For two generations, Schwartz Law Firm has been trusted by international companies, small businesses and individuals as their go-to source of legal counsel and courtroom advocacy. Licensed in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Arizona, the attorneys of Schwartz Law Firm deliver bold representation in the areas of business litigation, shareholder disputes, company formation, contract law, construction litigation and family law, all with a commitment to prompt communication, swift action and reliable results.
Founder Michael D. Schwartz was an ambitious young lawyer who had already settled a million-dollar hunting accident case and represented two wrongful death plaintiffs in the high-profile Kansas City Skywalk collapse when he launched Schwartz Law Firm in 1981. Driven by a keen desire to help businesses and individuals achieve winning results under legal fire, he built a thriving law practice. An accomplished trial lawyer, Michael is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, of which fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.
Michael’s son, Brandon M. Schwartz, was born the same year he opened the law firm. Brandon earned his undergraduate degree from Michigan Technological University on a full hockey scholarship and went on to play hockey professionally. He clerked for Schwartz Law Firm while earning his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from William Mitchell College of Law, and eventually earned his place as a partner in the family business. True to the Schwartz legacy, Brandon is a force in the courtroom. He is an MSBA certified civil trial law specialist, as well as a civil trial advocate and family trial law advocate certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.
Schwartz Law Firm may be small in size, but its legal strength is felt across the nation. With a diverse practice that embraces clients from a wide range of industries, Schwartz Law Firm handles general business and litigation matters for companies that include a multi-speciality medical practice; a construction company that builds senior living centers across the U.S.; a dredging company with projects across the nation; and a nationwide transformer recycling company, to name a few.
As business owners themselves, the attorneys at Schwartz Law Firm understand what is important to business clients, and they pause to consider those factors when pursuing, defending or avoiding litigation. Over the years, some of the firm’s small business clients have grown into large enterprises, and Schwartz Law Firm has been there at every step to ensure they are protected.
“As they have evolved, we have helped them through some troubling waters,” Michael says. “It’s been really rewarding. We sit on boards of several of these companies and attend their board meeting to help them avoid legal issues. The Art of War says the best battle won is the one you avoid. We’ve been very effective at helping companies navigate potential legal hazards, and when problems do come up, creating situations where we can defend by drafting and negotiating strong contracts. At the same time, we understand the importance of striking a good balance with contracts that protect legal rights while taking the realities of business into consideration.”
For many of the closely held businesses the firm represents, maintaining relationships is a prime consideration. “In some cases, they might have a great legal position, but pursuing it may have a negative impact on the business,” Brandon says. “We make a point of laying out options and potential impacts to clients, so they are making decisions with eyes wide open. Across the board, if our clients have worked with other attorneys in the past, they say it’s refreshing to get candid advice from the start.”
You won’t see the Schwartz Law Firm on any flashy billboards or slick TV ads. The Schwartz attorneys take pride in the fact that most of their business comes from referrals, not only from past clients, but also from opponents. Further, they are trusted by colleagues to defend their legal interests.
Currently, the firm represents a Canadian law firm in U.S. litigation matters. “They are a large firm and could hire anybody they want, and they hired us,” Michael says. “We are representing the firm and one of the partners in a $95 million lawsuit. We’ve been successful in getting it dismissed in Texas and are still litigating parts of the matter in Iowa. There is no deeper compliment than when other lawyers want to hire you.”
For both father and son, working together means sharing perspectives and skills that sharpen the other. While each maintains his own practice, Michael and Brandon frequently collaborate, and schedules permitting, they have lunch together daily. It is an opportunity to talk through issues and offer each other feedback — without billing clients for the time.
Michael describes their working relationship as a “synergy of old school and young guns. We say this is a family law firm. My wife, Kathy, has been the manager for 30 years, and she is here because she’s really good at it, not just because we have the same last name. The same goes for Brandon. He’s here because he’s an outstanding attorney. Working with Brandon has taught me that I have to evolve. He’ll bring his laptop to court, and I’ll bring a yellow pad with my notes. What I’ve learned most from him is this evolution of technology in the law. It’s helped me to expand.”
Growing up, Brandon says he saw his dad as a guy who wore a Super Man cape. Today, he describes Michael as fearless. “Even if it is a big case with big issues against big-dollar firms, he is fearless in pursuing our clients’ rights and advocating by not being outworked by the other side. I think that’s what I’ve learned from my dad. I wasn’t the most talented hockey player, but I don’t think anybody worked harder than me. I also bring that to the law. Watching him work has been one of the most rewarding parts of the practice.”
Integrity, toughness, loyalty, perseverance — these values define the Schwartz family and the Schwartz Law Firm. “We care about our clients,” Brandon says. “Our clients are confident knowing we will guide them and advocate for them during their toughest times.”