Attorney David E. Robbins 

David E. Robbins


David E. Robbins

Practice Areas

  • Regulatory Enforcement
  • Arbitration
  • Mediation
  • Employment Contracts -- Employee
  • State & Local Agencies
  • Securities Fraud & Insider Trading
  • Securities Regulation


  • Villanova University School of Law, Villanova, Pennsylvania
    • J.D. - 1974
    • Honors: Award for Meritorious Service. Philadelphia Community Legal Services Assoc.
  • Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York
    • B.A. - 1971
    • Honors: magna cum laude


David Robbins is a partner in the New York City law firm of Kaufmann Gildin & Robbins LLP and specializes in commercial arbitration and mediation.  He represents investors, brokers and firms in disputes and brokers and firms before regulatory agencies. His firm also specializes in all aspects of franchise law, nationwide and worldwide. He is an expert witness in malpractice cases arising out of securities arbitrations. David and his firm have been responsible for the return of tens of millions of dollars to investors and have represented brokers in arbitrations and regulatory matters. David served as Special Deputy Attorney General of New York State, responsible for the civil and criminal prosecution of securities fraud cases, and was the American Stock Exchange Director of Compliance and Director of its Legal and Regulatory Policy Division, where his was Director of Arbitration and Director of Disciplinary Hearings. He has the highest Peer Review Rating (AV) from Martindale-Hubbell and in 2016, 2020 and 2023 was approved as a “Super Lawyer” in securities law for the New York metropolitan region. 

David is the author of Securities Arbitration Procedure Manual (Dec. 2022 Matthew Bender, a division of Lexis Publishing ), which has been the primary text in this area of the law and which he has updated for over 30 years. This two-volume, 4,200+ page book presents pragmatic, balanced guides to the practice of securities arbitration and mediation for attorneys representing investors, brokers and firms. Since 1995, Mr. Robbins has written the annual Practice Commentary to McKinney's Consolidated Laws of New York, Article 23-A of the General Business Law - on securities arbitration and mediation.  He has written over 80 articles on securities law, including “Trust Established – Trust Breached,” “Nothing But The Truth? Lying in Arbitration” and “The New FINRA Expungement Rules,” published by The PIABA Bar Journal.

David served as the Chairperson for more than 20 Practising Law Institute (PLI) continuing education programs on securities arbitration and mediation. He is the recipient of the Public Investors Advocate Bar Association (PIABA) lifetime achievement Golden Bow Tie Award and was a member of FINRA Dispute Resolution’s National Arbitration and Mediation Committee. He is a member of the New York City Bar Association and PIABA and is on the Board of Editors of Securities Arbitration Commentator and The PIABA Bar Journal. Mr. Robbins has been co-chair of the New York State Bar Association program on securities arbitration. In 2023, he became a Founding Member of the Financial Professionals Coalition, Ltd., a new resource for the securities industry.  

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Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York

Professional Associations

  • Practicing Law Institute (PLI), Chair of Annual Securities Arbitration and Mediation Program, 1986 to 2009
  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Arbitrator and Mediator, 1985 to Present
  • American Arbitration Association (AAA), Arbitrator and Mediator, 1985 to Present
  • New York City Bar Association, Arbitration Committee, 1998 to Present
  • New York County Lawyers' Association, Securities and Exchange Committee, 1985 to Present
  • Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA), Member, 1991 to Present
  • Compliance and Legal Division of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), Member, 2007 to Present
  • Securities Arbitration Commentator, Board of Editors, 1997 to Present
  • FINRA Dispute Resolution's National Arbitration and Mediation Committee, Member
  • New York State Bar Association Program, Co-Chair, 2012 to 2012

Representative Matters

Customer Cases – David has a national reputation as the lead attorney throughout the country on hundreds of arbitrations and mediations that have secured tens of millions of dollars for brokerage firm customers who were victims of broker misconduct such as: unsuitable investment recommendations, unauthorized trading, fraudulent misrepresentations and omissions in the purchase and sale of securities, Ponzi schemes, municipal bond fraud,  improper margin liquidations, theft of account assets, excessive trading to generate commissions and breach of fiduciary duty in fee-based managed accounts.

Securities Industry Case – David has been the lead attorney on many cases representing brokers against their firms and against other brokers involving compensation, wrongful termination, breach of contract, raiding, prime brokerage, the expungement from their official records of false accusations of misconduct and has negotiated language on a discharged broker’s Uniform Termination Notice (U-5).

Contracts – David regularly represents financial advisers transitioning from one firm to another by negotiating favorable contract terms that anticipate possible adverse events.

Expert Testimony– David has been retained on attorney malpractice law suits arising out of securities arbitrations.

Industry Publication – David has, for 34 years, written the 4,000+ page primary legal text on the subject of securities arbitration and mediation, published by Lexis/Matthew Bender, utilized by law firms, law schools and the legal departments of brokerage firms, by customer attorneys and broker and brokerage firm attorneys.

Statute Book Commentary – Since 1995, David has written the annual McKinney’s Consolidated Laws of New York Practice Commentary on securities arbitration and mediation, used by attorneys and cited by the courts.

Practice Guides – David is also the author of six Practice Guides published by Lexis on customer arbitrations, industry arbitrations, motion practice, injunctive relief and mediation, all of which are updated annually.

Published Articles – David has written over 80 law review articles and other pieces on securities law, has chaired continuing education programs for attorneys since 1986 and regularly speaks at law school clinical securities arbitration clinics that utilize his book as their course text.

Board of Editors – David is a member of the Board of Editors of the Public Investors Advocate Bar Association Bar Journal and Securities Arbitration Alert, the two leading publications to practitioners of securities arbitration and mediation.

Arbitrator/Mediator – Mr. Robbins has been either an arbitrator or mediator in approximately 75 cases.

Published Works

  • “Precedential Influence of FINRA Arbitration Awards,” PIABA Bar Journal, Vol. 30, No. 3, October 2023
  • “The New Expungement Rules,” PIABA Bar Journal, Vol 30 No 2, July 2023
  • “Trust Established – Trust Breached” – New York State Bar Association program: Securities Arbitration 2020 – Deep Dive, March 2020
  • “From the Arbitrator’s Perspective: Experts and Damages,” course book article for 2018 New York State Bar Association program on securities arbitration. Nov. 29, 2018
  • “Elderly Claimant Customers – Special Considerations in FINRA Arbitration.” Course book article for New York State Bar Association program on Securities Arbitration and Mediation, April 6, 2017
  • “They Are Watching And Listening - What Arbitrators Want,” New York State Bar Association program Securities Arbitration 2015, Course book article, Dec. 12, 2015
  • “Calling All Arbitrators: Reclaim Control of the Arbitration Process - the Courts Let You,” Chapter 21 of the American Arbitration Association’s Handbook on Arbitration Practice (updated revisions to the 2010 publication). JurisNet, LLC (Dec. 2015)

Pro-Bono Activities

  • Director, Compliance Department, American Stock Exchange, 1980 to 1985


  • Golden Bow Tie Award, Public Investor Arbitration Bar Association - Lifetime Achievement Award for Protection of Investor Rights
  • Highest Peer Review Rating (AV) from Martindale-Hubbell

AV Preeminent | Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence