Fine, Kaplan and Black, R.P.C.

Roberta D. Liebenberg

Roberta D. Liebenberg is a senior partner at Fine Kaplan and Black in Philadelphia, where she focuses her practice on class actions, antitrust and complex commercial litigation, and white collar criminal defense. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Catholic University Columbus School of Law, magna cum laude, where she was the Notes Editor of the Law Review. Thereafter, she served as a law clerk for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Ms. Liebenberg served as one of trial counsel for the plaintiff class in In re Urethanes [Polyether Polyols] Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1616 (D. Kan.). After a four-week trial, a jury returned a verdict for the class against The Dow Chemical Company in excess of $400 million, prior to trebling. Prior to trial, the class had obtained $139.5 million in settlements from the other defendants.

Ms. Liebenberg also served as one of trial counsel in United States v. Stolt Nielsen, S.A., a complex and landmark criminal matter in which she successfully defended a high-level executive charged with violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The charges were all dismissed after a three-week bench trial. United States v. Stolt Nielsen, S.A., 524 F. Supp. 2d 609 and 524 F. Supp. 2d 586 (E.D. Pa. 2007). She also successfully defended Southwest Airlines in an antitrust action brought against it in Love Terminal Partners, L.P. v. City of Dallas, 527 F. Supp. 2d 538 (N.D. Tex. 2007). She has held leadership roles for the plaintiff classes in numerous complex antitrust and consumer class actions.

In May, 2007, Ms. Liebenberg was named as one of The National Law Journal's "50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in America." In 2008, 2009 and 2010, she was named as one of the "Top Ten Super Lawyers in Pennsylvania" in Philadelphia Magazine, the only woman in Pennsylvania ever to receive that honor. In October, 2006, Ms. Liebenberg was named by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell as a "Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania" for her leadership and contributions to the State.

In January 2013, she was the recipient of the inaugural Chambers Women in Law Award for "Outstanding Contributions to Gender Diversity and Equality." In November, 2012, she received the Florence K. Murray Award from the National Association of Women Judges. That Award is given to someone who has opened doors and advanced opportunities for women attorneys. Ms. Liebenberg is also the recipient of the 2008 Sandra Day O'Connor Award by the Philadelphia Bar Association. This Award is conferred annually on a woman attorney who has demonstrated superior legal talent, achieved significant legal accomplishments, and has furthered the advancement of women in both the profession and the community.

In May, 2012, Ms. Liebenberg was selected as one of two inaugural "Leaders in Residence" at The Center for Women in Law at the University of Texas School of Law, which described her as a "nationally-recognized leader in the advancement of women lawyers." In April, 2003, she was named as the first recipient of the Lynette Norton Award by the Pennsylvania Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession. That Award was given to her in recognition of her outstanding litigation skills and mentoring of women attorneys. In April 2010, she was named one of the "Women of Distinction" by The Legal Intelligencer. In December, 2003, she was named as one of the "Women of Distinction" by the Philadelphia Business Journal and the National Association of Women Business Owners, based on her commitment to professional excellence and community involvement.

Every year since 2004, Ms. Liebenberg has been listed in the highest band-level as one of the leading antitrust lawyers in Pennsylvania by the Chambers USA Guide: America's Leading Business Lawyers. The Chambers Guide has described her as "a first-class litigator" and stated that "she truly is one of the most talented and accomplished antitrust lawyers in the country." Since 2006, she has been listed in Best Lawyers in America in the field of Antitrust. Ms. Liebenberg serves as a member of the Best Lawyers Advisory Board.

Ms. Liebenberg served as Chair of the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary from 2006-2007. That Committee performs peer review evaluations of all federal court nominees. Prior to that appointment, she served as the Third Circuit representative on the Standing Committee from 2005-2006. She served as Co-Chair of the Practitioners' Reading Group in connection with the Standing Committee's evaluations of the nominations of Supreme Court Justices Sotomayor and Kagan. From 2003 to 2005, Ms. Liebenberg was a member of the Board of Governors of the ABA, representing Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In addition, she served on the Governing Council of the ABA's Section of Litigation and was the Section's Delegate to the House of Delegates. She also served as Chair of the Class Actions and Derivative Suits Committee of the ABA Section of Litigation. Ms. Liebenberg formerly chaired the Philadelphia Bar Association's Antitrust Committee from 1993-1997 and 2002-2007.

Ms. Liebenberg presently serves as Chair of the American Bar Association's Task Force on Gender Equity. From August, 2008 - August, 2011 she served as Chair of the American Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession, whose first Chair was Hillary Rodham Clinton. In addition, she was Chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession from 1995 to 1997. She also served as Co-Chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association's Women in the Profession Committee from 2005-2007. She also was one of the founders of "DirectWomen," an ABA initiative to identify and train women lawyers to serve as directors on corporate boards, and currently serves as its Vice Chair.

In 2010, Ms. Liebenberg was selected as one of 14 national "Visionary Delegates" for Vision 2020, a national project focused on achieving gender equality and celebrating the 100th anniversary of the enactment of the 19th Amendment. She serves as one of its Vice Chairs and is a member of its Leadership Circle. Ms. Liebenberg was appointed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to the Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness, and now serves as its Co-Chair. Previously, she was appointed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to its Committee on Racial and Gender Bias in the Justice System, where she was Co-Chair of the Gender Bias Committee. In addition, she served as Co-Chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association's Special Committee to Coordinate the Bar's Response to Racial and Gender Bias in the Justice System, as well as its Gender Fairness Task Force.

Ms. Liebenberg is an elected member of the American Law Institute. She has written and lectured extensively on a wide range of subjects, including antitrust, class actions, and expert witness testimony, and issues pertaining to gender, racial and ethnic fairness in the justice system.

Practice Areas

  • Antitrust
  • Class Actions
  • Complex Commercial Litigation
  • White Collar Criminal Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia, 1975
  • District of Columbia, 1976
  • Pennsylvania, 1980
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1980
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Third Circuit, 1980
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1984

Education

  • Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, Washington, District of Columbia, 1975, J.D.
    Honors: magna cum laude
    Law Review: Notes Editor, Catholic University Law Review, 1975
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1970, B.A.
    Honors: With Distinction

Representative Cases

  • Standard Iron Works v. ArcelorMittal, et al., 639 F. Supp. 2d 877 (N.D. Ill. 2009)
  • United States v. Stolt-Nielsen S.A., 524 F. Supp. 2d 609 (E.D. Pa. 2007)
  • Love Terminal Partners L.P. v. City of Dallas, 527 F. Supp. 2d 538 (N.D. Tex. 2007)
  • In re Urethane [Polyether Polyols] Antitrust Litig., 251 F.R.D. 629 (D. Kan. 2008) (class certification granted); 2012 WL 6610878 (D. Kan. Dec. 18, 2012) (summary judgment motion by defendant The Dow Chemical Company denied); Feb. 20, 2013, jury award in excess of $400 million before trebling)
  • In re Linerboard Antitrust Litigation, 305 F. 3d 145 (3d Cir. 2002)
  • In re Providian Financial Corp. Credit Card Terms Litigation, MDL 1301 (E.D. Pa. 2001)
  • Cullen v. Whitman Medical Corp., 197 F.R.D. 136 (E.D. Pa. 2000)
  • In re Polypropylene Carpet Antitrust Litigation, 93 F. Supp. 2d 1348 (N.D. Ga. 2000)

Published Works

  • "Essential Qualities of The Professional Lawyer" (2013) (Author, "Women in the Law: Overcoming Obstacles, Achieving Fulfillment").
  • "The Retention and Advancement of Women at Law Firms – Strategies for Success," US News and World Report, November 2012
  • "A Silver Anniversary – Reflections on Progress Achieved, and Work Still Undone," Beacon, Phila. Bar Assn, Fall 2012
  • "The Scope of Daubert Challenges at the Class Certification Stage After Dukes," Bloomberg/BNA Class Action Report, Feb. 10, 2012
  • "The Importance of Diversity in a Court's Exercise of its Appointment Powers." Counterbalance – National Association of Women Judges, Fall 2011
  • "Plugging the Leaky Pipeline of Women Attorney Attrition," The Young Lawyer, July/August 2011
  • "The Road to Independence: 101 Women's Journeys to Starting Their Own Law Firms" (Contributing Author), 2011
  • "Put Equal Pay for Equal Work at the Top of the Agenda," Philadelphia Daily News, October 20, 2010
  • "Breaking Through The Glass Ceiling – Attaining Equality for Women Lawyers," US News and World Report, October 2010
  • "The Credit Crisis: Women Attorneys Are Being Short Changed," Chicago Lawyer, July 2010
  • "Time to Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act," National Law Journal, April 19, 2010
  • "Give Credit Where Credit is Due," The Legal Intelligencer, April 20, 2010
  • The Woman Advocate (2d ed. 2010) (Chapter 26: "Are We There Yet? In Search of Equality in the Legal Profession")
  • Looking to Improve Outlook for Women Lawyers, Philadelphia Bar Reporter, Vol. 36, No. 2, February 2007
  • "The DirectWomen Institute," Voices & Views, Pa. Bar Assn., Spring 2006
  • Women Lawyers Make Transition to Boardroom, Philadelphia Bar Reporter, Vol. 34, No. 11, November, 2005
  • Assault on Bias: A Pennsylvania Supreme Court Committee Offers Concrete Steps to Improve System, Philadelphia Lawyer, Fall 2003
  • Women-Owned Law Firms: An Alternative Practice Setting, ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, Perspectives, Vol. 8, No. 4, Winter 2000
  • Civil Trial Practice Standards (Contributing Author), American Bar Association, Litigation Section, 1998
  • Trial Practice: The Large Case, Chapter 8, Leveraging with Legal Assistants, ABA Law Practice Management Section, 1993

Speeches/Seminars

  • ABA Midwest Regional Summit for Women General Counsel, Chicago, Il., March 7, 2013
  • NYU Law School Symposium, "Breaking the Glass Ceiling," N.Y., N.Y., March 1, 2013
  • Fifth Annual Women Legal Conference, N.Y., N.Y., June 7, 2012
  • "Developing Leadership Skills for Women Attorneys," ALI-CLE Webinar, June 14, 2012
  • ABA Southwest Regional Summit for Women General Counsel, Houston Texas, March 7, 2012
  • "The Applicability and Scope of Daubert Challenges at Class Certification," 5th Annual Future of Private Antitrust Enforcement Conference, Washington, D.C., December 2011
  • Keynote Speech, Women and Law Division of Indianapolis Bar Association, October 6, 2011
  • Vision 2020, Second Congress, "Pay Equality for Women," Chicago, IL, October 12, 2011
  • Chair, Women's Power Summit on Law & Leadership, Austin, Texas, April 2011
  • Vision 2020, First Congress, "Business, Law and Finance," Phila., PA, Oct. 21, 2010
  • "Why Do We Care About Implicit Bias Affecting Diversity of Law Firms?" ABA Presidential Diversity Commission Program, San Francisco, CA., Aug. 6, 2010
  • Keynote Speech, Lawyers Club of San Diego, May 26, 2010
  • Chair, Women in Law Leadership Academy, Phila., PA, April 29–30, 2010
  • Chair, ABA Regional Summit for Women General Counsel, Phila., PA, April 28, 2010
  • "Women and the Law: Pathways to Leadership," White Plains, NY, March 25, 2010
  • "Class Wars: Has the Standard for Class Certification Changed?," First Annual Great Lakes Antitrust Institute, Columbus, Ohio, November 2009
  • "Removing Bias From Attorney Evaluations," Arlington, VA, Oct. 16, 2009
  • "The Second Annual Women in the Profession Summit," Pa. Bar Institute, Phila., Sept. 24, 2009
  • Diversity Summit, Philadelphia Bar Ass'n, Sept. 22, 2009
  • "The Landscape of Women in the Law" and "Strategies and Best Practices for Women's Advancement in the Legal Profession," Women's Power Summit on Law & Leadership, April 2009, Austin, Texas
  • "Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling," Wash. D.C., April 16, 2009
  • "Plugging the Leaky Pipeline," Pennsylvania Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession, March 2009
  • "Business Development Advice," Webinar, Feb. 26, 2009
  • "First Annual Women in the Profession Summit," Pa. Bar Institute, Phila., June 2008
  • "Practical Views and Advice on Experts," Philadelphia Bar Association, November 2005
  • "Communicating with Absent Class Members," Protecting Consumer Interests in Class Actions, FTC Conference, Washington, D.C., September 2004
  • "Fundamentals of Antitrust Law," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, June 2004
  • Women in Law Leadership Academy, American Bar Association Commission on Women, April 2004
  • "New Amendments to Rule 23," Philadelphia Bar Association, Federal Bench–Bar Conference, 2003
  • "Antitrust: Where Are We in 2002," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, October 16, 2002
  • "The 6th Annual National Institute on Class Actions," American Bar Association, Section of Litigation and the Center for Continuing Legal Education, New York and Chicago, November, 2002
  • ABA Summit on Women, August 2002
  • "Winning by Persuasion–Voir Dire," American Bar Association, 2002
  • "New Strategic and Ethical Challenges for Class Counsel," American Bar Association, Section of Litigation and the Center for Continuing Legal Education, May 2001
  • "Credit Card Litigation," Banking Law in the New Millennium, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, 2002
  • "Working With Your Experts: Practical Tips and Strategies," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA, 2001
  • "The Court's Application of Daubert to Proposed Expert Testimony in Antitrust Cases, and the New Amendments to Fed. R. Evid. 702 and 703," American Bar Association, Section of Litigation Annual Meeting, 2001
  • "Recent Developments in Credit Card Litigation," Consumer Financial Services Litigation, Practicing Law Institute, 2001
  • "Equal Treatment in the Courts," Professional Bar and Legal Departments of Corporate America, Delaware State Bar Association, 2000
  • "Rainmaking, Succeeding as a Woman Advocate," 1998
  • "Voluntary Disclosure Federal Discovery: Effective Strategy and Tactics," Philadelphia Bar Education Center, 1997
  • "Class Action Settlements," Financial Services Litigation, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, 1996
  • "Monopolization," Antitrust Fundamentals, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, 1995
  • "Private Enforcement of the Antitrust Laws – A Plaintiff's Perspective," Antitrust Challenges in the 90's, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, 1995
  • "Third Circuit and Eastern District Cases Interpreting the Continuity Requirement Under 18 U.S.C. Section 1962(c)," RICO Update, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, 1993

Profiles

  • "A Successful Corporate Career and Time for Pro Bono Work," Chambers Women & Diversity, October 5, 2012
  • "In Bobbi They Trust," Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Magazine, June 2009
  • "Liebenberg's Activism Stems From Teaching," Philadelphia Business Journal, Dec. 5, 2003
  • "Superwomen JD's and What You can Learn From Them," Ms. JD, Feb. 26, 2009
  • "A Conversation with Roberta Liebenberg, Chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession," The Woman Advocate Newsletter, Winter 2009
  • "Liebenberg Accepts Sandra Day O'Connor Award," The Legal Intelligencer, Oct. 21, 2008
  • "Roberta Liebenberg," Anapata, May 28, 2010, June 17, 2010, August 13, 2010
  • "One Worth Breaking the Rules For," Phila. Legal Intelligencer, August 10, 2000

Honors and Awards

  • "Outstanding Contributions to Gender Diversity and Equality," Chambers Women in Law Awards, January 2013
  • Florence K. Murray Award, National Association of Women Judges, November 2012
  • Sandra Day O'Connor Award, Philadelphia Bar Association, 2008
  • "Top Ten Super Lawyers in Pennsylvania," Philadelphia Magazine, 2008, 2009, 2010
  • "50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in America," National Law Journal, May 2007
  • Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania, 2006
  • Recipient, Lynette Norton Award, Pennsylvania Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession, 2003
  • "Women of Distinction," Legal Intelligencer, April 26, 2010
  • "Women of Distinction," Philadelphia Business Journal, December, 2003
  • "Top 5o Female Super Lawyers," Philadelphia Magazine, 2004-Present
  • Best Lawyers in America, Antitrust, 2006-Present
  • Chambers USA, Leading Lawyers, Antitrust, 2004-Present
  • Outstanding Service Award, ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, August 2000
  • Community Legal Services, "Equal Justice Award", 2005
  • Fellow, American Bar Association
  • Fellow, Pennsylvania Bar Foundation

Professional Associations and Memberships

    American Bar Association

    • Chair, ABA Gender Equity Task Force, August 2012-Present
    • Board of Governors, 2003-2005
    • Commission on Women in the Profession
      • Chair, 2008-2011
      • Special Advisor, 2000-2003
      • Vice Chair, 1999-2000
    • Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary
      • Chair, 2006-2007
      • Third Circuit Representative, 2005-2006
      • Co-Chair, Practitioners' Reading Group, Nomination of Elena Kagan to U.S. Supreme Court, 2010
      • Co-Chair, Practitioners' Reading Group, Nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to U.S. Supreme Court, 2009
    • Standing Committee on Judicial Independence, 2007-2008
    • House of Delegates
      • Member, 2001-Present
      • Pennsylvania State Delegate, 2007-2010
      • Litigation Section Delegate, 2001-2003
      • Select Committee
        • Chair, 2009-2010
        • Member, 2001-2003
      • Nominating Committee, 2007-2010, 2011-Present
      • Issues of Concern to the Legal Profession, 2007-2008
      • Executive Committee of the Conference of State Delegates, 2009-2010
    • Presidential Appointments Committee
      • Chair, 2011-2012
      • Member, 2005-2006, 2008-2011
    • Litigation Section
      • Council Member, 2001
      • Co-Chair, Multi-District Litigation Committee, 2009-2011
      • Co-Chair, Fellows Program 2005-2006, 2007-2008
      • Co-Chair, ABA Resource, 2003-2005, 2012-2013
      • Co-Chair, Strategic Planning and Implementation Task Force, 2011-2012
      • Co-Director of Divisions, 1998-1999
      • Division Director, 1992-1994
      • Co-Chair, Class Actions and Derivative Suits Committee, 1990-1992
    • Antitrust Section
    • Vice Chair, Trial Practice 2012-present

    Pennsylvania Bar Association

    • Board of Governors, 2000-2003
    • House of Delegates, 1995-Present
    • Co-Chair, Annual Meeting, 1999
    • Chair, Commission on Women in the Profession, 1995-1997

    Philadelphia Bar Association

    • Co-Chair, Women in the Profession Committee, 2005-2007
    • Co-Chair, Antitrust Committee, 2002-2007 and 1993-1997
    • Co-Chair, Historical Society, 2010-Present
    • Co-Chair, Committee on Gender, Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Justice System, 1998-2000
    • Co-Chair, Task Force on Gender Fairness in the Civil Justice System, 1997-1999

    Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness

    • Co-Chair, 2012-Present
    • Chair, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victims Committee, 2004-2011

    Pennsylvania Supreme Court Committee on Racial and Gender Bias in the Justice System

    • Co-Chair, Gender Bias Committee, 2000-2003

    Vision 2020

    • Visionary Delegate, 2010-Present
    • Vice-Chair and Leadership Circle

    Center for Women in Law, University of Texas School of Law

    • Leader-in-Residence, May 2012-Present
    • Chair, 2011 Women's Power Summit on Law and Leadership

    National Association of Women Lawyers Foundation

    • Board member, 2010-Present

    DirectWomen

    • Vice-Chair, 2011-Present
    • Founder

    Metropolitan Richmond Women's Bar Association

    • President, 1976-1977

Pro Bono and Community Activities

  • Board Member, Forum of Executive Women, 2010-Present
  • Chair, Anti–Defamation League, Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware Region, 2007–2009
  • Board Member, Womens Way, 2001–2008
  • President, Abington Jr. High PTO, 1999–2001
  • Board Member, Montgomery County Women's Resource Center, 2000