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Robert F. Chapski

Robert F. Chapski is a shareholder and a Rule 31 Listed General Civil Mediator in the firm’s Nashville office. He serves on the firm’s Board of Directors, as well as chair of the firm’s Product Liability Practice Group.  Mr. Chapski regularly represents businesses and individuals and is experienced in a variety of litigation-related practice fields including product liability, tort, commercial/business litigation and employment law.  He represents various national clients in complex, high-exposure federal and state court matters.  He has served as both lead trial counsel and appellate counsel.  His jury trial experience includes product liability matters as well as other tort and business litigation matters.  Mr. Chapski frequently speaks on topics related to business and product liability litigation and, in addition to various bar memberships, he is a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel and the Product Liability Advisory Council.  Mr. Chapski has been honored by Best Lawyers, Mid-South Super Lawyers and has an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell.  He is a proud graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Tennessee College of Law, graduating first in his class at both institutions.

AFFILIATIONS

  • American Bar Association
  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • Nashville Bar Association
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Defense Research Institute
  • ALFA International
  • Catholic Business League
  • Rotary Club of Nashville

PROFESSIONAL HONORS AND ACTIVITIES

  • Fellow, Nashville Bar Foundation
  • Graduated first in his class from The University of Notre Dame
  • Graduated first in his class from The University of Tennessee College of Law
  • Member, Phi Beta Kappa
  • Member, Order of the Coif
  • ALFA International Steering Committee for Business Litigation and Product Liability practice groups
  • Sustaining Member of The Product Liability Advisory Council, Inc. (PLAC)
  • Elite Lawyer of the South (American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell), 2017
  • Top Rated Lawyer in Mass Torts (American Lawyer Media)
  • Top Rated Lawyer in Commercial Litigation (Litigation Fall 2012/American Lawyer Media)
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers, 2017
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers® Rising Star, 2012-2016
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America for work in: Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, 2015 – 2019
  • Young Leaders Council (Class 63)

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Best Lawyers Award Badge

 

Nashville Office

424 Church Street, Suite 2500
P.O. Box 198615
Nashville, Tennessee 37219
Telephone (615) 259-1366
FAX (615) 259-1389

Education

University of Notre Dame, B.A., summa cum laude, 1999

University of Tennessee College of Law, J.D., summa cum laude, 2002

Bar Admission

Tennessee, 2002

U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee

U. S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee

U. S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee

U. S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U. S. Supreme Court

  • Business & Commercial

    We offer comprehensive representation to businesses of all types. As detailed below, our services range from helping resolve business disputes through litigation, mediation, arbitration or negotiation to offering sound legal advice upon which to base your business decisions as well as transactional representation, document preparation services and business formation and… [Read more]

    Health Care Law

    Lewis Thomason has extensive experience in providing services to clients in the health care industry at a time when the mission is to deliver excellent patient care while dealing with increased regulatory authority and government oversight. We offer comprehensive legal counsel and compliance with complex and evolving privacy and security requirements… [Read more]

    Mediation

    As participants in the system are learning, litigation is expensive, in money, time and resources. A lengthy pretrial process can be just the start given today’s clogged court dockets and even reaching trial can have unpredictable results. The legal community has developed several forms of alternate dispute resolution, such as… [Read more]

    Product Liability

    Over the past 25 years, manufacturers and insurance companies have faced an explosion of product liability claims. In addition to significantly impacting business finances, product liability claims can lead to adverse publicity, government regulation, class actions and individual claims involving serious injury or property damage, as well as potential exposure… [Read more]

    Toxic Tort

    We have a 30-year-plus history of defending cases and claims relating to toxic exposure in the chemical and asbestos industries. We also have been actively involved in issues related to hazardous waste cleanup for Department of Defense and Department of Energy contractors and subcontractors. We have been involved in the defense… [Read more]

  • Representative Experience

    • Served as national coordinating co-counsel as well as local/regional counsel for multiple major automotive manufacturers in product liability litigation.
    • Served as trial co-counsel defending a major automotive manufacturer in a case arising from a crash, resulting in quadriplegic to a passenger, where the claim was that the vehicle accelerated on its own.
    • Defended and advised financial services, lending, and consumer credit companies in a variety of commercial and litigation-related matters.
    • Served as lead trial counsel defending an office furniture sales company in a commercial dispute with another office furniture sales company involving alleged contractual interference with a former employee who had a non-compete agreement.
    • Successfully defended homeowners on appeal in a real property land dispute where trespassing neighbors claimed they had a right of way (easement) to cross through clients’ property.
    • Obtained summary judgment and dismissal on behalf of a respirator (mask) manufacturer in a matter involving silica exposure (Walker v. Moldex Metric, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80959 (E.D. Tenn. July 25, 2011)).
    • Obtained summary judgment (upheld on appeal) on behalf of a financing company on an equipment finance lease contract and obtained a judgment in excess of $75,000, including attorney’s fees, on behalf of client.
    • Successfully defended a financial services company in a consumer credit federal lawsuit that was dismissed with prejudice at the trial court level and affirmed by the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, Massachusetts (Azubuko v. MBNA America Bank, 396 F. Supp. 2d 1, 7 (D. Mass. 2005)).
    • Defended a vegetable produce broker in a massive food liability matter related to a Hepatitis A outbreak, which resulted in over 40 personal injury and wrongful death claims.
    • Served as co-lead trial counsel in a two-week state court jury trial involving tort, breach of contract and consumer protection related claims.
    • Served as appellate co-counsel in a federal court jury trial involving civil rights claims.
    • “Don’t Be The One Left Holding The Bag: Considerations for Contracting with Foreign Manufacturers,” ALFA International, Product Liability & Complex Torts Practice Group 2016 Seminar, May 2016
    • “Embracing New Technology and Avoiding its Pitfalls,” For The Defense, October 2008.
    • “Ask The Legal Professional: If I have been in an auto accident, what kind of information can be obtained against me (or for me) from the vehicle’s “black box?” Nashville Business Journal, October 2006.
  • Mr. Chapski has presented at both local and national seminars to other attorneys as well as client counsel and representatives on a number of topics related to trial practice and litigation.

    • “Beyond the Smart Phone: Innovative Uses of the Latest Technologies and Science in Incident and Product Failure Investigations,” Speaker/Moderator, ALFA International Product Liability & Complex Torts Practice Group Seminar, October 2017
    • “Protecting Your Business Before, During and After ‘Bet the Company’ Litigation,” Table Leader, ALFA International Business Litigation Seminar, September 2017
    • “Advances in Technology in Black Box, Data Downloads, and Electronic Data Recorders,” 10th Annual Summit on Defending & Managing Automotive Product Liability Litigation, American Conference Institute, June 2017
    • “New Developments & Challenges in Using EDR Data in Reconstructions,” (Automotive Industry Seminar), October 2016
    • “Prepare to be Hacked: A Practical Simulation for Corporate Counsel,” Table Leader, ALFA International Business Litigation Seminar, September 2015
    • “Privacy Concerns with Data Collected on EDRs, or Other Devices Used for Data Mining: the Government’s Role in Accessing/Protecting Data, Auto Manufacturers’ Responsibility, and Related Cyber Security Concerns, ” 8th Annual Summit on Defending & Managing Automotive Product Liability Litigation, American Conference Institute, June 2015
    • “In-House Insights on Case Evaluation, Litigation Management and Formulating Defense Strategy; Managing Costs; Selecting and Retaining Law Firms and Distribution of Legal Spend in Today’s Environment; and More”, Panel Moderator, 7th Annual Summit on Defending & Managing Automotive Product Liability Litigation, American Conference Institute, June 2014
    • “Trial Strategy: Harnessing the Power of Social Media to Your Advantage When Gearing Up for An Auto Products Liability Trial”, 6th Annual Summit on Defending & Managing Automotive Product Liability Litigation, American Conference Institute, June 2013
    • “Product Liability, Post Tort Reform”, 2012 Tort Law Conference for Tennessee Attorneys, Tennessee Attorneys Memo Conference, December 2012
    • “The Expert Deposition: Preparing, Taking and Defending And All Things In Between,” Taking and Defending Effective Depositions, YLD Trial Practice Series 2012, TennBarU CLE Conference Presentation, Tennessee Bar Association, April 2012
    • “Panel Discussion On Dealing With Difficult Counsel In Depositions,” Taking and Defending Effective Depositions, YLD Trial Practice Series 2012, TennBarU Conference Presentation, Tennessee Bar Association, April 2012
    • “Unintended Acceleration: A 25-Minute Overview of a Decades Old Phenomenon,” 2012 Emerging Issues in Motor Vehicle Products Liability Litigation, ABA-TIPS Conference, March 2012
    • “Tennessee Tort ‘Reform’: What You MUST Know Now,” Tennessee Attorneys Memo Audio Conference, October 2011