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About me


J.D. 1987, University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, MI 
Editorial Board, University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform 
B.A 1984, Boston University, Boston, MA 
Ancient Language & Literature: 
Αττική διάλεκτος and Lingua Latina 
Summa Cum Laude with Distinction 
Phi Beta Kappa 
1983, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 
Dissertation, Poetics of Contrast: Virgilian Bucolic Imagery in 17th Century Poetry


U.S. Supreme Court 
U.S. Court of Appeals 
Third Circuit 
Sixth Circuit 
Seventh Circuit 
Ninth Circuit 
Illinois (N.D. Ill., C.D. Ill., S.D. Ill., Ill. S.Ct.) 
Michigan (E.D. Mich., W.D. Mich.) 
Tennessee (E.D. Tenn., W.D. Tenn.) 
Wisconsin (E.D. Wis., W.D. Wis.) 
Indiana (N.D. Ind., S.D. Ind.) 
Ohio (N.D. Ohio) 
Pro hac vice: California (S.D. Cal.), Colorado, Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania (E.D. Pa.), Virginia, West Virginia, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit 


Philosophy of Law and Morality 
Legal Realism 


Lyric Opera of Chicago - Silver Grand Benefactor 
Taekwondo Blackbelt 


Judge Advocate General Corps, U.S. Navy Reserve 


Practice areas


  1. Class Action: 25%
  2. Insurance: 25%
    3 years
  3. Employment: 25%
    3 years
  4. Employee Benefits: 25%
    3 years

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Contact info

Smith | von Schleicher + Associates

180 N La Salle St Ste 3130
Chicago, IL, 60601-2801


INTemporary Admission201001/08/2016
ILActive And Authorized To Practice Law198705/17/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Summa Cum Laude with Distinction, Phi Beta KappaBoston University1984
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Managing PartnerSmith von Schleicher + Associates2002 - Present
General CounselConsumer Products Company1996 - 2002
AssociateSeyfarth Shaw1992 - 1995
AssociateMayer Brown, LLP1987 - 1992
Association namePosition nameDuration
Lyric Opera of ChicagoSilver Grand Benefactor2009 - Present
Defense Research InstituteCommittee Chair - Annual Meeting2008 - 2010
Defense Research InstitutePublications Editor2007 - 2012
University of Michigan Law SchoolEditorial Board - Journal of Law Reform1985 - 1987
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Lawless, et al v. Standard Insurance Company, Colorado PERASVS prevails, Judgment for Defendants Upheld
Darish v. The Lincoln National Life Insurance CompanyJudgment for Defendant
Nelson v. Standard Insurance Company, Countrywide Financial Corp. Group LTD Plan, Does 1-50Complaint dismissed
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
American Conference InstituteFederal Preemption of State Bans on Discretionary Clauses2014
Department of LaborManaging Disability Risks in a Time of Individual Responsibility2012
www.ERISApundit.comMr. Pundit Goes to Washington (and Testifies before the Dept of Labor)2012
Defense Research Institute (DRI)Wearing Out One's Welcome: Sitting by Designation on the Court of Appeals2011
Defense Research Institute (DRI)The Court Gave, and the Court Hath Taken Away - Judicial Displacement of Administrative Discretion2009
ABA TortsourceInjury, Sickness, and Causal Ambiguity2008
Defense Research Institute (DRI)The Causal Conundrum2007
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Michigan Law SchoolLawJD - Juris Doctor1987
Boston University School of LawLatin and Classical Humanities, Medieval LiteratureBA - Bachelor of Arts1984
Princeton UniversityDissertation-Vergilian Bucolic Imagry in 17th Century PoetryN/A1983
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
American Conference Institute - New YorkDiscretionary Clauses - State Regulation and Federal Preemption2014
ERISA Advisory Counsel - Washington DCManaging Disability Risks2012
Defense Research Institute - ChicagoERISA & Mental Health Claims2009
Defense Research Institute - San FranciscoIts Payback Time - Equitable Relief in the Wake of Sereboff2008
Defense Research InstituteEquitable Relief under ERISA2008