Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Recent News
Thomas L. Hamlin, Robins Kaplan LLP
Thomas L. Hamlin, Robins Kaplan LLP

The POWER 30: Thomas L. Hamlin

Thomas Hamlin is one of the only two lawyers at Robins Kaplan to recover more than a billion dollars in two cases.

One was the fabled Minnesota tobacco litigation, with Michael Ciresi of Ciresi Conlin LLP being the other of the two lawyers. That case settled for $6.6 billion.

The second is Kraft v. Starbucks, which resulted in an arbitration award of $2.75 billion to Kraft, plus attorney fees for bad-faith litigation.

In State of Minnesota and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota v. Big Tobacco, as it was informally known, Hamlin was one of the lawyers who represented the plaintiffs. The case settled after a four-month trial; the first time Big Tobacco had paid damages in nearly 50 years of litigation.

Hamlin noted that the case also was tried by Roberta Walburn of Ciresi Conlin, whom Hamlin said is the best lawyer he’s ever worked with. “She did the discovery and that turned the tide,” he said.

Kraft v. Starbucks was a three-year arbitration regarding a breach of contract whereby Kraft distributed Starbucks coffee and got it shelf space in grocery stores. Starbucks unilaterally terminated its agreement, alleging Kraft did not do enough to promote the coffee. It cut off Kraft’s exclusive rights to sell, market and distribute Starbucks roast and ground coffee in grocery and other retail outlets.

A longtime client is Hubbard Broadcasting, whom Hamlin has represented for 20 years. Recently he was able to obtain insurance coverage for the company over two television antennas shattered by wind.

Other cases include Honeywell v. Minolta in which Hamlin Represented Honeywell in a patent infringement matter against Minolta involving Honeywell’s patent on an SLR autofocus camera. After a six-month trial in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, the jury awarded Honeywell $96.3 million. In Pitney Bowes v. Hewlett Packard, Hamlin represented Pitney Bowes in a successful patent infringement matter involving HP’s laser jet printer. The case settled for $400 million.

Hamlin has been at Robins Kaplan for 42 years and said the firm has provided tremendous opportunities on signature cases, and also that the support staff is “incredible.” He added, “without them, we could not do what we do.”