Skip to main content

Third Party and Expanded Liability Claims Against Lawyers

Speaker(s): James B. Kobak, Jr., Rita M. Haeusler
Recorded on: Feb. 15, 2017
PLI Program #: 208033

Rita Haeusler is a partner in Hughes Hubbard’s litigation practice and head of the firm’s Los Angeles office. She has more than 25 years experience litigating in a variety of state and federal courts throughout California, Nevada, Arizona, the Pacific Northwest, Tennessee, New Jersey and New York, and before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Her practice focuses primarily on complex litigation in the areas of intellectual property, entertainment, antitrust, class actions, e-commerce, privacy, and employment law. She has worked on a number of cases involving drug companies, including the defense of Cartwright Act and Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code Section 17200 claims brought by independent pharmacies alleging price fixing and unfair competition with respect to prescription pharmaceuticals.

Among her professional activities, she serves as a Member of the Advisory Board, of USC Gould School of Law, Institute for Corporate Counsel. She is a member of Union Internationale des Avocats, a member of the Board of Directors of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society, and chair of the Ninth Circuit Advisory Council.

She received both her B.A. cum laude and her J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Professional Activities

  • Member, Advisory Board, USC Gould School of Law, Institute for Corporate Counsel (2009-2011)
  • Member, Union Internationale des Avocats
  • Member, Board of Directors Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society
  • Chair, Board of Directors, Ninth Circuit Advisory Council (2011 - present)
  • Member, Technology Standing Committee

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court of Arizona
  • U.S. District Court of Nevada
  • U.S. District Court of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court of Oregon
  • U.S. District Court of Tennessee
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Practice Groups and Other Information

Education Information

  • University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, J.D., 1983
  • University of California at Los Angeles, B.A., 1980, cum laude (with Departmental Honors)
  • Universidad de Salamanca

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1983

Jim Kobak serves as the Firm’s General Counsel, is a member and former Chair of its Antitrust Practice Group and member of its Corporate Reorganization, ADR and Litigation Departments. A Hughes Hubbard partner for 35 years, Mr. Kobak has had a long and varied career. He currently serves as lead counsel to the trustee for the SIPA liquidations of Lehman Brothers Inc. and MF Global, Inc. and has served in similar roles for other liquidations almost from the inception of the SIPA statute. Mr. Kobak litigates in many forums at every level, including state and federal courts, from Bankruptcy Court to the Supreme Court of the United States as well as arbitral bodies. He has lectured and written widely, particularly on antitrust and intellectual property matters, has taught substantive antitrust and intellectual property courses at leading law schools for nearly two decades and is a former President of the New York County Lawyers’ Association.

Areas of Concentration 

  • SIPC Liquidations
  • ADR and Mediation (IP, Entertainment, General Commercial)
  • Antitrust and IP Litigation and Counseling
  • Antitrust and HSR merger review investigations
  • General Counsel and Chair of Firm’s Practice Standards and Ethics Committee

Awards & Recognitions

  • Recommended in The Legal 500 United States in the area of Securities Litigation - Defense (2016).
  • Listed in Euromoney’s Guide to the World's Leading Competition and Antitrust Lawyers and Super Lawyers since 2008.
  • New York County Lawyers’ Association Boris Kostelanetz President’s Medal (2006).
  • New York County Lawyers’ Association (with firm), for outstanding support of NYCLA and contributions to the honor of the legal profession (January 2000).
  • ABA Antitrust Section, for Services and Commitment to Antitrust Section (1999-2000).
  • 18thRossman Memorial Award (Journal of Patent and Trademark Office Society) (1991).

Selected Matters

  • Lead Counsel to SIPA Trustee for the Liquidation of Lehman Brothers, Inc. and MF Global, Inc. and earlier in liquidations of Weis Securities, Inc., A.R. Baron & Co. Inc., and New Times Securities Services, Inc.
  • Redington v. Touche Ross & Co. – Argued case in United States Supreme Court.
  • Patent/Antitrust, Trademark, Unfair Competition and Copyright Matters for not-for-profits, publishers, pharmaceutical companies and consumer products companies.
  • NYPIRG v. Whitman – Representation of NYPIRG (pro bono) in consolidated appeals concerning New York’s implementation of Title V of the Clean Air Act. 

Professional Activities

  • Lecturer, University of Virginia Law School (Antitrust and Intellectual Property) (1988–2001).
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Fordham Law School (Patents and Antitrust) (1988–2008).
  • Chair, Intellectual Property Committee, ABA Antitrust Section (1995–1997).
  • President, New York County Lawyers’ Association 2010-2011 (Director, 1988–1993; 1995–1997; 2001–present; Executive Committee, 1996–1997, 2002–2013; Co-Chair, Justice Center, 2014-present; Chair, Task Force on Professionalism, 2006– 2010; Chair, Committee on Trade Regulation, 1987–1988; Chair, Committee on Changing Trends in the Profession, 1990–1994; Chair, Committee on Law Reform, 1994–1997; Chair, Library Committee, 1997–2010; Member, Ethics Institute and Ethics Committee, 1998–present).
  • President, New York County Lawyers’ Association Foundation (2005–2010).
  • Founder, Secretary by appointment, NYCLA American Inn of Court (1993–2007).
  • Member by Appointment, ABA Presidential Task Force on the Future of Legal Education (2013-2014).
  • ember by Appointment, Chief Judge’s Advisory Committee on the Justice Gap (2013-2015).
  • Delegate to the Houses of the American and New York State Bar Associations.
  • Life Fellow, American Bar Association Foundation. 
  • Life Fellow, New York State Bar Association Foundation. 
  • Member, National Council on State Courts. 
  • American Bar Association Alternate Dispute Resolution Section 
  • Member, Federal Bar Council for the Second Circuit (Bankruptcy Committee).
  • Life Member, American Law Institute (Consultative groups on unfair competition, complex litigation and Article 2 of the UCC.
  • Member, ABA Center on Professional Responsibility, ABA Corporate Counsel Connection and Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers.
  • New York City Bar Association (Member at various times of Committees on Trade Regulation, Federal Courts, Federal Legislation, Nuclear Technology and Law, Young Lawyers Committee and Arbitration Committee; currently member, Professional Responsibility Committee).
  • American Bankruptcy Institute (Member, Ethics and Professional Compensation Committee).
  • Intellectual Property Committee, U.S. Council on International Business.

Practice Areas

Arbitration & Alternative Dispute Resolution
Corporate Reorganization and Bankruptcy
Intellectual Property
Professional Responsibility

Education Information

Harvard University, A.B., 1966 (magna cum laude)

University of Virginia, LL.B., 1969 Fraternity: Order of the Coif

Law Review: Virginia Law Review (The Associate Editor 1967-69)

Bar Admissions

New York (1972)

New Jersey (1996)