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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.


  • 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


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


Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Recognized as Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell

Pretzel and Stouffer partners, David Bennett, Robert Chemers, Suzanne Crowley, Matthew Egan, Patrick Healy, Brian Henry, James LaBarge, Edward Nielsen, Howard Pikel, Brian Rocca, Alan Schumacher, Brian Sundheim, John Smith, Richard Waris, and Timothy Weaver, were selected in 2019 by their peers as Preeminent for Highest level of Professional Excellence by Martindale-Hubbell.

July 2019 | Firm News


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

Summary Judgment Victory for Insurance Carrier

Robert Chemers, Rich Burgland, and Paula Villela, recently secured summary judgment for their client, a liability insurance carrier, which was found to have no duty to defend a general contractor in an action alleging construction defects and conversion of the claimant’s property. The underlying claimant brought an action against the general contractor for negligence in ...

July 2019

Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Win in Mississippi Supreme Court

Robert Chemers and Rich Burgland obtained a major victory for their insurer client in the Mississippi Supreme Court. With the help of local counsel, Dorrance Aultman, Robert and Rich successfully defended an appeal by two claimants. The claimants sought coverage for a wrongful death lawsuit arising out of the death of their adult son who ...

July 2019