Jonathan P. Schmidt

Shareholder; Business Litigation

Jon is a member of the Business Litigation Section and Appellate Practice Group and is based in our Minneapolis office. He practices principally in the areas of:

  • Appellate law
  • Railroad litigation
  • Business litigation
  • Mass tort litigation
  • Toxic tort litigation

In his litigation practice, Jon represents railroads. Jon has successfully obtained summary judgment on multiple crossing litigation matters with high potential exposure. He also has worked closely with clients to revise, update, and establish new policies for investigation protocol and retention procedures. Jon has represented railroads in FELA matters, as well as in mass tort and toxic tort proceedings related to high-profile train derailments. He has also assisted in numerous emergency response investigations.

In addition to railroads, Jon has represented businesses in employment matters, construction issues, and utility cases.

Jon has represented clients in the Minnesota Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, the Supreme Courts of North Dakota and Wisconsin, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th, 8th and 10th Circuits. He also has assisted with certiorari proceedings before the U.S. Supreme Court. He has worked on appeals involving a wide range of issues, including constitutional law, federal preemption, tort and mass tort liability, employment law, trade secrets, business contracts, insurance law, environmental law and partnership law.

Jon has argued Appellate cases before the 7th and 8th Circuits, where he successfully argued to affirm a judgment of over $400,000. Jon and another attorney also successfully represented a client at the 8th Circuit of Appeals to obtain a reversal of a judgment of over $236 million.

Jon served as chair of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Section, working closely with the appellate judges and bar to establish initiatives and provide programs to the legal community. He also has served on the MSBA’s Court Rules and Administration Committee. Jon is a member of the Hennepin County, 8th Circuit and Federal bar associations.

In the community, Jon is involved at William Mitchell College of Law, where he has taught Appellate Advocacy as an adjunct professor and mentors students and recent alumni through the Hachey Initiative. Jon also is actively involved in pro bono work. In this capacity, Jon has helped develop and initiate an Appellate pro bono pilot program with the State Public Defender’s Office, which pairs attorneys at law firms interested in pro bono Appellate work with the Public Defender’s Office. He also has assisted with evaluating matters on appeal before the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. In one particular case for The Advocates for Human Rights, he assisted a Kenyan citizen with the asylum process to seek asylum from political persecution. In a separate matter, Jon was appointed by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to represent a petitioner in a habeas appeal. Jon received Briggs and Morgan’s 2011 shareholder Pro Bono Award.

At the firm, Jon serves on the Recruiting Committee and as the firm’s co-ombudsman. He also has served on the Associate Training Committee, the Associate Panel and the Technology Committee. In the past, Jon has coordinated the firm’s annual associate fundraising effort for The Fund for Legal Aid.

Prior to joining Briggs, Jon clerked for the Honorable Natalie E. Hudson at the Minnesota Court of Appeals for the 2003-2004 term. He clerked for the Honorable Myron H. Bright at the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals for the 2004-2005 term. During his clerkship at the 8th Circuit, Jon also worked on numerous cases for the 6th and 9th Circuits when Judge Bright sat by designation with those courts.

Jon has been named "Attorney of the Year" in 2012 by Minnesota Lawyer. He has also been named a "Rising Star" by Minnesota Super Lawyers and an "Up and Coming Attorney" by Minnesota Lawyer. He has also achieved the "Advocate Designation" from the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.

Jon received his B.A. in English literature from the University of Minnesota. He received his law degree magna cum laude from the William Mitchell College of Law, where he was the editor-in-chief for the William Mitchell Law Review.