Robert B. Hemley
Bob Hemley was admitted to the bar in 1971 in New York. After working for a Wall Street firm and serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, he joined the firm in 1976.
- New York University, J.D. 1970
- Amherst College, B.A. 1967
- Named Burlington Lawyer of the Year in various categories in The Best Lawyers in America© (2009, 2011-2013)
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© for more than 25 consecutive years, since 1989
- Listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business since 2003
- AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating in Martindale-Hubbell since 1986
- Listed in New England Super Lawyers since 2007
- Named as one of the Top 100 New England attorneys in New England Super Lawyers (2007-2011, 2013, 2015-2017, 2019)
- Named as a “litigation star” in Benchmark’s Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys since 2008
- Received Matthew Lyon Award by the Vermont Press Association for lifetime achievement in First Amendment work
- Won a jury verdict of $6,000,000 for a local garbage hauler in a predatory pricing case against Browning Ferris. The judgment was affirmed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Won a $3,000,000 jury verdict on behalf of a young girl whose t-shirt ignited, on the theory that cotton t-shirts are a dangerously defective product.
- Won numerous jury verdicts in medical malpractice, negligence and products liability cases, obtaining millions of dollars for injured plaintiffs.
- Successfully defended numerous local businesses at trial in minority shareholder cases.
- Represented at trial a national packager of medical data in a successful effort to declare a Vermont statute unconstitutional. The verdict was affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Represented at trial the owner of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant in a successful effort to declare a Vermont statute unconstitutional.
- Obtained an arbitration award on behalf of the owners of a hydroelectric facility obtaining a valuation millions of dollars higher than the valuations presented by the opposing party.
- Represented numerous national companies in disputes with the Vermont Attorney General over fair trade practices and advertising.
- Represented numerous criminal defendants in federal courts.
- Represented national and regional brokerage firms in disputes with customers and the State Department of Financial Regulation.
- Represented physicians at the state’s largest hospital in employment-related disputes.
- Represented national employers in defense of wrongful discharge and other employment related matters.
Memberships & Affiliations
- Chair, U.S. District Court Advisory Committee (formerly Civil Justice Reform Act Task Force) for Vermont, 1993-Present
- Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
- Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers
- Member, Chittenden County, Vermont and American Bar Associations
- Member, The Association of Trial Lawyers of America
- Member, Defense Research Institute
- Member, American Board of Trial Advocates (Charter member, Vermont Chapter; President, 1993-1994)
- Member, Federal Panel of Early Neutral Evaluators
Selected Reported Cases
- Browning-Ferris Indus. of Vermont, Inc. v. Kelco Disposal, Inc., 492 U.S. 257 (1989)
- Travelers Ins. Co. v. Henry, 2007 WL 1448072 (D. Vt. May 14, 2007)
- Austin v. Downs, Rachlin & Martin, 2006 WL 2585102 (D. Vt. Aug. 24, 2006)
- Dwight v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, 2005 WL 756517 (D. Conn. Mar. 31, 2005)
- In re Inquest Subpoena (WCAX), 2005 VT 103, 179 Vt. 12, 890 A.2d 1240 (2005)
- State v. Whitney, 2005 VT 102, 178 Vt. 435, 885 A.2d 1200 (2005)
- Austin v. Downs, Rachlin & Martin, 114 Fed. Appx. 21 (2d Cir. 2004)
- Blanchard v. Eli Lilly & Co., 207 F. Supp. 2d 308 (D. Vt. 2002)
- Soutiere v. Betzdearborn, Inc., 189 F. Supp. 2d 183 (D. Vt. 2002)
- Herald Ass’n v. Dean, 174 Vt. 350, 816 A.2d 469 (2002)
- Andrew C. & Margaret R. Sigler Found., Inc. v. Town of Norwich, 174 Vt. 129, 807 A.2d 442 (2002)
- Needham v. Coordinated Apparel Group, Inc., 174 Vt. 263, 811 A.2d 124 (2002)
- Vermont Mobile Home Owners’; Ass’n v. Lapierre, 131 F. Supp. 2d 553 (D. Vt. 2001)
- In re Sealed Documents, 172 Vt. 152, 772 A.2d 518 (2001)
- Vermont Soc’y of Ass’n Executives v. Milne, 172 Vt. 375, 779 A.2d 20 (2001)
- Savoie v. Merchants Bank, 166 F.3d 456 (2d Cir. 1999)
- Lupien v. Citizens Utils. Co., 159 F.3d 102 (2d Cir. 1998)
- Boston & Maine Corp. v. Canadian Nat’l Ry., 152 F.3d 917 (2d Cir. 1998)
- Ray v. Doughboy Recreational, Inc., 122 F.3d 1057 (2d Cir. 1997)
- Costello v. Gannett Satellite Info. Network, Inc., 939 F. Supp. 313 (D. Vt. 1996), aff’d, 112 F.3d 503 (2d Cir. 1997)
- Shaw v. Agri-Mark, Inc., 67 F.3d 18 (2d Cir. 1995)
- Ross v. Times Mirror, Inc., 164 Vt. 13, 665 A.2d 580 (1995)
- Beauchemin v. Blodgett Corp., 163 Vt. 175, 656 A.2d 984 (1995)
- State v. Gundlah ex rel. Smallheer, 160 Vt. 193, 624 A.2d 368 (1993)
- Downs v. Downs, 159 Vt. 467, 621 A.2d 229 (1993)
- David L. Threlkeld & Co. v. Metallgesellschaft Ltd. (London), 923 F.2d 245 (2d Cir. 1991)
- State v. Schaefer, 157 Vt. 339, 599 A.2d 337 (1991)
- Mobbs v. Cent. Vermont Pub. Ry., 155 Vt. 210, 583 A.2d 566 (1990)
- U.S. v. Starr, 816 F.2d 94 (2d Cir. 1987)
- Schaafsma v. Morin Vermont Corp., 802 F.2d 629 (2d Cir. 1986)
- New York (1971)
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (1972)
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (1972)
- U.S. District Court, District of Vermont (1976)
- Vermont (1977)
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York (1977)
- U.S. Supreme Court (1989)
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