Robert W. Stanley


Robert was born in Springfield, Illinois but grew up in Beacon, New York where he played high school soccer and surfed off Long Island. He earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Loyola University Chicago.

Robert Stanley represents one of Breen & Pugh’s greatest thefts from the prosecutor’s office. In 2007, while successfully defending a client charged in a triple homicide, Tom Breen and Todd Pugh noticed that opposing counsel was ably supported by quiet young man who sat stoically behind counsel table. Our thought then was that he was a law student vying for employment with the State’s Attorney. Later, we observed this young man diligently working on other matters with prosecutors around the courthouse.

In July 2008, Mr. Breen received a call from a supervisor in the State’s Attorney’s Office inquiring whether our firm had an opening for a law clerk. We then learned that Robert Stanley was only an undergraduate intern and that for budgetary reasons, could not be kept on. However, Robert’s supervising attorneys all wanted him back the moment he completed law school. Needless to say, the State’s Attorney never got him back! Robert Stanley has remained with our firm, in one capacity or another, since his arrival. To this day, his former supervisors jokingly refer to our firm’s hiring of Robert as a “grand theft” by Breen & Pugh.

Robert went to work straightaway, and he immediately proved himself an invaluable asset, providing critical trial assistance in three public corruption trials and two first degree murder trials. He demonstrated an uncanny ability to synthesize and organize fact discovery. His legal research was both creative and complete.

As word of Robert’s skills and dedication spread to Chicago’s other elite criminal defense firms, Breen & Pugh succumbed to the occasional request of a colleague to “loan” Rob out for special projects. During these hiatuses Robert was appointed by the Federal Court to serve as a law clerk to Patrick Blegen in the defense of a man charged with material support to the Terrorist Attacks in Mumbai, India and a failed terrorist attack in Denmark. Robert also worked on several habeas corpus cases and a lengthy racketeering trial in the Northern District of Illinois.

After graduating from Loyola Law School, Robert joined Breen & Pugh as an associate attorney and in 2017 became a partner. Robert is truly the “lawyer’s lawyer.” From the outset, he demonstrated a measured gravity far beyond his years as he quietly and effectively moved with grace among Chicago’s best criminal defense lawyers, prosecutors, and Judges. His legal reasoning and presentations were met with aplomb by both colleague and adversary alike.

As the firms caseload of specialized civil litigation expanded, Robert joined Telly Stefaneas as a point person for these civil defendants. Robert’s skills in defending racketeering and qui tam defendants have been immeasurable. He also manages some of the firm’s most complex asset forfeiture matters.

Admitted to practice in the following courts

  • Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Supreme Court of Illinois
  • Northern District of Illinois