Home > Media Center > Mark Schmidtke Appointed by U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez to ERISA Advisory Council

Mark Schmidtke Appointed by U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez to ERISA Advisory Council

   |   Press Release

CHICAGO – March 14, 2013 – Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. (Ogletree Deakins), one of the largest labor and employment law firms representing management, is pleased to announce that Chicago shareholder Mark E. Schmidtke has been named to the 2014 Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, known as the ERISA Advisory Council. Schmidtke will serve a three-year term as a representative for the insurance field.

The 15-member council provides advice on policies and regulations affecting employee benefit plans governed by ERISA. The board includes three representatives of employee organizations, three representatives of employers, three representatives of the general public, and one representative from each of the following fields: insurance, corporate trust, actuarial counseling, investment counseling, investment management and accounting. By law, members of the council serve for staggered three-year terms.

“The dedicated experts who volunteer to serve on the ERISA Advisory Council are a wonderful resource,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “I have no doubt the 2014 council will build upon the impressive body of benefits research and analysis begun by their predecessors.”

An attorney with more than 30 years of experience, Schmidtke focuses his practice on representing insurers in litigation of life, health and disability insurance matters and counseling employers on the development of employee benefit plans. He has been lead or co-lead counsel in ERISA litigation matters pending in the courts of 49 states and has argued appeals in the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits, as well as the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the Minnesota Supreme Court, the Minnesota Court of Appeals, the Indiana Court of Appeals, and the California Court of Appeals. Schmidtke has also authored several briefs and petitions at the United States Supreme Court, including amicus curiae briefs in several important ERISA cases. Schmidtke has spoken and written widely on ERISA litigation and is a Fellow in the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel.

“Mark is a remarkable attorney with more than three decades of experience representing clients in the insurance industry,” said Kim Ebert, managing shareholder of Ogletree Deakins. “His unparalleled familiarity with the industry, which includes ERISA litigation in almost every U.S. state, will make him a great asset to the ERISA Advisory Council.”

About Ogletree Deakins

Ogletree Deakins is one of the largest labor and employment law firms representing management in all types of employment-related legal matters. The firm has 700 lawyers located in 45 offices across the United States and in Europe. Ogletree Deakins is the “Law Firm of the Year” in both the Employment Law – Management and Labor Law – Management categories in the 2014 edition of the U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list. In addition to handling labor and employment law matters, the firm has thriving practices focused on business immigration, employee benefits, and workplace safety and health law. Ogletree Deakins represents a diverse range of clients, from small businesses to Fortune 50 companies. 

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