Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Don't miss
Home / Supplements and Special Sections / ICON Awards 2019 / Robert D. Blitz – Blitz, Bardgett & Deutsch

Robert D. Blitz – Blitz, Bardgett & Deutsch

It’s not easy to sustain a 46-year law career when you have Bob Blitz’s work ethic. It’s not the kind of career that lends itself to the repetitive or routine.

“What you need,” Blitz said, “are cases that cause you breathless moments.”

Blitz, one of the founding members of the St. Louis firm Blitz, Bardgett & Deutsch, has certainly had plenty of chances to breathe deeply. He’s credited with more than 100 jury trials and some $300 million in verdicts and settlements in a wide array of areas, ranging from a $60 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit for clients of A.G. Edwards in 2010 to a major defense judgment in 2015 that upheld amendments to the will of a prominent St. Louis businessman that left tens of millions of dollars in assets to the man’s widow.

Robert D. Blitz KAREN ELSHOUT/photo

Robert D. Blitz

Through it all, Blitz has been a consistent advocate of the St. Louis region, his lifelong home. His legal career has become intertwined with the city’s sports scene. In 1995, he was part of the legal team that helped to bring the Rams football team to St. Louis from Los Angeles. In 2014, he was tapped to help lead a task force to build a stadium that might keep the Rams in St. Louis — a role that earned him Missouri Lawyers Media’s 2016 Lawyer of the Year award.

And following that unsuccessful effort, Blitz and his firm have continued to fight on behalf of the Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority, which operates the Edward Jones Dome where the Rams once played. A breach-of-contract lawsuit against the Rams is ongoing, as Blitz’s team has fought to have the case heard in state court rather than arbitration.

Blitz, Bardgett & Deutsch also serves as counsel for Better Together, the effort to merge the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County, which have been separate since 1877.

“I am a great supporter of the city, the county of St. Louis and this region,” Blitz said “I am wholly and fully behind anything that’s going to support and help grow this region.”

Blitz has a prodigious work ethic — as his law partner James Deutsch told Missouri Lawyers Media in 2016, his approach to cases “sometimes makes it difficult to confine himself to 24-hour days.” But as he begins to contemplate retirement, the NFL and Better Together efforts remain part of his “swan song.”

“I want to see those be successful, and I’m going to see them through,” he said. “They’re very, very important to this community, and they’re very important to me personally.”

Blitz also wants younger lawyers to have a taste of the legal culture of his early career. He earned his law degree in 1973 from the University of Missouri. When he began practicing, the courthouses were jammed with lawyers on a daily basis, allowing them to establish relationships and learn from each other while they jostled for parking.

With the advent of e-filing and the greater complexity of civil cases, new lawyers no longer have easy opportunities to learn at the elbows of the masters.

“I don’t think that camaraderie of court personnel and lawyers and being able to witness great trial lawyers really exists anymore,” he said.

The partial solution is for young attorneys to involve themselves with bar organizations and to find an older mentor who has tried cases. That’s part of what Blitz has tried to accomplish with the firm he helped to found in 2000, which now boasts 21 lawyers.

“We don’t have as many lawyers as some law firms,” he said. “But we do have the best.”