Roberta Kaplan: Lead attorney in civil lawsuits against Donald Trump

Published date26 January 2021
Without the legal immunity that protected him while in the White House, the former president faces an abundance of civil and criminal legal peril over allegations of tax fraud, campaign-finance violations, his role in the catastrophic storming of the US Capitol this month and more.

Arguably the most eager to move forward in the cases against the departed president is Roberta Kaplan, a trailblazing Jewish attorney who has won almost every legal accolade imaginable. Kaplan is taking on Trump in three suits: representing Mary Trump, the former president's niece who alleges she was swindled out of her inheritance worth millions; writer E. Jean Carroll, who filed a defamation case after Trump claimed she was "totally lying" about her statement that he raped her in the mid-1990s; and participants in the multilevel marketing company ACN, who say Trump committed fraud by endorsing the corporation as a promising business opportunity.

The three high-profile cases against the former president are not Kaplan's first time making headlines. Her career-defining moments include successfully arguing before the US Supreme Court, resulting in the landmark decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide.

Kaplan is a former litigation partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, a top Manhattan-based law firm. An observant Jew and a lesbian, she became increasingly interested in advocating for liberal causes and in 2017 formed her own firm – Kaplan, Hecker & Fink – to handle public-interest cases as well as commercial litigation.

The 54-year-old, who participates in a Talmud discussion group on Sunday mornings, was drawn to the legal field because, as she puts it, it's a good job for going after bullies. Within months of opening her law firm, the Charlottesville, Virginia, rally took place in August 2017; without hesitation, Kaplan went after the bullies. She is a lead attorney in the case against the organizers of the white supremacist "Unite the Right" rally.

While gearing up to confront Trump, another alleged bully, Kaplan, who splits her time between Manhattan and a country home she shares with her wife and teenage son, spoke to The Jerusalem Post.

How did you become the go-to lawyer for those suing the former president?

I'm not sure exactly how it happened. The first case we brought was the ACN case, and after we brought that case, people started contacting us. I guess it's like the normal way things like that happen. People read about you, and if they have a...

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