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Litigation Is Problem-Solving

Rob pursues the idea that every dispute must be understood as a unique problem, presenting an underlying difficulty and/or disagreement that deserves careful targeted analysis and requires its own individual solution. He favors “litigating backwards,” focusing first on what a final resolution of the problem might look like, then working backwards to determine what tactics ahead of litigation or in court will be most effective in reaching that result. Critical to this process is good judgment, setting aside a cookie-cutter approach in favor of a carefully-crafted, detailed plan for success that remains flexible enough for necessary adjustment during the course of the controversy.

Good Judgment Comes From Broad Experience

Clients large and small benefit from Rob’s 40 years of experience in and approach to the vast array of matters he has handled in courts, arbitrations, mediations, and administrative forums. One of the principal outside trial lawyers representing the LVMH luxury goods conglomerate, Rob has led litigation and trial teams for high-profile trademark cases, argued numerous matters in the Courts of Appeals, and resolved everything from contract matters, to class actions, to bankruptcy disputes, real estate cases, employment matters, and celebrity disputes. He previously worked as special counsel for an international labor union trying to rid itself of organized crime and has served as Special Assistant Attorney General as the principal outside trial counsel for the Illinois Gaming Board. He has experience in art law, criminal appeals, securities litigation, antitrust matters, and asylum cases as well. 

What Good Is Philosophy?

An adjunct professor of philosophy for two decades, Rob teaches both introductory and advanced courses on ancient and modern philosophy, most recently at Saint Xavier University in Chicago. Because philosophy is often the study of possibilities, his teaching is integral to finding novel ways for dealing effectively with troublesome disputes and allows him to leverage his classroom experience to be compelling in court and before juries. Having taught in Poland, the Czech Republic, Turkey, China, and India, Rob understands the problems of communicating unfamiliar ideas to his audiences. Rob continues to refine his communication skills by serving as a commentator on the Supreme Court and various political and foreign policy issues on local TV.

Knowledge Is Power

For 30 years, Rob has been an Associate Editor of Litigation, the journal of the Section of Litigation of the American Bar Association and has authored a quarterly column called Advance Sheet for that publication for the last 20 years. He is now the most published author in the history of the journal and publishes extensively on trends in the law, litigation, and the legal profession. Rob has also published numerous articles on topics in education, politics, and foreign policy in Southtown News, a local newspaper.

Opera & Baseball Are Life; The Rest Is Just Details

Rob is devoted to the arts, serving on the board of an opera company and hosting his own weekly radio show on classical music. His love of baseball has led him to do color commentary on broadcasts of the games of the Windy City Thunderbolts, a Class A independent baseball team. He is an admitted workout nut, committed to weight training, swimming, running, and Pilates on a weekly basis.

Representative Experience

Professional & Community Activities

  • Selected, Local Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation (2020)
  • Selected, Illinois Super Lawyers (2014-2019)
  • Selected, Leading Lawyers Network (2004-2019)
  • Recipient, Law360 Distinguished Legal Writing Award for “The Morality of Dissent,” Burton Awards (2019)
  • Member, Merit Selection Panel for U.S. Magistrates, N.D. Ill. (1996-1997)
  • Law Clerk to Honorable Walter J. Cummings, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Order of the Coif

Speaking Engagements & Presentations

Articles & Publications

News

Education

University of Chicago Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1979

University of Toronto, M.A., 1975, M.Phil, 1976

Harvard College, A.B., cum laude, 1972

Bar & Court Admissions

  • State of Illinois
  • State of New York
  • U.S. District Court - Northern District of Illinois (including Trial Bar)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - 7th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
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