Mark E. Schmidtke

Shareholder || Chicago, Indianapolis, Valparaiso

*Currently licensed in Indiana only.

Mark E. Schmidtke is a shareholder in the firm’s Valparaiso, Indiana office, a satellite of the Chicago and Indianapolis offices. He has represented clients in ERISA and non-ERISA employee benefits matters in state and federal courts throughout the United States for over 30 years. He has been lead or co-lead counsel in ERISA litigation matters pending in the courts of 49 states. He 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. He has also authored several briefs and petitions at the United States Supreme Court, including amicus curiae briefs in important ERISA cases such as Hardt v. Reliance Standard, Black & Decker v. Nord and Yates v. Hendon.

Mr. Schmidtke serves as National ERISA Counsel for several large life, health and disability insurers, consulting with house counsel and outside counsel on litigation matters and advising house counsel and business clients on document drafting and policy issues. Mr. Schmidtke has also represented national and international companies in large class actions. He has written numerous books and articles on employee benefit-related issues and is a frequent speaker at national seminars.

Learn more about Mark E. Schmidtke


Admittance to Practice

Professional Activities

  • DRI The Voice of the Defense Bar (National Director, 2010-present; Former Chair of the DRI Life, Health and Disability Committee, 2004-06; Member, DRI Life, Health and Disability Committee)
  • American Bar Association (Tort and Insurance Section – Employee Benefits Committee; Labor and Employment Section – Employee Benefits Committee)
  • Indiana State Bar Association
  • Indiana Defense Trial Lawyers
  • Concordia Plan Services (Vice Chair and Member, Board of Directors; Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, 2006-present)
  • Valparaiso Community Schools, Valparaiso, Indiana (President and Member, Board of Trustees, 1998-2008)


Insights by Mark E. Schmidtke