Courthouse Plaza
199 Main Street
Burlington, VT 05402-0190
ph: 802-863-2375
dir: 802-846-8327
Overview

Distinguished litigator, advisor, and scholar.

With a distinguished career spanning more than fifty years, Robert Rachlin is retired from active practice, but continues as the firm’s senior director and serves as co-general counsel, having served as general counsel before his retirement. He is possibly one of the most prolific attorneys in Vermont. His experience encompasses a broad spectrum of civil litigation on behalf of clients ranging from an international building materials company to a major manufacturer of farm equipment to a worldwide manufacturer of electronics. He has tried cases before both state and federal courts and has significant appellate experience in the United States Courts of Appeals for the First and Second Circuits. An experienced mediator, Mr. Rachlin has been called on by courts and attorneys to assist in the amicable resolutions of disputes. He has participated in mediation demonstrations for Lex Mundi in Geneva and Vancouver, and has attended the Mediation Workshop presented by the Harvard Law School Program of Instruction for Lawyers.

Known for consistently delivering the highest standard of work and as an advocate for the ethical disposition of legal services, Mr. Rachlin serves as the one of the firm’s risk management counsel, has taught ethics, remedies, and corporations at Vermont Law School and served from 2013 to 2015 as the Vermont Chair of The America College of Trial Lawyers, of which he has been elected Fellow since 1989. Additionally, Mr. Rachlin exemplifies the firm’s commitment to community through his ongoing and active involvement, largely at his own expense, in pro bono representation of poor criminal defendants in southeastern Missouri and Arkansas. He served as State's Attorney of Caledonia County, Vermont from 1961 to 1964.

Education

Yale University, B.A. philosophy, 1957

University of Chicago, J.D., 1960

Admissions & Clerkships

Vermont, 1960

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1961

U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont, 1961

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, 1982

U.S. Supreme Court, 1982

U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, 1999

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 2002

U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 2005

Memberships & Activities
  • American Bar Association, 1960-2017
  • Fellow: American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Life Member: American Law Institute
  • Vermont Bar Association
  • Commercial, instrument-rated pilot and Certified Flight Instructor, including instruments (inactive)
  • Concert pianist and composer
Accolades & Awards
  • Vermont Bar Association Distinguished Service Award, 2002
  • New England Super Lawyers®: Top 100, 2014
  • Continually listed in Best Lawyers® since the first edition
  • Chambers and Partners, 2005-2017
Community Involvement
  • University of Vermont:  Lecturer, Department of German & Russian; Lecturer, Department of Classics; Chair, Advisory Board of the Carolyn and Leonard Miller Center for Holocaust Studies.
  • Vermont Historical Society, Trustee
  • University of Vermont,  Adjunct Faculty, Department of German and Russian
Languages

French

German

Hebrew

Italian

Spanish

Yiddish

Publications & Presentations

Presentations:

Mr. Rachlin has lectured to bar groups and associations nationwide and internationally on trial advocacy and mediation and has authored a lead article in the Albany Law Review on education labor law. In April, 2006, he delivered the seventeenth annual Harry H. Kahn Memorial Lecture at the University of Vermont on "Carl Schmitt and the Jurisprudence of Exclusion." He presented his paper, "What was Jewish about the 'Jewish Influence' on German Law as Viewed by Nazi Legal Theorists?" at the 11th Lessons and Legacies Conference, a widely recognized conference of Holocaust scholars, in Boca Raton, Fla., in November 2010.

Publications:

Mr. Rachlin co-edited (with Professor Alan Steinweis of the University of Vermont) a collection of scholarly essays entitled The Law in Nazi Germany: Ideology, Opportunism, and the Perversion of Justice, published in March, 2013 by Berghahn Books (Oxford and New York). He contributed an essay to that volume: Roland Freisler and the Volksgerichtshof: the Court as an Instrument of Terror.

He has published other scholarly articles and book chapters in publications on the Holocaust, and has also published articles on technology and the law, on aviation, and book reviews.

A sampling of articles published by Mr. Rachlin includes:

  • Author, What was “Jewish” about the “Jewish Influence” on German Law as Portrayed by Nazi Legal Theorists, in Hilary Earl and Karl A. Schleunes, eds., Lessons and Legacies XI, (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2014), pp. 250-261

  • Author, Anthony Haswell: Editor and Balladeer, 5 The Walloomsack Review (May 2011)
  • Author, The 1798 Sedition Act and the East-West Political Divide in Vermont, 78 Vermont History 123 (Summer/Fall 2010)
  • Author, Review: Carl Schmitt - Constitutional Theory, published on H-German in H-Net Reviews (October 2009)
  • Author, From Weimar to Auschwitz: Carl Schmitt and the Jurisprudence of Exclusion from Wolfgang Mieder and David Scrase, eds., Reactions to the Third Reich: Then and Now, pages 23-50 (The University of Vermont Center for Holocaust Studies, Burlington, Vermont, 2009)
  • Author, Review: Schmitt, Carl - The Concept of the Political, published on H-German in H-Net Reviews (October 2007)
  • Author, Seven Habits of Effective Lawyers, 33 Vermont Bar Journal 1 (Summer 2007)
  • Author, Review: Paul Orgel, piano - Music from the Holocaust (CD), 10 Bulletin of the Center for Holocaust Studies No. 2, page 6 (Spring 2006)
  • Author, Review: Diemut Majer - Non-Germans” under the Third Reich: The Nazi Judicial and Administrative System in Germany and Occupied Eastern Europe, with Special Regard to Occupied Poland, 1939-1945, 9 Bulletin of the Center for Holocaust Studies No. 1, page 13 (Fall 2004)
  • Author, Felix Kersten: Himmler’s Doctor and the Eleventh-Hour Rescue Operation from David Scrase, Wolfgang Mieder, and Katherine Quimby Johnson, eds., Making a Difference: Rescue and Assistance During the Holocaust: Essays in Honor of Marion Pritchard (The University of Vermont Center for Holocaust Studies, Burlington, Vermont, 2004)
  • Author, Growing Old With Judge Posner, 29 Vermont Bar Journal 20 (Summer 2003)
  • Author, Review: Bezalel Naor - Kabbalah and the Holocaust, 7 Bulletin of the Center for Holocaust Studies No. 2, page 11 (Spring 2003)
  • Author, The Perils of E-mail, Interface Now (December 21, 2001), reprinted as, Examining the Perils of E-mail, Northern New England Technology Newspaper (January 2002)
  • Author, Managing Litigation Risk and Cost, DRM Newsletter (2002)
  • Author, Review: Alan M. Dershowitz - The Genesis of Justice, The Vermont Bar Journal (December 2001)
  • Author, Finland’s Jews and the Final Solution from Wolfgang Mieder and David Scrase, eds., Reflections on the Holocaust: Festschrift in Honor of Raul Hilberg (The University of Vermont Center for Holocaust Studies, Burlington, Vermont, 2001)
  • Author, How were they Saved? Finland, the Second World War, and the Jews, 3 Bulletin of the Center for Holocaust Studies No. 2, page 7 (Spring 1999)
  • Author, Review: Raul Hilberg - The Politics of Memory, 2 Bulletin of the Center for Holocaust Studies No. 1, page 8 (Fall 1997)
  • Author, Developing Labor Law for Vermont Teachers, 40 Albany Law Review 733 (1975-1976)
Reported Cases
  • Carey v. Bayerische Hypo-Und Vereinsbank AG, 370 F.3d 234 (2d Cir. 2004)
  • Cigna Insurance Co. v. Oy Saunatec, Ltd., 241 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2001)
  • Vermont Microsystems, Inc. v. Autodesk, Inc., 88 F.3d 142 (2d Cir. 1996)
  • U.S. Olympic Committee v. Intelicense Corp., S.A., 737 F.2d 263 (2d Cir. 1984)
  • Shop & Save Food Markets, Inc. v. Pneumo Corp., 683 F.2d 27 (2d Cir. 1982)
  • Brattleboro Auto Sales, Inc. v. Subaru of New England, Inc.,633 F.2d 649 (2d Cir. 1980)
  • Dutil v. Mayette, 395 F. Supp. 922 (D. Vt.), aff’d, 517 F.2d 936 (2d Cir. 1975)
  • Fournier v. Canadian Pacific Railroad, 512 F.2d 317 (2d Cir. 1975)
  • St. Johnsbury and Lamoille County R. R. v. Canadian Pacific Ry. Co., 341 F. Supp. 1368 (D. Vt.), aff’d, 469 F.2d 1395 (2d Cir. 1972)
  • Ryan v. St. Johnsbury & Lamoille County R. R., 290 F.2d 350 (2d Cir. 1961)
  • Sherman v. Ben & Jerry's Franchising, Inc., No. 1:08-CV-207, 2009 WL 3579763 (D. Vt. October 26, 2009)
  • Sherman v . Ben & Jerry's Franchising, Inc., No. 1:08-CV-207, 2009 WL 2462539 (D. Vt. August 10, 2009)
  • Ameziane v. Obama, Civ. No. 05-392 (ESH), 2009 WL 1158843 (D.D.C. April 30, 2009)
  •  Al Sharbi v. Bush, 601 F. Supp. 2d 317 (D.D.C. 2009)
  • Ameziane v. Obama, Civ. No. 05-392 (ESH), 2009 WL 691124 (D.D.C. March 06, 2009)
  • Murray v. International Business Machines Corporations, 557 F. Supp. 2d 444 (D. Vt. 2008)
  • Al Sharbi v. Bush, 430 F. Supp. 2d 1 (D.D.C. 2006)
  • Cigna Insurance Co. v. Oy Saunatec, Ltd., 59 F. Supp. 2d 163 (D. Mass. 1999)
  • Cigna Insurance Co. v. Oy Saunatec, Ltd., Civ. No. 97-11787-PBS, 1999 WL 527714 (D. Mass. July 15, 1999)
  • Morton v. Allstate Insurance Co., 58 F. Supp. 2d 325 (D. Vt. 1999)
  • Retail Service Associates v. ConAgra Pet Products Co., 759 F. Supp. 976 (D. Conn. 1991)
  • Chabad-Lubavitch of Vermont v. City of Burlington, 754 F. Supp. 372 (D. Vt. 1990)
  • Alpert v. Thomas, 643 F. Supp. 1406 (D. Vt. 1986)
  • Murphy v. Reifenhauser KG Maschinenfabrik, 101 F.R.D. 360 (D. Vt. 1984)
  • Tobias v. Kwiatek, 98 F.R.D. 513 (D. Vt. 1983)
  • Schuppin v. Unification Church, 435 F. Supp. 603 (D.Vt. 1977)
  • Felis v. Felis, 2013 VT 32, 72 A.3d 874 (2013)
  • In re Guite, 2011 VT 58, 190 Vt. 90, 24 A.3d 1192 (2011)
  • Merit Behavioral Care Corp. v. State Independent Panel of Mental Health Providers, 2004 VT 12, 176 Vt. 221, 845 A.2d 359 (2004)
  • Needham v. Coordinated Apparel Group, Inc., 174 Vt. 263, 811 A.2d 124 (2002)
  • White v. Quechee Lakes Landowners' Association, Inc., 170 Vt. 25, 742 A.2d 734 (1999)
  • Rooney v. Medical Center Hospital of Vermont, Inc., 162 Vt. 513, 649 A.2d 756 (1994)
  • Gilman v. Towmotor Corp., 160 Vt. 116, 621 A.2d 1260 (1992)
  • Bradley v. H.A. Manosh Corp., 157 Vt. 477, 601 A.2d 978 (1991)
  • Howard Bank, N.A. v. Estate of Pope, 156 Vt. 537, 593 A.2d 471 (1991)
  • Wade v. Dodge, 156 Vt. 237, 591 A.2d 77 (1991)
  • State v. Garner, 799 S.W.2d 950 (Mo. App. S.D. 1990)
  • Chater v. Central Vermont Hospital, 155 Vt. 230, 583 A.2d 889 (1990)
  • Coty v. Ramsey Associates, Inc., 154 Vt. 168, 573 A.2d 694 (1990)
  • In re Ambassador Ins. Co., Inc., 153 Vt. 417, 571 A.2d 54 (1989)
  • Dingemans v. Board of Bar Examiners, 152 Vt. 494, 568 A.2d 354 (1989)
  • Lillicrap v. Martin, 156 Vt. 165, 591 A.2d 41 (1989)
  • Samuels v. State, 770 S.W.2d 717 (Mo. App. S.D. 1989)
  • Levinsky v. Diamond, 151 Vt. 178, 559 A.2d 1073 (1989)
  • State v. Garner, 760 S.W.2d 893 (Mo. App. S.D. 1988)
  • Coty v. Ramsey Associates, Inc., 149 Vt. 451, 546 A.2d 196 (1988)
  • Vermont Mutual Insurance Co. v. Malcolm, 128 N.H. 521, 517 A.2d 800 (1986)
  • Hartnett v. Medical Center Hospital of Vermont, 146 Vt. 297, 503 A.2d 1134 (1985)
  • Levinsky v. Diamond, 140 Vt. 595, 442 A.2d 1277 (1982)
  • Whitcomb v. Dancer, 140 Vt. 580, 443 A.2d 458 (1982)
  • South Burlington School District v. Calcagni-Frazier-Zajchowski Architects, Inc., 138 Vt. 33, 410 A.2d 1359 (1980)
  • Stevens v. Cohen, 138 Vt. 7, 409 A.2d 604 (1979) Druke v. Town of Newfane, 137 Vt. 571, 409 A.2d 994 (1979)
  • In re Southwestern Vermont Education Association, 136 Vt. 490, 396 A.2d 123 (1978)
  • State v. Ryan, 135 Vt. 491, 380 A.2d 525 (1977)
  • State v. Hebert, 124 Vt. 377, 205 A.2d 816 (1964)
  • State v. Robinson, 124 Vt. 225, 204 A.2d 163 (1964)
  • State v. Auger, 124 Vt. 50, 196 A.2d 562 (1963)
  • State v. Pelletier, 123 Vt. 271, 185 A.2d 456 (1962)
Courthouse Plaza
199 Main Street
Burlington, VT 05402-0190
ph: 802-863-2375
dir: 802-846-8327
cell: 802-734-6280
rrachlin@drm.com
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