Robert L. Begleiter
After graduating from law school, Mr. Begleiter worked as an attorney for five years with Brooklyn Legal Services. In 1977 Mr. Begleiter joined the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, becoming Chief of the Civil Division in 1985. During Mr. Begleiter's nine-year tenure as Chief of the Civil Division, he was the first-line supervisor responsible for management of the Division's 42 attorneys and all of its litigation – in excess of 1,000 cases a year. As Chief of the Division, he guided its growth and direction from an Office that primarily defended the United States to one in the forefront of affirmative civil law enforcement. The Civil Division became a leader in such areas as asset forfeiture, Civil RICO, and False Claims Act litigation. Specifically, Mr. Begleiter led the government's efforts to reform the Long Island carting industry, to remove corruption from several labor locals (including locals at Kennedy Airport), and to oversee the collection of more than $300,000,000 in forfeited assets, False Claims Act recoveries and other types of monetary relief for the United States. Mr. Begleiter defended the United States in the class action brought by Haitian immigrants detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He also received the Department of Justice's Director's Award. In 1994, Mr. Begleiter became a founding partner at Constantine Cannon, and held that position until joining the Firm.
Mr. Begleiter specializes in commercial civil litigation. His representations have included:
- Serving as lead counsel for plaintiff in an antitrust case arising out of the cable T.V. industry, which settled successfully the day of trial;
- Serving as trial counsel in a matter representing the more than five million merchants who accept Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards. After seven years of pre-trial discovery and motions and the impaneling of a jury, the case settled for a record-breaking amount in payments from Visa and MasterCard, along with injunctive relief valued in the tens of billions of dollars;
- Serving as lead counsel for the plaintiff in a case alleging bid-rigging at the United Nations;
- Serving as lead counsel for the plaintiff in an action alleging bribery of foreign official to secure a government contract;
- Serving as counsel to a former partner of a law firm in a suit against that firm for breaching the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
From 1996 to 1998, Mr. Begleiter was a part-time Administrative Law Judge hearing cases arising from the Fulton Fish Market. He has taught as an Adjunct Professor and Instructor at Brooklyn Law School, and has lectured before law enforcement agencies and Bar Associations on diverse topics. Mr. Begleiter is an active member of the Federal Bar Council, is currently a director of the Federal Bar Foundation, and has headed the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel for the Eastern District of New York for the past nine years. Mr. Begleiter currently sits on the board of the N.Y. Federal Defenders and Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A.