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Robert Fram is one of the leaders of the firm's litigation group, having served as a partner in the firm for many years.

Mr. Fram focuses on civil rights litigation, with a particular emphasis on voting rights.

Before focusing on civil rights cases, for thirty years Mr. Fram litigated patent, copyright, trade secret, antitrust, licensing and insurance cases. He was the co-chair of the firm's Patent Litigation Group.

Mr. Fram’s trial experience includes proceedings in federal and state courts in California, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, Missouri, and the International Trade Commission.

Mr. Fram has been recognized by Chambers USA and Best Lawyers in America as a leading IP lawyer, and the San Francisco and Los Angeles Daily Journal named him one of the "Top 50 IP Litigators in California."

He is a past President of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers (Northern California) and volunteer District Attorney in San Francisco.

Mr. Fram is married to Jeanne Blamey, the father of Nick Fram (Victoria Fram) and Claire Fram (Jim Stephenson), and the grandfather of Peter and Elliot Fram.

Public Interest Practice

Voting Rights Cases

  • Ohio A. Phillip Randolph Institute et al. v. Smith et al. (S.D. Ohio 1:18:-cv-00357 TSB). The firm represented plaintiff the Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute, the League of Women Voters of Ohio, and 16 individual plaintiffs from each of Ohio's congressional districts in this federal court action challenging Ohio’s current congressional redistricting plan as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander that violates the First Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, and Article I of the United States Constitution. We prevailed at trial. The judgment was subsequently vacated in light of the subsequent determination by the Supreme Court that partisan gerrymandering claims are non-justiciable. Mr. Fram served as the firm's lead trial counsel.
  • Vote Forward et al. v. DeJoy et al. (D.D.C. 20-cv-2405 EGS) . On behalf of voting rights organizations and individual plaintiffs, the firm brought suit against the United States Postal Service to secure the timely delivery of mail ballots in connection with the 2020 general election and the 2021 Georgia Runoff election. Plaintiffs were successful in securing a preliminary injunction requiring the USPS to institute measures to assure the timely delivery of such ballots.
  • Harding et al. v. Edwards et al. (M.D. LA 3:20-cv-00495-JWD-SDJ). In connection with the 2020 general election, the firm represented plaintiffs suing to expand the right to vote by mail and the period for early voting during the COVID-19 pandemic. We secured a preliminary injunction providing for the right to vote by mail for all voters with co-morbidities related to COVID-19 and their caretakers as well as a ten day early voting period.
  • Collins et al. v. Adams et al. (W.D. KY 3:20-cv-00375-CRS). In connection with the 2020 election the firm represented plaintiffs seeking to expand the right to vote by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic. The case settled following the agreement by the state to expand the right to vote by mail.
  • Prevention of voter intimidation in connection with the 2020 Election. Mr. Fram led the firm's efforts to prevent voter intimidation in connection with the November 2020 election. We organized teams in seven states to address such threats. We also prepared mandamus petitions in the event that state officials wrongly refused to certify the results of certain elections.
  • Greater Birmingham Ministries et al v. State of Alabama et al. Mr. Fram serves as Covington’s lead counsel in a challenge to Alabama’s Photo ID Law. Our case contends that the Alabama statute violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act as well as the United States Constitution. The case was filed in December 2015. Following a grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants the case was appealed to the 11th Circuit. The judgment was affirmed by a panel of that Court; en banc proceedings are pending.
  • Missouri State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People et al. v. Missouri et al. Mr. Fram served as Covington's lead counsel in a challenge to Missouri's Photo ID law. Our case contends that Missouri has failed adequately to implement the law in the manner required by the law itself. The case was filed in June 2017; it was tried in August 2019. It was subsequently dismissed on jurisdictional grounds.

Other Civil Rights Cases

  • Prieto et al. v. Adducci et al. (S.D. Ohio 2:20-cv-02099-SDM-CMV). The firm represented inmates in the Morrow County Correctional Facility which serves as detention center for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). We secured the release of thirteen individuals due to the dangers presented by COVID-19 at the Morrow facility. 
  • International Refugee Assistance Project v. Donald Trump et al.; State of Hawaii v. Donald Trump et al. Mr. Fram assembled a broad interfaith coalition to file a series of briefs in support of the plaintiffs challenging the administration's Travel Ban.
  • Hepting, et al. v. AT&T (N.D. California). Mr. Fram represented plaintiffs in this case concerning alleged mass electronic surveillance of Internet and telephone communications by the NSA. Over the objections of the Department of Justice, Mr. Fram successfully persuaded the District Court that the case should not be dismissed on the basis of the State Secret privilege.

Commercial Practice

  • CCP Systems AG v Samsung Electronics Corp. Ltd. et al. (D. New Jersey). Led the trial team representing Samsung in a suit alleging copyright and patent infringement relating to software used by printers. The trial resulted in a defeat of all of CCP’s claims against Samsung.
  • Mobile Device Litigation. Mr. Fram led the team that decisively wiped out a half-billion dollar damages and injunction claims, part of Covington’s successful defense of one of the world’s largest smartphone and tablet manufacturers. The case involved the assertion of six allegedly standards essential patents. In a notable victory for our client, the Court ruled that an injunction cannot be obtained to enforce a patent that declared essential to a standard and is subject to a FRAND commitment. 
  • Computer Associates v. Simple.com, et al. (E.D. New York). Represented Computer Associates before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in this patent infringement case relating to Internet portal technology, in which Computer Associates was seeking declaratory judgment of invalidity, unenforceability, and non-infringement. Secured a Report & Recommendation of non-infringement from the Special Master.
  • RSA Data Security, Inc. v. Cylink Corporation, C96-20094 SW (N.D. California). Represented RSA Data Security, Inc. in litigation involving patent and license rights to public key and related encryption software, technology that has become central to electronic commerce over the Internet.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Board, Jewish Family and Children Services (2014-2017)
  • Member, The Kitchen San Francisco

Previous Experience

  • Labor organizer, five years, in New York and Detroit
  • Chambers USA - America's Leading Business Lawyers (2004-2018)
  • Benchmark Litigation, Litigation Star (2018)
  • Northern California Super Lawyers, Intellectual Property Litigation (2004-2019)
  • The Best Lawyers in America (2006-2020)