Robert J. Gilbert, Attorney

Robert Gilbert Lawyer

Robert J. Gilbert update listing

Real Estate, Environmental Law, Business, General Practice


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Biographical Data

Gilbert & Renton, Andover, MA 1996-Present
Law Offices of Robert J. Gilbert, Andover, MA 1995-1996
Goodwin, Procter & Hoar, Boston, Massachusetts, 1993-1995
Latham & Watkins, San Diego, California, 1988-1993
Harvard University, J.D., cum laude, 1987
Princeton University, A.B., cum laude, 1983

Training and Distinctions

Before establishing his firm in Andover, Massachusetts, Mr. Gilbert conducted a civil litigation practice for seven years at Goodwin, Procter & Hoar (Boston, MA) and Latham & Watkins (Los Angeles and San Diego, CA). He is admitted to practice in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, California, the District of Columbia and Kansas and is a member of the American, Massachusetts, Essex County (board member), and Lawrence (past president) Bar Associations. Before entering private practice, Mr. Gilbert served as law clerk to the Hon. James K. Logan of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. During law school, Mr. Gilbert received the Williston Prize for Contracts, assisted Professor Daniel Meltzer in the revision of Hart & Wechsler's The Federal Courts and the Federal System, participated as an oralist and semi-finalist in the Ames Moot Court Competition, and served as an academic proctor for Harvard College.

Prior to law school, Mr. Gilbert served on the legislative staff of Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, with responsibility for legislation affecting education, civil rights, the judiciary and health care. Mr. Gilbert graduated with honors from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, from which he received the school's R.W. Van de Velde Prize for independent academic work. Mr. Gilbert served as President of the Princeton University Debate Panel and, in 1982, won the National Intercollegiate Championship of the American Parliamentary Debating Society.

Areas of Practice

Mr. Gilbert's litigation practice concentrates in the areas of insurance coverage, real estate, product liability, business and environmental disputes. He practices in all federal and state courts in the Commonwealth, and also handles state and federal litigation throughout New England and the United States.

Insurance Litigation: Mr. Gilbert has handled a diverse spectrum of insurance matters on behalf of corporate and individual policyholders, including coverage for defective products, construction defects and defective building materials, directors & officers liability insurance, the application of retrospective premium endorsements, workers compensation disputes, and first party claims.

Mr. Gilbert's primary area of specialization is environmental and asbestos insurance coverage. He has represented Potentially Responsible Parties in the recovery of more than $200 million in insurance proceeds to pay the costs of defending environmental lawsuits and orders and cleaning up the environment, including liabilities arising under CERCLA, RCRA, the Clean Water Act, and numerous state and local environmental statutes. Mr. Gilbert has successfully represented clients in obtaining insurance proceeds for environmental defense costs and liabilities arising in 24 different states in all regions of the United States as well as internationally. Mr. Gilbert has represented a large agricultural products corporation in a successful litigation to obtain coverage from over 36 insurance companies arising out of a variety of facilities located in Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Illinois and six other midwestern and southern states, with the sites including:

  • chemical and fertilizer manufacturing facilities,
  • pesticide manufacturing plants,
  • chemical storage facilities,
  • oil refineries,
  • municipal landfills,
  • state-licensed waste disposal facilities,
  • grain elevators,
  • agricultural and food research facilities,
  • underground tank farms,
  • gasoline stations, and
  • mining/mine tailing sites.

Mr. Gilbert has represented a major manufacturer of compact discs, phonographic records, cassette tapes and toys in a successful litigation to obtain insurance proceeds from 22 insurers for defense costs and environmental liabilities arising at state-licensed waste disposal facilities, toy manufacturing facilities, record/cassette manufacturing facilities and solvent recycling operations located in Massachusetts, Indiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and several other states across the country.

Mr. Gilbert has represented the Trust Department of a major regional bank, on behalf of managed trusts, in successful negotiations and litigation to obtain insurance proceeds for defense costs and environmental liabilities arising from gasoline stations, metal plating operations, a transmission repair shop and various industrial and manufacturing operations. This also included counseling and representation with respect to the successful remediation, clean closure, sale and redevelopment of contaminated sites in a protected Harbor District.

He has represented a former chemical manufacturer in numerous successful lawsuits to obtain insurance coverage for defense costs, remedial costs, and damages for personal injuries allegedly arising from the dispersal of DDT from manufacturing, formulating and state-licensed disposal facilities. Among the facilities for which insurance proceeds were recovered was the Stringfellow Acid Pits in California, considered one of the nation's most contaminated Superfund sites.

Other representative clients on whose behalf Mr. Gilbert has obtained insurance proceeds for environmental defense costs or remedial costs include a number of major Massachusetts manufacturers (with respect to contamination at manufacturing facilities, waste disposal sites and recycling operations throughout New England); a county government (with respect to methane gas contamination arising from a county-operated landfill); a family-owned high-technology business (with respect to a long-term, slow leak of gasoline from an underground tank on a site owned by the business); an electronics manufacturing firm (with respect to contamination on manufacturing property obtained in a corporate purchase in the 1970s); and a scrap metal recycler (with respect to pollutants escaping to San Diego Harbor).

Current and recent representative engagements in this area include the following:

  • Counsel for a multi-national manufacturer to obtain environmental insurance from primary and excess insurers for up to $20 million in cleanup costs, defense costs, attorney's fees and other damages arising out of two state-issued cleanup orders (successfully resolved in Superior Court for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts).
  • Counsel for a multi-national safety mask manufacturer to successfully recover more than $50 million in asbestos- and silica- related defense and settlement costs (United States District Court for the District of South Carolina).
  • Counsel for a large manufacturer of glass products in an environmental insurance litigation against its comprehensive general liability insurer to recover approximately $1,000,000 in cleanup costs, defense costs, attorney's fees and other damages arising from private, state, and federal lawsuits and cleanup orders (United States District Court for the District of Connecticut).
  • Counsel to the successor of an aerospace manufacturing firm to successfully recover more than $2 million in primary and excess coverage for defense and cleanup costs relating to solvents-contaminated soil and groundwater (state and federal court in Massachusetts).
  • Counsel to the successor of one of the largest silverware manufacturers in the country to obtain more than $1 million in primary and excess coverage for cleanup costs, defense costs, attorney's fees and other damages arising out of state-issued cleanup orders (Superior Court for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts)
  • Counsel for a major midwestern manufacturer to recover several million dollars in defense and environmental cleanup costs arising from five sites in four states (pending in Cook County (Illinois) State Court).
  • Counsel for a regional gasket manufacturer to successfully recover more than $2 million in primary and excess insurance proceeds for asbestos liabilities (United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
  • Counsel for the successor to a major valve manufacturer to recover more than $10 million in asbestos-related defense and settlement costs (pending in Los Angeles (CA) Superior Court)

Other Insurance Cases: Mr. Gilbert has handled numerous insurance matters outside the environmental area. Representative cases include:

  • Successful representation of mutual fund and securities industry companies in obtaining directors & officers liability coverage for claims arising from securities law violations;
  • Trial counsel for an Israeli widow in the successful recovery of $2 million in life insurance proceeds (resolved for above-limits settlement after prevailing on summary judgment in United States District Court for District of Maryland);
  • Counseling to a major tobacco company in a dispute over the application of a retrospective premium endorsement to long-tail environmental and product liability claims;
  • Successful recovery of more than $600,000 in disability insurance benefits (resolved after Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision upholding trial verdict in client's favor)
  • Successful litigation on behalf of a Massachusetts produce company to obtain return premiums under retrospectively-rated workers compensation policies;
  • Successful representation of businesses and individuals to recover insurance proceeds arising out of the failure of roofing and construction products; and
  • Successful representation of businesses and individuals in a variety of first-party and third-party claims.

Real Estate, Business and Products Liability Litigation: A substantial portion of Mr. Gilbert's practice has been devoted to the successful representation of purchasers and sellers of real property, real estate developers and investors, banks and other business enterprises, in civil litigation matters, including class actions and disputes under Massachusetts' consumer protection statute, Mass.Gen.L. ch. 93A.

Mr. Gilbert's current and representative engagements in this area include the following:

  • The Successful defense of a major distributor of tobacco products against a $1.2 billion products liability/Chapter 93A suit brought by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to recover Medicaid expenditures for smoking-related illnesses and nearly 50 personal injury suits alleging smoking-related illnesses (Superior Court for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts).
  • Representation of Northern New England's largest marble and granite fabricator in numerous successful corporate, shareholder and non-competition litigations (Superior Court for the State of New Hampshire.)
  • The successful defense of a Chapter 93A/products liability action against a manufacturer of agricultural growth agents (voluntarily dismissed with prejudice for zero damages upon presentation of FIFRA preemption defense).
  • The successful defense of non-profit clubs and organizations in wrongful death and serious personal injury cases (state and federal courts in Massachusetts).
  • Corporate counsel in numerous shareholder and partnership disputes involving equity stakes, freeze outs and Chapter 93A issues for various software, consumer, real estate, bio-technology and financial services companies.

Mr. Gilbert's practice also includes commercial and real property matters, including successful representation of commercial landlords and real estate development companies. Representative real estate cases have included the successful defense of a large class-action lawsuit brought against a Southern California developer, in which the trial judge (for the first time in California under the relevant statute) ordered the name plaintiffs to pay 100% of the attorney's fees incurred by Mr. Gilbert's client.

Mr. Gilbert also assisted a consortium of insurers in their successful Constitutional challenge in the California Supreme Court to portions of Proposition 103, a voter-passed initiative which would have imposed confiscatory rate-setting standards on automobile, casualty and other insurers in California.

Other representative cases handled by Mr. Gilbert include a litigated dispute in which Mr. Gilbert's client (a commercial landlord) was awarded 95% of its requested damages as well as its attorney's fees against the Resolution Trust Corporation (on behalf of a defunct savings and loan institution); the successful defense of the general partner of a commercial property management firm with respect to various securities claims brought by a limited partner; and a successful rescission action brought on behalf of a realty development firm.

Labor and Employment: In employment matters, Mr. Gilbert has represented both employers and employees in state and federal court and administrative agencies on a wide range of issues. In the employment discrimination field, he has handled matters involving discrimination based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin and disability. He has successfully represented clients and litigated under a spectrum of employment statutes, including the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Davis-Bacon Act, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (a.k.a. WARN or the Plant Closing Act), ERISA and the Weekly Payment of Wages Statute.

Mr. Gilbert's current and recent engagements include the following major matters:

  • Successful representation in a major early retirement ERISA action by a class of employees, arising from the sale of a business unit of a major Massachusetts life insurer (United States District court for the district of Massachusetts).
  • Successful representation in a case of first impression involving compliance with state and federal labor standards in the construction of the Central Artery/Tunnel Project in Boston, Massachusetts (successfully resolved for double damages in United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts).
  • Successful resolution of a case of first impression involving the application of the Americans With Disabilities Act to work-induced mental illness (successfully resolved in United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire).
  • Numerous cases at the MCAD and EEOC and in various state and federal courts addressing discrimination based on gender, race, disability, religion and ethnicity.

Criminal Law Experience

Mr. Gilbert has served as an Essex County Bar Advocate to represent indigent defendants in the criminal courts of Massachusetts. In 1992, Mr. Gilbert served as a special Assistant District Attorney for the San Diego County District Attorney's Office, conducting numerous jury trials to completion.

Publications and Legal Instruction

Mr. Gilbert has served as a contributing editor of The Law of Hazardous Waste: Management, Cleanup, Liability and Litigation, a four-volume treatise published by Matthew Bender & Co., Inc. He also is the author of The Use of Environmental Insurance in Real Estate Transactions, published by the American Bar Association as a separate chapter in a recent treatise on environmental aspects of real estate transactions, and has published on this subject in the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and the Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly. Mr. Gilbert has lectured on issues of environmental insurance coverage for Executive Enterprises and Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc., and he has designed and presented insurance litigation training programs for CLE programs throughout the United States.

Court Admissions

Mr. Gilbert is admitted before the highest courts of Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, California and Kansas, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth and Tenth Circuits, and United States District Courts in Massachusetts, California, and Kansas.

Position Organization Location Duration
School Degree Major Graduation
Harvard Law SchoolJ.D. Law SchoolN/A  
Princeton University Bachelor of Arts
State / Court Date
Indiana
  • Valley Forge Life Ins. Co. v. Liebowitz 2005

  • Valerio v. Putnam Associates, Inc. 1999

  • The Foxboro Company v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. 1996

  • John Hancock Mu. Life Ins. Co. v. Banerji 2006

  • Invensys Systems, Inc. v. Centennial Ins. Co. 2007

  • Eagle Investment Systems Corp. v. Tamm 2001

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Service Type: Private

Update Date: 2020-10-28

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Change Date Change Field Previous Content
2020-11-24Phone+1 9784757580
2020-11-24Bar StatusActive
Robert J. Gilbert
344 North Main Street
Andover, MA 01810
42.673192,-71.1513254

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344 North Main Street
Andover, MA 01810


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