Honoree

Robert A. Long

AWARDS

Maurer School of Law Academy of Law Alumni Fellows (2009)
Maurer School of Law Distinguished Service Award (2008)
Stahr Senior Award (1968)
Indiana University Bloomington

BIOGRAPHY

Robert A. Long has enjoyed an extraordinary legal career, and has served both private and pro bono clients with his exceptional trial skills. Retired since 2005, Long spent his entire career at Latham & Watkins LLP in Los Angeles, where he served as managing partner from 1992 to 1997 and held a variety of management roles prior to that time.

A business litigator and trial lawyer, Long has represented many of the country's leading aerospace and computer companies. In the early 1990's, he was lead trial counsel for the international law firm, Jones Day Reavis & Pogue LLP, in defense of the Lincoln Savings securities class action and related government claims, in cases that received considerable press coverage, as well as academic interest, because of the professional liability issues they raised. Following the conclusion of those cases and until his retirement, Long's practice consisted primarily of the representation of other major law firms, in both professional liability and partnership matters, and he became a frequent speaker at bar events and law schools on these issues. In 1999, he was elected to the American College of Trial Lawyers.

One of the most professionally satisfying chapters in his legal career was his pro bono prosecution of a habeas corpus petition on behalf of Mario Rocha. Although he was only 16, Rocha was tried as an adult, and because of inadequate trial representation, was convicted of murder and attempted murder on the basis of unreliable eyewitness identification testimony and improper gang associations. Rocha was sentenced to life in prison. Long persuaded the California Court of Appeal to hear the habeas petition and eventually to set aside the conviction. The State dismissed all charges against Rocha last year, and Rocha is now enrolled in George Washington University, aspiring to become a lawyer and pursue social justice issues. An award-winning documentary entitled Mario's Story details Long's eight-year fight to secure Rocha's freedom.

Long is currently a member of the California Commission on Access to Justice, a collaborative effort involving all three branches of California government, as well as judges, lawyers, professors, and business and labor leaders dedicated to finding long-term solutions to the lack of legal assistance for low-income, vulnerable Californians, and he chairs the Pro Bono Task Force of that Commission.

A committed Indiana Law alumnus, Long served as a member of the Board of Visitors from 1994 to 2005 and was chair of the Board in 2001.