Robert A. "Bob" Clifford

Robert A. "Bob" Clifford


Clifford Law Offices

Recognized since 1993

Chicago, Illinois

Practice Areas

Aviation Law

Bet-the-Company Litigation

Commercial Litigation

Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Plaintiffs

Medical Malpractice Law - Plaintiffs

Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs

Product Liability Litigation - Plaintiffs

Qui Tam Law

Railroad Law

Transportation Law

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2019 - Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Plaintiffs Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2016 - Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Plaintiffs Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2015 - Product Liability Litigation - Plaintiffs Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2012 - Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2010 - Medical Malpractice Law Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2009 - Personal Injury Litigation
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Bob Clifford is the founder of Clifford Law Offices, which concentrates its practice in helping victims of personal injury, medical malpractice, mass torts, consumer and health care fraud, product liability, and aviation and transportation disasters. Bob regularly handles complex damage cases and routinely receives multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements.

Mr. Clifford has represented those injured or killed in every major commercial airline crash in the U.S. in the last three decades. Clifford was named Lead Counsel in the U.S. federal district court litigation involving the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302’s Boeing 737 Max8 jet on March 10, 2019, in Ethiopia. His aviation litigation representation includes the American Airlines crash at O’Hare in 1979; the United Airlines DC-10 crash in Sioux City, Iowa, in 1989; the Comair runway crash in Lexington, Kentucky of 2006; the Continental Colgan crash of 2009; and, internationally, the Turkish Airlines crash in Amsterdam of 2009 as well as the tragic Boeing crash of a 737 MAX-8 in Ethiopia in 2019. Mr. Clifford served as the liaison counsel for the subrogation and business property damage claims that resulted from our nation’s tragedy on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center in New York. He served as lead counsel in the negotiation and settlement of those claims that settled for $1.2 billion. In a case involving a client who suffered permanent injuries after being dragged by a semi, the jury returned a record $35 million verdict for the young woman he represented.

One of Bob’s most notable cases is the $29.6 million verdict for Rachel Barton, an internationally acclaimed violinist who was severely injured by a Metra train. In 2014, Bob was the lead negotiator in the $1.2 billion settlement of numerous 9/11 property damage claims following the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York. In March 2015, Bob Clifford was lead counsel in a trial against Yellow Cab that resulted in a $25.9 million verdict on behalf of a lawyer who was injured in the back seat when the van crashed into a concrete barrier.

Bob was named by Best Lawyers/U.S. News & World Report as the Lawyer of the Year in Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions in 2016 and again in 2019 in the Chicago metropolitan area. He was appointed to serve as co-lead counsel in a case for which several attorneys recently secured a $250 million settlement against State Farm Insurance company. Bob also serves as co-lead counsel in a data breach case filed in state court against Advocate Medical Group, Illinois’ largest healthcare system, involving more than four million patients and reportedly the largest healthcare data breach in the nation’s history. In addition, Bob was appointed as co-lead counsel in a class action filed against Pella Windows Corporation, a nationwide window manufacturer. U.S. District Court Judge James B. Zagel of the Northern District of Illinois appointed Clifford “as class counsel for his demonstrated skills in the field”. Most recently, Bob and other attorneys have joined to represent numerous hospitals across the country in their fight against the manufacturers of opioid drugs. Clifford Law Offices also represents numerous women in their allegations against Johnson & Johnson stemming from use of the company’s talcum powder products. Just recently, the National Trial Lawyers named Bob Clifford as the Class Action Trial Lawyer of 2018.

In addition to practicing law, Mr. Clifford is dedicated to the furtherance of the legal profession and has been actively involved in and held leadership roles with the American Bar Association (Chair of the Section of Litigation and Chair of the ABA’s charitable arm, the Fund for Justice and Education), Chicago Bar Association (President), Chicago Inn of Court (President), American College of Trial Lawyers and Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (President). He is also a member of the American Law Institute, the Inner Circle of Advocates and serves on the Board of Directors for the RAND Institute for Civil Justice. For more than 25 years, he has sponsored the Annual Clifford Tort Symposium on Tort Law and Civil Justice at DePaul University College of Law. Mr. Clifford also served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Naples Children & Education Foundation, a charitable organization and host of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, which benefits over 200,000 at-risk and underprivileged children in Southwest Florida.

Location

  • 120 North LaSalle Street, 36th Floor
    Chicago, IL 60602

Languages

  • English

Demographics

  • Sex: Male

Education

  • DePaul University , graduated 1976
  • DePaul University, graduated 1973

Bar Admissions

  • United States, U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois 2011
  • United States, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit 2005
  • United States, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit 1996
  • United States, U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois 1993
  • United States, U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois Trial Bar 1982
  • United States, Supreme Court of the 1981
  • United States, U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois 1976
  • Illinois, State of Bar 1976

Affiliations

  • American Association for Justice (AAJ)/ Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) - Member, ATLA, 1989-1995
  • American Association for Justice (AAJ)/ Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) - Dean, ATLA, 1986-1988
  • American Bar Association (ABA) - President-Elect, 2010-2011
  • American Bar Association (ABA) - Chair, Fund for Justice and Education, 2016-Present
  • American Bar Association (ABA) - Board Member, American Bar Foundation, 2016-2018
  • American Bar Association (ABA) - Board Member, ABA Rule of Law Initiative, 2016-2018
  • American Bar Association (ABA) - ABA House of Delegates, Chair, 2004-2014
  • American Bar Association (ABA) - ABA House of Delegates, Nominating Committee of the ABA House of Delegates, 2005-2014
  • American Bar Association (ABA) - ABA House of Delegates, Executive Committee, Conference of State Delegates, 2007-2010
  • American Bar Association (ABA) - Section of Litigation, Chair, 2001-2002
  • American Bar Association (ABA) - Section of Litigation, Chair-Elect, 2000-2001
  • American Bar Association (ABA) - Section of Litigation, Vice Chair, Section of Litigation, 1999-2000
  • American Bar Association (ABA) - Section of Litigation, Council Member, 1983-1986, 2003-2005
  • American Bar Association (ABA) - Section of Litigation, Executive Committee, 2002-2003
  • American Bar Association (ABA) - Section of Litigation, Co-Chair of the ABA Resource Committee, 2015
  • American Bar Association (ABA) - Task Forces and Committees, (various titles held) 1978-2016
  • American College of Trial Lawyers -
  • The American Law Institute (ALI) -
  • American Judicature Society - Illinois Committee for Judicial Independence
  • American Society of Law and Medicine -
  • Chicago Bar Association (CBA) - Various Titles Held, 1976-Present
  • Chicago Inn of Court - President, 1994-1995
  • Cook County Bar Association -
  • Commercial Bar Association -
  • The Executives' Club of Chicago -
  • International Air and Transportation Safety Bar Association -
  • Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) - Advisory Board, Illinois Bar Foundation Fellows, 1989
  • Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) - Offer of Judgement Committee, 1983-1985
  • Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) - Special Committee on Reduction of Court Costs, Delays and Involvement, 1982-1985
  • Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) - General Assembly, 1981-1985
  • Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA) - Various Titles Held, 1980-1990
  • Inner Circle of Advocates -
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers (IATL) -
  • International Society of Barristers -
  • The National Judicial College - Trustee
  • Pound Institute for Civil Justice -
  • Rand Institute for Civil Justice - Board Member
  • The Society of Trial Lawyers -
  • The Supreme Court Historical Society - Trustee

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2019 - Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Plaintiffs Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2016 - Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Plaintiffs Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2015 - Product Liability Litigation - Plaintiffs Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2012 - Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2010 - Medical Malpractice Law Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2009 - Personal Injury Litigation

Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:

  • Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Plaintiffs, Chicago (2019)
  • Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Plaintiffs, Chicago (2016)
  • Product Liability Litigation - Plaintiffs, Chicago (2015)
  • Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs, Chicago (2012)
  • Medical Malpractice Law, Chicago (2010)
  • Personal Injury Litigation, Chicago (2009)

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2023 for work in:

  • Aviation Law
  • Railroad Law
  • Transportation Law
  • Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Plaintiffs
  • Medical Malpractice Law - Plaintiffs
  • Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs
  • Product Liability Litigation - Plaintiffs
  • Bet-the-Company Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Qui Tam Law

Special Focus

  • Aviation Litigation
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Product Liability

Awards:

  • Named on Super Lawyers "TOP 10: 2020 ILLINOIS SUPER LAWYERS" list, 2020
  • Leading Lawyer, Law Bulletin Media, 2020
  • Best Lawyers in America, 1993-Present
  • Lifetime Achievement Award by the Illinois Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Illinois State Bar Association, 2021
  • Best Lawyers, Lawyer of the Year, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions- Plaintiffs, 2019
  • Martindale-Hubbell, A.V. Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence, 2019
  • Best Lawyers in the United States, 2019
  • Leading Lawyers, 2018
  • Unity Award, Diversity Scholarship Foundation, 2017
  • Justice John Paul Stevens Award, Chicago Bar Association, 2017
  • L. Sanford Blustin Award, North Suburban Bar Association, 2017
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, America's Top 100 Lawyers, 2017
  • Top 10: 2016 Illinois Super Lawyers
  • #1 Super Lawyer in Illinois, 2016
  • Who's Who in Chicago, Crain's Chicago Business, 2016
  • Illinois Super Lawyers, 2005-2016
  • Award of Honor, Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, October 2015
  • Top Mass Tort/Class Action lawyer in the Chicago metropolitan area, Best Lawyers, 2015
  • Top 100 Most Powerful Chicagoans in 2015, Chicago Magazine
  • Who's Who in Chicago, Crain's Chicago Business, 2015
  • Honoree, Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, Person of Valor, 2015
  • Elite Trial Lawyers Award, The National Law Journal, 2014
  • Professionalism Award for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 2014
  • #1 Super Lawyer in Illinois, 2014
  • Top 100 Most Powerful Chicagoans in 2014, Chicago Magazine
  • Who's Who in Chicago, Crain's Chicago Business, 2014
  • Top 100 Most Powerful Chicagoans in 2013, Chicago Magazine
  • #1 Super Lawyer in Illinois, 2013
  • Who's Who in Chicago, Crain's Chicago Business, 2013
  • Person of the Year, Chicago Lawyer, 2012
  • #1 Super Lawyer in Illinois, 2012
  • Plaintiff's Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers, 2012
  • Who's Who in Chicago, Crain's Chicago Business, 2012
  • Top Ten Consumer Leading Lawyer in Illinois, 2011
  • Illinois Leading Lawyer, 2011
  • #1 Super Lawyer in Chicago, 2011
  • Top Medical Malpractice Attorney in Chicago, Best Lawyers, 2010
  • Trial Lawyer Excellence Award, Jury Verdict Reporter, 2010
  • Ten for Ten, Ten Attorneys Who Raised the Bar Over the Last Decade, 2010
  • Crain's Top Civic, Cultural and Professional Leaders in Chicago, 2010
  • #1 Super Lawyer in Chicago, 2010
  • Top Ten Consumer Leading Lawyer in Illinois, 2010
  • Best Lawyers' Top Personal Injury Attorney in Chicago, 2009
  • Best Lawyers' 2009 Chicago Personal Injury Litigator of the Year
  • Top Ten Consumer Leading Lawyer in Illinois, 2009
  • Crain's Top Civic, Cultural and Professional Leaders in Chicago, 2009
  • #1 Super Lawyer in Chicago, 2009
  • #1 Super Lawyer in Chicago, 2008
  • Crain's Top Civic, Cultural and Professional Leaders in Chicago, 2008
  • Plaintiffs' Hot List: "Twenty-five Go-to Teams for When the Going Gets Tough," The National Law Journal, 2004
  • Plaintiffs' Hot List: "Twenty-five Go-To Teams for When the Going Gets Tough," The National Law Journal, 2003
  • Thirty Toughest Lawyers, Chicago Magazine, 2002
  • Leading Attorney in Illinois, American Research Corporation, 2001
  • Top Ten Most Influential Attorneys in Illinois, American Research Corporation, 2000
  • Leading Attorney in Illinois, American Research Corporation, 2000
  • Honoree, " A Salute To Those Who Make A Difference," Protector of the Working People Award," Illinois State Crime Commission, 2000
  • Top Ten Lawyers in Illinois, National Law Journal, 1999
  • Top Ten Most Influential Attorneys in Illinois, American Research Corporation, 1999
  • Leading Attorney in Illinois, American Research Corporation, 1999
  • Top Ten Most Influential Attorneys in Illinois, American Research Corporation, 1998
  • Leading Attorney in Illinois, American Research Corporation, 1998
  • The Best Lawyers in America, The National Law Journal, 1993-Present
  • Top Ten Litigators, The National Law Journal, 1993

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Selection Protection


by Bradley M. Cosgrove and Robert A. Clifford

Jury Research in High Profile Cases

jury-research-in-high-profile-cases

Dark Matters


by Robert A. Clifford

So-called dark money in judicial elections threatens to undermine public confidence in the courts. What can the legal profession do to combat it?

fighting-dark-money-in-judicial-elections

In the News: Illinois


by Abigail Rowe

A roundup of notable news of listed lawyers in Illinois.

In the News: Illinois

Pilot Project Aims to Expedite Discovery in Federal Court


by Robert A. Clifford

Discovery has become more expansive in litigation, despite the fact that the vast majority of civil cases settle before trial.

Improving Discovery in Federal Court

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