LLP
- Partner, 2014-present
- Associate, 2006-2013
· U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- Judicial Clerk to the Honorable Marjorie O. Rendell, 2006
· American Inn of Court, University of Pennsylvania Law School (2009-2012)
· Bar Association of the Third Federal Circuit (2010-present)
· American Bar Association
- Council of Appellate Lawyers, Appellate Judges Conference (2012-present)
· Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Appellate Advocacy Committee (2011-present)
· Philadelphia Bar Association
- Appellate Courts Committee (2011-present)
Honors and Awards
· Pennsylvania Rising Star, 2011-2013
Publications and Speaking Engagements
· Co-Author and Course Planner, Advanced Issues in Civil Practice and Procedure: Judicial Review, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Publication No. 2013-7853 (2013)
· Co-author, "Expert Evidence in the Third Circuit," Scientific Evidence Review: Admissibility and Use of Expert Evidence in the Courtroom, Monograph No. 9 (2013), No. 8 (2008)
· Co-author, "Antitrust Class Action Settlements," in Antitrust Class Actions Handbook, American Bar Association, 2010
· Co-author, "Unique Aspects of Appellate Practice in the Third Circuit," A Practitioner's Guide to Appellate Advocacy, American Bar Association, 2010
· Co-author, Indirect Purchaser Lawsuits: A State-by-State Survey, American Bar Association, 2010
· Co-author, "Supreme Court Confirms Application of Twombly to All Civil Cases," Duane Morris Alert, May 21, 2009
· Comment, Within Each Lawyer's Conscience a Touchstone: Law, Morality, and Attorney Civil Disobedience, 153 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1057 (2005)
Selected Speaking Engagements
· Speaker, "Justiciability Doctrines," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, August 15 and 29, 2013
· Speaker, "Records Retention for Manufacturers: Building a Successful Program," Association of Corporate Counsel, Webcast, May 22, 2012