Bob is chair of Schnader’s Aviation Group and a trial attorney with more than two decades’ experience representing global, national and regional companies in complex, high-stakes actions in federal and state courts, private and court-annexed arbitrations, and administrative agencies. He has substantial experience with a wide range of matters, including product liability, insurance coverage, claims handling and bad faith, construction, torts, property tax appeals, and commercial and business litigation. He also counsels companies on litigation avoidance strategies and risk management.
Bob is an aircraft owner and active private pilot, with an instrument rating and endorsements for high-performance and complex aircraft. He applies his practical and legal knowledge to the representation of virtually every type of aviation industry participant, including aircraft and component manufacturers, airports, air carriers and other commercial operators, repair stations, fixed base operators, pilots, flight instructors, mechanics and insurers. Bob recently was appointed to the Board of Directors and as Director-Elect of the Attorneys’ Division of the Aviation Insurance Association.
According to The Legal 500, Mr. Williams is recognized for his “‘in-depth knowledge of product liability claims and the aviation sector’ coupled with ‘the ability to rapidly and strategically respond to procedural differences in various jurisdictions.'”
He regularly speaks on diverse matters, and has recently given presentations covering the following subjects:
- “The Invisible Hijacker: Cybersecurity in Aviation”
- “Does Criminalization of Aviation Accidents Impact Safety?”
- “Reporting Requirements Under the Medicare Secondary Payer Statute”
- “Indemnity Clauses for Brokers and Insurers”
- Aviation Insurance Coverage Differences Among State Laws
- Personal Jurisdiction over Foreign Corporations in the Wake of Daimler
- “So, you want to fly a drone?”
Bob also serves as a member of the firm’s Associates Professional Development Committee and Retreat Committee.
News & Publications
- Aviation Happenings: Spring 2020
- Five Schnader Attorneys Selected As Leading Aviation Lawyers in North America by Who’s Who Legal: Transport 2020
- Aviation Happenings – Winter 2019
- Five Partners in Schnader’s Aviation Group Recognized in Who’s Who Legal: Transport 2020
- Robert Williams Publishes the Attorney Director’s Column in AIA’s magazine, The Binder
- Four Schnader Attorneys Selected for the 2019 Aviation Expert Guide
- Aviation Happenings – Summer 2019
- Schnader Lawyers Named to PA Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
- Aviation Happenings – Spring 2019
- Five Partners in Schnader’s Aviation Group Recognized in Who’s Who Legal: Aviation 2019
- Robert Williams Selected as Director-Elect of Attorney Division of Aviation Insurance Association
- Aviation Happenings – Winter 2018
- Aviation Happenings- Fall 2018
- Aviation Happenings- Summer 2018
- Schnader’s Aviation Group Nationally Ranked by The Legal 500 USA for Seventh Consecutive Year
- Schnader’s Aviation Group Ranked Nationally by Chambers USA
- Aviation Happenings- Spring 2018
- Aviation Happenings- Winter 2017
- Aviation Happenings- Fall 2017
- Robert J. Williams Appointed to ABA Committee
- Aviation Happenings- Summer 2017
- Schnader’s Aviation Group Ranked Nationally by Chambers USA
- Schnader’s Aviation Group Nationally Ranked by Legal 500 USA for Sixth Consecutive Year
- Aviation Happenings- Spring 2017
- Schnader Attorneys Among Those Selected For Who’s Who Legal: Transport 2017
- Aviation Happenings- Winter 2016-2017
- Aviation Happenings- Fall 2016
- Schnader’s Aviation Group, Litigation Department Recognized by Corporate America
- Schnader’s Aviation Group Nationally Ranked by Legal 500 USA for Fifth Consecutive Year
- Schnader Attorneys Named “Top Aviation Lawyers” by Institutional Investor
- Aviation Happenings- Summer 2016
- Schnader’s Aviation Group Ranked Nationally by Chambers USA
- Schnader Receives Pennsylvania Youth Court Champion Award
- Aviation Happenings- Spring 2016
- Partner Robert J. Williams Invited to Join International Association of Defense Counsel
- Robert Williams Named Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America
- Robert Williams Featured by Allegheny County Bar Association for Community Service
- Pittsburgh Attorneys Lead Constitution and Youth Court Projects at Local Charter School
- Schnader Recognizes Robert Williams with Community Service and Pro Bono Awards
- Schnader’s Aviation Group Again Ranked Among Top Firms in the United States
- Drone Propellers Aren’t the Only Things Buzzing as the FAA Releases Proposed Regulations for the Commercial Operation of Unmanned Aerial Systems
- Swooping in to Save the Day
- The New Product Liability Paradigm in Pennsylvania
- Robert Williams Appointed to Firm and DRI Leadership Positions
- “Keeping You Current and Informed”
- “Aviation Safety Unfairly Attacked”
- Aviation Happenings – Winter 2014
- Robert Williams Named Chair of the DRI Aviation Law Committee
- Robert Williams Reappointed Vice Chair of DRI’s Aviation Law Committee
- Schnader Partner Robert J. Williams Noted in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette
- Robert Williams Appointed Vice Chair of DRI’s Aerospace Law Committee
- Sixty-Eight Schnader Attorneys Rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell®
- Robert Williams Appointed Vice Chair of Membership for DRI’s Aerospace Law Committee
- Florida Supreme Court Deepens Split of Authority on Meaning of Federal Limitation of Liability for Aircraft Owners and Lessors
- Schnader Representing the State of Maryland and The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania in a Suit Filed Against the Federal Government Regarding a 2008 Medevac Crash
- Pro Bono Newsletter Fall 2009
- Two Schnader Attorneys Honored with 2009 Pennsylvania Bar Association Pro Bono Awards
- Williams Appointed as Representative for Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic
- Schnader Obtains Defense Verdict Against Common-Law Fraud Allegations
- Schnader Names Three New Partners
- Five Schnader Attorneys Honored as Pennsylvania Rising Stars
- Robert Williams Noted as Among Lawyers on the Fast Track
- “Daubert’s Unwritten Mandate: Win in the District Court”
- “A Problematic Gap in International Immigration Law: Sale v. Haitian Centers Council”
Community & Pro Bono
- Civil Air Patrol, United States Air Force Auxiliary, Golden Triangle Composite Squadron 603, Senior Member
- Veterans Claims Administration Network, American Bar Association, pro bono attorney
- Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic: volunteer pilot, community representative
- Leadership Pittsburgh XXIV
- Pilots N Paws, volunteer pilot
- Veterans Airlift Command, volunteer pilot
- USA Swimming, Certified Stroke and Turn Official
- Temple University Beasley School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 1995
- University of Pittsburgh, B.A., 1992
- New Jersey, 1996
- Pennsylvania, 1995
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
- Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
- Supreme Court of New Jersey
- Honorable Thomas N. O’Neill, Jr., U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- Aviation Insurance Association, Board Member
- Attorneys Division of the Aviation Insurance Association, Director-Elect
- Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow
- International Association of Defense Counsel, member
- DRI Aviation Law Committee, chair, 2013-2015; vice-chair, 2011-2013; Membership Subcommittee chair, 2010-2011
- Aviation Insurance Association, member
- American Bar Association, member; Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section Aviation and Space Law General Committee vice chair, 2017-2019
- Pennsylvania Bar Association, member
- Allegheny County Bar Association, member
- Rated AV® Preeminent, by Martindale-Hubbell®*
- Listed in Who’s Who Legal: Transport, 2018, 2019, and 2020*
- Listed as Leading Aviation Attorney by Aviation Expert Guides 2015 to present*
- Earl G. Harrison Community Service Award, 2015
- Pennsylvania Bar Association Pro Bono Award recipient, 2009
- Noted as a “Pennsylvania Super Lawyer” for Litigation, Aviation and Aerospace, 2019*
- Named a ˜Pennsylvania Rising Star’ by the publishers of Law & Politics and Super Lawyers-2005*
- Listing in Madison’s Registry of Who’s Who Among Professionals and Executives-2005*
- Noted as among “Lawyers on the Fast Track” by The Legal Intelligencer-2005*
- Bernard S. Cheskin Memorial Scholarship recipient
- Temple International and Comparative Law Journal, managing editor
- Andrew Mellon Scholar
- JDSupra Readers’ Choice Award Winner, 2017
*No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. Further information on methodologies is available via these links.
Aviation and Product Liability Experience
- As lead trial and appellate counsel for a major airline, obtained dismissal of claims asserted by trans-Atlantic passenger under the Montreal Convention that airline failed to provide adequate medical attention following discharge of smoke in cabin, causing respiratory arrest and distress, damage to internal organs, and mental trauma.
- As lead trial and appellate counsel for a major metropolitan airport authority, obtained dismissal of eminent domain and civil rights claims brought by owner and operator of corporate jets over ownership of hangar and related facilities erected on the field.
- Co-lead trial counsel for claims asserted in federal court by aircraft owner and Part 135 operator against major international business jet manufacturer arising out of damages allegedly caused by factory service center during engine performance runs.
- Defended engine manufacturer in wrongful death action arising out of crash of an E-2C Hawkeye aircraft in the Arabian Gulf during Operation Enduring Freedom.
- Lead counsel for aviation engine component designer, manufacturer and overhauler in multiple crash cases involving fatalities and permanent injuries in multiple jurisdictions.
- Co-counsel for one of the world’s leading aircraft engine manufacturers in nationwide litigation arising from a variety of military and civilian helicopter crashes.
- Lead counsel for holder of supplemental type certificate for major engine, propeller and airframe modifications in crash involving fatalities of prominent businessman and flight instructor.
- Defense of state police and helicopter EMS operator for claims arising out of crash involving multiple fatalities, and related prosecution of claims against federal government for alleged deficiencies in air traffic control.
- Defense of the country’s largest helicopter EMS operator for claims arising out of crash involving fatalities and multiple permanent disabilities and injuries.
- Defense of fixed base operator alleged to have been responsible for loss of aircraft pressurization that resulted in crash killing prominent businessman and his spouse. Designed and supervised flight testing and simulations that were instrumental in negotiation of favorable settlement below cost of defense.
- Engineered substantial recovery on behalf of general contractor and project manager in action against defaulting subcontractor and surety in the construction of $750 million passenger terminal building of major hub airport.
- Counsel for one of the world’s leading component manufacturers in actions arising from the fatal crash of an Army Air National Guard helicopter.
- Lead defense counsel for global water treatment systems designer and manufacturer against claims arising out of $300 million construction of 710 megawatt and 1 million pph generation facility.
- Co-lead trial counsel for prosecution of trademark infringement, theft of trade secrets and unfair business competition claims in federal court on behalf of international designer and manufacturer of industrial steam generation equipment.
- Obtained multiple verdicts and judgments in favor of condominium council officers on breach of fiduciary duty and discrimination claims in related state and federal actions, including recovery of 100% of clients’ attorneys’ fees and costs of almost $400,000. Subsequently identified and played a key role in recovery of almost $3 million in assets that were fraudulently transferred to avoid satisfaction of clients’ judgments.
- Lead defense counsel for world’s largest cable, telecommunications and broadcast company in multiple actions involving real estate, contract and employment/agency claims.
- Successfully resolved class action filed against regional medical clinic for alleged Telephone Consumer Protection Act claims, inter alia, by proving lack of culpable intent, absence of requisite commonality and public health mandate as defense.
- Obtained defense verdict as lead trial counsel for site preparation contractor on fraud and lien avoidance claims arising out of construction of storage facility and apartment complex.
- Obtained defense verdict as lead trial counsel for insured in personal injury action involving staged accident and fraudulent medical claims by reputed member of organized crime syndicate.
- Reuben v. US Airways, 500 Fed. Appx. 103 (3d Cir. 2012)
- In Re Kartman, 354 B.R. 70 (W.D.Pa. 2006)
- McCabe v. State Farm, 36 F. Supp. 2d 666 (E.D.Pa. 1999)
- Trial Tips from the Trenches: Things They Don’t Teach You in Law School About Trying Aviation Lawsuits
- Barry Alexander and Robert Williams Participated in IATA Conferences
- Jonathan Stern and Robert Williams Spoke at AIA Conference
- Robert Williams Spoke at PBI Program on Drones
- Robert Williams Presented at Aviation Insurance Conference 2015
- Bob Williams Spoke at ACI’s Aviation Claims & Litigation Conference
- Schnader Attorneys Presented at 2015 AIA Conference
- Criminalization of Foreign Aviation Accidents
- Schnader Attorneys Present “Does Criminalization of Aviation Accidents Impact Safety?”
- Taking and Defending Effective Depositions: Including a View From the Bench
- Navigating the Risks of Aerospace Product Liability