Robert LaRocca - Director - Professional Headshot

Robert J. LaRocca

“Keep everything as simple as possible, but nothing more simple than possible.”

two_column_grid_section

MATTERS

ADVANCED FLUID SYSTEMS V. HUBER AND LIVINGSTON & HAVEN

Kohn Swift’s client, Advanced Fluid Systems, spent six years inventing a complicated hydraulic launch system for rockets that service the International Space Station. An engineer stole all the blueprints and used those to divert contracts worth millions of dollars away from AFS. Kohn Swift tried the case to verdict in our favor, and the Court of Appeals upheld the verdict. The court awarded AFS $1.1 million in lost profits, plus $1 million in punitive damages and an additional $1 million in exemplary damages for willful and malicious trade secret misappropriation. The case made precedential rulings concerning Pennsylvania’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act.

MORE

RANDOM HOUSE, INC. V. ROSETTA BOOKS, LLC

Kohn Swift defended a small e-book company from publishing giant Random House’s attempts to block it from selling electronic versions of previously published works by noted authors such as Kurt Vonnegut, William Styron, and Robert Parker. In a landmark decision on digital rights, the Court found that Random House’s license agreements to publish printed books did not include the rights to sell e-books. The Court’s opinion is now required reading in law school copyright courses.

biography_section

Robert LaRocca has litigated for clients in a wide variety of fields over his four decades with Kohn Swift, representing clients in matters including antitrust, securities, patent infringement, trademark infringement, and theft of trade secrets.

Before joining Kohn Swift in 1978, Mr. LaRocca clerked for a federal trial court judge in Philadelphia, the Honorable Edward R. Becker. He has served as a lecturer in law on the adjunct faculty of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a board member of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia and the Settlement Music School.

Mr. LaRocca is past chair of the Lawyers’ Advisory Committee for the Third Circuit. He has participated in cases in the Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Eighth, Eleventh and Federal Circuits.

Mr. LaRocca graduated from Rutgers (Newark) Law School in 1977, with high honors, where he was the Research and Topics Editor, Rutgers Law Review. Mr. LaRocca graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1968 and is and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Robert plays the clarinet with several different clarinet/cello/piano trios. He also enjoys spending time with his grandchildren.

ADMISSIONS

  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Eleventh and Federal Circuits
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

HONORS

  • Mr. LaRocca received an AV Preeminent® rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, was elected to the American Law Institute, and. has been recognized to the list of Pennsylvania Super Lawyers.
  • Robert also received an award from Community Legal Services for pro bono work as part of a team that invalidated a Pennsylvania law that prohibited former inmates from working in certain fields.

REPRESENTATIVE CASES INCLUDE

  • Advanced Fluid Sys., Inc. v. Huber, 295 F. Supp. 3d 467 (M.D. Pa. 2018) (theft of trade secrets involving rocket launch system)
  • Authors Guild v. Google, 721 F.3d 132 (2d Cir. 2013) (Copyright Infringement)
  • Barnes v. American Tobacco, 161 F.3d 127 (3d Cir. 1999) (claim for medical monitoring against tobacco companies)
  • Big Apple BMW v. BMW, 974 F.2d 1358 (3d Cir. 1992); (group boycott antitrust case)
  • Bloch v. SmithKline (E.D.Pa.) 1988 U.S. Dist. Lexis 12397 (E.D.Pa. 1988) and 1987 U.S. Dist. Lexis 2795 (E.D.Pa. 1987) (monopolization and patent abuse in market for prescription drug)
  • Breard v. Sachnoff, 941 F.2d 142 (2d Cir. 1991) (securities fraud tax shelter)
  • Creative Copier Services v. Xerox, 114 F.Supp.2d 1070 (D. Kan. 2000) and 2005 WL 2175138 (D. Conn. 2005) (antitrust, patent, copyright claims)
  • ELSCO v. Motorola, (E.D. Pa.) 782 F.Supp. 1016 (E.D. Pa. 1991), 785 F.Supp. 17 (E.D. Pa. 1992) (Lanham Act trade disparagement case involving semiconductor industry)
  • Golden Valley v. Weaver Popcorn, 837 F.Supp. 1444 (N.D. Ind.), aff’d, 11 F.3d 1072 (Fed. Cir. 1993) (patent fraud case in microwave popcorn industry)
  • Gulfstream v. Gulfstream Aerospace, 995 F.2d 425 and 995 F.2d 414 (3d Cir. 1993) (trial of price fixing of aircraft)
  • In re Linerboard Antitrust, 305 F.3d 145 (3d Cir. 2002) and 203 F.R.D. 199 (E.D.Pa. 2001) (national class output restriction case involving corrugated containers)
  • In re Waste Haulers Antitrust, Civil 87-3717 (E.D. Pa.) (national price fixing class action case involving waste hauling industry)
  • In re Chlorine and Caustic Soda Antitrust Litigation, Civil 86-5428 (E.D.Pa.) (national price fixing class action case involving manufacturers of chlorine)
  • Mike’s Train House v. Lionel, 472 F.3d 398 (6th Cir. 2006) (theft of trade secrets in model train industry)
  • Mitchell Partners v. Irex, 497 Fed. App. 259 (3d Cir. 2012) (deprivation of minority shareholder rights)
  • Parkway v. City of Philadelphia, 980 F.2d 724 (3d Cir. 1992) and 590 A.2d 79 (Commonwealth Ct 1991) (abuse of city police power to obtain private property)
  • Random House v. Rosetta Books, 283 F. 3d 490 (2nd Cir. 2002) (copyright of e-books)
  • Roberts Filter v. CPC, 1993 U.S. Dist. Lexis 15119 (E.D. Pa.) (Lanham Act unfair trade practices, misrepresentation, commercial defamation, involving water purification systems)
  • Schutte v. Maleski, et al., 1993 U.S. Dist. Lexis 8332 (E.D. Pa. 1993) and 1993 U.S. Dist. Lexis 6980 (E.D.Pa. 1993) (ERISA class action concerning State of Pennsylvania’s deprivation of pension rights)
  • Stepnowski v. Hercules Inc, 2006 WL 1050285 (E.D. Pa. 2006) (ERISA)
  • Sulfuric Acid Antitrust Litigation 703 F. 3d 1004 (7th Cir. 2012) (collusive conduct in sulfuric acid production)
  • Tabas v. Tabas, 47 F.3d 1280 (3d Cir. 1995) (civil RICO)
  • Taha v. County of Bucks 862 F.3d 292 (3d Cir. 2017) (violation by municipality of privacy law)
  • TMJ Implant v. Dow Chemical, 113 F.3d 1484 (8th Cir. 1997) (product liability class action)
  • Tubbs v. NATA, 531 Fed Appx. 262 (3d Cir. 2013) (overcharges on closing costs)