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Litigation Is Problem-Solving

For Rob, litigation is problem-solving for the client, the application of good judgment to the resolution of the special challenges posed by each particular dispute or controversy affecting the client’s interest. Avoiding cookie-cutter solutions or approaches that “round up the usual suspects,” Rob’s approach is to treat each matter as a unique problem that deserves its own carefully targeted analysis and requires its own plan of action. This requires “litigating backwards,” focusing first on what a final resolution of the problem might look like, then working backwards to develop the tactics ahead of litigation or in court that will be most effective in reaching that result. Essential to the process is careful attention to the client’s needs and resources, along with flexibility and nimble decision-making that can adjust to changing circumstances without losing sight of the ultimate objective.

Good Judgment Comes From Broad Experience

Clients large and small benefit from Rob’s more than 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 in high-profile trademark cases, argued numerous matters in the Courts of Appeals, and resolved everything from contract disputes, antitrust cases and consumer class actions to bankruptcy disputes, real estate cases, information technology and privacy issues, 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 over 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 grounded in 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, India, and Vietnam, Rob understands the problems of communicating unfamiliar ideas to his audiences and learning from the different assumptions and experiences of his listeners. 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 21 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 boards of two opera companies and a theater 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 baseball team. He is an admitted workout nut, committed to weight training, swimming, and Pilates on a daily basis.

Representative Experience

Activities & Honors

  • 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
  • Selected, Local Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation (2020-2022)
  • Selected, Illinois Super Lawyers (2014-2022)
  • Selected, Leading Lawyers Network (2004-2022)

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. District Court - Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court - Eastern District of New York
  • 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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