Richard V. Robilotti announced his retirement. Make no mistake, this is the retirement of a legend in the Longshore and Defense Base Act community.
Mr. Robilotti is the district director for the Second Compensation District of the Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation (“DLHWC”) in New York. For forty years, Mr. Robilotti has been in charge of Longshore claims arising in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Further, the New York office–for the longest time–was the go-to Defense Base Act office. Every claim that arose in Iraq and Afghanistan went to Mr. Robilotti’s desk, including claims made by local and third country nationals.
My contact with Mr. Robilotti began when I first started practicing law. I graduated law school just as the Defense Base Act was heating up. At that time, the Second Compensation District was the only DLHWC office that I dealt with. Mr. Robilotti–indeed, every claims examiner in New York–was instrumental not just in the administration of the DBA, but in my growth as a DBA attorney.
How? Mr. Robilotti would tell me if I did something wrong. But he would also tell me if I did something right. His particular brand of constructive criticism was effective and helpful for honing litigation skills.
With Mr. Robilotti’s retirement, there will be big shoes to fill in New York. Nonetheless, the next district director will have the benefit of building on the foundation laid by Mr. Robilotti over the last forty years. Indeed, this is the retirement of a legend. I wish him well.