Roberto Rivera-Soto
Roberto Rivera-Soto

Roberto A. Rivera-Soto

Partner

riverasotor@ballardspahr.com
Tel 856.761.3416
Fax 856.761.1020
New Jersey

Justice Roberto A. Rivera-Soto is a litigator and served for seven years on the Supreme Court of New Jersey before joining Ballard Spahr.

Litigation and Appellate

Justice Rivera-Soto is well positioned to maximize clients' ability to succeed at the trial and appellate levels. The insight he gained while serving for seven years on the Supreme Court of New Jersey allows him to persuasively and effectively appeal to the individual judges, both in writing and orally. He provides valuable insight on appellate and trial court judges' expectations and point of view to the benefit of his clients.

As the first Hispanic American to serve on the Supreme Court of New Jersey, Justice Rivera-Soto authored 192 opinions, including 92 majority opinions. One case in which he dissented, J. McIntyre Machinery Ltd. v. Nicastro, was reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court, and two other cases in which he dissented were reversed by acts of the New Jersey Legislature, which upheld his position in each instance.

During his term on the court, Justice Rivera-Soto served as the long-term liaison to the courts Disciplinary Oversight Committee, New Jersey Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection, and IOLTA Fund. He also was the initial Chair of the New Jersey Board on Continuing Legal Education, which was credited with implementing, for the first time, continuing legal education requirements for attorneys in New Jersey.

Before joining the court, Justice Rivera-Soto was an attorney in private practice and served as a certified mediator in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. He has hands-on experience in a range of litigation and has handled matters involving sales, accounting and transactional fraud, unfair competition, insurance claims, claims against governmental entities, licensing and regulatory matters, and a panoply of litigation in both the federal and state courts nationwide.

Gaming

Justice Rivera-Soto advises clients in the gaming industry. He is the former Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of Caesars World, Inc., in Las Vegas and the Sands Hotel & Casino, in Atlantic City. While so engaged, he was responsible for all legal matters applicable to the expansion of gaming opportunities worldwide, including the development and/or expansion of gaming facilities both in the United States and abroad.

Other Experience

Justice Rivera-Soto is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. His experience included cases involving prosecutions for mail fraud, narcotics importation and distribution, smuggling, and violations of the Neutrality Act (conspiracy to export firearms unlawfully).

Professional Activities

Hispanic National Bar Association, Honorary Committeeman, 2012 mid-year meeting

District VII Ethics Committee of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, member and Chair, 2000-2004

Rutgers School of Law-Camden, past instructor of trial advocacy

Recognition & Accomplishments

Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, 2008-present

Recipient, Ballard Spahr's 2013 Alan J. Davis Award, for his pro bono work as a member of the Prisoner Civil Rights Team

Recipient, New Jersey State Bar Association's Commendatory Resolution, 2011, and NJSBA's inaugural annual Military Support Award, 2010

Recipient, Association of Latin-American Law Students of Rutgers School of Law-Newark's Commendatory Plaque, 2010

Recipient, Latin American Law Students Association of Seton Hall University School of Law's Commendatory Plaque, 2005

Recipient, Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey's Lifetime Achievement Award, 2005

Recipient, U.S. Department of Justice's Director's Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant U.S. Attorney

Recipient, commendations from FBI, U.S. Customs Service, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms

Recent Speaking Engagements

Keynote address, "American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters," Monmouth County Law Day, Freehold, N.J., May 1, 2014

Panelist, "Diversity in the Judiciary," Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, September 17, 2013

Keynote address, "The Supreme Court of New Jersey and You: Perfect Together?" New Jersey Lawsuit Reform Alliance Fall Membership Luncheon, Trenton, N.J., September 10, 2013

"Perspectives on Fair Trial/Free Press Issues: The Prosecution of Dharun Ravi," American College of Trial Lawyers Regional Meeting, Atlantic City, June 9, 2012

Keynote Speaker, Diversity Breakfast Keynote Address, Defense Research Institute, Product Liability Conference – Product Liability Litigation in the 21st Century: The Future is Now, Las Vegas, April 12, 2012

"Using Social Media in Litigation: Ethical, Legal and Practical Issues," New Jersey Law Journal, In-House Counsel CLE Seminar, March 20, 2012

2012 Labor & Employment Law Forum, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, in cooperation with the NJSBA Labor & Employment Law Section, New Brunswick, N.J., March 6, 2012

"Joint Defense Agreements: Privileges, Agreements and Practical & Ethical Problems," Rutgers School of Law's C. William Heckel Inn of Court’s Joint Defense Agreements: Privileges, Agreements and Practical & Ethical Problems Seminar, Newark, N.J., January 18, 2012

"What Every Lawyer Should Know about the New Jersey Constitution," New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE)'s What Every Lawyer Should Know about the New Jersey Constitution Seminar, New Brunswick, N.J., December 19, 2011

"Maximizing Your Leadership through Community Involvement," The National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA), Malvern, Pa., December 1, 2011

"Appellate Practice before the Supreme Court of New Jersey," Cumberland County Bar Association, Millville, N.J., November 12, 2011

Panelist, "Overcoming Obstacles to Become a Leader," Deloitte Philadelphia Hispanic Network, A Deloitte Celebration of Diversity, November 3, 2011

Board Memberships

New Jersey Development Authority for Small Businesses, Minorities' and Women's Enterprises, 1988-1994

Please Touch Museum, 2001-2003

Southern Nevada Disciplinary Board of the State Bar of Nevada, 1997-1999 

Cornell Law School (J.D. 1977)
Recipient, Charles K. Burdick Scholarship; Member, Moot Court Board

Haverford College (B.A. 1974, with departmental honors)
Recipient, José Padín Scholarship

Languages

Fluent in Spanish

Delaware

District of Columbia

Nevada

New Jersey

Pennsylvania

U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada

U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

U.S. Supreme Court