Robert Clifford is a hard working, dedicated and accomplished aviation accident attorney and personal injury attorney. He has the distinction of being selected by Super Lawyers, a peer-review organization, as the number one lawyer in the state of Illinois in 2014, marking the sixth consecutive year of earning this top honor. He was named by Chicago Magazine as one of the 100 Most Powerful Chicagoans in 2013 and was named the 2012 Chicago Lawyer Person of the Year based upon his trial accomplishments, his contributions to the legal community and to the Chicago area. He is founder 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. The National Law Journal named the firm one of the Top 10 Litigation Boutiques in the country for 2012.
Mr. Clifford served as President of the Chicago Bar Association in 2011-12, serving the 25,000-member group with initiatives that promoted the bar, the bench and the Chicago community. He has been inducted into the International Society of Barristers, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the Inner Circle of Advocates and the American Law Institute, a group of 3,000 prominent judges, lawyers and academics from around the world who are selected on the basis of professional achievements in the law. Mr. Clifford was elected to three three-year terms as the Illinois State Delegate to the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association. Mr. Clifford is Past President of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and a Past President of the Chicago Inn of Court. He has been inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the National Judicial College. He is a member of the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Civility, which was established to discover and promote ways to promote civility among lawyers. He also was elected to be a trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society, a non-profit organization supporting historical research and publications of the Supreme Court of the United States. He serves on the Board of Overseers of the Rand Institute for Civil Justice, a California-based think tank.
He was selected as one of Crain’s Chicago Business 2012 “Who’s Who in Chicago Business” in the area of law. He was named Crain’s 2011 Chicago Business’ top civic, cultural and professional leaders in Chicago, which recognized 750 individuals that everyone “needs to know.” In, 2011, Chicago Magazine profiled him in an article detailing his work in aviation law, an area where he perhaps has made the greatest impact in Chicago, around the country and the world. In 2010, he was named Top Lawyer of the Year in Medical Malpractice in Chicago by the oldest peer-reviewed organization in the country, Best Lawyers, which featured him on the cover of their guide. Best Lawyers in America also named Mr. Clifford the 2009 Personal Injury Attorney Lawyer of the Year based upon his particularly high ratings for his ability, professionalism and integrity in personal injury and aviation accident litigation. Leading Lawyers of Illinois named him the Top Attorney in the state in 2013. Mr. Clifford was named one of the Top 10 Attorneys Who Raised the Bar Over the Last Decade in Chicago by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company. He was featured on the cover of the inaugural 2005 issue of Illinois Super Lawyers where they called him “Chicago’s Most Likable Tough Guy.” Corporate Legal Times selected him as one of the “five most respected and feared plaintiffs’ attorneys in the country” dubbing him “the best of the bad.”
As a successful aviation accident attorney, Mr. Clifford consistently garners multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts in aviation litigation. He has represented those injured or killed in nearly every major commercial airline crash in the U.S. in the last three decades. He represented 17 families in the Amsterdam Turkish Airlines crash of 2009, as well as four families who lost loved ones in the Buffalo plane crash, and five families who also lost loved ones in the Comair runway crash in Lexington, Kentucky. He served as liaison counsel for the property damage claims in the 9/11 destruction of the World Trade Center, which settled for $1.2 billion. These complex cases were brought on behalf of insurance companies and business interests from around the globe who suffered financial losses after the collapse of the Twin Towers. He was recently recognized with a Jury Verdict Reporter Award for an $85 million settlement in a qui tam case in which he was among the firms representing the whistleblower. Mr. Clifford represented two victims of a horrific grain bin explosion along the Mississippi River and received $112 million of a $180 million verdict in federal court in St. Louis.
Mr. Clifford endowed the first 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 dealing with the relationship between tort law and societal needs. Justice Stephen Breyer of the Supreme Court of the United States is speaking at the 2014 Clifford Symposium. He also sits on the Board of Directors of WTTW, Chicago’s public television station, where he sponsors closed captioning.