Robert C. Holtzapple

Robert C. Holtzapple

As a trial lawyer for nearly 30 years, Bob has learned how to develop strategies in complex commercial litigation to obtain the best results for his clients. Bob has tried cases to verdict in both state and federal court, but more often he negotiates a favorable resolution outside the courtroom.

Bob has a deep understanding of how businesses work, and he often represents private companies or individual owners, as well as officers and directors, in corporate divorces. His experience also includes defending public and private companies against shareholder claims and resolving issues for law firms when partners leave. In addition, he has successfully handled the defense of a number of class actions, including those asserted by consumers against a major credit card company and a leading on-line auction house.

Bob often handles cases involving accusations of trade secret theft, trademark infringement claims and alleged copyright violations, particularly for technology companies, financial services firms, software developers, and Internet-based businesses and retailers.

Bob’s litigation successes, in both state and federal court, include:

  • Defeating trademark infringement claims against Fetzer Vineyards in week-long trial in federal court.
  • Attaining a nearly $10 million verdict, including punitive damages – the highest reported jury award in Marin County at the time – for a client after a three-week trial stemming from wrongful interference with an attempt to acquire a business.
  • Defeating claims of trademark infringement against a client after a week-long jury trial in federal court in Texas.
  • Obtaining summary judgment and an award of attorneys fees for a large Japanese corporation accused of misappropriating a Texas firm’s trade secrets.
  • Achieving the emergency appointment of a receiver to take control of a defendant’s assets to protect a client’s investment.
  • Securing summary judgment for a national franchise company accused of infringing others' copyrights in the creation of training materials.
    Obtaining a permanent injunction for an Internet company against a cybersquatter who had registered a competing “.net” domain name.
  • Bob maintains an active pro bono practice, which has included winning a federal jury verdict and punitive damages for an inmate improperly treated by a guard at Pelican Bay State Prison.

Bob has been recognized as a “Litigation Star” by Benchmark Litigation in California (2011-2019) and included as a Super Lawyers - Northern California (2004–2019).

Bob graduated with honors from Stanford University with a degree in History (1985) and obtained his law degree from Boalt Hall (now UC Berkeley Law) in 1989. Bob was born in the Bay Area, and currently lives in Mill Valley with his wife and three children.


  • Stanford University (B.A. History)
  • University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Juris Doctor)