Christopher J. Schmidt

Christopher Schmidt’s litigation practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, including class action defense and toxic torts, financial services litigation and international arbitrations. He handles a complex case load and leads teams of attorneys and paralegals in all facets of client counseling and litigation. Mr. Schmidt handles every aspect of the case, including establishing pre-trial and trial strategy, engaging in dispositive motion practice, taking and defending critical depositions, preparing and executing expert discovery, and leading jury and bench trials in state and federal court. Mr. Schmidt regularly counsels and advises clients on legal compliance to learn from litigation, minimize risk and establish best-practices.

Representative Experience

Commercial Litigation and Complex Business Disputes: Represents companies in breach of contract, veil piercing, successor liability, corporate continuation, fraud, misappropriation of trade secrets, non-compete, shareholder disputes, sports and entertainment disputes, and other complex commercial disputes for both plaintiffs and defendants.

Mr. Schmidt recently obtained an injunction within one week of filing a lawsuit against a senior executive who misappropriated trade secrets and confidential information.

Class Action Defense: Defends publicly traded companies in all phases of complicated class action defense in financial services and lender liability class actions, consumer fraud and deceptive practices class actions, and toxic tort and pharmaceutical class actions. His expansive class action experience encompasses all aspects of class actions, including opposition to class certification, dispositive motions, discovery, depositions, class certification hearings, settlement and settlement administration in state and federal courts around the country.

Mr. Schmidt prevailed on appeal to the Eighth Circuit and helped create law establishing that defendants can demonstrate amount in controversy and create federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act by providing evidence of the "pot" of money from which damages might be calculated. Raskas et al. v. Johnson & Johnson et al., 719 F.3d 884 (8th Circ. 2013).

Toxic and Mass Tort Litigation: Mr. Schmidt has significant experience leading complex toxic tort litigation defense, including the defense of class and mass actions. Mr. Schmidt's science background provides the foundation to identify, prepare and cross-examine critical experts, including toxicologists, epidemiologists, geochemists, hydrogeologists and medical doctors. His toxic tort litigation experience encompasses suits alleging property damage, medical monitoring and personal injury from a diverse array of chemicals and products, including heavy metals, lead, arsenic, mold, benzene, chlorinated solvents, benzene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and volatile organic compounds.

Mr. Schmidt recently obtained the first lone pine order in a toxic tort class action in the Eastern District of Missouri, which requires plaintiffs to make a basic, prima facie showing of the elements of their claim.

Financial Services, Real Estate & Lending Litigation: Mr. Schmidt leads a national team of attorneys dedicated to representing financial institutions and mortgage servicers in contested litigation, including class actions, standing challenges, and claims arising out of RESPA, TILA, TCPA, FDCPA and HOEPA, as well as state consumer protection statutes in federal and state courts throughout the country. Mr. Schmidt learned how to handle complex consumer finance litigation after being seconded early in his career to a major financial institution’s in-house legal department where he managed a multi-state docket of contentious cases. Mr. Schmidt leads the defense of lender liability class actions and regularly provides guidance on regulatory risks identified during the course of litigation.

Mr. Schmidt recently defeated a consumer fraud class action against one of his financial services clients at the summary judgment stage.

International Arbitrations & Litigation: Mr. Schmidt is a member of the International Arbitration team. He represents corporate clients facing international litigation and arbitrations. He coordinates legal strategy for multi-nationals defending litigation in foreign countries, focusing primarily on Mexico and South America as he is fluent in Spanish. He has handled complex international breach of contract claims in international arbitrations, commercial disputes relating to the termination of foreign distributors, resolved import/export disputes in Argentina, and has represented publicly traded companies in foreign corrupt trade practices act (FCPA) investigations, including leading an “on-the-ground” investigation in Mexico City. Mr. Schmidt has also won numerous federal trials under the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction.

Good to know

Areas of Practice 1) Toxic Tort (Co-Leader), 2) Commercial Litigation, 3) Class and Derivative Actions, 4) Consumer Financial Services Litigation, 5) International Arbitration, 6) Mexico and Latin America and 7) Sports and Entertainment Group
Law School Saint Louis University School of Law, J.D., 2002
Admitted Year 1991
Education University of Notre Dame, B.A., 1996
Bar Member / Association Illinois State Bar Association, Missouri State Bar Association
Most recent firm Bryan Cave LLP
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