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Robert C. L. Vaughan
Chair, Commercial / Business Litigation

Robert C.L. Vaughan focuses his practice on commercial litigation, products liability and arbitration. He represents clients in US state and federal courts and in matters pending before Caribbean courts. Robert is rated AV Preeminent® rating by Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating, and has successfully tried civil and criminal cases, both bench and jury, in state and federal courts in Florida. He has participated in successful multi-million dollar jury trials, class action litigation and multi-district litigation.

As lead counsel, Robert has successfully represented clients in state and federal appellate courts in a wide variety of areas including complex commercial litigation, product liability, insurance defense, general contract disputes and criminal defense. Robert has represented clients in many industries including tobacco, insurance, telecommunications, agriculture, manufacturing, information technology, construction, aviation, hospitality and leisure, and finance.



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Representative Experience

  • Lead trial counsel for a major tobacco company in Engle progeny cases.

  • Lead counsel in successful pre-trial defense of multi-million dollar business tort case alleging civil fraud and breach of contract.

  • Lead counsel for multi-national telecommunications company in business tort case alleging federal RICO and telecommunications fraud claims.

  • Lead counsel representing one defendant in $400 million dollar RICO and fraud case.
    Advised a Fortune 500 company in the coordination, review, and audit of global data privacy policies and procedures.

  • Lead counsel in Florida state and federal courts representing and advising international clients in defending civil litigation regarding multi-million dollar ponzi scheme allegations.

  • Lead counsel in domestication of multi-million dollar foreign judgment and defense of $5 million dollar breach of contract claim.

  • Lead counsel for hospitality industry client in theft of trade secret and non-compete litigation. Successfully secured temporary and preliminary injunctive relief for client and enforced terms of non- compete agreement.

  • Trial counsel representing a multinational corporation in defense at trial of a claim in excess of $60 million for alleged breach of a joint venture agreement.

  • Counsel to clients with litigation and transactional matters pending in the Caribbean.

  • Lead trial counsel in multi-million-dollar class action litigation involving breach of contract dispute in the agricultural sector.

  • Trial counsel for a client involved in defense of class action breach of contract claim; successfully secured decertification of class and subsequent denial of request for class certification.

  • Represented various insurance companies through summary judgment and successfully on appeal in state and federal courts.



Honors & Recognitions

  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers, 2021

  • Highly Commended, Outstanding Contribution to Diversity & Inclusion (Private Practice/Individual), Chambers North America, 2021

  • Band 5, Litigation: General Commercial, Florida, Chambers USA, 2020-2022

  • Band 2, Litigation: Product Liability, Florida, Chambers USA, 2022

  • Member, American Board of Trial Advocates, 2021

  • Top Commercial Litigation, Best Lawyers in America®, 2021-2022

  • Top Attorney, Florida Super Lawyers, 2011-22

  • Legal Elite, Florida Trend Magazine, 2007-10, 2012, 2015, 2020-22

  • Top 100 for Southern Florida, America's Top 100 High Stakes Litigators®, 2020

  • AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell

  • Band 4, Litigation: General Commercial, Florida, Chambers USA, 2014-15

  • Top Attorney for Business Litigation, Super Lawyers Business Edition (National), 2012-2015

  • Top Lawyer, South Florida Legal Guide, 2014-15

  • Top 100 Blacks in Healthcare and Law, ICABA (inaugural directory), 2009

  • Abogados Destacados del Sur de la Florida, Revistas Abogados, 2013

  • Top Up and Comer, South Florida Legal Guide, 2005-12

  • Presidential Volunteer Service Award, HANDS ON MIAMI, 2007


Professional & Community Activities

  • Broward County Bar Association, Immediate Past President 2021-22

    • President, 2020-21

    • Chair, Bench & Bar Committee, 2015-16

    • Vice Chair, Bench & Bar Committee, 2014-15

  • The Florida Bar

    • Former Vice Chair, Committee on Diversity and Inclusion

    • Former Member, Judicial Nominating Procedures Committee

    • Former Member, Leadership Academy Committee

    • Former Chair, Grievance Committee

  • National Bar Association, Member

  • Caribbean Bar Association, Past President, 2004-05

  • International Bar Association, Business Law Section, Member

  • Dade County Bar Association, Former Member Board of Directors

  • Black, Latino, Asian Pacific American Law Alumni Association at New York University, Former Member, Board of Directors

  • Caribbean Bar Foundation, Board Member

  • Hands on Miami, Former Board of Director

  • Dean’s Advisory Board, FIU School of Law, Member



  • National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Trial Skills Program, National Session Faculty

  • National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Trial Skills Program, Florida Regional Trial Skills Program Instructor

  • AIG Custom Advanced Trial Skills Program, 2013

  • Cross Examining the Industry Expert, National Institute of Trial Advocacy Video Lecture, 2014

  • Advocacy Teacher Training, Pristina, Kosovo (U.S. Dept. of Justice), January 2010

  • Advocacy Teacher Training, Pristina, Kosovo (U.S. Dept. of Justice, Consultant), Oct., 2010




  • New York University School of Law, J.D.

  • State University of New York, B.A., cum laude



Bar Admissions


  • All Florida state courts

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

  • United States District Court, Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida

  • The Supreme Court of Jamaica, West Indies



Professional Background

  • Kim Vaughan Lerner LLP, Chair, Commercial Litigation

  • Squire Sanders & Dempsey LLP (now Squire Patton Boggs), Partner/Hiring Chair

  • Steel Hector & Davis LLP, Partner

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