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Andrew H. Schwartz
Andrew Schwartz is known for his ability to master complex legal problems and devise efficient, client-centered strategies, to obtain good, economic results. He has extensive trial and appellate experience in both federal and state courts.
Mr. Schwartz’s special skill is to devise strategies to force the early trial of parts of complex litigation in which his clients have an advantage, and use a win on those issues to drive successful settlements without the need for a full trial. For example, in a business break-up case involving helicopter filter design, an initial bench trial of intellectual property ownership issues resulted in a significant recovery. Similarly, in a recent trade secret trial, Mr. Schwartz used state procedural device to make the plaintiff to prove -- in an initial trial -- that it had acted to protect its alleged trade secrets from dissemination, which again led to a successful settlement.
Mr. Schwartz’s practice covers a wide range of areas.
- Successfully prosecuted civil rights class action case against local Housing Authority for overcharges, wrongful eviction practices and failure to provide grievance procedure required by federal law. Resulted in significant refunds and continuing injunction against wrongful practices.
- Copyright and trade secret litigation for both plaintiffs and defense, with a specialty in business break up cases.
- Representing a multi-state group of orthopedic clinics in a large False Claims Act suit.
- Successfully defending a fish wholesaler in a Civil RICO matter involving a market boycott.
- Obtained significant recoveries for investment bankers defrauded in corporate finance transactions.
- Successfully prosecuted investment mismanagement and fiduciary/trust cases.
- Effectively defended a prominent, national medical research institution wrongfully charged with failure to inform a drug study patient.
- Obtained a settlement following an injunction action which allowed a family that had established the first caviar farming effort in the U.S. to regain control of its company.
- Advised bankruptcy creditor committees – both profit and non-profit -- whether to litigate against present or former board members or executives
Prior to forming Sommers & Schwartz LLP, Mr. Schwartz spent 15 years directing Bank of America’s largest exposure cases and a portfolio of medium sized cases. At the Bank, Mr. Schwartz;
- Obtained successful settlements of a range of securities class actions and derivative litigation (Bank of America Securities Litigation, Security Pacific Securities Litigation), including the largest cases ever brought against the Bank.
- Effectively dealt with consumer unfair business practices class actions.
- Obtained favorable settlement in the largest California state False Claims Act case then of record.
- Handled many lender liability cases involving agricultural, shipping, housing and shopping center developer borrowers.
- Defended investment mismanagement cases for the Bank’s financial management subsidiary.
At the Bank of America, Mr.Schwartz was the Bank’s chief lawyer in dealing with overcharges and other violations of consumer statutes that were discovered by the bank. Mr. Schwartz led a group of inside and outside counsel, teams of accounting consultants, and press relations officers to assure that all problematic transactions were identified and all improperly taken amounts were refunded with interest and full notice to bank customers. These projects managed by the General Counsel’s office maintained positive customer relations, headed off litigation and were successfully used to defend consumer litigation that was brought against the bank.
Mr. Schwartz has also worked for the U.S. government and several private firms in New York and California.
CORNELL LAW SCHOOL
Juris Doctor, 1975
UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER
B.A., Economics (Phi Beta Kappa)
Cornell Law Review Note – “Non English Speaking Persons in the Criminal Justice System“, 1976
Activities & Affiliations
- Marin County Bar Association
- Menorah Park, Affordable Housing Provider, Board Member
- The Marin School, Private High School, Board Member
- San Francisco Inn of Court (2001-2013)
- One Act Theater, General Counsel (1982-1998)
California, New York and District of Columbia
Sommers & Schwartz LLP serves as of counsel @ to Bartko, Zankel,Bunzel -- an arrangement which increases the size of complex business cases that both firms can take on, allowing Sommers & Schwartz LLP to handle large scale matters that require significant work at the associate level.