Donald A. Robinson

Donald A. Robinson

Newark, New Jersey

Don Robinson, a graduate of Columbia Law School, is an experienced litigator, especially in the Federal Court in New Jersey. In addition to his active litigation practice in the Federal and State courts, he serves as an arbitrator, a mediator and Special Master in the Federal Courts in New Jersey as well as the State Superior Court. He has served on and chaired numerous statutory Merit Selection Committees recommending to the Federal Court nominees for the appointment of Federal Magistrate Judges. He chaired a Judicial-Bar group that extensively revised the Local Rules of the Federal District Court. He is a member of the Federal Local Patent Rules Committee that developed and continues to monitor those rules. He chaired the Federal Court's Lawyers Advisory Committee for 14 years and now is a permanent member of that group advising the Court. He served on the Federal Court's Civil Justice Expense and Delay Reduction Advisory Committee and is a former Chair of the Third Circuit's Lawyers Advisory Committee. Don is a founder of the Historical Society of the Federal Court of which he was President for 15 years and is now Chairman of the Board. And the Federal Court has appointed him as the Trustee/Receiver to dissolve a forfeited law firm, as a discovery master and as a special prosecutor to investigate and prosecute, when necessary, lawyer disciplinary cases.

Don's work has included many quasi-judicial appointments from the Federal and State Courts. He has been a Special Discovery Master; a Hearing Officer conducting weeks of evidential Hearings before issuing a binding decision; a Special Master supervising the distribution of a restitution fund to over 60,000 claimants; and while serving as a Special Master, ruling on discovery issues. He also has been retained by lawyers and law firms to file with Federal and State courts in New Jersey his expert opinions regarding fee applications and other legal issues.

Don's Bar work has included his election, twice, as President of the Association of the Federal Bar where he is an active member of its Board of Advisors. The Federal Court awarded him its Certificate of Appreciation for his years of service on the Court's Civil Justice Expense and Delay Reduction Advisory Committee. He is a member of the President's Council of the Essex County Bar Association. The Trial Attorneys of New Jersey honored him with its annual award. He was the first recipient of the Judge John F. Gerry Award of the Camden County Bar Association for his outstanding contributions to the Judiciary and the Bar. In 2001, he was the first recipient of an annual award presented by the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law and he received that award again in 2009 as the Federal Court Lawyer of the Year. In 2003 he received the Justice William J. Brennan Annual Award from the Association of the Federal Bar for his service to the Bench and Bar. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund honored Don with its Award of Excellence at its annual dinner.
Don's peers have selected him for many years to be listed as one of New Jersey's Top Lawyers in New Jersey Monthly Magazine and in editions of Super Lawyers. The Best Lawyers in America publication, which is the country's legal peer-review organization, has included him for many years in the areas of Appellate practice, Bet-The-Company litigation, Commercial and Corporate litigation, First Amendment law. The Best Lawyers organization has named him as one of the three lawyers who are 2014 Lawyers of the Year for First Amendment Law in the New York area based on their "particularly high level of peer recognition." The Rutgers University Journalism Resources Institute presented him with a distinguished service award for his invaluable assistance in the press, Bar and Bench projects of the Institute.

In 2009, The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, the Lawyers Advisory Committee, the Association of the Federal Bar and the Historical Society of the Court established the Donald A. Robinson Meritorious Service Award in "recognition of the extraordinary contributions of those who consistently reach beyond themselves in the service to the Bench and Bar of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey." Don was the first recipient of that annual award.

In 2010, he received a special on-stage Award at the Annual Gala of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center for his commitment to NJPAC and leadership in the City of Newark. His community service includes St. Benedict's Preparatory School in Newark where he is a member of the Board of Directors. That School awarded him the Medal of St. Benedict's at its annual dinner. In 2012, he received the Annual Trailblazer Award from the New Jersey Womens' Lawyers Association for his support of women in the legal profession. In 2013 he was honored by New Jersey Ballet at its annual Gala for his work as President and Chairman of the Board.

Areas of Practice

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Communications Law
  • First Amendment Law
  • Securities Litigation
  • Employment Law

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • Columbia Law School, New York, New York
    • LL.B.
  • Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
    • A.B.

Pro Bono Activities

  • Board of Trustees, St. Benedict's Prep School, Newark, New Jersey
  • Board of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund
  • Board of Directors New Jersey Performing Arts Center Newark, New Jersey
  • Past Chairman of the Board, New Jersey Ballet Company