Preparatory Education :
Legal Education :
Awards & Recognition:
Robert Klein’s practice focuses primarily on the defense of complex professional liability cases, insurance coverage and bad faith litigation, and corporate and commercial litigation for both plaintiffs and defendants. Mr. Klein has extensive experience in class action litigation involving insurance coverage, underwriting, rate and premium matters.
Representative Jury Trials : Mr. Klein has tried in excess of one hundred and fifty jury trials and more than forty legal malpractice cases. Notable results include Bowmar Instrument Corporation vs. Arky, Freed, et al., which resulted in a landmark Supreme Court decision, directing a verdict in favor of the Arky Freed Law Firm, given Plaintiff’s failure to prove the express theory of liability that had been pled in the case. The Arky decision from the Florida Supreme Court remains the leading authority outlining the need for detailed theories of liability in a legal malpractice complaint. Arky, Freed, Stearns, Watson, Greer, Weaver & Harris, P.A. vs. Bowmar Instrument Corporation, 537 So. 2d 561 (Fla. 1989). Other notable trials include the first “case within a case” in Florida, Sure Snap Corporation vs. Baena, et al., which resulted in a jury verdict determining that the Defendant attorneys would never have prevailed in the underlying liability claims, which had been barred on procedural grounds, allegedly as a result of the attorneys’ negligence, and Salomon v. Guralnick, another “case within a case.” The jury determined that the Defendant attorney would not have prevailed in a 1983 action against the City of Jacksonville, where the underlying Federal action had been dismissed as a result of an admitted violation of the applicable statute of limitations.
Notable Appellate Decisions :
Mr. Klein has been involved as primary appellate counsel in over one hundred and fifty appellate decisions.
Notable decisions include the first case in Florida adopting judgmental immunity as a defense in a legal malpractice action, Kaufman v. Cahen, 507 So.2d 1152 (Fla. 3rd DCA 1987); the first appellate decision in Florida to determine that there was no joint liability as between predecessor and successor counsel where the successor attorney had ample opportunity to obviate errors caused by the original attorney, Frazier v. Effman, 501 So.2d 114 (Fla. 4th DCA 1987); and the first case adopting “abandonment” as a defense to a legal malpractice action in Florida: Pennsylvania Insurance Guarantee Association vs. Sikes, 597 So.2d 1051 (Fla. 3rd DCA 1991).
More recently, Mr. Klein and the Firm have been successful in affirming civil decisions striking legal malpractice claims as sham pleadings, a procedure that is being routinely used by the Firm to secure the dismissal of frivolous lawsuits. Examples include Gottfried v. Kutner, 2011 WL 2569529, Opinion decided June 29, 2011 and Esposito vs. Bluestein & Wayne, 2009 WL 3019005 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2010).
The Firm was also successful in affirming a summary judgment on a complex statute of limitations issue in a legal malpractice claim. Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal agreed that the underlying cause of action had accrued well prior to the date that the claim was actually filed against the Firm’s client. McLeod v. Bankier, 2011 WL 2200705, 36 FLW D1214 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011).
In what was perhaps the Firm’s most notable appellate decision over the course of the last several years, the Firm was successful in convincing the Florida Supreme Court to limit its earlier opinion in Cowan Liebowitz & Latman vs. Kaplan, 902 So.2d 755 (Fla. 2005), which had allowed the prosecution of legal malpractice claims by way of assignment. In David J. Stern v. Security National Servicing Corporation, 969 So.2d 962 (Fla. 2007), the Supreme Court of Florida reaffirmed earlier case law to the effect that legal malpractice claims are not generally assignable in all but limited circumstances.
Mr. Klein has written numerous briefs as amicus curiae before the Florida Supreme Court on behalf of insurance carriers, the Florida Medical Association, the Florida Hospital Association, the American Medical Association and the Florida Defense Bar Association. He has lectured extensively for the Florida Bar on matters involving legal malpractice and trial practice, including presentation of several one week seminars on trial techniques. He is a frequent speaker at the ABA’s National Conference on Legal Malpractice. He has also authored several chapters on litigating legal malpractice actions for the Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education textbook on Professional Liability of Lawyers.