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Overview

Robert Chemers has been schooled in the Firm’s tradition of displaying a high degree of professionalism in all aspects of his practice. Robert is committed to working successfully as a member of a team when representing a client or its insureds. As part of that team philosophy, Robert has stressed excellent reporting and frequent telephone interaction with other team members. Robert strives to provide high-quality legal services in an efficient and cost-effective manner.  

With a focus in insurance law and litigation, Robert counsels clients on the duty to defend, the duty to indemnify and numerous esoteric and complex issues of insurance coverage, as well as all aspects of claim handling and defense of bad faith claims. He has handled one or more declaratory judgment actions for clients in 70 of the 102 counties in Illinois as well as around the Midwest. He has appeared on a pro hac vice basis outside Illinois in more than 50 courts.

Robert has been an attorney of record in more than 900 appeals, almost 500 of which resulted in published precedential opinions, including more than 50 in the Supreme Court of Illinois. He is often hired for his known appellate experience by clients to handle appeals from motions or trials handled by other law firms, including assisting with the post-trial motion recognizing that the post-trial motion is the complaint on appeal. Over the years, he has been involved in appeals which have shaped the law in Illinois on topics including civil procedure, jury instructions, tort reform, statutes of limitations, privilege, policy rescission and the recent unconstitutional amendment to the Code of Civil Procedure mandating 6-person juries for trials in civil cases.

Robert began his career with the firm immediately following graduation from law school, and Robert has been schooled in the firm’s tradition of displaying a high degree of professionalism in all aspects of his practice. Since 2015, he has been President of the firm and has frequently served on the Executive Committee.

Robert is a Fellow of the American College of Coverage Counsel, and he has been honored as an Illinois Super Lawyer and one of the Best Lawyers in America for appeals or insurance coverage or both every year since those designations began. He writes and lectures frequently for the Illinois Institute of Continuing Education, DRI, IADC, American, Illinois State and Chicago Bar Associations, and National Business Institute on topics including civil procedure, appeals, insurance coverage including duty to defend, UM/UIM issues, additional insureds, declaratory judgment actions, and bad faith.

Education

  • Indiana University School of Law, J.D. 1976, cum laude
  • University of Southern California, B.A. 1973, magna cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois – Trial Bar
  • United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • United States District Court for the District of Arizona

Related Practices

Professional Experience

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association  
  • DuPage County Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
  • Appellate Lawyers Association

Awards

  • Illinois Super Lawyers—15 years
  • Best Lawyers in America—every year since inception
  • Illinois Leading Lawyers
  • Fellow—American College of Coverage Attorneys

News

Pretzel & Stouffer shareholders Robert Chemers, Matthew Egan, Edward Ruff, and Richard Waris named as Super Lawyers in Illinois for 2020

  Robert Chemers – Insurance Coverage and Appellate Matt Egan – Civil Litigation, Professional Liability, and Employment Law Ed Ruff – Class Action Mass Torts,  Products Liability, Medical Malpractice, and Business Litigation Richard Waris – Business Litigation and Professional Liability We congratulate Robert, Matt, Ed, and Dick for again being recognized for their outstanding legal ...

March 2020 | Firm News

Results

Petition for Leave to Appeal Granted by Illinois Supreme Court

  Robert Chemers and Paula Villela recently had a Petition for Leave to Appeal granted by the Illinois Supreme Court. The case involves an Appellate Court opinion in a case of first impression which allowed a #plaintiff in a medical malpractice case to re-designate a previously disclosed controlled expert witness and treating physician as a ...

January 2020

Significant Victory for Insurers by Pretzel & Stouffer Before Illinois Supreme Court

  In a significant victory for the insurance industry, Pretzel & Stouffer attorneys, Robert Chemers and Jonathan Federman, prevailed today for an insurer in the Supreme Court of Illinois. The court issued its opinion this morning reversing the trial court and the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District, and directing the trial court to enter judgment ...

January 2020

Court Grants Summary Judgment for Pretzel Client Over No Duty to Defend or Indemnify

  Pretzel & Stouffer attorneys, Rich Burgland, Robert Chemers, and Paula Villela, obtained a summary judgment for their insurer client that it had no duty to defend or indemnify the insured for various motions for sanctions and attorneys’ fees and the resultant judgment against the insured for more than $1.1 million in fees, costs and ...

January 2020

Wisconsin Motion for Judgment Victory Against Pro Se Plaintiff

Robert Chemers and Jonathan Federman, recently obtained a summary judgment in a 39-page Order for an Illinois professional liability insurer in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. The pro se plaintiff filed a direct action suit against the insurer and several attorneys and law firms. The Court held, among other things, that the insurer did not insure any ...

October 2019

Robert Chemers and Scott Howie Secure Appellate Dismissal

Pretzel & Stouffer partners, Robert Chemers and Scott Howie, succeeded in having an adversary’s appeal dismissed for lack of appellate jurisdiction in the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District. In a declaratory judgment action, the circuit court entered judgment for the firm’s client, an insurer, holding that it had no duty to defend its insured ...

September 2019