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Robert N. Hochman


ROBERT N. HOCHMAN is an appellate advocate who 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 amassed a wealth of experience, winning 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. Clients in especially high stakes appeals have relied on Rob’s effective advocacy, including winning an appellate court ruling reinstating a $600 million arbitration award in favor of Seagate (Seagate Technology LLC v. Western Digital Corp. (Minn. App. 2013)), 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 achievements have led Law360 to recognize him as a “rising star” in appellate litigation.

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 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:

  • 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.
  • Cohen v. Wachovia Mortgage (7th Cir.), 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.), concerning propriety of class action on behalf of ERISA plans against retirement plan service provider.

Rob also represents amici in the United States Supreme Court on issues of a broad concern to industry groups or other interested parties. Notable cases in which Mr. Hochman briefed issues for amici include a brief on behalf of retired military officers in Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) (lawfulness of affirmative action programs) and a brief on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States in Stoneridge Investment Partners, LLC v. Scientific Atlanta, Inc. (2008) (scope of secondary liability for violations of the federal securities laws).

Rob frequently presents at panels regarding legal developments at the Supreme Court. 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.

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