Mr. Schmidt received his B.A. degree from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio in 1967 and his law degree from Duke University Law School in 1973 where he was an editor of the Duke Law Journal. He was an officer in the United States Navy from 1969 to 1972, serving as Lieutenant and Weapons Officer of the USS William M. Wood (DD 715) at the time of his discharge to return to law school. He joined the firm of Mahoney, Hadlow, Chambers & Adams (then the oldest firm in the State of Florida) in Jacksonville in 1973 and became a shareholder in that firm in 1978. On January 1, 1979, he left the Mahoney Hadlow firm to start the firm of Bledsoe, Gallagher, Mikals, & Schmidt, the predecessor of the Firm. He has practiced continuously with the Firm since that date specializing in civil litigation. In 1997, he became a Florida Supreme Court certified circuit court civil mediator and a Federal court certified mediator. In 1998, he qualified as an AAA arbitrator and mediator. Since 2001, his practice has been limited to providing alternative disputer resolution services as a mediator, statutory and AAA arbitrator, and special master.
Experience: As a civil litigator, Mr. Schmidt has represented parties in cases involving breach of contract, fraud, employment discrimination, mechanics' liens and construction disputes, real property, probate, state and federal antitrust and restraint of trade, copyright, securities fraud, bankruptcy, ERISA, CERCLA, RCRA, medical and legal malpractice, personal injury, and maritime disputes, representing both plaintiffs and defendants. Parties have included the U.S. Government, the National Football League, insurance companies, corporations, and individuals. Mr. Schmidt also served as Special Counsel to The Florida Bar in the disbarment proceeding against F. Lee Bailey in 1999. Representative cases include Jaffe v. Grant, 793 F.2d 1182 (11th Cir. 1986); Woodman v. U. S., 764 F.Supp 1455 (M.D.Fla) rev’d 121 F.3d 1430 (11th Cir. 1997); VKK Corp. v. National Football League, et al., 55 F.Supp 2d 196 (S.D.N.Y. 1999); Connecticut General Life Insurance Co. v. Jones, 764 So.2d 677 (Fla. 1st DCA 2000); The Florida Bar v. F. Lee Bailey, 803 So.2d 603 (Fla.) cert. denied 535 U.S.1036 (2002).
Alternative Dispute Resolution Experience: Mr. Schmidt has mediated more than 1600 cases in State and Federal Court and under the AAA over the past ten years, including a breach of contract claim in the telecommunications industry involving a claim of more than $400 million; an international patent infringement case; a consolidated action involving multiple securities fraud and negligent supervision claims in excess of $20 million; a dispute between FDIC and a borrower and a subsequent dispute between the borrower and a third party involving real property valued in excess of $20 million; a dissenting stockholders rights dispute involving claims in excess of $15 million; a catastrophic burn case involving claims in excess of $10 million; an electrocution case involving claims of more than $5 million; a dispute between a sponsor and a cigarette manufacturer over a NASCAR promotion involving a claim in excess of $5 million; a condominium construction dispute involving claims in excess of $5 million; several class actions with claims in excess of $5 million; a wrongful death/Civil Rights case involving claims in excess of $2 million; and numerous personal injury, construction, and other commercial cases involving claims in excess of $1 million.
Professional Licenses: Mr. Schmidt was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1973. He is admitted to practice in the United States Federal District Court, Middle District of Florida, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Ninth and Eleventh Circuits, and the United States Supreme Court.
Professional Associations: Mr. Schmidt is a member of the American Bar Association (Section on Dispute Resolution); Florida Bar Association (Section on Dispute Resolution); Jacksonville Bar Association; Florida Academy of Professional Mediators; Florida Association of Professional Mediators.
Honors and Awards: Mr. Schmidt is listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation (2001-2007) and Alternative Dispute Resolution (2005-2007). He was also named as one of Florida’s Super Lawyers in 2006 for Alternative Dispute Resolution and was listed in Jacksonville's Best Lawyers by Jacksonville Magazine (February 2001), (November 2004) and (March 2007). He is a Master in the Chester Bedell Inn of Court and was honored in 2002 with Resolution by The Florida Bar for his pro bono service as Special Counsel in The Florida Bar v. F. Lee Bailey.
Publications and Speaking Engagements: Mr. Schmidt was co-author with Kenneth W. Starr of "Inspection Rights of Corporate Stockholders: Toward a More Effective Statutory Model", 42 FLA.L.REV. 143 (1974); a speaker on the topic The Florida Bar v. F. Lee Bailey: A Cautionary Tale at the Raymond Ehrlich Trial Advocacy Seminar (2002); a panel member on the topic "Winning Without Trial: The Mediation Roundtable" at the Raymond Ehrlich Trial Advocacy Seminar (2003); and a panel member on alternative dispute resolution presentations at the Chester Bedell Inn of Court (2004) and Florida Coastal School of Law (2005).