Rob Cary has tried civil and criminal cases across the country and is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. A recent edition of Chambers USA describes Rob as an “absolutely brilliant” lawyer, who “encompasses all of Williams & Connolly’s best attributes. He’s aggressive, he brings the fight, and he is really, really smart.”
With client permission and encouragement, Rob wrote a book about one of his trials. Bob Woodward of The Washington Post describes the book “Not Guilty: The Unlawful Prosecution of U.S. Senator Ted Stevens” as a “public service…a shocking, deeply sobering tale that every American worried about the concentration of power in the federal government should read and study.” Barry Scheck, co-founder of the Innocence Project, describes it as a “riveting account from one of our country’s great lawyers.” Retired federal judge Nancy Gertner describes it as “an extraordinarily important book, a must read not only for lawyers, but federal judges.”
Rob, together with his colleagues Craig Singer and Simon Latcovich, has also authored “Federal Criminal Discovery,” the first book devoted entirely to the topic of discovery in federal criminal cases. A second edition was published in 2021.
In addition to trying cases, Rob has extensive experience settling class actions, representing companies and individuals in government investigations, and conducting investigations for audit committees of publicly traded companies. Rob has also represented clients in a number of high-stakes appeals, including two that have gone to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Rob has been recognized as a leading lawyer in white collar crime and government investigations in the 2013-2022 editions of Chambers USA, as a commercial litigation local "Litigation Star" in the 2012-2023 editions of Benchmark Litigation; as a “National Star” in the 2015 and 2021-2023 editions of Benchmark Litigation; as a leading lawyer in white collar criminal defense in the 2010-21 editions of The Best Lawyers in America; and as the Bet-the-Company Litigation Lawyer of the Year for Washington, D.C. in the 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. In 2011, The National Law Journal named Rob one of the country’s “Most Influential Lawyers” in the area of white collar criminal defense, and in 2015, The National Law Journal named Rob one of its "White Collar Crime Trailblazers." In addition to being a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Rob is also a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Rob grew up in Hannibal, Missouri before attending Dartmouth College, where he played football before entering the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was selected for the Virginia Law Review and Order of the Coif. Rob was a law clerk to Judge Eugene Lynch of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. He joined Williams & Connolly in 1990, and has supervised the firm’s pro bono criminal practice and chaired the firm's Hiring and Partner-Associate Committees.
Rob has co-taught “Defending a Criminal Case” at Vanderbilt Law School with the Honorable Amul Thapar of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and has taught “Federal White Collar Crime” and “Trial Advocacy” at Georgetown University Law Center. He has lectured at a number of other law schools. Rob is a frequent speaker on criminal law, legal ethics, and professional responsibility. His speaking engagements have included appearances at the Sixth Circuit, Seventh Circuit, Tenth Circuit, and the District of Columbia Judicial Conferences. Rob was appointed by the Virginia Supreme Court to its faculty to teach professionalism to new lawyers. He also served on the ABA’s Criminal Justice Standards Task Force charged with updating the ABA’s Discovery Standards.
Rob has also served on a number of charitable boards of directors and currently serves on the board of directors for the Consortium of Catholic Academies, which provides a Catholic education to the underserved in Washington, D.C.