Robert E. Kohn, Esq.

Rob Kohn litigates technically complex business disputes in federal and state courts, including qui tam actions under the False Claims Act and the California False Claims Act. He brings experience in government contracts, intellectual property, entertainment deals, unfair competition claims and sophisticated business transactions to addressing the practical goals of the parties. Kohn believes that companies and business people should litigate only if necessary. He pursues innovative negotiation strategies, often leading to resolution of seemingly uncompromisable differences, and saving substantial costs.

Kohn serves the Federal Bar Association as Chair of its Federal Litigation Section nationwide. He also serves the American Bar Association as a member of the editorial board of Litigation, the magazine of the ABA’s section of litigation. Before founding Kohn Law Group, Inc. in 2003, he was a partner with McDermott, Will & Emery in Los Angeles. He earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University, and he received his law degree from Duke (with honors) in 1992 before clerking for Judge Joel F. Dubina of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Kohn has extensive litigation experience in California and nationwide, appearing before courts in Arizona, Delaware, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, Texas, Virginia, and Washington State:

  • Obtained federal declaratory relief invalidating a Mississippi statute that allowed a construction subcontractor to stop the payment of money from the project owner to the prime contractor. The Court agreed that binding the money had the same practical effect as a prejudgment attachment of funds — and that Mississippi did not provide fair procedures required by Due Process. Noatex Corp. v. King Constr., LLC, 864 F. Supp. 2d 478 (N.D. Miss. 2012), affirmed, — F.3d —, 2013 WL 5575468 (5th Cir. 2013).
  • Successfully defended the retired founder and majority shareholder of a Navy contracting company against charges that he breached contractual and fiduciary duties in negotiating with two different competitors for the possible sale of the business.  SYS Corp.  v. C Cubed, Inc. (Cal. Super. Ct. – San Diego).
  • Asserted ownership claims and accounting rights arising from a portfolio of entertainment industry assets – including copyrights, trademarks, literary rights and rights of publicity – that had been transferred in a series of transactions involving Stan Lee, the creator of Spider-Man, Iron Man, The X-Men and many other stories and characters. Stan Lee Media, Inc. v. Lee, No. CV07-0225 SVW (SSx) (C.D. Cal.).
  • Asserted trade secret and fiduciary duty claims by one partner against its co-partner in a teaming joint venture created to compete for military contracts to design and supply weapons systems.  In re Sealed Case.
  • Together with counsel for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Kohn argued and won an appeal of a bankruptcy order that had disallowed a “representative” claim (similar to a class action) for restitution of $300 million based on fraudulent mortgage lending practices. AARP v. First Alliance Mortgage Co. (In re First Alliance Mortgage Co.), 269 B.R. 428 (C.D. Cal. 2001).
  • Asserted patent infringement claims against a foreign manufacturer on behalf of a U.S. firm whose people had invented microchip designs for creating the Digital Visual Interface (“DVI”) standard that flat-panel computer monitors use to receive image data. The DVI technology is also used to transmit image data in “HDMI” home-entertainment systems. Silicon Image, Inc. v. Genesis Microchip, Inc., 271 F. Supp. 2d 840 (E.D. Va. 2003).
  • Defended claims of patent infringement and fraud arising from an international venture to develop, manufacture and distribute medical devices used for warming intravenous fluids. The case settled upon a stipulated judgment establishing that one of Kohn’s clients had co-invented the innovations claimed in the patent. Sanko Co., Ltd. v. Automatic Medical Technologies, Inc., No. CV03-7242 GPS (FMOx) (C.D. Cal.).
  • Asserted antitrust claims based on the defendant’s conduct of fraudulently stopping competition through assertion of patent rights. The defendant had falsely claimed to be the owner of the critical patent for reverse osmosis and desalinating water – when, in fact, the U.S. Department of the Interior had funded the development of the patent under a government research contract. Hydranautics v. FilmTec Corp., No. 3:93-cv-476 (S.D. Cal.), aff’d, 2007-1 Trade Cases ¶ 75,646 (9th Cir. Mar. 16, 2007).
  • In a case involving methods for maintaining the secrecy of encryption “keys” used in retail payment networks, Kohn asserted claims against a competitor who raided employees and customers, stole thousands of pounds of electronics gear, and misappropriated technical and business information. Creative Concepts Software, Inc. v. MobileTech Solutions, Inc., No. CV 05-0670 DOC (MLGx) (C.D. Cal. 2008).
  • Kohn successfully defended a claim under Section 7 of the Clayton Antitrust Act asserting that a software company had created an entrenched monopoly by acquiring some of its competitors. The case involved the licensing – and the alleged tying – of applications used to record computer data in two different digital formats on compact discs. Adaptec, Inc. v. Prassi Software USA, Inc., No. 98cv20305 (N.D. Cal.).