Robert N. Sayler has practiced at the firm since graduating from Harvard Law School in 1965; he became a Partner in 1973. In the past decade, his trial experience has focused on intellectual property litigation, administrative litigation, antitrust litigation, complex litigation, and cases where he has served as lead counsel for successful insurance policyholders in billion dollar-plus insurance coverage disputes for asbestos, DES, environmental clean-up, and breast implant liabilities. Those for whom he has served as trial counsel include Armstrong World Industries, Boeing, Pittston, Dow Corning, Monsanto, Exxon, Procter & Gamble, ITT, National Medical Enterprises, and the National Football League.
Mr. Sayler is active in the American Bar Association, having served as chair of the Litigation Section, as a member of the Coalition for Justice and the Ad Hoc Committee on State Justice Initiatives. He was an ABA Presidential Emissary, and he recently served a three-year term on the ABA's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary. He is a member of the CPR D.C. Panel of Distinguished Arbitration Neutrals and also a member of the CPR Commission on the Future of Arbitration.
The 2005 Chambers USA Guide to America's Leading Business Lawyers named Mr. Sayler a leading lawyer in the nation: "Winning phenomenal respect across the board, Robert Sayler has an enormous depth of experience because he was there when it all started. He has had a fantastic career litigating billion-dollar coverage disputes for policyholders and is an absolutely top-flight trial lawyer and a wonderful oral advocate." Also recognized as a preeminent commercial litigator, Chambers noted that "he has carved a practice of exemplary diversity that takes in IP and antitrust litigation in strong measure." Clients speak of him as "a mast you can lash yourself to in the most stormy of seas," praising his "serenity and worldly wisdom." In June 2000 and in April 1997, in triennial surveys, Mr. Sayler was named by the National Law Journal as one of the nation's 100 most influential lawyers and the country's preeminent insurance coverage lawyer. In May 1997, he was named a Commercial Prosecutor of the Year and among the dozen Litigators of the Year by International Commercial Litigation. In 1999 he was named as one of the District of Columbia's Top 10 Civil Litigators. In 2005, Law Dragon named Mr. Sayler one of the "500 Leading Lawyers in America" and called him the "Godfather of insurance coverage." Mr. Sayler is featured in the 2006 edition of The Best Lawyers in America for commercial litigation.
Mr. Sayler is a past president of the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society in Washington, and he is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Bar Foundation. In 1995, he was the John Ewald Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia Law School, where he continues to teach advocacy and insurance law.
Mr. Sayler has authored dozens of articles and book chapters on insurance coverage issues, ADR, civility, trial strategies, and oral advocacy skills.