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  • Illinois
  • Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)


Robert H. Riley

Partner, Executive Committee Member

In My Own Words

Schiff Hardin

Robert H. Riley is a member of the firm's Executive Committee, and is co-leader of the Product Liability and Mass Torts Practice Group.

Mr. Riley has an active trial practice, having successfully tried cases and argued appeals across the country. His primary focus is on product liability and complex personal injury litigation, but he has handled a wide range of commercial litigation matters through trial and appeal. He has played the lead role in our firm's successful defense of personal injury and property damage claims against manufacturers of asbestos-containing products, including large consolidations and nationwide class actions.

He also has defended individual and class action product liability suits involving a wide range of industrial equipment and consumer products, including:

  • Car seats
  • Children's swings
  • Window coverings
  • Automotive equipment
  • Glass containers
  • Packaging equipment
  • Child resistant closures
  • Gas grills
  • Drinking glasses
  • Gas heaters

Mr. Riley's practice is national in scope. He has appeared at trial in state and federal courts throughout the country, including Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Maryland, Oregon, Florida, California, Wisconsin, Minnesota and the District of Columbia. His New York trial work served as the catalyst for opening our firm's New York office.

Mr. Riley's appellate experience is extensive. He has argued before:

  • The U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third and Seventh Circuits
  • The Supreme Court and Courts of Appeals of Illinois
  • The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
  • The Supreme Court and Courts of Appeals of Ohio
  • The Supreme Court of Oregon
  • The New York Court of Appeals
  • The Maryland Court of Appeals
  • The Florida Court of Appeals
  • The Minnesota Court of Appeals
  • The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation

Mr. Riley's appellate work has resulted in 48 reported decisions, including ground-breaking rulings in the areas of civil conspiracy, punitive damages, class certification, mass tort case management and constitutional interpretation.

Speeches and Presentations

Mr. Riley has chaired numerous national conferences and made dozens of presentations concerning trial techniques and substantive questions regarding trial practice, mass torts and product liability law.

Pro Bono Activities

Mr. Riley's pro bono work has included the trial and appeal of civil rights cases.

Awards and Honors

Benchmark Litigation — Star
Best Lawyers In America — Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions (Defendants)
Leading Lawyer — Class Action/Mass Tort Defense Law; Products Liability Defense Law; Toxic Torts Defense Law, Illinois Leading Lawyers Network
AV Rated — Martindale-Hubbell
"Who's Who in Chicago Business," Crain's Chicago Business


University of Chicago Law School(J.D. , 1978)
Hinton Moot Court Champion
Denison University(B.A., with highest honors, 1975)
Phi Beta Kappa

Civic and Charitable Memberships

University of Chicago Law School 2010 Visiting Committee

Professional Memberships

American Bar Association
Chicago Bar Association
State Bar of Wisconsin