Attorney Spotlight: Robert Furbish, Berman & Simmons Research and Writing Specialist

Attorney Robert H. Furbish has been at the helm of Berman & Simmons’ research and writing team for 17 years. Since joining the firm in 2005, Bob has been integral in successfully representing thousands of Maine plaintiffs with complex legal issues. Recently, Bob announced that he would be retiring in 2022. In tribute to his decades of service to our clients and role in developing our research and writing resources, Berman & Simmons celebrates Bob Furbish as our ‘spotlight’ attorney.

For more than 100 years, Berman & Simmons has maintained a reputation as Maine’s leading personal injury firm. From winning historic verdicts that help our clients reclaim control of their lives to legal victories that shape the landscape of Maine tort law, our success is founded upon a legacy of mastering both the law and advocacy.

Bred on a commitment to winning results, strategically applying Maine law in creative ways is part of the DNA of our work. And, at the heart of this, are Berman & Simmons’ team of legal research and writing experts.

A Foundation of Legal Knowledge

Berman & Simmons recognizes that being Maine’s premier personal injury firm requires more than extraordinary litigators: it demands a talented team of intellectually curious attorneys to develop strategies and produce written arguments that maximize success at trial. As a firm, we understand that our clients are best served when their cases are built upon a foundation of legal knowledge and creativity. And, when it comes to Berman & Simmons’ team of research and writing specialists, there is no question that Bob Furbish is the bedrock upon which that foundation rests.

Bob has been the “secret ingredient” in countless Berman & Simmons successes for nearly two decades and will begin his next chapter in. Working behind the scenes as part of a multi-faceted task force, Bob is most gratified when analyzing complex legal issues and probing the contours of the law around complicated questions of tort, insurance coverage, and protection of his clients’ recovery by negotiating liens and reimbursement claims. Bob has served as the “backroom” intellect behind many a brilliant trial strategy deployed by Berman & Simmons in these areas and others. He has also served as an editor of Maine Tort Law, which has been a valuable resource for the Maine bench and bar for over three decades.

Creative Approaches and Solutions

Bob’s role as a research and writing specialist is to find solid, and sometimes novel, theories of liability and creative sources for insurance coverage. As a recent example, Bob determined that an employer could be held liable for a catastrophic motor vehicle accident, even though its employee was driving his own non-work vehicle well outside of normal working hours. Bob helped develop a compelling argument supporting vicarious liability that allowed Berman & Simmons to take on a case that many experienced attorneys would have rejected. As a direct result of Bob’s work, the employer’s insurance carrier had little choice but to come to the table and negotiate—setting the stage for a favorable resolution that dramatically improved the quality of life for the profoundly injured clients.

When asked recently about the keys to his success, Bob explained that you cannot take a case at face value. “You’ve got to dig deeper. And a little deeper. Then even deeper still, motivated by the instinct that there is something here. There has to be,” he reflected. “And you twist and turn and scrape until you can find it because there are people who are depending on us.” Bob’s is a role that very few other lawyers could envision doing. It’s out of the ”spotlight” and often quiet, deliberate work. But for the trial attorneys and clients Bob serves, it’s an invaluable asset.

Part of the Team

Always modest, Bob shared a simple hope when asked about how he sees his role: “I always want the client to know that Berman & Simmons’ reputation as the top personal injury law firm is based on real results. I am glad to be part of the team that has earned us that reputation.”

We’re all certainly glad that Bob is on the team.

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