Acclaimed Jurist Brings Extensive Multidistrict Litigation Experience to Firm’s Growing Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice
McCarter & English, LLP today announced that the Honorable Eduardo C. Robreno, former United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania who managed one of the largest multidistrict litigations (MDL) in US history, has joined the firm as a partner. Based in Philadelphia, Judge Robreno will also spend significant time working from Miami, mediating and arbitrating both international and domestic disputes.
As a senior member of the firm’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practice, which includes Judge Jose L. Linares, the former Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Justice Jaynee LaVecchia, a former New Jersey Supreme Court Justice, and Joseph Braunreuther, the former Deputy General Counsel of Johnson & Johnson, Judge Robreno will provide ADR services through arbitration, mediation, special masterships, corporate investigations, and other court-appointed neutral services.
“McCarter & English is thrilled Judge Robreno has joined the firm as we expand our ADR practice to meet the increasing need for these services, especially in South Florida,” said Judge Linares, Chair of McCarter’s ADR practice. “Multidistrict litigation represents the fastest-growing caseload on the federal docket, and Judge Robreno’s masterful experience in MDL as well as class actions and other complex multiparty litigation will enhance our ability to provide services in this vital area.”
Appointed United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in 1992, Judge Robreno is the first Cuban American to serve as a federal judge and the first Latino federal judge in Pennsylvania. During his tenure on the bench, he presided over more than 100 civil and criminal jury trials and authored more than 3,000 opinions. Judge Robreno is renowned for his successful management of In Re: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation, involving approximately 180,000 cases and more than 10 million claims from every jurisdiction in the country. During the management of the litigation, he applied an effective strategy of deconstructing cases, thus enabling lawyers to move efficiently toward settlement.
During his judicial career, Judge Robreno presided over a wide range of consequential and high-profile cases, many of which captured the attention of the nation, including Andrea Constand’s civil lawsuit against Bill Cosby and a defamation lawsuit brought against Oprah Winfrey by the former headmistress of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.
“As I transition from my judicial career, I am really looking forward to returning to private practice with McCarter & English, working in ADR alongside exceptional former jurists whom I hold in the highest regard: Jaynee LaVecchia and Jose Linares, whom I have known professionally for over 20 years,” said Judge Robreno. “My new role at McCarter allows me to apply my decades of experience to commercial dispute resolution and to continue to divide my time between Pennsylvania and Florida, where I have deeply established cultural and professional roots.”
Judge Robreno came to the United States from Cuba in 1961 through Operation Pedro Pan, which brought more than 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban refugee children to the US between 1960 and 1962. He made his first US home in Miami before moving in with a foster family in Northampton, Massachusetts. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Westfield State University and a master’s degree in labor studies from University of Massachusetts Amherst, Judge Robreno moved to the Philadelphia metro area to earn his JD from Rutgers Law School. At Rutgers, he served as articles editor of the law review.
Judge Robreno began his legal career as a Trial Attorney for the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice and as a Special Assistant US Attorney from 1978 to 1981. He was in private practice for 14 years, becoming a partner in a large Philadelphia law firm. Judge Robreno was nominated to the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by President George H.W. Bush and confirmed to the bench in 1992. While on the bench, he was appointed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Renquist to serve on the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules and by Chief Justice Roberts to the Judicial Conference Committee on Bankruptcy Administration.
Judge Robreno is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including election to the Rutgers University Hall of Distinguished Alumni, an honorary doctor of law degree from Westfield State University, a Champion of Social Justice from the Rutgers Law School Black Law Students Association, and the Orgullo Award from the University of Pennsylvania Latin American Law Students Association. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute, a founding member of the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania, and a member of the Cuban American Bar Association.
Committed to excellence in legal education, Judge Robreno is now a member of the faculty at the University of Miami Law School, where he serves as a Distinguished Jurist in Residence (ret). Prior to this, he taught as an adjunct professor at several law schools, including his alma mater, Rutgers Law School, the University of Georgia, and Villanova University. A tireless educator, Judge Robreno was the organizer of continuing legal education courses for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and a frequent speaker at conferences on asbestos, multidistrict, and mass tort litigation. He has also served as a member of the America Bar Association’s Site Evaluation Committee, reviewing the accreditation of law schools across the country.
“Judge Robreno’s unique experience and exceptional reputation will significantly contribute to our firm and our growing ADR practice, which provides a faster, more flexible alternative to traditional litigation,” said Joseph T. Boccassini, Firmwide Managing Partner. “We are honored that Judge Robreno has joined McCarter.”