On Becoming Anti-Bernie
Robin Alperstein
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Reality check: Robin Alperstein is a corporate lawyer who defends hedge funds against accusations of fraud and Ponzi schemes, advises corporate clients in SEC investigations of credit default swaps and other financial instruments commonly used to bundle mortgages (see under: 2008 financial collapse), and defends employers against class-action wage and hour lawsuits. (I’m trying to phrase everything very carefully here, because I don’t want Ms. Alperstein to sue me, as there’s no way 99-percenters like us can ever afford to defend ourselves against lawyers like this.)

Oh, and I almost forgot Ms. Alperstein’s star clients, the ultra-wealthy socialites who were ordered by the New York State Department of Labor to pay their Chilean nanny $6,302 in back wages. New Yorkers, you may remember this case: http://nypost.com/2013/06/16/chilean-nanny-claims-upper-east-side-socialites-kept-her-as-a-slave/, as well as this unforgettable viral email from Ms. Alperstein’s charming client, who clearly doesn’t like paying the little folks who have the misfortune of working for him. (Funny how ultra-wealthy people get to avoid paying their bills, while the rest of us don’t have much of a choice, innit? I guess that’s corporate lawyers are for.)

Ms. Alperstein’s law firm defended her socialite clients against the nanny’s abuse allegations—successfully!—by pointing out “contradictions” in the 50-year-old Chilean woman’s testimony and smearing her as “mentally ill.” One of those contradictions: although Alperstein’s clients allegedly ordered their nanny never to leave her place of employment, it seems the nanny was occasionally allowed to leave her place of employment “for hours at a time,” as well as on eight separate occasions, during her three months of working (alleged) twelve-hour shifts and (presumably) being on call at night. Oh, and apparently she was allowed to use the phone. Gratitude—some people just don’t get it, you know?

That must have been a fun deposition, cross-examining a middle-aged immigrant woman until she cracked and admitted she wasn’t sure if the door was actually locked, or if she’d merely been ordered not to leave. A real victory for feminism! Alperstein’s super-rich clients were subsequently barred from returning to the U.S. from their luxury vacation in Portofino, when the U.S. consulate cited the case as evidence of human trafficking, but hey, I guess you can’t win them all—not even with the most ruthless, high-priced corporate lawyers money can buy.

So yeah, here’s what Robin Alperstein actually does, from the official bio on her law firm’s website. You’re all smart people, so I don’t need to translate what it means. You can judge for yourselves whether her claim that “the left’s goals are goals I largely share” has the remotest connection to truthiness. It’s possible that “the left’s goals” include defending the indefensible, and smearing the defenseless, on behalf of the ultra-rich. It’s also possible that Ms. Alperstein realized a Bernie Sanders presidency would be very, very bad for her Wall Street clients and their bottom lines.

Robin L. Alperstein

Partner

Robin Alperstein concentrates her practice in complex commercial litigation, with a particular focus on disputes involving hedge funds and structured products, and on class action and derivative litigation in federal and state courts. She represents domestic and international clients on a range of issues, including corporate governance matters and shareholder disputes, securities fraud, insider trading, short selling, market manipulation, fraudulent conveyance, employment, and unfair completion matters, including antitrust, theft of trade secrets and non-competition agreements. Ms. Alperstein also regularly counsels clients on complex business disputes involving contract claims, RICO violations, fraud and other business torts. She handles civil cases as well as domestic and international arbitrations, represents clients before the Securities and Exchange Commission, conducts internal investigations, and advises boards of directors, majority shareholders, management and individual directors on corporate governance issues.

RELATED PRACTICES

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

  • Defending witnesses before the SEC in connection with various investigations involving credit default swaps, CDOs and CLOs.
  • Defending several hedge funds and a health care company in the Tribune fraudulent conveyance actions.
  • Defending several hedge funds in the Lyondell fraudulent conveyance actions.
  • Defending a holding company and individual against claims for conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with an alleged “pump and dump” market manipulation scheme on London and German stock exchanges.
  • Prosecuting claims on behalf of a foreign investment company in connection with losses sustained due to unauthorized trading and fraud by former consultant.
  • Representing structured products company in connection with corporate governance claims against a fund and its parent.
  • Defending publicly traded domestic company against wage and hour class action in New York state court.
  • Defeated derivative claims brought by former shareholder and director against technology company and its directors, after conducting internal investigation and advising special committee formed by Board of Directors.
  • On behalf of a credit derivative products company, obtained dismissal of several claims filed by Swiss bank and obtained favorable settlement.
  • On behalf of large private commercial real estate company, obtained favorable business resolution based on potential claims against foreign investment bank, without litigation.
  • Advised hedge fund in connection with investigation of Ponzi scheme and corporate governance issues.
  • Defeated securities fraud class action brought against foreign holding company and individual in District of Massachusetts.
  • Defeated market manipulation class action brought against foreign holding company and individual directors in Southern District of New York.
  • Defeated antitrust and RICO class actions claims brought against large domestic insurance company.
  • Defeated direct and derivative claims brought against domestic company and individual directors for breach of fiduciary duty in Delaware Chancery Court and obtained sanctions against plaintiff.
  • Won theft of trade secrets action in Northern District of California and obtained sanctions against defendant.
  • Defeated claims brought in arbitration brought by investor against foreign investment bank in connection with losses in fund.
  • On behalf of distributor, obtained favorable business resolution stopping anti-competitive conduct of manufacturer, without litigation.

PUBLIC SERVICE

  • Member of the Board of Directors of Community-Word Project
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