- B.A., Philosophy, Monmouth University, 1978
- J.D., University of San Diego, School of Law, 1987
- State Bar of California
- Orange County Bar Association (Board of Directors, 1992–2004; President, 2003; Judiciary Committee, 1994–2000; Chairperson of the Labor & Employment Law Section, 1991)
- Ocean Institute (Board of Directors 1992–2005)
- Association of Surfing Professionals ("ASP"), U.S. Counsel and Advisor (1999-2012)
- ASP Professional Surf Tour, Chair - Athlete Rules & Disciplinary Committee (2002-2012)
- Surfing America, General Counsel (2002-present)
- Balboa Bay Club, Board of Governors (2000-present)
- SurfAid International, USA, Chairman of the Board of Directors (2004-2006)
Robert Gerard is a shareholder of Friedman Stroffe & Gerard, P.C. and is the Chairperson of the firm’s Employment & Labor Law Practice Group. Robert also has an active Sports Law practice.
- Employment & Labor
Robert is “A-V Rated” by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating possible for both legal ability and ethics. He represents both large and small employers in state and federal court wrongful discharge litigation, discrimination litigation, sexual harassment litigation, unfair competition litigation, and wage and hour disputes. In addition, Robert regularly represents employers in investigations and administrative proceedings before the United States Department of Labor, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Robert is widely known as a tenacious investigator and is often used by companies to conduct internal investigations.
Robert regularly counsels employers regarding the review, development, and implementation of personnel policies and employee handbooks. He also helps employers avoid employment law liability, particularly in the sexual harassment area. In addition, Robert has led several campaigns for clients to maintain a “union free” workplace.
On the sports law side, Robert has represented both sponsors and individual athletes in countless professional athlete sponsorship contract negotiations. He has also worked extensively on sponsorship agreements and athlete releases for numerous sporting events.
During his law career, Robert has represented numerous surf industry companies and individual surfer athletes. Robert has also represented several ski area clients including: Snow Summit; Bear Mountain; Snow Valley; Sierra-at-Tahoe; and Northstar-at-Tahoe.
Robert’s fellow Orange County lawyers elected Robert to the position of President of the 9,000 member Orange County Bar Association for 2003. In 2004, Robert was the winner of the Orange County Bar Association Business Litigation Section’s prestigious TOP GUN Trial Lawyer Competition.
- Achieved a defense verdict in Los Angeles County Superior Court jury trial in a wage and hour case on behalf of a Southern California property management company.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a major ski and snowboard resort in San Bernardino County Superior Court whistleblower/wrongful termination litigation. Successfully briefed and argued in support of upholding the Motion for Summary Judgment before the California Court of Appeal.
- Achieved a defense verdict in Orange County Superior Court jury trial in a wrongful termination/defamation case on behalf of an international wireless telephone company.
- Represented an international athletic sportswear brand in breach of contract dispute with high-profile professional athlete and obtained a significant financial settlement on behalf of the sportswear brand.
- Successfully represented numerous executives and also numerous professional athletes against fabricated or exaggerated sexual harassment charges. Have investigated and successfully resolved (oftentimes via mediation) several dozen such cases.