Former American Bar Association President and Local Attorney Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III Dies

Leaves a legacy in the region and nationally

May 9, 2017

Frost Brown Todd (FBT) Florence, Kentucky, office Member-in-Charge Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III has died. Robinson was a respected leader in the legal profession and throughout the business and civic community. He leaves behind a legacy unmatched by most. Visit Bill's tribute page to share a memory of Bill or leave your condolences.

“Bill’s impact in the region and his extensive leadership in our profession have been most admirable. His optimism and determination were infectious and will be greatly missed by all. We have lost not only an exceptionally creative and dedicated lawyer, but also a genuine friend. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Joan, Bill’s wife of almost 48 years, and the rest of his family,” says George Yund, FBT Chief Executive Officer.

Robinson joined FBT as the member-in-charge of the firm’s Northern Kentucky office in 2007 and primarily focused on civil litigation. He had extensive experience in commercial litigation, product liability defense, environmental litigation and medical malpractice defense. His leadership in the legal community extended far beyond his law practice. For more than 45 years, Robinson was an active member of the American Bar Association (ABA) and served in numerous leadership positions, including as 135th President (2011-12); Treasurer (2005-08); 10 years on the Board of Governors; more than 30 years in the ABA House of Delegates; and nine years as a Kentucky State Delegate. He also served as chair of several ABA Standing Committees. In August 2016, he was appointed chair of the ABA Standing Committee on the American Judicial System, created two years earlier to protect the fair and impartial judiciary within the American democracy. Robinson also served as chairman of the National Judicial College (NJC) Board of Trustees, the nation’s leading provider of education to judges across America and abroad. He served in numerous other professional organizations and associations nationally and internationally.

For several decades, Robinson was an avid advocate for regional economic development. Starting in the early 1980s, he served on the board and as chairman of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. He was a founding member of both the Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI Cincinnati) and Northern Kentucky’s TRI-County Economic Development Corporation. He was extensively involved in many other organizations, including the UC Economic Center, the Commonwealth of Kentucky Economic Development Partnership and the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport Board. In March 2017, Robinson was recognized by REDI Cincinnati and presented the inaugural "Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III Upward and Onward Award (2017)" for more than 30 years of regional leadership in economic development.

Frost Brown Todd’s Chairman John R. Crockett III says, “Bill was among the most committed and accomplished people in our profession. It has been an honor to be his partner, and a privilege to be his friend.”

Robinson’s service to the community in which he lived and worked was boundless and included serving on the boards of educational institutions, arts foundations, regional faith-based and charitable organizations, among them the United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Boy Scouts of America, the Taft Museum of Art and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. He served the Redwood School & Rehabilitation Center for more than 45 years, including as president and honorary chair of its campaign executive committee. His countless recognitions over the years included the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Northern Kentucky Bar Association, the Themis Award by the Cincinnati Bar Association, and distinguished service awards from the NJC, the America Jewish Committee, and the National Center for State Courts. He received honorary doctorate degrees and delivered commencement speeches at several universities across the country, including Catholic University of America, Xavier University, Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law and his alma mater, Thomas More College. Robinson earned his J.D. at the University of Kentucky College of Law, and was inducted into its Alumni Hall of Fame in 2004.

To share a memory of Bill or leave your condolences, visit Bill's tribute page.

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