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Robert Finley's diverse, national civil defense litigation and trial practice concentrates on complex tort and employment matters involving catastrophic, fatal and brain/psychological injury cases. Mr. Finley has a substantial amount of experience with jury trials, representing clients in mediations and arbitration hearings, and appellate practice.

Mr. Finley also counsels interested parties on Medicare Secondary Payer regulatory matters under liability, no-fault and workers compensation plans including conditional payment resolution, Medicare Part C and D recovery claims, future medical settlement considerations, Section 111 reporting compliance/monetary penalties, and statutory private causes of action.

He handles all aspects of workplace injury cases, including workers' compensation defense, post-settlement petitions and judgement enforcement actions, subrogation recovery, employers' liability and excess coverage interests, as well as matters before the Illinois Workers Compensation Insurance Compliance Division. Mr. Finley also assists corporate clients develop cost-containment programs for managing workers' compensation claims and insurance premiums.

Finally, Mr. Finley handles commercial causes of action between insurers and medical providers based upon breach of contract, fraud, bad faith, and statutory payment laws or plans.

He is dedicated to understanding his clients' financial priorities and providing them proactive solutions for risk and litigation management.

Professional Background

Mr. Finley joined Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in November 2003 and became a partner in 2008. He chairs the firm's Social Media for Litigators Committee.

While attending DePaul University College of Law, Mr. Finley was selected to study abroad at University College Dublin School of Law (Ireland), where he concentrated in comparative and European Union law studies and volunteered with a Dublin-based law firm in its litigation sector.

Prior to pursuing a career in law, Mr. Finley worked in the sports radio industry as a producer and reporter covering major spectator events, including the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, Kentucky Derby, U.S. Open Golf Championship, NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, and the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

Professional Affiliations

  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
  • Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), Member
  • ISBA Workers' Compensation Law Section Council, Vice-Chair (2016 – 2017)
  • ISBA Workers' Compensation Law Section Council, Secretary (2015 – 2016)
  • ISBA Workers' Compensation Law Section Council, Member (2012 – present)
  • Illinois Workers' Compensation Lawyers Association, Member
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, Member and Instructor (2013- present)
  • Evaluation Committee of the Chicago Bar Association, Investigator & Hearing Officer (2006 – 2011)
  • American Bar Association’s National Appellate Advocacy Competition and Regional Negotiation Competition, Judge (2003 – 2011)

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized as a "Rising Star" by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine (2008–2010).

Representative Matters

Mr. Finley's significant decisions include:

  • Reported decision from Illinois Appellate Court affirming trial court's 2-619 dismissal of Plaintiff’s Motion to Enforce Judgment as premature due to pending corollary proceeding on administrative review.

  • Resolved post-settlement bad faith petition by obtaining favorable advisory opinion from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) permitting use of allocated Medicare settlement funds to pay for treatment incurred by beneficiary during period after final State commission settlement order but before Federal agency completed its review proceedings.
  • Reported decision from Illinois appellate court on an employer's liability for total disability benefits where there is evidence  the employee/ beneficiary is working in a reasonably stable labor market.

  • Obtained favorable post-trial relief in federal district court after jury's itemized verdict finding Defendant trucking company liable to Medicare-eligible Plaintiff for past and future medical expenses totaling $219,375. Chief Judge granted Defendants' Post-Trial Motion on Medicare Secondary Payer issues, ordering judgement for past and future medical expenses payable to court clerk and conditioning release of funds on adequate documentation from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
  • Successfully defended motor vehicle case in Baltimore, Maryland where company manager operating company car for personal reasons on interstate highway, in excess of speed limit, unsuccessfully changed lanes at exit ramp.  The Plaintiff, an unrestrained backseat passenger, was directing the driver on where to go. The car flipped over several times, ejecting Plaintiff who suffered multiple thoracic and lumbar spinal fractures and herniated disks. Plaintiff demanded $750,000. The jury was instructed Plaintiff's failure to wear a seat belt could not be used in determining if she was contributorily negligent. Jury returned special verdict finding both Defendant driver negligent and Plaintiff contributorily negligent. However, since Maryland is one of three states following the "contributory negligence is a complete bar" rule, Plaintiff recovered nothing.
  • Successfully defended national pest control company against civil trespass case in Santa Fe, New Mexico where a residential service technician applied pesticide to the house and adjacent land of property owner who not only was not a customer.  Also at the time of the pesticide application the property owner was totally disabled as a result of pre-existing workplace chemical exposure to same pesticides. Jury rejected Plaintiff's $890,000 case based on lack of proximate cause.
  • Successfully defended motor vehicle case in rural Pennsylvania where company truck driver pulled out from a stop sign in front of the Plaintiff motorcyclist ascending the crest of the roadway resulting in knee and hip injuries. Jury rejected Plaintiff's claim of negligence and returned a verdict in favor of the defendant driver. State appellate court reinstated jury verdict for the defense and vacated trial court's judgement order notwithstanding verdict.
  • Case of first impression developing analytical framework for applying American Medical Association impairment guides under Illinois Workers' Compensation Act following 2011 reforms.
  • Case of first impression regarding application of the state’s medical fee schedule, and limits on construction worker’s overtime pay as a basis for benefit rate calculations.
  • Successfully reversed workers' compensation administrative decision finding permanent, total disability and subsequently dismissed opponent’s appeal on jurisdictional grounds.

Presentations

Mr. Finley is frequently invited to speak on defense litigation, Medicare Secondary Payer, and workers compensation topics. He is also an instructor at Hinshaw University, the firm’s nationwide attorney training and education program, where he teaches the Negotiation and Settlement Release Workshops.

His recent presentations include:

  • "How To Prepare Your Case for Trial," Illinois State Bar Association, Advanced Workers Compensation CLE, Chicago, Illinois, October 2016.
  • "Addressing Medicare Compliance in Liability, Property and Casualty Cases," National Institute for Medicare and Medicaid Education, Chicago, Illinois, September 2016.
  • "Simplifying Medicare Secondary Payer Law," Winnebago County Bar Association, Rockford, Illinois, May 2016.
  • "AMA Exams and Usage at IWCC," Illinois State Bar Association Advanced Workers Compensation Law CLE, Fairview Heights, Illinois, February 2016.
  • "Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security Disability Income: Applicable Plan Appeal Rights, Medicare Part C/D recovery actions, and Drafting Settlement Terms" Illinois State Bar Association Advanced Workers Compensation Law CLE, Chicago, Illinois, October 2015.
  • "Structured Settlements," CLM Alliance at Kemper Insurance Company, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 2015.
  • "Liability and MSP Act Update," National Institute for Medicare & Medicaid Education, Chicago, Illinois, September 2015.
  • "Emerging Trends under Medicare Secondary Payer Law," Panelist, American Association of  State Compensation Insurance Funds (AASCIF), San Francisco, California, July 2015.
  • "Medicare Secondary Payer Act: Implications and Impact on Litigation - A 2015 Perspective," The Knowledge Group, Webcast, June 2015.
  • "Bermuda Triangle: Mastering Leaves of Absence and Accommodation Issues under the ADA, the FMLA and Workers' Compensation Law," Hinshaw's Annual Labor &  Employment Symposium, Hoffman Estates, Illinois, October 2014.
  • "Drafting Settlement Agreements and Releases," Guest Instructor at Loyola University School of Law, Chicago, Illinois, October 2014.
  • "Liability Cases and Medicare Secondary Payer Act: Introduction to Best Practices," Kinsale Insurance, Richmond, Virginia, October 2014.
  • "Evidence at Trial," Illinois State Bar Association Advanced Workers Compensation Law CLE, Chicago, Illinois, October 2014.
  • "An Introduction to Disability Insurance Benefits and Supplemental Security Income," National Institute for Medicare & Medicaid Education, Chicago, Illinois, September 2014.
  • "Conditional Payment Resolution," National Institute for Medicare & Medicaid Education, Chicago, Illinois, September 2014.
  • "Liability and MSP Act," National Institute for Medicare & Medicaid Education, Chicago, Illinois, September 2014.
  • "MSP Act & Ethics," National Institute for Medicare & Medicaid Education, Chicago, Illinois, September 2014.
  • "Selection, Use & Management of Expert Witnesses," CLM Alliance at Kemper Insurance Company, Charlotte, North Carolina, August 2014.
  • "An Introduction to Disability Insurance Benefits and Supplemental Security Income," National Institute for Medicare & Medicaid Education, Boston, Massachusetts, June 2014.
  • "Conditional Payment Resolution," National Institute for Medicare & Medicaid Education, Boston, Massachusetts, June 2014.
  • "Liability and MSP Act," National Institute for Medicare & Medicaid Education, Boston, Massachusetts, June 2014.
  • "MSP Act & Ethics," National Institute for Medicare & Medicaid Education, Boston, Massachusetts, June 2014.
  • "Conditional Payment Resolution," National Institute for Medicare & Medicaid Education, Las Vegas, Nevada, May 2014.
  • "Liability and MSP Act," National Institute for Medicare & Medicaid Education, Las Vegas, Nevada, May 2014.
  • "Conditional Payment Resolution," National Institute for Medicare & Medicaid Education, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 2014.
  • "Liability and MSP Act," National Institute for Medicare & Medicaid Education, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 2014.
  • "Medicare: Conditional Payment Claims, Mandatory Reporting and MSAs," CLM Alliance at Transguard Insurance Company of America, Naperville, Illinois, March 2014.
  • "Time Lines and Pitfalls From Trial to the Appellate Court," Illinois State Bar Association Advanced Workers' Compensation Section, Fairview Heights, Illinois, February 2014.
  • "Back to Basics: Disclosing and Presenting Experts: The Defendant's Perspective," Illinois State Bar Association Tort Law CLE, Chicago, Illinois, February 2014.
  • "Comp Coast to Coast Workers' Compensation Strategies From a National Perspective," Hinshaw's Annual Labor & Employment Seminar, Hoffman Estates, Illinois, October 2013.
  • "Advanced Conditional Payment Resolution," National Institute for Medicare & Medicaid Education, Chicago, Illinois, September 2013.
  • "Medicare Advantage Organizations and Private Right of Action Under MSP Act," National Institute for Medicare & Medicaid Education, Chicago, Illinois, September 2013.
  • "Advanced Conditional Payment Resolution," National Institute for Medicare & Medicaid Education, Boston, Massachusetts, June 2013.
  • "Medicare Advantage Organizations and Private Right of Action Under MSP Act," National Institute for Medicare & Medicaid Education, Boston, Massachusetts, June 2013.
  • "Medicare: Conditional Payment Claims, Mandatory Reporting and MSAs," CLM Alliance at QBE of Americas, Madison, Wisconsin, May 2013.
  • "Advanced Conditional Payment Resolution," National Institute for Medicare & Medicaid Education, San Diego, California, April 2013.
  • "Medicare Advantage Organizations and Private Right of Action Under MSP Act," National Institute for Medicare & Medicaid Education, San Diego, California, April 2013.
  • "Advanced Conditional Payment Resolution," National Institute for Medicare & Medicaid Education, New Orleans, Louisiana, February 2013.
  • "Medicare Advantage Organizations and Private Right of Action Under MSP Act," National Institute for Medicare & Medicaid Education, New Orleans, Louisiana, February 2013.
  • "Advanced Workers' Compensation Workshop," Hinshaw’s Annual Labor & Employment Seminar, Hoffman Estates, Illinois, October 2012.
  • "Medicare Secondary Payer Act: Summer School Lessons," American Family Mutual Insurance Company, Chicago, Illinois, August 2012.
  • "Medicare Past Conditional Payments Case Law Update," Gould & Lamb's MSP Educational Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, August 2012.
  • "Medicare Compliance in Workers' Compensation and Liability Cases: Cooperative Approaches for Counsel and Claims Professionals," Gallagher Bassett, Indianapolis, Indiana, August 2011.
  • "Medicare Secondary Payer Law and Liability Cases: Building Your Resolution Tool Box," Hinshaw University, Chicago, Illinois, July 2011.

Publications

Mr. Finley created Hinshaw's Mr. Medicare: Rx for Compliance publication providing resources, analysis and perspective on Medicare Secondary Payer laws. Mr. Finley also contributes to Hinshaw’s Employment Law Alert and Employment Practices Newsletter, providing analysis and perspective on significant court decisions and other developments in Illinois workers' compensation law. Finally, he authored Hinshaw's publication: "50-State Survey: Workers' Compensation Benefits Eligibility for Intoxicated or Impaired Employees," January 2012.

His other publications include:

  • "Circuit Court Jurisdiction in Declaratory Actions Involving Third-party Tort Settlements and Pending IWCC Applications," Workers Compensation Law, Illinois State Bar Association, Vol. 53, No. 1, September 2015.
  • "When Do You Qualify as a Traveling Employee," Workers Compensation Law, Illinois State Bar Association, Vol. 53, No. 1, September 2015.
  • "Diaz: Something Old, Something New in Mental-Mental Cases," Workers' Compensation Law, Illinois State Bar Association, Vol. 51, No. 2, October 2013.
  • "Early Lessons From Post-AMA World," author, ISBA Workers' Compensation Newsletter, June 2013.
  • "Medicare's Right to Recoup Benefit Payments and How This Creates Liability for Lawyers," contributing comments, ABA National Legal Malpractice Seminar, April 2013.
  • "Intoxication: Proposed Testing Rules and Certain Crimes Defense," author, ISBA Workers' Compensation Newsletter, September 2012.
  • "Illinois Temporary Total Disability: Workers' Compensation Theory and Issues," monograph collaborator, Quarterly, Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, Fourth Quarter 2008.

Community/Civic Activities

Robert volunteers his personal time with a number of vital organizations including:

  • BMW Championship at Cog Hill Golf Club and Conway Farms Country Club
  • Chicago Spitfires Mites Hockey Club
  • The Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago
  • Junior Flag-Football League, Inc., Team Coach
  • Misericordia Home / Heart of Mercy
  • Near South Youth Athletics, Baseball and Girl's Soccer, Team Coach
  • Old St. Patrick's Church of Chicago

Education

J.D., DePaul University College of Law, 2001

B.A., Marquette University, 1995

Admissions