DiCello Levitt is pleased to announce that partner Robert F. DiCello has been honored by National Law Journal as one of its inaugural class of Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Trailblazers. In recognition of his groundbreaking work on behalf of injured plaintiffs, DiCello is one of only 17 plaintiffs’ lawyers nationwide to be selected for this honor.
PIONEER SPIRIT: Bobby DiCello credits his parents with hardwiring him to stand up for his beliefs. “They taught me to be fearless in taking a stand for what was right.” A professional musician before attending law school, Bobby was pulled over twice by Chicago police on pretense. The first time, he was stopped by an undercover cop who violently searched Bobby and his vehicle in a parking lot after a classical music performance. The second time, he and his brother were stopped in Chicago for a “stop sign” violation. However, this time his brother told the officer “I’m an assistant county prosecutor and I know you’re lying. I stopped. So, what’s this really about?” After the officer confirmed his brother was an assistant prosecutor, he replied, “We got a call about a suspicious person, so when I saw the guy with long hair get into your car, I figured I’d see what’s up.” Bobby’s life changed.
TRAILS BLAZED: Bobby cut his hair and went to law school, where he excelled, graduating at the top of his class and serving as Editor-in- Chief of the Law Review. He then became an assistant prosecuting attorney for Cuyahoga County, Ohio. He explains, “I knew from experience there was a lack of oversight of the police and I believed that I could help seek justice for those who were wronged as a result of that oversight failure.” In one case, an officer “admitted to me he left cocaine at the house of a confidential informant he was sleeping with.” Bobby needed the drugs as evidence to make the State’s case. “He and I had a frank discussion and there were consequences.” Realizing that he could stand up to the police in situations where they overstepped the public trust and abused their positions, DiCello decided to devote his career to trying hard cases and seeking justice for his clients. In 2012, DiCello took on the case of Arnold Black. Black was badly beaten by police and wrongfully imprisoned in a storage closet for four days after his beating. “It was one of the most shocking and blatant disregards of the Constitution and another person’s human rights that I’ve personally ever been aware of.” DiCello representation of Mr. Black through trial led to a $22 million jury verdict in 2016, while uncovering a history of similar misconduct. “The City is appealing and unfortunately defiant.”
FUTURE EXPLORATIONS: Bobby is most engaged when he is trying lawsuits. “We speak of ‘highest and best use’ at the Firm; mine is trying cases.” His string of multi-million dollar verdicts inspired him to research, develop, implement, and teach what he’s learned from his trial and pretrial experiences, under the titles “Power Story” and Power Depositions” – programs and methods that he has taught to thousands of lawyers across the United States and which have garnered him substantial recognition and acclaim. He says “There is a science to how people make decisions and I’m inspired to better understand that for the courtroom. So, I’ll continue to learn, teach, and pursue justice.” As part of his Power Story and Power Depositions programs, Bobby is also heading up DiCello Levitt’s “DLC Focus” mock jury and focus group practice, making his firm among the only plaintiffs’-side firm in the United States with that capability.