Antitrust, Consumer Protection, False Advertising
Class actions are group lawsuits that are designed to address and remedy situations where multinational corporations or other large companies mislead, cheat or steal small amounts of money from many of their customers at the same time or in the same manner. For example ...
A manufacturer mislabels a lesser product as a "premium" one so that people pay more for it.
Several competitors selling similar products secretly agree to stop competing on price and to charge consumers the same high price to increase profits.
A car maker advertises its models as "safe and reliable" when in fact they contain design defects that could injure your family or cause poor performance.
Your telephone company adds hidden fees and surcharges to your monthly bill to pad its profits.
A bank routinely accounts for debits and credits in checking accounts to increase its customers' overdraft charges
Individual customers affected by these unlawful actions each lose only tens or hundreds of dollars. They cannot afford to sue on their own because hiring a lawyer would cost them more than they lost. But the customers collectively will have lost potentially millions of dollars. Class action lawyers sue for all of the affected customers at one time. And they will do so free of charge because, if they win or successfully settle the suit, the court will award them legal fees. Class actions are often the only way that consumers can recover their losses and stop the company's wrongdoing.
Alex Schmidt is a successful class action attorney who has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for his clients. He works regularly with the nations' top class action law firms. If you have been cheated and believe others are being hurt in the same way, contact Alex for a free evaluation of your potential case.
LITIGATION — GENERAL CIVIL & COMMERCIAL
Business, Contract and Property Disputes
Commercial disputes involve a broad range of matters that arise for both individuals and businesses alike:
Sales or financial transactions gone bad.
Strained relations with banks and other lenders.
Conflicting claims to rights, title and interests in real estate or personal property.
Labor law violations and employment issues.
Getting sued by a customer because you or an employee made a mistake, or for no legitimate reason at all.
Alex Schmidt has handled all of these kinds of cases. Alex understands the needs of small and mid-sized businesses and their owners and the risks that legal problems can pose to their financial futures. He also identifies with the conditions of workers and needs of labor unions. Call Alex for a free consultation about any commercial dispute.
Negotiation, Drafting and Interpretation
Alex Schmidt has been negotiating, drafting and litigating over the correct interpretation of contracts his entire career. He knows from his clients' experiences that the best way to avoid the enormous cost of having to litigate over the meaning of a contract is to make sure it is drafted correctly in the first place, to eliminate ambiguity so that the contracting parties' intent is clear from the document itself. All contracts, regardless of their length or the complexity of their subject matter, must be written in plain, easily understood language without "legalese" or obscure words or concepts. If you want a well-drafted contract prepared, or need advice on how an unclear contract might be interpreted by a court, contact Alex.
Arbitration is a means of resolving disputes that can be used as a substitute for litigating in court. Arbitration can be less expensive and yield a quicker result than filing a lawsuit. The downsides of arbitration are there is less opportunity to obtain discovery of information needed to prove or defend the case; the rules of evidence that apply in court are unavailable; and cases are tried before private individuals who are not sitting judges and whose rulings are final and cannot usually be appealed if the client loses.
Arbitration is a good option if a client knows the nature of his or her dispute and can be advised by counsel before agreeing to arbitrate rather than litigate. But involuntary, forced arbitration that compels people to give up their right to sue in court should be outlawed. Many companies put mandatory arbitration clauses in their consumer contracts, on their websites or in their mobile apps that courts are required under current law to enforce, even if they force the customers to waive their right to sue as a class and, thereby, deprive them of any ability to recover from the company. Alex Schmidt is a leading authority on arbitration law. He has written about and litigated over forced arbitration. He has also successfully conducted arbitrations for clients who agreed to them.
Mediation, unlike arbitration, is not a substitute for suing in court. It is a method of trying to settle a difficult issue by using a private mediator who is specially trained to help parties reach agreements. Mediators usually do not make binding rulings on legal questions. The parties remain free to litigate their case if the attempt to mediate does not result in a settlement. Alex Schmidt has participated in many mediations and recommends them to clients if it might enable them to avoid the expense of a trial or arbitration.