ROBERT N. HOCHMAN co-leads Sidley’s Supreme Court and Appellate practice. Reuters identified Rob as one of a “small group of lawyers with outsized influence at the Supreme Court.” Clients turn to Rob to handle some of the highest priority matters within their organizations. That includes matters involving risk (and potential reward) of many hundreds of millions of dollars, and it also includes advising clients on litigation strategy to promote legal developments favorable to their businesses. His clients reflect a diverse range of industries including computer hardware and software, medical devices, life sciences, banking, insurance and financial services, air and rail transportation, research universities, 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, class actions, antitrust, federal preemption, pleading standards, state tax and regulatory standards, contract disputes, and others.
Rob’s counsel is valued not only for his ability to prevail in appellate courts, but also for his judgment in guiding clients through the uncertainty of litigation. Clients turn to Rob to evaluate the ultimate prospects of a litigation to inform investment decisions and settlement negotiations. He supports trial teams by presenting motions to dismiss and for summary judgment, and by drafting motions in limine, 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:
- Bucklew v. Precythe (U.S. Supreme Court), regarding standard for evaluating as-applied challenge to method of execution.
- Clean Water Opportunities, Inc. v. The Willamette Valley Company (5th Cir.), concerning validity of predatory pricing antitrust claim.
- Zola v. TD Ameritrade, Inc., (8th Cir.), concerning SLUSA preemption for putative class action asserting state law causes of action in connection with broker’s receipt of payments for customer order flow to market centers.
- 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.
Rob believes strongly in the persuasive power of crisp writing. He has for several years co-taught law school courses (at both the University of Chicago and Northwestern University) in judicial opinion writing with leading federal judges. He 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.
Admissions & Certifications
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
- U.S. District Court, N.D. of Illinois - General
- The University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 1997 (with highest honors, Comment Editor, The University of Chicago Law Review)
- Carleton College, B.A., 1993 (magna cum laude)
- Stephen G. Breyer, United States Supreme Court (1998 - 1999)
- Richard Posner, U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit (1997 - 1998)