ROBERT N. HOCHMAN is a partner in the firm’s Chicago office. His practice focuses on appellate litigation, and also in briefing and arguing critical and complex motions in trial courts. He served as a law clerk to Justice Stephen G. Breyer of the United States Supreme Court and Judge Richard A. Posner of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He was recently named by Law360 as one of 10 “rising stars” in appellate litigation.
Mr. Hochman has argued before the United States Supreme Court, as well as numerous state and federal courts of appeals. His cases have concerned a wide range of legal issues. He has argued cases concerning patent infringement, class action standards, federal preemption, pleading standards, state tax and regulatory standards, contract disputes, and other issues. He has briefed appeals successfully vacating substantial jury awards for patent infringement, including two awards greater than $500 million against Microsoft regarding claims of infringement against various of its software products, including its Windows ® operating system and Outlook (Lucent Techs. v. Microsoft, (Fed. Cir. 2009) and Eolas Techs. Inc. v. Microsoft Corp. (Fed Cir. 2005)), and a $43 million infringement judgment against Cardinal IG regarding a claim of infringement of a process for making insulated window glass (AFG Indus. v. Cardinal IG Co., (Fed. Cir. 2007)).
The cases considered by the Supreme Court on the merits that Mr. Hochman 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 Mr. Hochman has argued in federal and state appellate courts include:
- 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.
- 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.
Mr. Hochman 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).
Mr. Hochman also has assisted trial teams in a variety of capacities, including presenting motions to dismiss and summary judgment motions, as well as jury instructions and post-trial motions. He regularly consults with trial teams regarding legal strategy and positioning a case for appeal.
Mr. Hochman 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.