Jury Selection, Opening Statements, and Robert De Niro to Take Witness Stand Monday in Gender Discrimination & Retaliation Case Against Robert De Niro & Canal Productions

NEW YORK, Oct. 30, 2023 (GlobeNewswire) — The Sanford Heisler Sharp legal team representing Graham Chase Robinson, the former vice president of production and finance for Robert De Niro’s production company Canal Productions, will select an 8-person jury and present their opening statement in her gender discrimination case against the actor and his company.

Robinson v. De Niro begins today at 9:00 a.m. in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 500 Pearl Street, with Judge Lewis J. Liman presiding in Courtroom 15 C.

Brent Hannafan, partner and Co-Chair of the Trial Practice Group at Sanford Heisler Sharp, will present the opening statement outlining Ms. Robinson’s pending claims against De Niro and Canal. Arising during her more than 11 years of employment for the two-time Academy Award winner, the claims include gender discrimination and retaliation in violation of the New York City Human Rights Law.

“Ms. Robinson is ready to tell her story to the jury,” said Hannafan. “Her discrimination and retaliation claims are compelling and the evidence supporting them is clear. We believe when all the testimony has been heard, the jury will agree with us that De Niro discriminated and retaliated against Ms. Robinson.”

Ms. Robinson worked as De Niro’s lead assistant starting in February 2008. Ultimately, she became Canal’s vice president of production and finance, but after lodging complaints of gender discrimination, her job responsibilities were reduced, which drove Ms. Robinson to resign in April 2019.

Robinson alleges that De Niro and Canal subjected her to demeaning comments and conduct based on her gender, assigned her stereotypical female job duties inconsistent with her job title, paid her less than a male employee based on her gender, and allowed De Niro’s girlfriend Tiffany Chen to target her with false accusations about a romantic interest in De Niro. Ms. Robinson also alleges the defendants stripped her of her job duties in retaliation for expressing concern about Ms. Chen’s comments and treatment of her.

In addition to De Niro and Ms. Robinson, a dozen or more witnesses may testify during the trial including De Niro’s girlfriend Tiffany Chen, his lawyer Tom Harvey, his accountant Michael Tasch, and a number of current or former employees who overlapped with Ms. Robinson at Canal from 2008 to 2019.

The trial is expected to last two weeks. The case is Robinson v. De Niro et al., case number 1:19-cv-09156.

About Sanford Heisler Sharp

Sanford Heisler Sharp is a public interest and civil rights law firm with offices in New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Atlanta, Baltimore, Nashville, and San Diego. The firm focuses on employment discrimination, Title IX, wage and hour, whistleblower and qui tam, criminal/sexual violence, financial services, and Asian American litigation and finance matters. Our lawyers have recovered over $1 billion for our clients through many verdicts and settlements.

In 2022, The National Law Journal named Sanford Heisler Sharp Civil Rights Firm of the Year, and it recognized the firm in 2021 as both the Employment Rights Firm of the Year and the Human Rights Firm of the Year. Law360 recognized the firm as Employment Practice Group of the Year in 2021, 2019, 2018, and 2016. Benchmark Litigation recognized the firm as the Labor & Employment Firm of the Year in 2021 and 2020.

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For more information, contact Jamie Moss, newsPRos, at 201-788-0142 or [email protected].