Image of Rob Ducatman, Jones Day Partner, with birth and death years

Message From the Managing Partner: Robert P. Ducatman

This past Sunday, we lost our longtime partner and friend Rob Ducatman. Rob had been battling pancreatic cancer and, true to form, he fought until the end. He passed away peacefully at his home with his children at his side.

Rob grew up in Cleveland and worked at his father's auto repair shop from an early age. He was the first person in his family to go to college, let alone graduate school, graduating from Cleveland State University in 1977 (B.A., magna cum laude) and its law school in 1980 (J.D., cum laude). After law school, Rob worked as a Law Clerk to Judge John M. Manos of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio for three years, from 1980 through 1982. During that time, he witnessed Pat McCartan and John Strauch try the legendary case of Marathon Oil Company v. Mobil Corporation before Judge Manos. Due, in part, to that experience, Rob decided to apply to Jones Day when his clerkship ended.

Rob was the quintessential Jones Day lawyer. He joined the Firm in 1983 and was one of the first associates dedicated to the practice of intellectual property law. In that role, he assisted Hal Cooper as the Firm began to develop its dominance in IP, starting in Cleveland and growing around the world. Over the years, he focused his IP practice on trademark disputes, unfair competition, and trade secret disputes, and also handled patent litigation matters. His knowledge of the state and federal courts in Ohio and his courtroom skills made him the go-to partner for numerous Firm clients, including Riverside, Timken, Scott Fetzer, PNC Bank, and many others. For more than 20 years, Rob also served the Firm and the Managing Partner by protecting the Jones Day brand and our service mark around the world. He truly loved the Firm and would do everything in his power to protect the institution.

Indeed, Rob exemplified so many of the Firm's fundamental values. He never hesitated to take on tough cases or unpopular causes for clients who often were vilified in the press—the Firm's representation of the Cleveland Browns football team during the move to Baltimore is just one example. And, while he demanded much of the lawyers who worked for him, he gave back even more. Many litigators at Jones Day learned much of what they know about the practice of law from Rob. His legacy as a fierce litigator and great trial lawyer will long be remembered, but his legacy as a teacher and a mentor to other Jones Day lawyers will perhaps be his greatest and most lasting contribution to the Firm. When mentoring younger lawyers, Rob often would say that "there's only one interest above that of our clients, and that's the interests of the Firm." Rob was singularly loyal and dedicated to the Firm. He was one-of-a-kind and will be missed.

Rob was such a great, unselfish partner who was always so modest and unassuming. He would often say to me that he was just a " lunch pail guy." That simple, self-effacing statement was a clear commitment to hard work and Midwest grit that made this Firm and in his image and likeness.

The family would appreciate that any donations be made to The Compassionate Friends (, an organization that was important to Rob.

Stephen J. Brogan
April 4, 2022

Jones Day is a global law firm with more than 2,400 lawyers in 40 offices across five continents. The Firm is distinguished by: a singular tradition of client service; the mutual commitment to, and the seamless collaboration of, a true partnership; formidable legal talent across multiple disciplines and jurisdictions; and shared professional values that focus on client needs.