Rob is a seasoned trial attorney with extensive experience in product liability litigation. His practice focuses on pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, as well as toxic tort cases.
Rob has served as first- and second-chair trial counsel in more than 30 cases that have gone to verdict. He has also served as lead trial counsel, national counsel and local counsel for many global pharmaceutical and medical device companies, including Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries.
The matters that Rob handles are nationwide litigation relating to anticoagulants, hip implants, pelvic mesh, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and atypical antipsychotic medications, among other products. He manages all stages of pretrial proceedings; takes and defends depositions of key experts, C-suite and other company witnesses throughout the United States and Europe; and briefs and conducts Daubert and Frye challenges. Rob’s litigation practice includes multidistrict litigation, class actions, mass torts and claims of unfair competition and false advertising.
Another focus of Rob’s practice is the automotive industry. Rob defends automotive clients including auto manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers in product liability litigation and commercial litigation. He has litigated cases involving seat belts, air bags, ignition switches and other transportation litigation, handling all phases of discovery and trial work. He also handles employment and commercial disputes.
Outside of the firm, Rob serves as a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and as a trial instructor for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and the American Bar Association. He frequently gives presentations on ONE Discovery, the use of technology in the courtroom, deposition techniques and litigation management. He has held top leadership positions in the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation, the National Bar Association and the Connecticut Bar Association. As part of his ABA and NBA roles, Rob has spearheaded several corporate counsel conferences that connect in-house counsel and law firms. Rob employs appropriate staffing and innovative technology to provide efficient case management for his clients.
Trial counsel for an international pharmaceutical company involving the defense of a novel oral anticoagulant. Secured defense verdict.
Trial counsel for an international oil company involving a case on Connecticut's complex litigation docket. The owner of a large gasoline terminal sued on antitrust violations, breach of contract, unfair trade practices, misrepresentation, and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. All of the plaintiff’s claims were disposed of before trial, and the case went forward solely on our clients’ counterclaim for breach of contract. After two trials and two appeals, the court awarded our clients $5.5 million in damages and attorneys’ fees.
Defended major pharmaceutical corporation against claims brought under the Connecticut Product Liability Act. The district court granted complete summary judgment to the defendants, holding that federal law preempted plaintiff's design defect claims.
Lead trial counsel for a prominent regional health care institution in a product liability lawsuit involving the use of probiotics to prevent necrotizing enterocolitis in premature infants.
Lead trial counsel of a national team for an international medical device company in a product liability lawsuit in Maryland involving a hip implant. Defense victory on all counts.
As lead counsel, obtained complete summary judgment for major pharmaceutical company against claims under the Connecticut Product Liability Act alleging injuries related to plaintiff's use of an antipsychotic medication.
Member of trial team in MDL involving a hip implant and secured a defense verdict in the first bellwether trial.
As member of trial team in MDL through three bellwether trials, handled C-suite level witness preparation, expert discovery, and preparation of a variety of medical and regulatory issues relating to hip prostheses.
As lead counsel for a Fortune 50 company in a class action litigation, defeated class certification in a mass tort action.
Lead trial counsel in a series of product liability and tort actions for an international oil company and obtained defense verdicts in all three cases that were tried.
Lead trial counsel in numerous health care litigation matters and secured more than 10 defense verdicts for physicians and/or health care institutions.
Lead trial counsel in the longest dental malpractice trial reported in Connecticut, resulting in a verdict that awarded plaintiff with $0 in pain and suffering.
Lead trial counsel for firm business clients involved in serious injuries. These representations resulted in multimillion-dollar verdicts for these clients and two of the highest verdicts in Connecticut during the relevant years.
Lead trial counsel for auto manufacturer in a product liability and unfair trade practices claim in Massachusetts. Secured defense verdict.
Trial counsel for auto manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers of seat belts, air bags, and ignition switches.
Lead counsel in representing major oil company involved in benzene litigation. Successfully secured a Lone Pine order that ended the flow of claims.
Lead counsel in asbestos litigation for consumer goods and auto parts manufacturers.
Current Juror Perceptions and Behaviors, Client Presentation, October 7, 2023.
Insights from Frontline Litigators on Current Juror Perceptions and Behaviors: How Juror Attitudes are Playing Out in the Courtroom and What We Can Glean from Covid-Related Juror Questionnaires. ACI’s 27th Annual Conference on Drug & Medical Device Litigation, New York, December 6, 2022.
Corporate America Has Failed Black Lawyers—Time for Real Change—Corporate Leaders Stand Up! National Bar Association, October 19, 2020.
Living to Work, Not Working to Live, Connecticut Bar Association Presidential Fellows Program, March 12, 2020.
FDA Evidence in Device Cases: Friend or Foe? DRI 2019 Drug and Medical Device Litigation Seminar, Washington, D.C., May 16-17, 2019.
Practical Ways for Incorporating Diversity and Inclusion Into Your Trial Team and Litigation Strategy, ACI’s 23rd Annual Conference on Drug & Medical Device Litigation, New York, November 28-30, 2018.
Crafting a Compelling Company Story: Deposition of a Treating Physician, Drug & Medical Device Litigation Boot Camp, Philadelphia, July 30-31, 2018.
Ethics in Practice, CLE, Connecticut Bar Association, New Britain, Connecticut, January 24, 2018.
Litigation Management: Results-Oriented Leadership, ABA Diversity Conference: Professional Success Summit, Atlanta, November 14-16, 2016.
2016 Current Issues in Pharmaceutical Medical Device and Biotech Litigation, ABA Regional CLE Workshop, Philadelphia, November 4, 2016.
Anatomy of a Trial: The Trial of Wyatt Earp, Scottsdale, April 9, 2014.
Admissibility Hurdles for 510(k) Evidence in Medical Device Litigation, IADC Defense Journal, January 15, 2020 (with Caycee Hampton).
The 510(k) Process Does Involve a Relevant Safety Review, Despite What You May Have Read or Heard, November 4, 2016.
Shook Hardy’s Conn. Lead Partner on Tackling Diversity, Law360, May 20, 2022.
Black Law Firm Partners Made Paltry Gains in 2021, Bloomberg Law, January 21, 2022.
‘It Could Have Been Me’: Black Attorneys Reflect on George Floyd’s Death and What Comes Next, The American Lawyer, June 3, 2020.