Gene Schaerr is a litigation partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office and chair of the firm’s nationwide appellate, critical motions, and constitutional litigation practice. He focuses his practice on appellate proceedings of all kinds; on the preparation of high-risk cases for an eventual appeal; and on motions that may prove critical to the outcome of a case at the trial court or agency level.
Mr. Schaerr has handled more than 100 cases in federal and state appellate courts, including cases before the Supreme Courts (or equivalent) of the United States, California, Illinois, West Virginia, Maryland, Oklahoma, Washington, and Washington, D.C.; the intermediate appellate courts of New York, California, and Illinois; and every federal circuit court. He has handled numerous appeals challenging or defending decisions of trial courts as well as federal regulatory agencies. He has personally argued six cases before the United States Supreme Court and dozens of cases in federal courts of appeal and state appellate courts.
He also has extensive experience handling critical motions and strategic issues in trial courts across the country. For example, he has represented pharmaceutical and automotive industry clients in numerous major class action, product liability, and patent cases in which he has had responsibility for developing and executing the client's strategy on class certification; Daubert and Lone Pine issues; punitive damages defense; dismissal, summary judgment, and directed verdict motions; jury instructions; and preparing high-exposure cases for eventual appeal. Substantively, he has extensive experience with patent law, product liability law, breach of warranty, class certification, product disparagement, preemption, First Amendment law, and most other areas of federal constitutional law. He also has extensive experience in federal administrative law and practice.
Mr. Schaerr served as a law clerk to United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren E. Burger and Justice Antonin Scalia. He also served as a law clerk to the Hon. Kenneth W. Starr of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. In addition, he served for two years as associate counsel to President George H.W. Bush.
Mr. Schaerr’s representative clients include the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, AT&T Corp., Bayer Corporation, Exxon U.S.A., Inc., the Financial Services Roundtable, Honda North America, Hyundai Motors, the National Association of Manufacturers, Mobil Oil Co., the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association, Suzuki Motor Corp., and U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch and Ted Kennedy.
Mr. Schaerr received a B.A. from Brigham Young University in 1981. He received a J.D. in 1985, an M.A. (economics) in 1985, and an M.Phil. (economics) in 1986 from Yale University.
Mr. Schaerr's court admissions include the following:
- U.S. Supreme Court
- Southern District of New York
- Federal Circuit
- D.C. Circuit
- 1st Circuit
- 2nd Circuit
- 3rd Circuit
- 4th Circuit
- 5th Circuit
- 6th Circuit
- 7th Circuit
- 8th Circuit
- 9th Circuit
- 10th Circuit
- 11th Circuit
Honors & Awards
Mr. Schaerr was recently recognized by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® 2014 for his appellate practice. Under his leadership, Winston’s appellate practice was named to the National Law Journal’s “Appellate Hot List” in 2009 and 2010. He was also named in Best Lawyers in America in the specialty of appellate law in 2009-2011. Mr. Schaerr was recognized as a Washington, D.C. Super Lawyer for his appellate practice in 2007-2010.
Mr. Schaerr is chair of the firmwide appellate, critical motions, and constitutional litigation practice. He also serves on the firm's Executive Committee.
Some of Mr. Schaerr’s recent speeches and publications include:
- "Patented Advertising in an Advertising Age," BNA's Patent, Trademark, and Copyright Journal, September 2010
- "Business and Jury Trials: The Framers' Vision Versus Modern Reality," Ohio State Law Journal, 2010 (with Jed Brinton)
- “Litigating Punitive Damage Claims After State Farm v. Campbell,” presented at the Food and Drug Law Institute in January 2005
- “Religious Institutions and Public Benefits: How Far Can The Government Go?” presented at the National Association of College and University Attorneys in Vancouver in June 2004
- “Policy Issues Posed By Consumer Class Actions,” National Association of Manufacturers’ Conference on Class Action Reform, July 2002
- “How to Reduce Your Company’s Exposure to Punitive Damages,” IHOKEN (Corporate Lawyers Association of the Japanese Pharmaceutical Industry), Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, December 2002 (lecture published in Legal Mind)
- “Coordination and Appellate Strategies in Mass Injury Litigation,” IHOKEN, Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, December 2001 (lecture published at 216 Legal Mind51-56, April 2002)
- “U.S. Product Liability Law: Topics of Interest for Japanese Pharmaceutical Manufacturers,” IHOKEN, Tokyo, Japan, November 1995 (lecture published at 143 Legal Mind91-114, February 1996)
- Author, “Rescuing Multidistrict Litigation from the Altar of Expediency,” 1997 B.Y.U. L. J. 821 (1997) (with Carter Phillips and Anil Abraham)
- District of Columbia
- USCA - D.C. Circuit for Kenneth W. Starr
- U.S. Supreme Court for Antonin Scalia
- U.S. Supreme Court for Warren E. Burger
- White House Associate Counsel for President George H.W. Bush
- Yale JD, 1985