Shawn J. Rabin
Partner
New York Office Phone: (212) 471-8347 Email Download vCard Print Bio to PDF
Education

Shawn Rabin graduated with Honors from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service with a major in International Politics and Security. At Georgetown, he was awarded the Dean's Citation given to a graduate who displays high academic achievement and service to the community. Rabin obtained his J.D. from the University of Texas, where he received the distinctions of Chancellor and Order of the Coif. Rabin also served as an Associate Editor of the Texas Law Review.

Judicial Clerkship

After law school, Shawn Rabin clerked for the Honorable Juan R. Torruella of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

Shawn Rabin, a Susman Godfrey Partner and member of the firm’s Executive Committee, is a go-to trial lawyer for high-stakes litigation. In 2016 alone, Rabin represented three of the top 10 companies in Fortune 500’s “Biggest Companies in America” and became one of the few lawyers in the country to win a Dormant Commerce Clause case at trial.

Rabin personally handles all aspects of his cases, from evaluating claims before a complaint is filed to selecting juries and seeing cases through to verdict. No matter whether a client is paying by the hour, a fixed fee, or a contingency fee, Rabin works efficiently and cost effectively. Unlike lawyers who use the same playbook for every type of case, Rabin’s creativity and strategic thinking give his clients the extra margin necessary for victory.

In recognition of his success, Super Lawyers has recognized Rabin as a “Rising Star” every year from 2007 to present (Law & Politics Magazine, Thomson Reuters). And after winning a major trial victory in the state of Kentucky, the Governor of Kentucky appointed Rabin to the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels and bestowed upon him the title of “Colonel Shawn Rabin.”

Notable Representation

In 2016, Rabin became one of the few lawyers to win a constitutional challenge to a tax statute. As counsel to a major retailer, Rabin and his partners tried a case in San Juan, Puerto Rico, challenging a tax as violating the Dormant Commerce Clause and the Equal Protection Clause. After a week-long bench trial, the trial judge agreed and struck down the statute in a decision that was front-page news across the country. The First Circuit Court of Appeals later affirmed the decision.

In 2015, Rabin and his partners were hired by GE Mortgage Holdings as trial counsel for a case that had been pending for many years. The plaintiffs claimed they were owed almost $1 billion in damages. Rabin and Susman Godfrey were hired months before trial and quickly learned the case, developed a strategy for how to win at trial, and filed key pre-trial motions that decimated the plaintiffs’ case. After winning the most important pre-trial motions, Rabin’s client settled for a confidential sum a week before trial.

In 2015, Rabin was the lead lawyer for Trover Solutions in a putative class action filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Rather than fight the class allegations, Rabin developed a strategy that successfully knocked out the named plaintiff’s claim before class certification. The case was then appealed to the Third Circuit where Rabin’s client once again prevailed. See Mallon v. Trover Solutions Inc., No. 14-3189 (3rd Cir. 2015).

In 2014, Rabin was the lead lawyer for Dental One Partners, one of the nation’s largest dental service management organizations in the country. Dental One was involved in a complex, multi-party dispute in North Carolina relating to whether certain conduct could be classified as the practice of dentistry. Recognizing that the best solution was not cut-throat litigation, Rabin organized all of the plaintiff and defendant lawyers so that all sides could develop a winning solution outside of the courtroom. After months of negotiation, a resolution was reached without taking a single deposition.

In 2013, Rabin was hired to argue and draft the appellate brief for a case pending before an en banc panel of the Delaware Supreme Court.  Rabin represented the former stockholders of Harmonix Music Systems against Viacom in an appeal involving Viacom’s acquisition of Harmonix and the Guitar Hero and Rock Band video games.  The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the lower-court judgment in a published opinion that can be accessed here:  Winshall v. Viacom Intern. Inc., 76 A.3d 808 (Del. 2013) (en banc)

In 2013, Rabin helped secure a ruling significantly reducing the potential damages sought by the National Hockey League against Rabin’s client.  In that case, the NHL sued Jerry Moyes and his family stemming from their ownership of the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team and sought more than $140,000,000 in damages.  The case was originally filed in New York state court.  Rabin devised a successful plan to have the case removed from New York state court to New York federal court to Arizona federal court and then to an Arizona Bankruptcy court.  After successfully moving the case back to Arizona (article discussing the move here), Rabin took and defended the key depositions in the case and then successfully moved for summary judgment eliminating most of the NHL’s claims.  An article discussing the decision can be accessed here.  

In 2012, Rabin was hired by a world-renowned surgeon to represent him in cases pending in federal court and arbitration against a medical device manufacturer.  As lead trial counsel, Rabin formulated the trial strategy, took and defended the key depositions, and handled most of the direct and cross-examinations at trial.  The lawsuits resulted in a confidential settlement after trial. 

In 2012, Rabin was hired by a widow to defend a multi-million dollar will contest that was filed by the deceased husband’s children.  After taking key depositions, winning several rulings before the Probate Court, and devising a strategy to prove the deceased had the proper mental capacity to execute his will, Rabin was able to position the case for a confidential settlement before trial. 

In 2012, Rabin was hired by Trover Solutions to defend a putative class action filed against it and several insurance companies in federal court in the Southern District of New York.  The case involved whether New York law prohibited placing liens on personal injury or wrongful death settlements.  After extensive briefing and argument, Judge Patterson dismissed all of the Plaintiffs’ claims resulting in a total victory for Rabin’s client.  The published decision can be accessed here:  Meek-Horton v. Trover Solutions, Inc., 915 F.Supp.2d 486 (S.D.N.Y. 2013). 

In 2011, Rabin won a defense verdict on behalf of The Rawlings Company in a class action challenging the company's classification of its employees as exempt from the overtime laws. During the three-week jury trial in Kentucky state court, Rabin picked the jury, handled the direct examinations of many of the company's witnesses--including the company's top executive--and cross-examined Plaintiffs' witnesses. This complete victory for Rabin's client was achieved in one of the first wage and hour class actions to go to trial in Kentucky.  The verdict was featured in the American Lawyer here and Law360 here.

In 2010, Shawn Rabin was hired by a family to represent them in a shareholder oppression case. Rabin engineered a strategy that placed the family in the best litigation position without harming the company in which they owned substantial shares. Rabin's outside-the-box approach led to an arbitration and then a confidential settlement.

In 2009, Shawn Rabin represented an international company against a subsidiary of a large New York bank in a contract dispute regarding the failed purchase of a company. Rabin briefed the crucial motion to dismiss and handled preparing the case for expedited discovery and trial. Shortly after Rabin filed the response to the Motion to Dismiss, the defendants chose to settle the case--a substantial victory for Rabin's client.

In 2008, Shawn Rabin tried a patent infringement case before the Honorable Judge T. John Ward and a jury in the Eastern District of Texas for their client C2 Communications. The case involved whether the nation's largest telecommunication carriers infringed a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) patent. The case settled after the third day of trial, following the close of C2's case-in-chief and Rabin's direct examination of the patent's owner and C2's damages expert. For more information about this case, please see this article.

In 2008, Bill Carmody and Shawn Rabin settled a lawsuit involving a horrific drunk driving collision. In 2005, a drunk driver struck a hotel van transporting a family to the airport. A young girl was killed and members of the family were severely injured. Rabin performed an extensive investigation before filing suit to determine exactly how and where the drunk driver became intoxicated. This pre-complaint investigation resulted in confidential settlements with some of the wrong-doers. Rabin then filed a complaint against the two bars where the drunk driver had consumed alcohol. All of the defendants chose to settle after Rabin took damaging depositions of the key witnesses. The value of these significant settlements are confidential.

In 2008, Brian Melton and Shawn Rabin represented a defendant against claims that it wrongfully terminated its former CEO. After several rounds of discovery and several victories before the trial court judge, the opposing party agreed to settle the case for a minimal amount.

In 2007, Shawn Rabin spent almost one-quarter of the year in trial defending a large company against a wage and hour class action. Rabin performed the direct and cross examination of more than a dozen fact and expert witnesses. A description of Rabin's cross-examination of the first trial witness was published by news services across the world (the article can be accessed by clicking here).

In 2005 and 2006, Shawn Rabin represented a Fortune 100 company in a highly confidential accounting dispute against a major accounting firm. The allegations in the case included breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and accounting malpractice. Before filing a lawsuit, both parties agreed to brief the issues before a former Texas Supreme Court Justice. Rabin took the lead for Susman Godfrey's client and, after several months of negotiation, the parties reached a favorable settlement.

In 2004, Shawn Rabin achieved a key victory in a case representing a class of residential and business customers against the major telecommunications companies, including Sprint and AT&T by writing the winning briefs in an appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. The court's unanimous opinion can be accessed here. The claims against AT&T eventually proceeded to a jury trial in which Susman Godfrey successfully obtained a favorable jury verdict (news article can be accessed here).

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Honors and Distinctions

Super Lawyers named Rabin a "Rising Star" in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 (Law & Politics Magazine, Thomson Reuters). Rabin was also elected to membership in the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation.

In 2011, the Governor of Kentucky appointed Shawn Rabin to the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels and bestowed upon him the title of "Colonel Shawn Rabin."

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Professional Associations and Memberships

Shawn Rabin is admitted to the state courts of New York and Texas and the United States Court of Appeals for the 1st, 5th and 10th Circuits and the United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas.

Rabin works with a variety of legal organizations in their efforts to help the public. Most recently, Rabin has been assisting Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) by training volunteers on civil litigation. Rabin was also quoted extensively in the Winter 2009 issue of the MADDvocate, which can be accessed here.

Rabin is also an active member of the Litigation Committee of the New York City Bar and is a Barrister in the New York American Inn of Court.

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