Jerome J. Schlichter Selected as One of the “Best Lawyers in America” for 2014
Founding and managing partner of Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, Jerome J. Schlichter, has been elected by his peers for inclusion in the 2014 Edition of the prestigious Best Lawyers in America for his work in the practice areas of Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs and Railroad Law.
As Best Lawyers explains its methodology:
Inclusion in Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive and rigorous peer-review survey comprising more than five million confidential evaluations by top attorneys. For more than three decades, Best Lawyers has been regarded – by both the profession and the public – as the most credible and definitive guide to legal excellence in the United States.
Jerry has been designated legal counsel for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers for many years and is currently designated legal counsel for the United Transportation Union. He has represented railroad workers in trials in many states and has had record-setting jury verdicts in numerous jurisdictions, both in railroad and other personal injury cases. He has obtained a verdict of $27 Million for the widow and children of a St. Louis firefighter against Survivair, Inc. for a defective breathing apparatus which caused the firefighter’s death. This $27 Million verdict was the highest jury verdict in Missouri in 2007 and one of the highest in the United States. After the verdict, the amount was increased to a total of $40.4 million due to interest awarded. The total amount was fully collected in 2010. He has also obtained multiple precedent-setting judgments against railroads, including successfully requiring a railroad and the Federal Railroad Administration to modify its rules on certification of railroad engineers; successfully obtaining a permanent injunction against the Union Pacific Railroad for all of its employees, which stopped the railroad’s practice of interfering with employees’ ability to pursue injury claims; and obtaining the first and only jury verdict in the United States on which a jury determined that a locomotive was not crashworthy, resulting in a jury verdict of $4.75 Million, which was the highest verdict against that railroad by an injured employee in its history.
In a recent ranking of the 50 most influential people in the 401k industry by 401kWire.com, Jerry was ranked No. 3. This was due to his handling of nationwide class actions on behalf of employees and retirees in large 401k plans alleging excessive fees and conflicts of interest reducing employees’ and retirees’ retirement assets.
In 2010, Jerry obtained a $16.5 Million settlement and a $15.15 Million settlement in two national class actions on behalf of the employees and retirees of Caterpillar, Inc., and General Dynamics Corporation, respectively, for excessive fees in their 401(k) plans plus additional changes to the 401(k) plan benefitting employees in the future. This success continued in 2011, when Jerry obtained an $18.5 Million settlement with substantial improvements to the 401(k) plan for the employees and retirees of Bechtel, which has described by the AARP foundation as “truly extraordinary.”
Throughout his career, he has also handled major precedent-setting class action and mass tort cases on behalf of individuals. He currently represents employees and retirees of large companies with claims of excessive fees in their retirement plans. An example of his class action work is his representation of a class of African American employment applicants in the case of Mister v. Illinois Central Gulf Railroad, a case in which he obtained an extraordinary Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Decision in which the court stated: One could not imagine a stronger case of discrimination short of an announcement of it, resulting in a $10 Million settlement. In the Mister case, the U.S. district court judge described his work stating: “The Court is unaware of any comparable achievement of public good by a private lawyer in the face of such obstacles and enormous demand of resources and finances.” The judge also stated: “This Court finds that Mr. Schlichter’s experience, reputation, and ability are of the highest caliber.”
Jerry handled the nationally-recognized Times Beach dioxin case in which he represented a group of people in the community of Times Beach, Missouri who were exposed to dioxin when their streets were sprayed with the chemical. He obtained a record setting $19 Million settlement on behalf of the residents against a chemical company in that case.
Jerry handled a national employment discrimination class action case on behalf of all women employees of Rent-a-Center. He obtained a $47 Million settlement for the class as well as a complete revamping of company policies. This is one of the largest class action settlements for women in the United States and the U.S. district court judge stated: “In essence, it is an example of advocacy at its highest and noblest purpose, and Class Counsel accomplished a great public good.” The judge further stated: “I have never seen an effort like that effort put forth by the plaintiffs counsel it’s beyond an extraordinary effort.”
Jerry is a past national President of the Academy of Rail Labor Attorneys and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates. He has authored articles in the field of personal injury litigation and has spoken at numerous seminars on trial techniques, mass torts, and complex litigation. He has also taught trial techniques as an adjunct professor at Washington University School of Law.