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Robert W. Mockler is a principal in the Los Angeles office of McKool Smith Hennigan. Robert focuses on complex business disputes and trials.  He has broad experience in state, federal, and international litigation and arbitration.

Robert served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Kim M. Wardlaw at the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and to the Honorable David O. Carter at the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Prior to joining the firm, Robert worked for the Amsterdam office of London-based Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where he practiced international commercial arbitration.

He occasionally sits as an arbitrator.


Representative Matters

  • Representing a mutual fund investor in a federal court trial claiming that the fund was charged excessive fees for investment advisory services in violation of Section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940.
  • Obtaining a writ of mandate from the California Supreme Court striking the “Three Californias” initiative from the ballot on constitutional grounds.
  • Obtaining a $10 million jury verdict, including punitive damages, on behalf of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles in a dispute concerning the sale of a former convent to singer Katy Perry.
  • Representing the London-based developer of a premium tequila brand in litigation with its U.S. distributor.
  • Obtaining more than $400 million in settlements on behalf of lenders on the Fontainebleau Las Vegas project in disputes with a major bank and the project’s directors and officers.
  • Representing a real estate investment company in litigation regarding the purchase and management of an apartment complex in Tempe, Arizona.
  • Representing San Diego Gas and Electric in a contract dispute involving a $300 million-dollar wind farm in Montana and compliance with federal laws relating to preservation of wildlife habitat.
  • Prosecuting claims against former partners of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP on behalf of Brobeck’s bankruptcy trustee.
  • Defending a wood flooring company and its principals in an arbitration hearing concerning an investment advisory contract.
  • Representing members of an insolvent workers compensation self-insurance program for contractors in litigation with their insurance broker.
  • Prosecuting claims against a major international bank in FINRA arbitration proceedings arising out of a failed options trading strategy.
  • Obtaining a jury verdict in favor of Sempra Generation on all counts following a four-week jury trial in a case challenging Sempra’s $6.6 billion energy supply contract with the California Department of Water Resources.
  • Successfully defending Sempra in two AAA arbitration proceedings challenging the interpretation and implementation of the Sempra contract with DWR.
  • Representing a major utility in litigation seeking refunds from governmental entities for overcharges on sales of power during the California energy crisis.
  • Representing the founder of mortgage lender DiTech in international arbitration proceedings against a Big Four accounting company regarding flawed tax advice.
  • Obtaining a favorable international arbitration award on behalf of a Dutch investor in a Russian steel mill in a dispute with its partner.
  • Obtaining a favorable settlement on behalf of an Indian project development company in an international arbitration dispute with major oil companies.
  • Representing a global food service company and its Turkish subsidiary in an ICC arbitration hearing in Istanbul asserting claims for breach of a purchase agreement for an in-flight catering business.
  • Defending a major bookseller in a federal court trial against antitrust claims.
  • Representing a movie studio in an international arbitration concerning distribution rights.


Community & Professional Activities

  • Co-chair, Steering Committee, Food from the Bar, a month-long annual fundraiser by the Los Angeles legal community for the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank, 2015-2017
  • Member, Board of Governors, Association of Business Trial Lawyers Los Angeles
  • Member, ADR Committee of the California Lawyers Association’s Litigation Section
  • Member, State Bar of California Committee on Federal Courts, 2012-2014
  • Member, Advisory Board, Institute for Transnational Arbitration
  • Vice Chair, LACBA Attorney Client Mediation & Arbitration Services

Media & Events

Speaking Engagements

  • 04.16.2015
  • Moderator; "Recent Developments in Federal Practice and Procedure," The State Bar of California 86th Annual Meeting; San Jose, CA
  • Moderator; "State Court Practitioners’ Playbook for Mastering Federal Court," The State Bar of California 85th Annual Meeting



  • “Litigating Raiding Cases in California,” Co-author, Corporate Raiding (PLI 2001)


J.D., University of California, Berkeley School of Law, 1998

  • Order of the Coif

B.A., with honors, Stanford University, 1993

Court Admissions

  • State of California
  • State of New York
  • District of Columbia
  • United States District Court for the Central, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of California, and the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Federal Claims

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
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