Philip and Muriel Barnett Professor of Trial Advocacy Robert E. Talbot has been creating and directing law clinics at USF for 20 years. The Investor Justice Clinic fights for small investors against misconduct by brokers and brokerages. This clinic, which has recovered more than a million dollars for small investors, has been featured on NBC, CBS, and NPR, and in all major newspapers. The Employment Law Clinic, created by Professor Talbot, has represented clients in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) mediations for more than 14 years and is a one of a kind program. The clinic is currently the only law school clinic in the country that represents federal employees in U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board hearings. It also represents non–English speaking individuals at wage and hour hearings before the San Francisco labor commissioner and partners with EEOC in a “Youth at Work” program in which the clinic students teach workplace rights to San Francisco high school students. In the Internet and Intellectual Property Clinic, students represent those who cannot afford lawyers in numerous IP and internet issues. The clinic, which has been featured on CNET, has represented college students in Recording Industry Association of America cases and clients in copyright cases against the U.S. Copyright Group. Clinic students are certified to represent clients before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, participate in the Chilling Effects website, and run a blog on internet legal issues. In Talbot’s Mediation Clinic, students appear as court mediators in San Francisco Small Claims Court, and help conduct mediations as part of the San Francisco District Attorney’s restorative justice Neighborhood Court’s program. Past clinics created by Professor Talbot include the Investigations Clinic, which was featured on the CBS television network and was designated the “coolest” class by the San Francisco Chronicle, the Narcotics Prosecutions Clinic, and a clinic in which the students worked on the economic aspects of divorce.
Talbot has been involved in thousands of family, employment, and other civil mediations both as mediator and representative. He has served as counsel in numerous court and jury trials, as a private attorney and public defender, and represented clients in arbitrations and negotiations. Talbot has taught investigative and courtroom testimony to San Francisco and San Mateo police academies, investigative tips for attorneys to bar associations in the Bay Area, and courtroom procedures and testimony techniques to doctors at UC San Francisco and other hospitals. He has also taught lawyers on the theory and practice of DNA analysis in advanced symposia.
In addition to teaching skills training in clinical settings, Talbot has taught Evidence, Evidence Advocacy, Criminal Law, Trial Practice (featured on CNN for the use of theatrical training), Family Law, Science in Litigation, Fundamentals of Investigations, Psychology and the Lawyer (included a clinical component in which students represented the mentally ill), and other courses. He received the University of San Francisco's Sarlo Prize in 2018, which is given to a faculty member for excellence in teaching based upon the moral values that lie at the foundation of USF's identity.
Talbot often serves as a commentator and legal analyst for media outlets, including CNN, CBS, USA Today, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times.
- BA, Columbia University
- JD, Columbia University
- Associate, Boalt Hall School of Law, UC Berkeley
- Instructor, University of Wisconsin School of Law
- Trial Attorney, San Francisco Public Defender's Office
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Criminal Law
- Employment Law
- Internet Law
- Securities Arbitration
- Trial Advocacy
- Awards & Distinctions
Sarlo Prize (2018). University of San Francisco. (For excellence in teaching based upon the moral values that lie at the foundation of USF's identity. The awardee exemplifies the ethical principles which inform the University's Vision, Mission and Values).