|Advisory Board Member|
| Litigator: Yes|
| Practice Description: |
Robert A. Clifford was selected in 2004 as one of the country's five most respected and feared plaintiffs' attorneys by Corporate Legal Times, which called him the "best of the bad." The National Law Journal named Clifford Law Offices on the Plaintiff's Hot List: 25 Go-To Teams in 2003 and one of the 20 firms on the Plaintiff's Hot List of 2004. American Lawyer Media recognized Clifford as one of the Top 10 Most Influential Lawyers in Illinois in 2000. He has represented victims of every major US commercial aviation crash in the last 25 years. He was named one of Chicago's "30 Toughest Lawyers" by Chicago Magazine in 2002. In 2005, he was inducted into the International Society of Barristers, an organization of outstanding trial lawyers chosen by their peers on the basis of excellence and integrity in advocacy.
Mr. Clifford was named one of the 2005 Super Lawyers in Illinois by Law and Politics, a national organization that conducted independent research among thousands of his peers across the state. In the initial announcement of the top five percent of the state's lawyers, Mr. Clifford was selected as the cover photo of the inaugural issue, which dubbed him "Chicago's Most Likeable Tough Guy." The feature story headlined him as "Chicago's Most-Feared Attorney — Bob Clifford is a lamb who turns into a lion when he's confronted by injustice."
Mr. Clifford consistently garners multimillion dollar awards, including a $29.6 million verdict for Rachel Barton, an internationally acclaimed violinist injured by a commuter train, as well as a $12.6 million verdict in 2002 for a physician partially paralyzed following spinal anesthesia. In 2018, after a week at trial, he obtained a record $35 million settlement for a 22-year-old woman who was struck by a truck at a Chicago street corner and was dragged for 60 feet, causing severe injuries to her legs and pelvis. Clifford Law Offices topped the Chicago Lawyer Magazine's annual settlement survey of Illinois law firms in 2005 as well as in 2002, with the firm's settlements totaling more than $86 million and $136 million respectively. The firm is consistently in the top three firms in the annual settlement survey. He has been involved in litigation involving every major commercial airline crash in the last 30+ years and has received record awards including a $28.2 million verdict in the United Airlines crash at Sioux City, Iowa, for a 70-year-old woman in 1994, as well as a record $15 million settlement in a wrongful death case stemming from that crash. As lead plaintiff's counsel in the 1994 crash of Flight 4184 in Roselawn, Indiana, on Halloween night, he received a record $110 million for about two dozen families who lost loved ones on the aircraft. He was co-lead counsel in the litigation stemming from the 2000 crash of an Alaska Air flight. Currently, he represents 17 victims of those injured or killed in a tragic Amtrak derailment in December 2017 near Seattle, Washington.
Mr. Clifford frequently is asked to speak on television programs on a wide variety of legal issues. He has appeared on The Today Show, CNN American Morning, Oprah, Good Morning, America, CNBC Power Lunch, Wall Street Week, and Chicago Tonight. He also has authored articles for national newspapers including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times and The National Law Journal.
Mr. Clifford was elected chair of the American Bar Association's Section of Litigation from 2001 - 2002. With more than 70,000 members, it is the largest section of the ABA. Mr. Clifford also was appointed by the president of the ABA to Chair the American Bar Association Task Force on Terrorism and the Law, where he served in an advisory role to congressional, executive, state and local leaders on the legal ramifications in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attack on America. In 2005, he was elected the Illinois State Delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates, a position he held for three terms or nine years.
He is past president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and a past president of the Chicago Inn of Court. He was selected to be a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, an invitation-only group of 100 trial lawyers from around the country. He has been inducted into the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers and the exclusive International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has been selected to be a part of the National Judicial College, a select assembly of legal and corporate leaders from across the country dedicated to furthering the education and training of judges. He was asked to be a member of the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Professionalism in 2003. Mr. Clifford also serves on the Board of the Rand Institute for Civil Justice, a "think tank" based in California.
Mr. Clifford endowed the chair on Tort Law and Social Policy to his alma mater, DePaul University College of Law. This generous gift provides for an annual symposium where academicians, lawyers and judges from across the country gather to speak on a timely topic of interest dealing with the relationship between tort law, popular culture and societal needs. Founded in 1994, the symposium, which is free to the public, has hosted legal experts from Stanford Law School to Harvard, from United States Senator John McCain to television commentator/attorney Bill Kurtis. Mr. Clifford shares his knowledge as a frequent lecturer for various bar associations and legal groups throughout the country.
Clifford Law Offices is an accredited continuing legal education provider and every year presents a free ethics program to lawyers across the state. The webinar, now in its 12th year, garners more than 3,000 registrants and is believed to be the largest program in the state.
Mr. Clifford is the principal partner of Clifford Law Offices, a nationally recognized personal injury law firm in Chicago concentrating in aviation, transportation, personal injury, medical negligence and product liability law.
U.S. Supreme Court, 1981
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
7th Circuit, 1996
2nd Circuit, 2005
U.S. District Court
Central District of Illinois, 1993
Northern District of Illinois, 1976
Trial Bar of the United States District Court
Year of Birth: 1951
Law School: DePaul University College of Law, J.D., 1976
Law School Honors/Involvement: Research Editor, DePaul Law Review, 1975-76
Undergraduate School: DePaul University, College of Commerce, B. S., 1973
Bar/Professional Association Involvement:
American College of Trial Lawyers
International Academy of Trial Lawyers (IATL)
The American Law Institute
Inner Circle of Advocates
The National Judicial College
International Society of Barristers
American Bar Association (ABA)
Chair, Section of Litigation, 2001-2002
Chair Elect, Section of Litigation, 2000-2001
Vice Chair, Section of Litigation, 1999-2000
American Inn of Court
American Judicature Society, Illinois Committee For Judicial Independence
American Society of Law and Medicine
Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA)
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Chicago Bar Association (CBA)
Fellow, Chicago Bar Foundation
Master, Chicago Inn of Court
President, Chicago Inn of Court (1994-1995)
Special Supreme Court Committee on Professionalism
Federal Bar Association (FBA)
Illinois Attorneys for Criminal Justice
Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA)
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA)
Illinois State and Chicago Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Kane County Bar Association
Lake County Bar Association
Northwest Suburban Bar Association
Society of Trial Lawyers of America
Trial Lawyers Club of Chicago
The Executives' Club of Chicago
Teaching Experience (Law Schools, Universities and Colleges (Adjunct Professor):
DePaul University College of Law, Chicago
IIT/Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago
John Marshall Law School, Chicago
Loyola University of Chicago, School of Law
University of Chicago College of Law, Chicago
University of Wisconsin School of Engineering, Madison, Wisconsin
William Rainey Harper College
Faculty Chairman, Federal Trial Bar Advocacy Program, Young Lawyers Section of the Chicago Bar Association, 1983
National Institute for Federal Trial Advocacy, a division of the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, Trial Bar Skills for Practicing Attorneys, 1983
Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Regional Trial Advocacy Program, 1982
Court Practice Institute, Chicago Trial Advocacy, 1980
IIT/Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, Products Liability Course, 1979
Robert A. Clifford founded a personal injury law firm in his name in 1984. For more than 30 years, he has worked to establish a national reputation. Clifford Law Offices now boasts 22 attorneys, who, combined, represent hundreds of years of practice in personal injury law. Since its inception, the entire staff of Clifford Law Offices has been dedicated to the goal of representing the rights of plaintiffs concentrating on:
*Aviation liability which includes general and commercial aviation
*Federal Employers' Liability Act
*Personal injury and wrongful death litigation
Every member of the firm upholds the highest principle of the legal profession in placing the individual client first. The firm often is said to set the standard in professional excellence. Moreover, it is important to note that as a result of the litigation handled by the firm, many defective products and dangerous practices have been changed or abandoned altogether.
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