Robert E. Thackston
Robert splits his time between developing litigation strategies and trying cases. His experience includes commercial, product liability and toxic tort cases involving personal injury, wrongful death, premises liability, theft of intellectual property, RICO, civil nuisance, land use, and property damage. Working with teams from our local offices in New York, Atlanta, Charleston, Chicago, Dallas, Austin, St Louis, Los Angeles and San Francisco, he manages to practice literally coast to coast.
To help clients avoid litigation or quickly resolve it when it arises, it is important to understand litigation leverage. The best perspective comes from a combination of courtroom work and client contact. Robert has tried cases all over the country. In, November 2014, he tried a $13 million case with possible punitive damages to a unanimous defense verdict in federal court in Los Angeles. Earlier that year, he tried one in state court for 4 months before receiving a dismissal for his client. In 2013, he received a defense verdict after a 3 month trial and in 2012 a three week trial resulted in a directed verdict in his client’s favor. Despite the courtroom experience, he makes a concerted effort to spend even more time working with clients to avoid litigation, resolve unavoidable cases short of trial and reduce legal costs.
His experience ranges from plaintiff’s work, representing the family of a woman who drowned in an elevator and landowners whose property was affected by a nearby nuisance, to the defense the owner of a major industrial operation against thousands of nuisance claims for personal injury, properly damage and loss of use and enjoyment. He has defended manufacturers who made a range of products from consumer goods, toys, turbines, cranes and rigging equipment to products with a variety of potentially harmful ingredients like asbestos, bauxite, benzene, dioxin, PCBs and silica. He has tried commercial, product liability, automotive liability, medical malpractice, general negligence, and federal civil rights cases. He also helps clients avoid lawsuits with risk management advice on warnings, warranties, regulations, and post-sale responsibilities.
Robert is licensed in New York, Virginia, North Carolina, Texas, Illinois and California. He takes time to host client and firm educational events at Thackston Farm, a training retreat in East Texas. He believes in educating young attorneys to become “Renaissance Lawyers,” capable in all areas of their practice, especially professionalism. Feel free to ask him for the slides from that presentation.
- Texas Association of Defense Counsel
- New York State Bar Association
- State Bar of Texas
- State Bar of California
- Illinois State Bar Association
- North Carolina State Bar
- Virginia State Bar
- AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
- Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers Magazine (2007-2009)
- "Combating “No Safe level” and Other Attempts to Change Science and History," Advanced Trial Tactics Seminar, In-House CLE Series, Montalba, Texas (February 10, 2017)
- "Advanced Cross Examination Techniques for Plaintiff’s Experts in Asbestos Cases," Advanced Trial Tactics Seminar, In-House CLE Series, Montalba, Texas (January 9, 2015)
- “Combating Plaintiffs use of Phantom Impeachment at Trial,” In-House CLE Series, Montalba, Texas (May 2, 2014)
- "The Emerging Lung Cancer Case: An Analysis of Surging Filing Trends, Asbestos Trust Issues and the Modern Causation Case," Perrin Conferences, Asbestos Litigation Conference, Beverly Hills, California (March 17-18, 2014)
- "Cross Examining the Plaintiffs' Expert Witness on Damages," DRI Damages Seminar, Las Vegas, Nevada (March 18, 2004)
- "Defending Retailers in Asbestos Litigation," DRI Asbestos Medicine Seminar, Miami, Florida (November 6, 2003)
- "Cross Examining Plaintiffs' Industrial Hygiene Experts," Defense Research Institute Conference on Asbestos Litigation, Miami, Florida (November 2000)
Articles and publications
- Is Your Plaintiff “Over Coached?” Symptoms of Undue Influence on Testimony, Review of Applicable Ethical and Discovery Rules, and How to Combat Over Coaching In Asbestos Cases
- Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks, Management of Asbestos Litigation under Judicial Administration Rule 11
- Court-Appointed Experts in Toxic Tort Litigation
- Danny Shaw and Shirley Shaw v. John Crane Inc., et al.
- Castillo v. Cleaver Brooks, Inc., et al.
- White v. Alcoa Inc., et al.
- Gabrielli v. Alcoa Inc.
- Susan Hill, Individually and as Personal Representative of The Estate of Charles Tyrone Hill v. Air & Liquid Systems, et al.
- Kordestani v. 3M Company, et al.
- Schildknegt v. Air & Liquid Systems Corporation, et al.
- Schott, et al. v. Alfa Laval, Inc., et al.
- Keeney, et al. v. A.W. Chesterton Company, et al.
- Charles E. Morrison v. Alfa Laval, Inc.
- Matthew Swalling v. Reichhold Chemicals, Inc., et al.
- Robert Niebauer, et al. v. 3M Company
- Donna Walmach v. Warren Pump
- Hughie Robinson v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., et al.
- DaimlerChrysler v. Bill Davis Racing, Inc.
- Alvin Jensen v. Warren Pump
- Richard Cunningham v. Warren Pumps, Inc., et al.
- Harvey Gudmundson v. Warren Pump
- Jim Henry v. Warren Pump
- Kenneth Hicks v. Doe Auto Manufacturer
- Louis Hicks v. Doe Auto Manufacturer
- Barletta v. A.W. Chesterton
- Savatore Polito and Constance Polito v. Anchor Packing Company
- Thomas Collins v. Doe Auto Manufacturer
- James Lansford & Leta Lansford v. Doe Auto Manufacturer, et al.
- Vaughn v. AC&S, Inc., et al.
- Bando v. Aces
- Hermasillo v. OCF
- Williams v. W.R. Grace, et al.
- Cole v. OCF, et al.
- Dascho v. Keene, et al.
J.D., with honors, University of North Carolina School of Law (1987)
- North Carolina Law Review
B.S., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1984)
- Phi Beta Kappa
- Johnston Scholar
- State and Federal Courts in California, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- Smithfield Hires Robert Thackston for Hog Farm Nuisance Trials
- Manufacturer of Cosmetic Talcum Powder Dismissed in New Jersey Mesothelioma Case
- HPTY Challenges U.S. Jurisdiction for International Company in Thailand
- Robert Thackston Elected Chairman of HPTY’s Executive Committee
- HPTY Wins Daubert Motion in Federal Court Take-Home Asbestos Case for Premises Client
- John Crane Inc. Obtains Unanimous Defense Verdict in California Federal Court
- Three Daubert Motions Argued In Federal Court
- Client Dismissed After Four Month Mesothelioma Trial in Los Angeles County
- National Law Journal Names HPTY to the 2014 Midsize Hot List
- Defense Verdict in Los Angeles
- HPTY Successfully Defends Appeal of Trial Verdict
- HPTY Wins Bench Trial on Workers' Compensation Affirmative Defense
- Robert Thackston and Claire Weglarz Win Directed Verdict in Los Angeles
- Robert Thackston and Claire Weglarz Obtain Favorable Verdict in Los Angeles Mesothelioma Case
- Georgia Court of Appeals Affirms Daubert Ruling
- HPTY Represents Over 20 Landowners in Pro Bono Nuisance Suit
- Robert Thackston Receives Dismissal in New York Mesothelioma Trial