Robert D. Rachlin

Senior Director and General Counsel - Burlington
Robert Rachlin

Practice Areas


    University of Chicago Law School
    (J.D., 1960)

    Yale University
    (A.B., 1957)

Bar Admissions

    Vermont (1960)

    U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit (1961)

    U.S. District Court, District of Vermont (1961)

    U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (1982)

    U.S. Supreme Court (1982)

    U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit (1999)

    U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (2002)

    U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia (2005)


    Vermont Bar Association

    American Bar Association

    American Law Institute

    Fellow: International Society of Barristers

    Fellow: American College of Trial Lawyers

    Association of Professional Responsibility Attorneys

Practice Focus

Robert Rachlin, the senior director and general counsel of the firm, has more than fifty years' experience in a broad spectrum of civil litigation on behalf of clients that include an international building materials company, a major manufacturer of farm equipment, a worldwide manufacturer of electronics, a large manufacturer of office supplies and a regional public utility. He has managed and tried many cases involving technical and scientific evidence, such as birth control litigation for a major pharmaceutical company, flammable fabric litigation, cases involving concepts of mechanical engineering and defective roofing cases.

Mr. Rachlin has tried cases before both state and federal courts and has significant appellate experience in the United States Courts of Appeals for the First and Second Circuits and the District of Columbia Circuit. An experienced mediator, Mr. Rachlin has been called on by courts and attorneys to assist in the amicable resolutions of disputes. He has participated in mediation demonstrations for Lex Mundi in Geneva and Vancouver, and has attended the Mediation Workshop presented by the Harvard Law School Program of Instruction for Lawyers.

He has been actively involved, largely at his own expense, in pro bono representation of poor criminal defendants in southeastern Missouri and Arkansas. He served as State's Attorney of Caledonia County, Vermont from 1961 to 1964.

Significant Matters

Among major litigation cases, he represented the State of Vermont in achieving one of the largest state court verdicts in Vermont history and has also achieved, in a trade secret misappropriation suit, the largest federal award in Vermont history. He successfully represented the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) in establishing U.S. license primacy over licenses granted by the International Olympic Committee, considered by the USOC to be a major stride in the protection of its control over Olympic-related designations.

Mr. Rachlin has negotiated a research and development contract with a major conglomerate in the United Kingdom, a license for a television series in Japan, lease matters connected with an international student exchange program in France and has consulted in connection with a license for marketing of artistic figurines in Scotland.

Professional Activities

Mr. Rachlin is an elected life member of the American Law Institute, and an elected fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, of which he currently serves as state chair. He has served on the board of trustees of Vermont Law School (VLS) and as a Visiting Professor, teaching Legal Profession (ethics), Remedies and Corporations. He is also an adjunct faculty member of the University of Vermont, Department of German and Russian. He has served on the Vermont Board of Bar Examiners and the Vermont Professional Conduct Board.

Mr. Rachlin holds a U.S. Government Top Secret security clearance.

Mr. Rachlin has been continuously listed in The Best Lawyers in America® since the work was first published more than 25 years ago, and he is consistently recognized in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyer's for Business, based on their in-depth interviews with clients and peers. Mr. Rachlin is ranked among the top five percent of attorneys in Vermont and one of the top one hundred lawyers in New England by New England Super Lawyers® magazine. Mr. Rachlin also receives Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating™, the highest rating attainable.

Community Involvement

Active both in Burlington and statewide community organizations, Mr. Rachlin chairs the advisory board of the University of Vermont's Center for Holocaust Studies, serves on the board of directors of the Burlington Chamber Orchestra and is a trustee of the Vermont Historical Society. Mr. Rachlin has served on the boards of directors of the Family Connection Center for Visitation, Inc., Spectrum Youth and Family Services, Inc. and Everybody Wins! Vermont, a school-based literacy program.

Mr. Rachlin is a concert pianist, a multi-engine rated pilot and a certified flight instructor.


Mr. Rachlin has lectured to bar groups and associations nationwide and internationally on trial advocacy and mediation and has authored a lead article in the Albany Law Review on education labor law. In April, 2006, he delivered the seventeenth annual Harry H. Kahn Memorial Lecture at the University of Vermont on "Carl Schmitt and the Jurisprudence of Exclusion."  He presented his paper, "What was Jewish about the 'Jewish Influence' on German Law as Viewed by Nazi Legal Theorists?" at the 11th Lessons and Legacies Conference, a widely recognized conference of Holocaust scholars, in Boca Raton, Fla., in November 2010.

He co-edited (with Professor Alan Steinweis of the University of Vermont) a collection of scholarly essays entitled The Law in Nazi Germany: Ideology, Opportunism, and the Perversion of Justice, published in March, 2013 by Berghahn Books (Oxford and New York).  He contributed an essay to that volume: Roland Freisler and the Volksgerichtshof: the Court as an Instrument of Terror.

He has published other scholarly articles and book chapters in publications on the Holocaust, and has also published articles on technology and the law, on aviation, and book reviews.

A sampling of articles published by Mr. Rachlin includes:

"Anthony Haswell:  Editor and Balladeer," The Walloomsack Review, Vol. 5, May 2011.

The 1798 Sedition Act and the East-West Political Divide in Vermont,” Vermont History, Vol. 78, No. 2, Summer/Fall 2010.

Review: Schmitt, Carl, Constitutional Theory, H-German (online), October 2009.

“From Weimar to Auschwitz: Carl Schmitt and the Jurisprudence of Exclusion,” In Wolfgang Mieder and David Scrase, eds., Reactions to the Third Reich: Then and Now (Burlington, Vermont: The [University of Vermont] Center for Holocaust Studies), 23-50, 2009.

Review: Schmitt, Carl, The Concept of the Political, H-German, H-Net Reviews, October 2007.

Seven Habits of Effective Lawyers, Vermont Bar Journal, Vol. 33, No. 2, Summer 2007.

Review: Orgel, Paul, piano. Music from the Holocaust (CD). Bulletin of the Center for Holocaust Studies, 10:2, Spring 2006.

Review: Majer, Diemut. "Non-Germans” under the Third Reich: The Nazi Judicial and Administrative System in Germany and Occupied Eastern Europe, with Special Regard to Occupied Poland, 1939-1945. Bulletin of the Center for Holocaust Studies, Fall 2004.

[Chapter] “Felix Kersten: Himmler’s Doctor and the Eleventh-Hour Rescue Operation.” In David Scrase, Wolfgang Mieder, and Katherine Quimby Johnson, eds. Making a Difference: Rescue and Assistance During the Holocaust. Essays in Honor of Marion Pritchard. University of Vermont Center for Holocaust Studies, 2004.

Growing Old With Judge Posner, Vermont Bar Journal, Vol. 29, No. 2, Summer 2003.

Review: Naor, Bezalel. Kabbalah and the Holocaust. Bulletin of the Center for Holocaust Studies, 7:2. Spring, 2003.

The Perils of E-mail, Interface Now, December 21, 2001. Reprinted as “Examining the Perils of E-mail,” Northern New England Technology Newspaper, January 2002.

Managing Litigation Risk and Cost, Downs Rachlin Martin, 2002.

Review: Dershowitz, Alan M. The Genesis of Justice. The Vermont Bar Journal. December, 2001.

[Chapter] “Finland’s Jews and the Final Solution.” In Wolfgang Mieder and David Scrase, eds. Reflections on the Holocaust: Festschrift in Honor of Raul Hilberg, University of Vermont Center for Holocaust Studies, 2001.

“How were they Saved? Finland, the Second World War, and the Jews.” Bulletin of the Center for Holocaust Studies, 3:2, Spring 1999.

Review: Hilberg, Raul. The Politics of Memory. Bulletin of the Center for Holocaust Studies, 2:1, Fall 1997.

"Developing Labor Law for Vermont Teachers," Albany Law Review, Vol. 40, p. 733, 1975-1976.


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