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. Rob has served as lead counsel in cases in various jurisdictions, including the North Carolina Business Court and other state and federal courts in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Mississippi and Louisiana. He has frequently defended financial institutions in consumer lending disputes and lawsuits arising from their service as fiduciaries.
Rob chairs the firm's Litigation Department. He served as president of the Mecklenburg County Bar, was appointed by the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court to the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice, and serves as a member of the board of governors of the North Carolina Bar Association. He serves on the executive committee of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law board of directors and previously served as its co-chair. For his professional work and civic engagement, North Carolina Lawyers Weekly recognized Rob as Lawyer of the Year in 2017.
Honors & Awards
- North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, Lawyer of the Year, 2017
- The Best Lawyers in America, commercial litigation, litigation - banking and finance, 2010-20; Charlotte Litigation - Banking and Finance Lawyer of the Year, 2016, 2019
- North Carolina Super Lawyers, business litigation, 2006-20; Top 100 North Carolina Super Lawyer, 2016-20; Top 25 Charlotte Super Lawyer, 2016-20
- Business North Carolina, Power 100, 2020
- The Mecklenburg Times Icons & Phenoms Awards, Icon, 2019
- 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
- Law Clerk, The Honorable Martin L.C. Feldman, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana,
Obtained the dismissal of investors in a professional school from multiple lawsuits filed by former students in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina and the North Carolina Business Court. Krebs v. Charlotte School of Law, LLC, 2017 WL 3202 831 (W.D.N.C. July 27, 2017); Herrera v. Charlotte School of Law, LLC, 2018 WL 944396 (N.C. Bus. Ct. Feb. 14, 2018) (multiple cases).
Successfully defended producer of water treatment chemicals in False Claims Act lawsuit pending in the North Carolina Business Court.
Represented major regional state-chartered 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.
Served as co-counsel for major telecommunications company in lawsuit involving fraudulent transfer claims asserted by bankruptcy litigation trustees. The lawsuit was pending in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina and settled after two-week trial.
Obtained reversal of trial court's dismissal of fraudulent transfer action, convincing the North Carolina Court of Appeals in a matter of first impression 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).
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).
Consumer Lending Disputes
Represented lender in putative class action alleging violations of the Truth-in-Lending Act. The 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 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.
Filed amicus brief in two U.S. Supreme Court cases on behalf of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law urging the Court to rule that partisan gerrymandering is subject to judicial review and proposing constitutional standards for the Court to apply. Common Cause v. Rucho and Lamone v. Benisek.
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 judgment dismissing financial services company in employment action alleging violations of Title VII and Section 1983. Lawrence v. Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America, 2018 WL 4186417 (W.D.N.C. Aug. 31, 2018).
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
- Feb. 3, 2020
- Jan. 22, 2020
- Dec. 16, 2019
- Nov. 14, 2019
- Aug. 15, 2019
- July 17, 2019
- March 12, 2019
- Jan. 28, 2019
- Aug. 15, 2018
- July 18, 2018
- July 16, 2018
- June 28, 2018
- Jan. 30, 2018
- Sept. 18, 2017
- Eight Named “Lawyer of the Year”Aug. 16, 2017
- July 28, 2017
- June 22, 2017
- Jan. 26, 2017
- 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
101 N. Tryon St., Suite 1900
Charlotte, NC 28246Oct. 24, 2019
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
101 S. Tryon St., Suite 3500
Charlotte, NC 28280March 26, 2019
UNC School of Law
160 Ridge Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27514Jan. 19, 2019
Goodwill Opportunity Campus
5301 Wilkinson Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28208May 23, 2018
Mecklenburg County Bar & Foundation Center
2850 Zebulon Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28208May 19, 2017
Mecklenburg County Bar & Foundation Center
2850 Zebulon Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28208Oct. 21, 2016
- A Day in the Courtroom: Observation of a Trade Secrets Mock Trial2014 North Carolina Bar Association Litigation Section Annual Meeting
Wilmington, North CarolinaJune 19, 2014
Charlotte School of Law
2145 Suttle Avenue
Charlotte, NCSept. 17, 2011
- 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,
- North Carolina Bar Association, Board of Governors, 2017-present
- American Law Institute, Elected Member, 1995-present; Restatement of the Law (Third) Agency, Advisor, 1997-2002
- Duke Law School, Board of Visitors, 2006-present
- Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Board of Directors, 1997-present; Chair, 2005-07
- Legal Aid of North Carolina, Board of Directors, 2013-19
- U.S District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Merit Selection Panel, 2016-17
- North Carolina Business Court, Advisory Rules Committee, 2015-16
- American Bar Foundation Fellow
- Litigation Counsel of America Senior Fellow
- Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Board of Trustees, 2013-present; Vice Chair, 2016-18; Chair,
2018-present; CommonSpark Campaign, Co-Chair
- Arts & Science Council of Charlotte/Mecklenburg, Board of Directors, 2012-present; Chair, 2017-18
- TreesCharlotte, Board of Directors, 2013-present
- University of North Carolina Press, Advancement Council, 2017-present
- The Greater Charlotte Cultural Trust, Board of Directors, 2008-12; 2013-17
- Levine Museum of the New South, Board of Directors, 2003-12; Chair, 2008-10