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Robert W. Mockler is a principal in the Los Angeles office of McKool Smith Hennigan. Robert focuses on complex business litigation and 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

  • Obtained a $10 million jury verdict on behalf of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles in a dispute concerning the sale of a former convent to Katy Perry.
  • Obtained more than $400 million in settlements on behalf of lenders on the Fontainebleau Las Vegas project in disputes with a lender and the project’s directors and officers.
  • Represented 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.
  • Defended a wood flooring company and its principals in an arbitration concerning an investment advisory contract.
  • Represented members of an insolvent workers compensation self-insurance program for contractors in litigation with their insurance broker.
  • Represented an individual against a major international bank in FINRA arbitration proceedings alleging claims arising out of a failed options trading strategy.
  • Obtained 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 defended Sempra in two AAA arbitration proceedings challenging the interpretation and implementation of the Sempra contract with DWR.
  • Represented a major utility in litigation seeking refunds from governmental entities for overcharges on sales of power during the California energy crisis.
  • Represented of the founder of mortgage lender DiTech in NASD arbitration proceedings against a Big Four accounting company regarding flawed tax advice.
  • Representing several individual taxpayers in successfully asserting claims against sponsors of a failed tax strategy.
  • Obtained a favorable arbitration award on behalf of a Dutch investor in a Russian steel mill in a dispute with its partner.
  • Obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of an Indian project development company in an arbitration dispute with major oil companies.
  • Represented a global food service company and its Turkish subsidiary in an ICC arbitration asserting claims for breach of a purchase agreement for an in-flight catering business.


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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