Summary

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 33 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 billions of dollars 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 documentaries, “The Devil We Know” and “Revealed: How To Poison A Planet.”

Rob has proudly represented Taft and his community as a board member of Less Cancer, the New College Foundation, Green Umbrella, an American College of Environmental Lawyers Fellow, 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 has received Honorary Doctor of Laws Degrees from New College of Florida and Thomas More University, and an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from The Ohio State University’s Environmental Science Graduate Program.

Rob is a Fellow in the Right Livelihood College, a lecturer at the Yale School of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, and an Honorary Professor at the National University of Cordoba in 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)

Awards

  • David Brower Lifetime Achievement Award (2020)

  • Big Fish Award, Riverkeeper Fishermen’s Ball (2020)

  • Green Prize for Sustainable Literature, Santa Monica Public Library (2020)

  • Consumer Safety Award, Kentucky Justice Association (2020)

  • Environmental Working Group’s Changemaker Award (2023)

  • Multicultural Health Institute’s Community Champion Award (2023)

  • Honoree, Best Lawyers in America, Environmental Law, Litigation – Environmental, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Action – Plaintiffs

    (2010 – present)

  • Honoree, Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers®, Litigation – Environmental (2019, 2021, 2023), Environmental Law (2022, 2024), Cincinnati

  • Honoree, Local Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation (2015 – present)
    Honoree, Local Plaintiff Litigation Star, Benchmark Plaintiff (2011 – 2016)

  • Leading Lawyer Honoree, Cincy Magazine, Environmental Law

    (2008 – present)

  • MVP for Class Action Honoree, Law360 (2017)

  • AV Peer-Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell

  • Fellow, Right Livelihood College

  • Laureate, Right Livelihood Award (2017)

All Service Areas

Education

  • The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law (1990)
  • New College (1987)

Admissions

  • 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

Professional Affiliations

  • American College of Environmental Lawyers

    Fellow

  • Cincinnati Academy of Leadership for Lawyers (CALL)

    Member, Class V

  • Cincinnati Bar Association

    Member
    Former Chair, Environmental Law Committee (2013)

  • Kentucky Bar Association

    Member

Community Involvement

  • Less Cancer

    Board Member

  • Green Umbrella - Regional Sustainability Alliance

    Board Member

  • Giraffe Heroes Project

    “Giraffe Hero” Commendation (2016)

  • Working in Neighborhoods ("WIN")

    Member, WIN Hall of Fame (2016)

  • New College Foundation

    Board Member

  • New College Alumni/ae Association

    Former Member, Board of Directors (2018 – 2021)

  • Rotary Club of Cincinnati

    Member

  • Green Umbrella - Regional Sustainability Alliance

    Board Member