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Courtroom Skills for Pro Bono Attorneys

Speaker(s): Katie Danielson, Robert E. Borton, Rollin B. Chippey II
Recorded on: Sep. 21, 2012
PLI Program #: 43808

Robert E. Borton


J.D., University of Michigan, Magna Cum Laude, 1972
B.A. English, University of Kansas, 1964


Admitted to Practice in California, U.S. Supreme Court, 9th Circuit,
Various District Courts in California and U.S. Claims Court


Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, San Francisco, CA

  • Special Counsel, 2009 - Present

Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe, San Francisco office

  • Partner, Litigation - 1982-1989; 1992 to 2009
  • Special Counsel - 1976-1981
  • Associate - 1972-1975
  • Shareholder/Partner concentrating on complex commercial litigation with an emphasis on class actions, consumer, civil rights, real estate and banking issues
  • Managed Heller, Ehrman's Pro Bono practice 1994-2008
  • In charge of the firm's litigation training and trial advocacy skills training program
  • Chair, Firm-Wide and San Francisco Pro Bono Committees

Adjunct Professor, Berkeley Law School (Boalt Hall), University of California

  • 1982-Present

McShane & Felson, Oakland, California

  • Partner - 1989 to 1992
  • Commercial litigation practice with an emphasis on real estate issues, including construction defect litigation, broker commission and standard of care cases, easement disputes, lease and license litigation. Other significant cases include consumer class action defense, wrongful death, breach of trust

United States Navy (Lieutenant, Supply Corps, USN) 1964-1969


  • Member, American Bar Association (Litigation Section), State Bar of California (Litigation Section), Bar Association of San Francisco, Alameda County Bar Association
  • Adjunct Professor, University of California, Berkeley Law School (Boalt Hall), 1982-present (Pretrial Litigation Practice)
  • Adjunct Professor, University of San Francisco School of Law, 1976 (Commercial Law)
  • Member, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, 1982-present; Co-Chairman, 1986-88, Member Executive Committee, 1984-88
  • Board Member, San Francisco Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, 1985-2010, Member, Long Range Planning Committee, 1989-2006
  • Board Member, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, 1988-98
  • Board Member, Bar Association of San Francisco, 1992-96; Chair, Equal Access Committee; Co-Chair, Committee on Minority Employment
  • Recipient of State Bar President's Pro Bono Service Award, 1987; Robert Sproul Pro Bono Award (San Francisco Lawyers' Committee Award for Legal Services), 1990; San Francisco Bar Association Award of Merit, 1992; Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center Roll Call for Justice Award, 2002; Public Interest Clearinghouse, Opening Doors to Justice Award, 2004; Phillip Burton Immigration & Civil Rights Award (Immigrant Legal Resource Center), 2006; American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award, 2007.
  • Faculty Member, Hastings Advocacy Program, various years

Katie Danielson

Katie has been the Senior Supervising Attorney with Justice and Diversity Center’s Homeless Advocacy Project since 2006. She has extensive experience representing clients in unlawful detainer cases as well as Supplemental Security Income matters. In addition to overseeing HAP’s SSI project, Katie supervises second and third year law students through the Summer Associates in Public Service program, which pairs summer associates at San Francisco firms with pro bono matters. Katie is also an Adjunct Professor with the Golden Gate University’s School of Law’s Clinical and Skills Program. She is a graduate of San Francisco State University and New College of California School of Law.

Rollin B. Chippey, II, is a partner in Morgan Lewis's Litigation Practice. Mr. Chippey led Morgan Lewis's trial team in its representation of Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp., where he and his partners obtained a $577 million verdict for Asahi after a three-month jury trial in California state court in the spring of 2011. The verdict was the second largest jury verdict in the United States for 2011.

Mr. Chippey's practice includes broad civil litigation representations in state and federal courts, including complex commercial matters, trade secrets, and employment disputes, as well as a full range of real estate matters, including land use entitlements and partnership disputes.

Mr. Chippey’s trial experience includes bench and jury trials in both state and federal courts involving such matters as misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of an option agreement to purchase real property,  breach of contract claims in connection with large military procurement contracts,  breach of lease issues, mortgage banking-related issues, manufacturers of polyurethane applications, claims of trademark infringement and antitrust violations, landlord-tenant disputes, and claims regarding a stock option plan. His employment litigation experience includes defense of employers in complex wrongful termination, sexual harassment, and racial discrimination cases.  He also has successfully briefed and argued a number of matters before the California Court of Appeal. 

Mr. Chippey has a legal and technical background that includes work at a nationally prominent law firm and a law clerk position with Judge Nathaniel R. Jones, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Mr. Chippey is a member of various national and local bar associations, including the Charles Houston Bar Association of Oakland and the Bar Association of the San Francisco. He is a former director of the Northern California Division of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers.

Mr. Chippey's civic involvements include service on the Board of NatureBridge, a national education organization introducing school children to the wonders of the natural world. He also served on the Board of Directors of Equal Rights Advocates and the Homeless Prenatal Program of San Francisco.  

Mr. Chippey is admitted to practice in California and before all California state courts, the U.S. District Court for the Northern and Southern Districts of California, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.