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Linda Schmidt

Linda S. Schmidt

Special Counsel
  • Biography
  • Representative Experience
  • Admissions, Activities & Honors
  • Updates, News & Presentations
  • Blog Posts
  • Education
Linda Schmidt

Linda is a commercial litigator who regularly helps clients resolve their most difficult disputes, particularly in the areas of business torts, constitutional law, and insurance. Since joining the firm, Linda has successfully represented clients in a variety of venues, including before the state and federal courts of Wisconsin and courts in Arizona, Illinois, New York, Utah, Washington, D.C. and elsewhere.

More recently, Linda successfully defended a major Wisconsin-based insurer in an ERISA class action that ultimately made its way to the Seventh Circuit. In addition, Linda recently secured dismissal for a well-known newspaper publisher that had been sued for vicarious liability arising out of injuries allegedly caused by the negligence of an independent newspaper distributor.

Linda represents a variety of insurers in litigation, with a focus on complex coverage matters, including claims involving bodily injury, construction defects and professional liability. She also represents insurance companies in cases alleging bad faith or improper industry- or company-wide claims handling practices. Linda has reviewed and advised insurance clients on proposed legislation before the Wisconsin legislature affecting the insurance industry.

Prior to joining the firm, Linda practiced as a member of the Government Affairs team at Swidler Berlin LLP (n/k/a Bingham McCutchen LLP) in Washington, D.C. She currently serves on Godfrey & Kahn's Ethics and Pro Bono Committees. As part of the Pro Bono Committee, Linda helped develop the firm's formal pro bono policy.

Linda is a graduate of Columbia University School of Law, where she was a Stone scholar, member of the Parker School Journal of East European Law, Lowenstein Public Interest Fellow, and summer associate with the Public Interest Law Initiative in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Linda is fluent in German.

Representative Experience

McCarter v. American Family - Linda and a team of attorneys at Godfrey & Kahn defended American Family in this ERISA class action, obtaining victories in both the district court and Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. No. 07-4023 (7th Cir. Sept. 2, 2008).

Hensley v. General Casualty - In this massive class action, the plaintiffs sued approximately 575 insurance company defendants for alleged improprieties in the use of computer claims adjustment software. Linda represented General Casualty and its subsidiaries and helped negotiate a favorable settlement.

Fischer v. General Casualty - Linda represented General Casualty in this class action venued in state court in southern Illinois. The class representative is a chiropractor who alleges that General Casualty applied improper PPO discounts to invoices that he submitted for his treatment of individuals covered by General Casualty workers' compensation policies.

Employers Insurance Company of Wausau v. Century Indemnity Company - Reinsurance contracts often contain arbitration clauses but rarely explicitly address whether and when consolidated arbitration is appropriate. Thus, when one party wants to consolidate various arbitrations and the other does not, who decides whether consolidation is appropriate: judge or arbitrator? Linda represented Wausau Insurance in an action maintaining that courts, not arbitrators should decide the consolidation issue. The Seventh Circuit's decision was the first of several federal appellate court decisions addressing this issue in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Green Tree Fin. Corp. v. Bazzle. 443 F.3d 573 (7th Cir. 2006).

Admitted To Practice

New York - 2004

Vermont - 2015

Washington, D.C. - 2005

Wisconsin - 2005

Court Admissions

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
United States District Court, Western District of Wisconsin

Professional Associations

American Bar Association
Defense Research Institute (DRI)
District of Columbia Bar Association
New York State Bar Association
Seventh Circuit Bar Association
State Bar of Wisconsin
Vermont Bar Association
Western District of Wisconsin Bar Association
Wisconsin Defense Counsel


Dane County Bar Association Pro Bono Trust Fund – Chair / Board of Trustees (2016 - present)

Hilltop Montessori School – Vice Chair / Board of Directors (2014 – 2015)

Brattleboro Outing Club, Cross-Country Ski Committee (2014 – 2015)

Leadership Greater Madison (2012)

Insulindependence – Board of Directors (2011 – 2013)

V.A. Kids - Board of Directors (2008 – 2010)

Dane County CASA - Board of Directors (2006-2007)

Blog Posts

Wisconsin Court of Appeals: Homeowner’s insurer properly issued loss payments to insuredSeptember 22, 2017Insurable Interests | Bad Faith | Commercial General Liability Coverage (CGL) | Blog
Seventh Circuit: Integrated-system rule does not preclude coverage for homeowners’ claims against window manufacturer August 14, 2017Insurable Interests | Commercial General Liability Coverage (CGL) | Construction Defect | Duty to Defend | Blog
Wisconsin Supreme Court dismisses appeal over parties’ failure to complete a full four corners analysisJuly 10, 2017Insurable Interests | Construction Defect | Duty to Defend | Blog
Will a new court of appeals decision sow confusion over duty to defend determinations?May 17, 2017Insurable Interests | Commercial General Liability Coverage (CGL) | Duty to Defend | Blog
Connecticut Appeals Court decision recognizes the “unavailability of insurance” rule in allocating defense and indemnity for asbestos injury claimsMarch 10, 2017Insurable Interests | Commercial General Liability Coverage (CGL) | Duty to Defend | Environmental. Asbestos & Long-Tail Claims | Blog
No insurance on tap for beverage distributor facing tortious interference claimsFebruary 09, 2017Insurable Interests | Commercial General Liability Coverage (CGL) | Duty to Defend | Professional Liability | Blog
No homeowners liability coverage for insured’s defamatory statements against former colleagueJanuary 16, 2017Insurable Interests | Commercial General Liability Coverage (CGL) | Duty to Defend | Professional Liability | Blog


Juris Doctor, Columbia University School of Law, 2003

Master of Arts, Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, 1998

Bachelor of Arts, University of California, Santa Barbara, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

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