199 Main Street
Burlington, VT 05402-0190
Innovative personal injury litigator providing compassionate counsel.
Bob Luce has been practicing law for more than three decades but for the past 15 years, he has focused on helping clients achieve exceptional recoveries in personal injury cases, including those relating to traumatic brain injury. Bob is passionate about the issues surrounding traumatic brain injury and the complicated road to recovery its victims face.
Known among his clients for his zealous counsel and exceptional bed-side manner, Bob collaborates on his personal injury cases with Marie Whitbeck, a nurse consultant with over 25 years of experience working with accident victims and their families. This team takes pride in the exceptional attention to serving the needs of clients, including their emotional needs, which sets us apart from other firms.
Strategic commercial litigator resolving complex disputes.
Well-respected in the legal community for his commercial litigation skills, Bob represents private equity fund managers in shareholder claims, public companies in class action litigation and businesses in contract litigation. Bob leads the firm’s experienced litigation team in significant commercial litigation matters in Vermont and several jurisdictions outside of Vermont, successfully competing against several well-known urban firms.
Bob has achieved several recoveries of more than a million dollars for victims and families in personal injury cases. Some representative cases include:
- Recovered a 1.125 million dollar verdict in a “mild” TBI case for an accountant at a Big Four firm who suffered a traumatic brain injury during a company golf outing.
- Recovered, within two months of the accident, the policy limit of a teenage driver who struck a motorcycle enthusiast resulting in serious hip, knee and ankle injuries. Within 8 months following the accident, Bob had convinced the victim’s insurer to “stack” underinsured motorist coverage under several other family vehicles and to pay the combined limits of that coverage to provide a very substantial recovery.
- When a young man suffered a serious hip injury in an accident where fault was contested and the driver of the other vehicle had limited coverage, Bob recovered within six months the limit of the other driver’s insurance coverage. He also convinced two other insurers to “stack” and pay the combined amount of underinsured motorist coverage under the victim’s insurance and under separate insurance maintained by his parents.
- Has established that federal preemption exempts railroads in Vermont from complying with Act 250 zoning laws and won an appeal to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which issued a strong opinion on preemption that has been followed by other courts.
- Represented a private equity fund manager in significant shareholder derivative litigation concerning a United Kingdom investment in the Massachusetts Superior Court’s Business Litigation Session in Boston.
Achieved substantial recoveries for:
- The family of a disabled woman who died tragically due to negligence in the adult foster care system.
- A college athlete who was paralyzed in an accident during an NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) competition.
- The family of a three-year-old child who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a fall from an unprotected daycare structure.
- The driver of a service truck who suffered serious head injuries when a pressurized cap blew off and hit him in the face.
Boston University Law School, J.D., 1979
Williams College, B.A., magna cum laude, 1975 Phi Beta Kappa
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 1998
U.S. District Court, District of Vermont, 1980
- American Association for Justice
- American Bar Association
- Brain Injury Association of Vermont (Board Chair)
- Litigation Counsel fo America, Senior Fellow
- Vermont Bar Association
- Listed in Best Lawyers®, Commercial Litigation, Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs, 2008-2018
- New England Super Lawyers®: Business Litigation, 2014-2017
- Chambers and Partners, 2016-2017
“In April 2013 my wife and I were running errands on our motorcycles, like we have been doing for years. We were excited about a vacation we had booked and, after several years of working in Vermont, a move back to our home country, reuniting with our extended family. Our lives changed in a moment when my wife was hit by another motorist who failed to yield, causing serious injuries and requiring several weeks of hospitalization, several surgeries and a long road to recovery. My wife, who was very active and planned everything to the last detail, was in great pain for weeks and needed to focus her energy on healing. My wife was very brave, but we faced not only a great disruption to our family life, but also significant financial hardships. They included substantial lost earnings for both my wife and me and big expenses not covered by insurance, including adaptive household apparatus and costly travel back and forth to the hospital. We contacted Bob Luce based on a recommendation from a friend. Bob and his nurse consultant Marie Whitbeck met us at the hospital and impressed us immediately with their genuine and caring approach to my wife’s welfare. Supporting her maximum recovery was clearly their priority. Within two months of the accident, Bob had recovered the limit of the other guy’s insurance, and we had a large deposit in our account to cover the expenses we faced. Within eight months of the accident, Bob and his team pulled off a fantastic second settlement with our insurer, providing us with the financial comfort we need to assist with the accident related troubles we will encounter for the rest of our lives as a family. There were many hurdles to overcome to get this great result, which Bob and his team managed flawlessly. We are sincerely grateful to Bob and the DRM team for making our long road a little smoother. I can’t say enough about their responsiveness, explanations we understand, and guidance at every step of the process."
Bob blogs regularly about issues related to traumatic brain injury research, policy, prevention, treatment and compensation at the Traumatic Brain Injury Blog.
- Proving a “Mild” Traumatic Brain Injury: A Complex But No Longer Impossible Task (Vermont Bar Journal, Spring 2012, Vol. 38, No.1)
- A Legal Look at Traumatic Brain Injuries (March 28, 2012; Vermont Public Radio’s Vermont Edition)
- Advancements in Concussion Science (January 6, 2016; Vermont Public Radio, Vermont Edition)
- Opinion: Protect Children by Supporting Families (June 29, 2014; Rutland Herald)
- Attorney Robert Luce to Moderate Panel on Trial Court Perspectives (October 17, 2013; press release)
- DRM Director Robert Luce Launches Traumatic Brain Injury Blog (May 23, 2013; press release)
- Why Brain-Injured Defendants in Vermont Often Go Free (March 20, 2013; Seven Days)
- Robert Luce Article Highlighted by Brain Injury Foundation (March 5, 2013; press release)
- Robert Luce Cited Among Top Burlington Personal Injury Lawyers (October 24, 2012; press release)
- Representing Traumatic Brain Injury Victims: Legal and Medical Issues (March 30, 2012; full-day conference in Burlington, VT)