Gould + Ratner



Senior Counsel

A seasoned litigator, Bob Carson represents public companies, privately held businesses and individuals in complex commercial litigation, having tried numerous jury and non-jury lawsuits and arbitrations in state and federal courts in Illinois and other jurisdictions.

Bob defends business owners in shareholder and partnership litigation, real estate developers and contractors in construction and other disputes, and represents entrepreneurs in their litigation needs. He has extensive experience in fiduciary litigation. Bob is accomplished in product liability defense and serves as national product liability counsel for leading manufacturers in the tractor-trailer and meat processing equipment industries.

In addition to his commercial litigation and products liability experience, Bob has also handled several matters representing fiduciaries and beneficiaries in litigation relating to trusts and estates, often involving issues relating to interests in a family or other closely held businesses. 

Bob is a member of the Product Liability Advisory Council and Defense Research Institute, and has been recognized as an Illinois Super Lawyer in Business Litigation, Intellectual Property Litigation and has been named an Illinois Leading Lawyer in Commercial Litigation. 


Connect with Robert

(312) 899-1633 Office
(312) 399-7617 Mobile
Robert A. Carson
Rated by Super Lawyers

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Connect with Robert

(312) 899-1633 Office
(312) 399-7617 Mobile
Robert A. Carson
Rated by Super Lawyers

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  • Duke University School of Law, J.D., 1980
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.S., Business Administration, High Honors, 1977

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • Federal Trial Bar, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Tax Court


  • American Bar Association, Committee on Business and Corporate Litigation
  • Life Trustee, Better Government Association, 2015–present; Director, 1999–2014
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Defense Research Institute, Commercial Litigation and Product Liability Committees
  • Village President, Golf, Ill., May 1, 2017–present; Village Trustee, 1999-2007, 2013–2017
  • Contributing Author, Illinois Institute For Continuing Legal Education, Illinois Trial Evidence
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Board Member, The Night Ministry, 2017; Board Chair, 2014-2016
  • Product Liability Advisory Counsel
  • Tractor-Trailer Manufacturers Association, Product Liability Committee
  • Union League Club of Chicago, Public Affairs Committee

Key Cases or Transactions

  • Obtained defense summary judgment for tractor-trailer manufacturer in vehicle accident product liability claim.
  • Trial counsel in federal court suit obtaining permanent injunction in ADA and zoning case against municipality.
  • Trial counsel in Minneapolis jury trial in dispute between partners in real estate investment venture.
  • Obtained multimillion-dollar settlement for a family trust in breach of fiduciary duty suit against institutional trustee.
  • Obtained defense summary judgment in favor of tractor-trailer manufacturer in product liability and wrongful death claim arising from a rear-end highway collision.
  • Trial counsel in federal court action defending newspaper in multimillion-dollar defamation action.
  • Trial counsel in Cook County Circuit Court action for contractual indemnity for losses arising from construction site accident.
  • Trial counsel obtaining defense judgment in federal court business fraud lawsuit arising from $14-million sale of diesel utility-grade generators.
  • Trial counsel in a Cook County Circuit Court jury case representing a steel manufacturer, involving alleged defects in steel beams sold for use in a nuclear power plant.
  • Lead counsel in numerous arbitrations, including defending an Illinois coal producer in several arbitrations brought by a public utility under a long-term supply agreement.
  • Trial counsel in U.S. Bankruptcy Court dispute over insurance coverage for historical asbestos exposure.

Published Opinions

  • Buonauro v. City of Berwyn, 2011 WL 3754820 (2011)
  • Rennert v. Great Dane Limited Partnership, 543 F.3d 914 (7th Cir., 2008)
  • International Galleries, Inc. v. La Raza Chicago, Inc., 2007 WL 3334204 (N.D. Ill.);
  • Indeck Power Equipment Co. v. Ring Power Corp., 2006 WL 2661037 (N.D. III.);
  • Fuller Family Holdings LLC v. Northern Trust Company, 309 Ill. Dec. 111, 863 NE 2d 743 (1st Dist. 2007)
More than just legal advisors, our lawyers consistently demonstrate the care and commitment that set us apart from much larger law firms.