District of Columbia
Duke University, J.D., with high honors, 1987; Notes Editor, Alaska Law Review, 1986-87
Duke University, B.A., magna cum laude, 1984, Angier B. Duke Memorial Scholar
Rob Harrington litigates complex business disputes. He represents corporate clients in a broad range of contract, trade practice and other business matters. He regularly represents financial institutions in consumer lending disputes and in disputes arising from their service as fiduciaries.
Rob's recent work includes successfully defending a putative class action Truth-in-Lending Act claim against a consumer lender in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He also recently resolved a trust-related claim against a major financial institution during trial in the North Carolina Business Court.
Rob chairs the firm's Litigation Department. He is also a leader in bar and civic activities. Rob has served as president of the Mecklenburg County Bar, and he has been appointed by the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court to the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice.
Honors & Awards
- Woodward/White, Inc., The Best Lawyers in America, commercial litigation, litigation - banking and finance, 2010-17; Charlotte Litigation - Banking and Finance Lawyer of the Year, 2016
- North Carolina Super Lawyers, business litigation, 2006-16; Top 100 North Carolina Super Lawyer, 2016; Top 25 Charlotte Super Lawyer, 2016
- Mecklenburg County Bar, Julius L. Chambers Diversity Champion Award, 2015
- Thurgood Marshall College Fund Award of Excellence, 2013
- Duke Law Alumni Association, Charles S. Murphy Award for Achievement in Public Service, 2012
- Uptown Magazine, Charlotte Catalyst Award, 2012
- North Carolina Bar Association, Citizen Lawyer Award, 2009
- Charlotte Business Journal, Diversity in Business Catalyst, 2004
- NAACP-National Office Pro Bono Legal Services Award, 1999
- Martindale-Hubbell, AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated
General Business Litigation
Served as co-counsel for telecommunications company in lawsuit filed by bankruptcy litigation trustee; lawsuit was tried for two weeks in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina before resolution.
Obtained reversal of trial court’s dismissal of fraudulent transfer action, convincing the North Carolina Court of Appeals to recognize claim of “reverse piercing” of the corporate veil. Fischer Investment Capital, Inc. v. Catawba Development Corporation, 689 S.E.2d 143 (N.C. App. 2009).
Represented manufacturer of synthetic textile manufacturing equipment in action filed by textile manufacturer in the U.S. District for the Southern District of Mississippi. Court granted client’s motion to compel arbitration in South Carolina, client’s home jurisdiction.
Defended law firm against claims involving former partner in Louisiana state court trial. Obtained verdict for law firm affirmed on appeal.
Obtained dismissal and affirmance of dismissal of unfair trade practices counterclaim against supplier of building products. National Gypsum Co. v. Ace Wholesale, Inc., 738 So. 2d 128 (La. App. 1999).
Obtained summary judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana declaring Louisiana statutes restricting activities of out-of-state auto-glass repair services to be unconstitutional. Globe Glass & Mirror Co. v. Brown, 917 F. Supp. 447 (E.D. La. 1996).
Consumer Lending Litigation
Represented lender in putative class action alleging violations of the Truth-in-Lending Act and other statutes. U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia granted client’s motion to stay and compel individual arbitration. Hopkins v. World Acceptance Corp., 798 F. Supp. 2d 1339 (N.D. Ga. 2011).
Served as co-counsel for lender in putative class action based on alleged breach of consumer data. The Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated all claims for pretrial proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, which granted clients’ motion to compel individual arbitration and denied plaintiffs’ motion for § 1292 certification. Spinozzi v. LendingTree, LLC, 2009 WL 1259351 (W.D.N.C. May 5, 2009), affirmed, 456 Fed. Appx. 234 (4th Cir. 2011) (per curiam).
Represented lender in North Carolina class action in the North Carolina Business Court in which borrowers claimed violations of various state and federal lending laws. Parties resolved dispute in mediation between dispositive motions and trial.
Defended consumer lenders in several dozen individual actions in state, federal and bankruptcy courts involving claims under state usury laws, state unfair trade practices and debt collection laws, the Truth-in-Lending Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and various other federal and state laws.
Represented bank in multiparty lawsuit involving breach of fiduciary duty and unfair and deceptive trade practices claims arising from the administration of a trust. Lawsuit was resolved during jury trial in the North Carolina Business Court.
Defended national bank serving as executor from multiple actions filed in North Carolina state court challenging disposition of testamentary assets.
Represented national bank serving as trustee in North Carolina state court action to recover amounts owed to trust by decedent’s executor.
Obtained summary judgment for nonprofit organization and its executive director on claims relating to termination of parental rights. Successfully argued on behalf of all defendants, including public bodies, judges and other nonprofit organizations, to affirm the dismissal based on Rooker-Feldman and substantiality doctrines. Stratton v. Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services, 2013 WL 2364587 (4th Cir. May 31, 2013).
Obtained summary judgment for newspaper publishing company on claims of race and national origin discrimination, hostile work environment and retaliation. Delon v. News & Observer Publishing Co., 2007 WL 5433774 (M.D.N.C. Nov. 5, 2007), affirmed, 277 Fed. Appx. 278 (4th Cir. 2008) (per curiam).
Obtained summary judgment for newspaper publishing company on claims of religious discrimination filed by U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. EEOC v. News & Observer Publishing Co., 180 F. Supp. 2d 763 (E.D.N.C. 2001).
Defended transportation company in trial of claims by quadriplegic passenger. Louisiana trial court rendered minimal award for plaintiff, and verdict was affirmed after plaintiff appealed the amount. Hasberry v. RTA, 796 So. 2d 938 (Table) (La. App. 2001).
News & Events
- Eight Attorneys Named "Lawyer of the Year"Aug. 15, 2016
- Jan. 27, 2016
- Jan. 6, 2016
- Robert E. Harrington and Mark W. Merritt Appointed to NC Commission on the Administration of Law and JusticeSept. 8, 2015
- Aug. 18, 2015
- March 20, 2015
- Robert E. Harrington Recognized in The Charlotte Observer's "The Source on Politics - Leutze: 'I want my state back'"March 7, 2015
- Feb. 4, 2015
- Jan. 21, 2015
- Firm Topped North Carolina Rankings in Eight Practice AreasAug. 19, 2014
- May 1, 2014
- Jan. 21, 2014
- Oct. 10, 2013
- Aug. 15, 2013
- April 5, 2013
- Feb. 20, 2013
- Six Shareholders Among State’s Top 100 Attorneys, Two in Top 10Jan. 18, 2013
- Aug. 23, 2012
- August 2012
- June 25, 2012
- April 6, 2012
- Robert E. Harrington Interviewed on WFAE's Charlotte Talks on Giving Back: African Americans and PhilanthropyFeb. 28, 2012
- Seven Shareholders Among State’s Top 100 Attorneys, Two in Top 10Jan. 23, 2012
- Sept. 1, 2011
- May 19, 2011
- Seven Shareholders Included Among State’s Top 100 Attorneys, Two in the Top 10Jan. 21, 2011
- Aug. 9, 2010
- Forty-Six Robinson Bradshaw Attorneys Named North Carolina Super Lawyers, North Carolina Rising Stars for 2010Jan. 28, 2010
- Aug. 10, 2009
- Jan. 23, 2009
- Jan. 23, 2008
- May 18, 2007
- Jan. 26, 2007
- Jan. 18, 2006
- Jan. 4, 2013Charlotte Business Journal
- Dec. 10, 2010South Carolina Lawyers Weekly
- Oct. 14, 2008Robinson Bradshaw Publication
- Mecklenburg County Bar, President, 2012-13
- North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice, Civil Justice Committee, 2015-present
- U.S District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Merit Selection Panel, 2016
- North Carolina Business Court, Advisory Rules Committee, 2015-16
- Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Board of Directors, 1997-present (Chair, 2005-07)
- Legal Aid of North Carolina, Board of Directors, 2013-present
- Duke Law School, Board of Visitors, 2006-present
- American Law Institute, Elected Member, 1995-present; Restatement of the Law (Third) Agency, Advisor, 1997-2002
- American Bar Foundation, Fellow, 2011-present
- Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow, 2010-present
- Law Clerk, The Honorable Martin L.C. Feldman, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, 1987-88
- Arts & Science Council of Charlotte/Mecklenburg, Board of Directors, 2012-present (Chair-Elect, 2016-present)
- Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Board of Trustees, 2013-present (Vice Chair, 2016-present)
- The Greater Charlotte Cultural Trust, Board of Directors, 2008-12; 2013-present
- Levine Museum of the New South, Board of Directors, 2003-12 (Chair, 2008-10)