Mark Schmidtke has represented clients in ERISA and non-ERISA employee benefits matters in state and federal courts throughout the United States for over 30 years. He has been lead or co-lead counsel in ERISA litigation matters pending in the courts of 49 states.
He has argued appeals in the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits, as well as the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the Minnesota Supreme Court, the Minnesota Court of Appeals, the Indiana Court of Appeals, and the California Court of Appeals.
He has also authored several briefs and petitions at the United States Supreme Court, including amicus curiae briefs in important ERISA cases such as Hardt v. Reliance Standard, Black & Decker v. Nord and Yates v. Hendon.
Mr. Schmidtke serves as National ERISA Counsel for several large life, health and disability insurers, consulting with house counsel and outside counsel on litigation matters and advising house counsel and business clients on document drafting and policy issues.
Mr. Schmidtke has also represented national and international companies in large class actions. He has written numerous books and articles on employee benefit-related issues and is a frequent speaker at national seminars.
- J.D., Valparaiso University School of Law, 1981
- B.A., with high distinction, Valparaiso University, 1978
Admitted to Practice:
- U.S. District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana
- U.S. District Court, Central, Northern (General Bar and Trial Bar) and Southern Districts of Illinois
- U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
- U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan
- U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin
- Mr. Schmidtke was co-lead counsel for a major health insurance carrier in a proposed class action pending in federal court in Chicago involving disputes over alleged recoupments of overpayments brought by several chiropractors and chiropractic associations.
- Mr. Schmidtke was retained by a national life insurance trade organization to prepare and file an amicus curiae brief in the United States Supreme Court in support of the petitioner in Standard Insurance Company v. Morrison. The case involved a challenge to a state insurance commissioner regulation prohibiting discretionary clauses in insurance policies that fund benefits under ERISA welfare plans.
- Mr. Schmidtke was retained as consulting counsel by a large disability insurance carrier in a matter pending in federal court in California for the purpose of briefing and arguing a key issue of ERISA preemption related to whether the disability insurance policies at issue in the case were governed by ERISA and, if so, whether California’s law of insurance bad faith was preempted. The issue had a large impact on the potential value of the dispute.
- Mr. Schmidtke was retained by a large international disability insurance carrier to prepare and file an amicus curiae brief in the United States Supreme Court in support of the petitioner in Black & Decker v. Nord. The central issue in the case was whether the treating physician rule applicable in Social Security disability cases could be imported in to ERISA-governed private disability disputes.
- Mr. Schmidtke was lead counsel for an international manufacturing company in a matter pending in a federal court in Indiana where the issue was whether a claimant satisfied the definition of a surviving spouse in the company’s pension plan.
- American Bar Association (Tort and Insurance Section – Employee Benefits Committee; Labor and Employment Section – Employee Benefits Committee)
- Indiana State Bar Association
- Indiana Defense Trial Lawyers
- Concordia Plan Services (Vice Chair and Member, Board of Directors; Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, 2006-present)
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