Robert was born in Johnson City, TN. In the mid 1960's his family moved to Huntsville, AL. His father was a machinist making devices used to measure rocket exhaust temperatures. He recalls how the testing of Saturn 5 rocket boosters rattled the windows of his neighborhood. Huntsville was a technology hub center for the Space Race, and is called the “Rocket City”.
In December, 1968, Robert's family relocated to the Mississippi Coast after his father found work at Ingalls Shipbuilding. Robert worked at Ingalls as a scaffold carpenter in 1973 and as a shipfitter in 1975. He did his undergraduate work at University of Southern Mississippi in the Community and Regional Planning program. He worked seven years as a city planner. After completing Law School at Ole Miss, Robert worked in Biloxi as an associate attorney for three years. He began work on his first Longshore case in 1988. He has been in solo-practice since 1990. He has now represented Longshore Workers' Compensation Act and state workers' compensation claimants for more than 25 years.