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Robert M. Manley

Dallas Office
Dallas Office

300 Crescent Court
Suite 1500
Dallas, TX 75201
TEL: 214.978.4226 FAX: 214.978.4044

A Principal in McKool Smith’s Dallas office, Robert Manley represents a variety of U.S. and international clients in cases involving complex commercial, investment, fiduciary duty and intellectual property disputes.  Robert recently won back-to-back jury verdicts in cases that demonstrate the nature of his dynamic practice.  The first was a seven-week jury trial where he represented a real estate startup as a plaintiff against an investment bank in a fiduciary duty case—the substantial verdict helped secure McKool Smith’s inclusion in Law360’s Most Feared Plaintiffs Firm.”  Less than a month after concluding the first matter, Robert successfully tried a three-week securities fraud jury trial, representing a Fortune 500 client as a defendant.   

Robert is recognized by the media and his legal peers as a pre-eminent trial lawyer.  He has successfully tried matters around the country, and is equally known for his creative approach to resolving clients’ cases outside the courtroom. Robert teaches, writes, and lectures for legal audiences nationwide on trying cases and the art of unconventional dispute resolution (UDR).  His proven ability to efficiently resolve cases outside the courtroom, combined with his impressive track record of winning trials, are why clients call on Robert again and again.

Before receiving his legal degree from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, Robert attended the Pushkin Institute in Moscow, Russia, and the Institute of European Studies in Vienna, Austria.  He currently leads McKool Smith’s Pro Bono Program.

Representative Matters

Unconventional Dispute Resolution Case Studies

  • "Hire a Judge ... and a Jury" - Robert represented investors’ interests in a complex investment case against a group of financial institutions.  The biggest challenge was the anticipated 4- to 5-year wait before the court would actually hear the trial. Through imaginative negotiations, the parties agreed by contract to retain a retired Judge to hear all matters associated with the lawsuit and, using a borrowed courtroom and local citizens recruited to act as the jury, the parties then proceeded to litigate the matter in normal fashion, including submitting pretrial motions, conducting voir dire, and proceeding to “trial.” In the end, Robert’s clients made a significant recovery in a fraction of the time that otherwise would have been required to resolve the matter at trial.
  • "Saving Face" - Robert represented a multinational corporation that was sued for allegedly causing the demise of one of its clients as a result of failures in the nationwide software integration.  Robert favorably resolved the matter after requesting and making a diplomatic, unilateral presentation to the opposing party—who itself had fiduciary duties to stakeholders--regarding its failure to maintain the alleged failed software system.  The matter was resolved at the opposing party’s request shortly thereafter, without any public allegations of spoliation. 
  • “Tell it to the Judge” – Robert represented a Fortune 500 company in a contentious intellectual property dispute that was expected to last for years. Ultimately, the potential damages became the focal point of the case, and Robert convinced the opposing party to conduct a joint “summary trial” in the Court’s chambers, which resulted in a favorable settlement for his client.
  • “Now that I’m here, where am I?”– Robert’s teams routinely prepare early case assessments for their clients.  Thereby the clients know very early in the litigation process the merits of positions, the likely course litigation will take, and are provided an early opportunity to explore a business resolution to the dispute.  This practice of preparing ECA’s has led to several successful settlements for Robert’s clients without extensive litigation or trial.
  • We can do this the easy way, or …” – When initiating a lawsuit, Robert often drafts and serves the defendant with a lengthy complaint, annotated to, and quoting from, case documents while publicly filing a “bare bones” complaint with the court.  This allows the parties to evaluate some of the substance of the pending lawsuit without unnecessarily making public allegations, frequently leading to an early resolution.

For a further outline of some techniques Robert uses to resolve cases outside the courtroom, see his UDR Presentation here.

Representative Courtroom Matters

Commercial/Mortgage-Backed Securities/Investment Matters

  • Schermerhorn et al. v. CenturyLink et al. - Successfully defended CenturyLink and several individual executives in a securities fraud mass-action lawsuit involving 64 plaintiffs that brought claims relating to investment in and the subsequent sale of control of a distressed company.  After a three-week trial, the jury returned a take-nothing defense verdict and judgment in favor of Robert’s clients.
  • Scenic Land Company, LLC, et al. v. Sterne Agee & Leach, Inc., et al. – Won a substantial verdict in a seven-week jury trial for a hotel development client in a case against an investment bank for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract. The verdict and judgment were reported as the largest in Hamilton County (Chattanooga) history and helped McKool Smith to be recognized again in Law360’s “Most Feared Plaintiffs Firm” feature.

  • La Salle Bank, et al. v. UBS Warburg and UBS PaineWebber. – Represented the interests of a group of certificate holders in a $704 million pool of mortgage-backed securities as part of a series of lawsuits against the securitization’s sponsors and loan depositors to recover the plaintiffs’ lost investment value.

  • John DeGroote Services, LLC as Liquidating Trustee to the BearingPoint Liquidating Trust v. Ed Harbach, et al. – Represented the Liquidating Trustee for BearingPoint Inc. in numerous adversary proceedings involving preferences, fraudulent transfers and other matters, assisting the Trustee in recovering over $476 million for distribution to BearingPoint, Inc.’s creditors. As part of this effort, Robert represented the Trustee in a breach of fiduciary duty/corporate governance lawsuit against BearingPoint’s former Chief Executive Officer and its Board of Directors.

  • The “Frienemies” Multistate Series of Arbitrations – Robert tried a series of nationwide arbitrations for a startup company in the cellular recycling ecosystem against an industry giant involving theft of trade secrets, unfair competition, breach of joint-venture agreements, and improper accounting issues. The parties initially entered multiple joint-ventures, but later found working together impossible before engaging in a multi-front series of litigations and arbitrations.

Click here to view additional commercial/investment representations.

Intellectual Property Matters

  • Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. v. LSI Corporation – Represented Freescale in an investigation before the International Trade Commission involving U.S. Patent Nos. 5,775,798; 6,473,349 B1 and 5,467,455 generally directed to the packaging and manufacture of semiconductor chips.
  • Mediatek, Inc. v. Sanyo Elec. Co., Ltd., et al. and Mediatek v. Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. – Represented Mediatek in patent infringement lawsuits involving U.S. Patent Nos. 5,867,819 and 6,118,486, which are generally directed to audio decoding and the synchronization and processing of multiple formatted video signals.

  • Maxim Integrated Products v. Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. – Represented Freescale in a patent infringement case involving U.S. Patent Nos. 5,008,615; 5,172,214; 5,200,362; 5,476,816; 5,593,538; 5,776,798; 5,861,347; 4,951,005; 5,081,454; 5,089,722; 5,195,655; 5,434,739; 5,124,632 and 5,946,177. The patents are generally directed to the design, packaging and manufacture of semiconductor chips.
  • ConnecTel v. Cisco Systems – Represented Cisco in a patent infringement suit involving U.S. Patent Nos. 6,016,307; 6,144,641; 6,456,594; and 6,473,404, which are generally directed to multiprotocol telecommunications routing and optimization.
  • Brilliant Technologies v. InFocus Corp. – Represented InFocus in an intellectual property licensing dispute covering a projection system with a folded optical path involving U.S. Patent No. 6,859,239.
  • Raindance Communications, Inc. v. WebEx – Represented Raindance in a patent infringement lawsuit involving U.S. Patent Nos. 6,535,909 and 6,621,834, which are generally directed to voice transmission over network protocols and the recording and playback of collaborative web browsing sessions.

 Click here to view additional intellectual property representations.

Professional & Community Activities

  • National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Gulf Coast Regional Program

  • National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Southern Regional Trial Skills Program, Faculty, annually since 1998

  • Adjunct Professor of trial advocacy at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, annually since 2001

  • Co-Chaired, Dallas Heart Ball with Dana Manley

  • Co-Chaired, General Counsel Forum 12th Annual Conference

Awards & Recognition

  • Robert is a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America (LCA), which is a trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one-half of one percent of American Lawyers. Fellowship in the LCA is highly-selective and by invitation only. Fellows are selected based upon effectiveness and accomplishment in litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels, and superior ethical reputation.
  • Robert’s recent jury verdict in the Scenic Land case helped McKool Smith to be recognized again as Law360’s "Most Feared Plaintiffs Firm."
  • Robert has been repeatedly recognized in Best Lawyers in America for Securities and Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Robert has been repeatedly recognized as a Texas Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters’ legal division in Texas Monthly magazine
  • Robert has been repeatedly recognized as a Best Lawyers in Dallas by D Magazine
  • Robert also received the Client Choice Award for Litigation by Texas International Law Office and Lexology

  • Robert was repeatedly recognized as one of the Best Lawyers Under 40 [… back when he was, in fact, under 40] by D Magazine

  • Robert is a Master in the Higginbotham American Inn of Court

  • Robert is also a Member of the College of the State Bar of Texas




Press Releases


Other Articles and Presentations

  • "Voir Dire” [In it to Win it] - Presented to the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Southern Regional Trial Skills Programs.      
  • “Negotiation: Ten Things to Think About – A Non-Exhaustive List”, Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, Dallas, Texas (July 2004 and September 2005) (Co- Presenter).
  • "Unconventional' Dispute Resolution" [Getting it Done] - Presented to: The association of Corporate Counsel; The General Counsel Forum Annual Conference; and The Dallas Bar Association.