Photo of Robert  Duckels

Robert Duckels

Officer

“I aim to provide sophisticated legal analysis while avoiding the unnecessary battles in litigation that tend to obscure the big picture. Not just advocacy, but focused advocacy, is important to achieving outcomes that are both favorable and cost-efficient for my clients.” 

Admissions

  • Missouri
  • Illinois
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

Education

J.D., University of Illinois College of Law, cum laude, 2000

B.S., Austin Peay State University, cum laude, 1996

Profile

Robert Duckels handles product liability and general commercial litigation on behalf of clients across the country, building a significant amount of trial and appellate experience in a variety of court venues. 

As co-chair of the firm’s product liability group, Robert frequently represents manufacturers including those in the automotive, tire, heavy industry, medical device and mining equipment industries. He represents his clients both regionally and nationally, including taking several trials to verdict in recent years in diverse venues.

Robert also specializes in appellate practice, handling appeals directly and also working with other lawyers during trial to help ensure that key issues are properly preserved for appeal. His appellate practice, drawing on his strengths in written and oral advocacy, includes experience in state and federal courts in Illinois and Missouri, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

Robert’s practice includes religious liberties litigation as well. In state and federal courts, in trial and on appeal, he has represented religious organizations in cases focused on the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses of the First Amendment. He also has years of experience in medical malpractice, real estate and general commercial litigation. 

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Judicial Division, Council of Appellate Lawyers
  • The Missouri Bar
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis

Experience

Representative Matters

  • Product liability. Won a defense verdict on behalf of a tire manufacturer after a two-week trial in Washington state. The plaintiffs had sought more than $25 million after a motorcycle accident that caused serious brain injury.
  • Product liability. Victory in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in an automobile product liability case involving multiple counts of wrongful death.
  • Appellate practice. Reversal of a plaintiff’s jury verdict in the Missouri Court of Appeals.
  • Real estate litigation. Victory at the trial level defeating a complex challenge to the validity of indentures governing a multimillion-dollar real estate development.

News & Insights

Publications

Articles

  • "What Can the Court Do? Evaluating Your Appeal"
    St. Louis Business Journal, Summer 2009