Robert M. Barnes

Robert M. Barnes

Bob Barnes’s unique combination of skills and work experience makes him particularly suitable for handling complex commercial matters, both civil and criminal.

A general partner since 1995, Bob specializes in commercial civil litigation and federal criminal defense. Bob joined the firm in 1990 after a four-year stint as an Assistant United States Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice where he handled complex federal criminal prosecutions involving tax evasion, mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, embezzlement, public corruption, and other federal white collar crimes. Bob earned his C.P.A. certification in 1982 while working for one of the largest international accounting firms where he participated in and led audits of banks, insurance companies, large manufacturers, and other companies.

Bob has extensive experience litigating shareholder and partner disputes, director and officer litigation, breach of contract, securities fraud, trade secrets, covenants not to compete, insurance coverage, accountant liability, criminal and civil tax litigation, and white collar criminal matters, in the state and federal courts and in arbitration.

Bob has successfully tried numerous multi-million dollar commercial disputes on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants. In the massive Phar-Mor Securities Litigation he led the malpractice claims against Phar-Mor’s auditors on behalf of a large investor. In Salvatore v. Mobile Diagnostech, Inc., et al., he won a $59 million civil RICO verdict and judgment against the general partners of an MRI facility following a two-week jury trial in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The verdict and resulting judgment is one of the very few successfully prosecuted civil RICO verdicts in the region. In several private commercial arbitration matters he has obtained multi-million awards and successfully defended corporate clients against multi-million claims. Bob successfully represented directors and officers in the Chambers Development Company Securities Litigation and the Italian Oven Securities Litigation. Bob has successfully represented business owners who are victims of “squeeze-outs” by their partners or fellow shareholders, including obtaining injunctions against the perpetrators and reinstatement of the victim-owners.

In Giant Eagle v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Bob successfully argued and obtained a precedential decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit which reversed the decision of the U.S. Tax Court and found that Giant Eagle had properly deducted millions of dollars of unredeemed but accrued fuelperks! rewards earned by grocery store customers as part of a marketing program that promoted the sale of groceries through gas discount rewards. This was a national test case for the IRS which established strong precedent in favor of taxpayers all over the country who have similar rewards programs.


Bob was co-lead counsel for Giant Eagle in the In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, the largest multidistrict litigation (“MDL”) in U.S. history, in which various governmental entities asserted public nuisance and other claims against pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies. Giant Eagle’s distribution facility and pharmacies were swept up in this massive litigation which includes over 3,000 consolidated federal cases involving thousands of parties, several decades of business operations, hundreds of millions of documents produced and thousands of depositions and expert reports. As a result of vigorous defense efforts an extremely favorable settlement was reached on behalf of Giant Eagle.

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Shareholder/Owner Litigation
  • Covenants-Not-To-Compete
  • Trade Secrets
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Construction Litigation
  • Securities Litigation
  • White Collar Criminal Defense
  • Pennsylvania
  • Indiana
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Indianapolis, IN
  • Barnes & Thornburg LLP, Indianapolis, IN
  • Indiana University, J.D., 1985
  • University of Notre Dame, B.B.A. in Accounting, 1979
  • Order of the Coif (top 10% of law school class)
  • American Jurisprudence Award, Criminal Procedure