Robert N. Hochman
ROBERT N. HOCHMAN is an appellate advocate with a wealth of experience persuading appellate courts in high stakes litigation. In a recent report by Reuters, he was identified as one of a “small group of lawyers with outsized influence at the Supreme Court.” He has earned the trust and confidence of several of the world’s most respected businesses. His clients reflect a diverse range of industries including computer software, medical devices, life sciences, banking, insurance and financial services, air and rail transportation, and others. He has won appeals before the U.S. Supreme Court, state Supreme Courts and federal and state appellate courts covering a broad range of issues, including patent law, class action standards, federal preemption, pleading standards, state tax and regulatory standards, contract disputes, and others. Rob’s effective advocacy had led to appellate victories reinstating a $800 million arbitration award in favor of Seagate (Seagate Technology LLC v. Western Digital Corp. (Minn. 2014)), and reversing two awards greater than $500 million against Microsoft regarding claims of infringement against various of its software products (Lucent Techs. v. Microsoft, (Fed. Cir. 2009) and Eolas Techs. Inc. v. Microsoft Corp. (Fed Cir. 2005)).
Rob’s counsel is valued not only for his ability to prevail in court, but also for his judgment in guiding clients through the uncertainty of litigation. Clients have turned to Rob to evaluate the ultimate prospects of a litigation to inform investment decisions and settlement negotiations. He also frequently helps shape strategic decisions during trial court litigation, including presenting motions to dismiss and for summary judgment, motions in limine and jury instructions, and post-trial motions. Rob knows that he most effectively serves his clients by working cooperatively with trial teams, both during trial court litigation and on appeal. His leadership as an appellate advocate includes actively soliciting and benefiting from the judgment of those other professionals who have won his client’s trust.
Recent appeals Rob has led and argued include:
- Grandalski v. Quest Diagnostics, Inc. (3d Cir.), concerning denial of class certification for nationwide consumer fraud claim regarding medical billing.
- E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. v. Medtronic Vascular, Inc., (Delaware Supreme Court), concerning contract dispute regarding patent royalty payments.
- Hartney Fuel Oil Co. v. Hamer, (Illinois Supreme Court), concerning the situs of Illinois Retail Occupancy Tax.
- AlmondNet v. Microsoft Corp. (Fed. Cir.), concerning claim construction issues in patent infringement case.
- Watkins v. DineEquity, Inc., et al., (3d Cir.), concerning interpretation of New Jersey’s Truth in Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act.
- Solargenix Energy, LLC v. Acciona S.A., (Ill. App. Ct.), concerning personal jurisdiction.
Rob frequently presents at panels regarding legal developments at the Supreme Court and other appellate courts. He also serves as an instructor in the Supreme Court Practice law clinic at Northwestern University. He served as a law clerk to Justice Stephen Breyer of the United States Supreme Court, and to Judge Richard Posner of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
The cases considered by the Supreme Court on the merits that Rob has handled include:
- Chambers v. United States (2009) (argued), regarding the interpretation of the Armed Career Criminal Act.
- Rivera v. Illinois (2009), considering whether the erroneous seating of a juror over a defendant’s peremptory challenge automatically requires a new trial.
- Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights (2007), regarding the interpretation of the pleading standard for scienter under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act.
- Rita v. United States (2007), regarding the legal force of the United States Sentencing Guidelines.
- Exxon v. Allapattah Services, Inc. (2005), interpreting the federal supplemental jurisdiction statute.
- United States v. Fanfan (2005), regarding a 6th Amendment challenge to the United States Sentencing Guidelines.
- Norfolk Southern Ry. v. Kirby (2004), regarding liability limitation provisions in bills of lading for multimodal carriage of goods internationally.
Cases Rob has argued in federal and state appellate courts include:
- Pearson v. NBTY, Inc. (7th Cir. 2014), concerning approval of class action settlement.
- Solargenix Energy, LLC v. Acciona S.A., (Ill. App. 1st Dist. 2014), concerning personal jurisdiction.
- Grandalski v. Quest Diagnostics, Inc. (3d Cir. 2014), concerning denial of class certification for nationwide consumer fraud claim regarding medical billing.
- Watkins v. DineEquity, Inc., et al., (3d Cir. 2014), concerning interpretation of New Jersey’s Truth in Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act.
- E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. v. Medtronic Vascular, Inc., (Delaware Supreme Court 2013), concerning contract dispute regarding patent royalty payments.
- Hartney Fuel Oil Co. v. Hamer, (Illinois Supreme Court 2013), concerning the situs of Illinois Retail Occupancy Tax.
- Hartney Fuel Oil Co. v. Hamer, (Ill. App. 3d Dist. 2012), concerning the situs of Illinois Retail Occupancy Tax.
- AlmondNet v. Microsoft Corp. (Fed. Cir. 2012), concerning claim construction issues in patent infringement case.
- Cohen v. Wachovia Mortgage (7th Cir. 2012), concerning state-law challenge to manner of selection and cost of lender placed insurance by a federal savings bank.
- Ruppert v. Principal Life Insurance Co. (8th Cir. 2012), concerning propriety of class action on behalf of ERISA plans against retirement plan service provider.
- BCS Services, Inc. et al. v. Heartwood 88, LLC et al. (7th Cir. 2011), concerning causation and damages under RICO.
- Freeman v. MML Bay State Life Ins. Co. (3d Cir. 2011), concerning scope of release in class action settlement agreement.
- Competitive Edge, Inc. v. Staples, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2011), concerning design patent infringement.
- Allied Medical, P.A. et al. v. American International Insurance Co. et al. (3d Cir. 2009), concerning viability of class action lawsuit challenging methods for calculating reasonable and customary charges for insurance reimbursement.
- Casey v. FDIC (8th Cir. 2009), concerning federal preemption of state law claims challenging the charging of document preparation fees by federal savings banks.
- Bridgewater Telephone Co. v. City of Monticello (Minn. Ct. App. 2009), concerning interpretation of Minnesota public bond statute.
- Springman v. AIG Marketing, Inc. (7th Cir. 2008), concerning removal of putative class action to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act.
- Murray v. HSBC Auto (7th Cir. 2008), concerning interpretation of the phrase “firm offer of credit” under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
- Aon Risk Services of Arkansas v. Meadors (Ark. Ct. App. 2007), concerning compensation contract interpretation.
- Killingsworth v. HSBC Bank Nevada, N.A. (7th Cir. 2006), concerning private right of action under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
- Republique du Congo v. FG Hemisphere Associates (5th Cir. 2006), concerning the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
- Ragan v. AT&T (Ill. App. Ct. 2005), scope of arbitration agreement.
- PR Diamonds, Inc. v. Chandler (6th Cir. 2004), pleading standards under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act.
- Best Life Assurance Co. of California v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue (9th Cir. 2002), concerning tax consequences of unaccrued unpaid losses.