A seasoned and internationally-recognized litigator, advocate, and author, Rob represents a diverse range of clients on a wide variety of matters involving federal, state, and local environmental laws. For more than 29 years, he has handled environmental issues of regulatory compliance, permitting, and corporate/real estate transactions, as well as all aspects of litigation arising from such issues, from administrative hearings to multi-party, complex multi-district litigation, mass torts, and class actions.
Rob has gained international prominence in connection with uncovering and disclosing the world-wide impact of environmental contamination by the “forever chemicals” known as PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkylated substances), particularly PFOA and PFOS. To date Rob has secured benefits in excess of $1 billion for a wide array of firm clients adversely impacted by PFAS contamination, including through key leadership positions in the nation’s first class action, personal injury, medical monitoring, and multi-district litigations, and jury trials involving PFAS. Because of this experience and knowledge on PFAS issues, Rob is frequently invited to provide keynote lectures and talks at law schools, universities, colleges, communities, and other organizations all over the world, including testimony before federal and state Congressional subcommittees, parliaments of the European Union, individual member states, and the United Kingdom, and committees of the United Nations.
In 2017, Rob received the international Right Livelihood Award (also known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize”) for his decades of work on PFAS “forever chemicals,” and was the 2020 recipient of Taft’s “Legacy Award,” which is bestowed upon a Taft attorney who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the firm, resulting in an overall positive impact on the legacy of Taft. Rob’s story is chronicled in his book, “Exposure: Poisoned Water, Corporate Greed, and One Lawyer’s Twenty-Year Battle against DuPont,” and is the inspiration for the feature film, “Dark Waters” and documentary, “The Devil We Know.”
Rob has proudly represented Taft and his community as a board member of Less Cancer, as a member of the Cincinnati Academy of Leadership for Lawyers (CALL) Class V and as a former chair of the Cincinnati Bar Association’s Environmental Law Committee. He received his undergraduate degree from New College and earned his J.D., cum laude, from the Ohio State University College of Law, where he served as managing editor of the Law Journal.
Rob is a Fellow in the Right Livelihood College and an Honorary Professor at the National University of Cordoba in Argentina. The following eight institutions represent the Right Livelihood College worldwide:
- Lund University (Sweden).
- Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia).
- University of Port Harcourt (Nigeria).
- Universidad Austral de Chile (Chile).
- University of California Santa Cruz (USA).
- University of Bonn (Germany).
- Tata Institute of Social Sciences (India).
- National University of Cordoba (Argentina).
Rob has also received the following awards:
- Kentucky Bar Association Distinguished Lawyer Award (2020).
- "Giraffe Hero" Commendation Honoree, Giraffe Heroes Project (2016).
- Clarence Darrow Award Honoree, Mass Tort Bar (2014).
- Trial Lawyer of the Year Award Honoree, The Trial Lawyers for Public Justice Foundation (2005).
David Brower Lifetime Achievement Award (2020)
Big Fish Award, Riverkeeper Fishermen's Ball (2020)
Consumer Safety Award, Kentucky Justice Association (2020)
Green Prize for Sustainable Literature, Santa Monica Public Library (2020)
Honoree, Best Lawyers in America®, Environmental Law, Litigation - Environmental (2010 - present)
Honoree, Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers in America, Litigation - Environmental, Cincinnati (2019, 2021)
Class Action Honoree, Kentucky Super Lawyers, Class Action (2017 - present)
Honoree, Local Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation (2015 – present)
Honoree, Local Plaintiff Litigation Star, Benchmark Plaintiff (2011 – 2016)
Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Ohio Honoree, National Trial Lawyers Association (2008 - present)
Member, The National Trial Lawyers: Class Action Trial Lawyers Association Top 25
Leading Lawyer Honoree, Cincy Magazine, Environmental Law (2008 - present)
AV Peer-Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
Laureate, Right Livelihood Award (2017)
MVP for Class Action Honoree, Law360 (2017)
Fellow, Right Livelihood College
All Service Areas
- The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law (1990)
- New College (1987)
- Federal - Southern District of Ohio
- Federal - 4th Circuit Court of Appeals
- Federal - 6th Circuit Court of Appeals
- State - Ohio
- State - Kentucky
- Federal - Eastern District of Kentucky
- Cincinnati Academy of Leadership for Lawyers (CALL)
Member, Class V
- Cincinnati Bar Association
Former Chair, Environmental Law Committee (2013)
- Kentucky Bar Association
- American Bar Foundation
- Less Cancer
- Giraffe Heroes Project
“Giraffe Hero” Commendation (2016)
- Greening Our Children
“Champion for Children” Award (2016)
- Working in Neighborhoods ("WIN")
Member, WIN Hall of Fame (2016)
- New College Alumni/ae Association
Member, Board of Directors
- Rotary Club of Cincinnati