John G. Schmidt Jr.

Buffalo; New York City; Rochester
(716) 847-7095
(212) 508-0426, (585) 238-2000 ext. 7095
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Mr. Schmidt is the co-leader of Phillips Lytle’s Commercial Litigation Practice Team. He has extensive experience in complex business disputes and commercial litigation, including class actions, shareholder and partner disputes, breach of fiduciary duty claims, contract disputes, business torts and fraud matters. He has earned a reputation as a formidable advocate who also realistically evaluates his client’s case, needs and goals.

Mr. Schmidt represents a variety of companies and individuals—from large corporations to closely-held businesses, professional firms, not-for-profits and individuals. He has served clients in a variety of industries and professions, including health care, energy, legal, technology, finance, education, manufacturing, municipalities, charities and religious groups. Mr. Schmidt also practices in technology litigation, computer forensics, white collar/government investigations defense, and antitrust. He has extensive litigation experience in state and federal courts, both trial and appellate. Mr. Schmidt has also been appointed by several courts in complex corporate and personal disputes requiring receiverships and fraud investigations. Mr. Schmidt also serves on the boards of several civic and charitable organizations.

Admitted to Practice

  • New York
  • California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Honors and Awards

Chambers USA Badge 2022 - Schmidt
  • Listed Chambers USA: Americas Leading Lawyers for Business, 2019-2022
  • Selected for the Upstate New York Super Lawyers® list, 2009-2022
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America©
  • Listed in Legal Elite of WNY, Business First of Buffalo and Buffalo Law Journal, 2014, 2018-2020
  • Listed in Who’s Who In Law, Business First of Buffalo and Buffalo Law Journal
  • Jack Kemp Leadership Award, Erie County Republican Committee, 2018
  • Silver Beaver Award, Boy Scouts of America, 2016
  • Senior Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America


  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey School of Law, Newark, J.D., 1993
  • Fellow, Pacific Legal Foundation, 1993-94
  • New York University, B.F.A., 1985

Judicial Clerkships

  • Hon. John T. Elfvin; U.S. District Court, Western District of New York, 1994-96

Professional Associations

  • ACA International, Attorney Member
  • American Bar Association
    • Litigation Section
    • Infrastructure and Regulated Industries Section
  • American Gas Association
  • Bar Association of Erie County
    • Federal Practice Committee
  • The Charles S. Desmond Inn of Court, Director
  • Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy, Founding Member, WNY Lawyers Chapter
  • Litigation Counsel of America
    • Trial Law Institute, Member
    • Diversity Law Institute, Member
    • Barrister, Order of Veritas
    • Advocate, Order of Certus
  • New York State Bar Association
    • Antitrust Law Section
    • Trial Lawyers Section
  • Republican National Lawyers Association
  • St. Thomas More Guild, Inc.
  • State Bar of California
  • Western New York Trial Lawyers Association

Present Activities

  • 100 Club of Buffalo, Inc. Board of Directors
  • Boy Scouts of America, Greater Niagara Frontier Council, Board of Directors, Past President
  • ConnectLife, Board of Directors, Member
  • Kidney Foundation of Western New York, Board of Directors
  • Delaware District Republican Committee
  • ECMC Foundation, Trauma Center Capital Campaign Committee
  • Erie County Republican Party
    • Republican Lawyers Club, Chair
    • Second Vice Chair
    • Republican Leadership Council, Chair
    • Executive Committee, Member
  • Greater Buffalo Metropolitan Crime Stoppers, Inc., Legal Counsel
  • Law360 New York Editorial Advisory Board, 2022
  • St. Mark’s R.C. Church, Finance Committee
  • St. Thomas More Guild, Member
  • Frequent Speaker on Employee Disloyalty and Business Fraud Litigation

Past Activities

  • Boy Scouts of America, Greater Niagara Frontier Council, Board Chair, 2016-2018; President 2014-2015; Nominating Committee Chair, 2011-2016; Risk Management Committee Chair, 2008-2010; Advisor, Law and Government Explorer Post
  • Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Board of Trustees, 2009-2013; Executive Committee, 2010-2013
  • The Buffalo Club, Admissions Committee, 2009-2012
  • ECMC Center of Excellence for Renal Disease and Transplant Center, Campaign Cabinet
  • Greater Buffalo Metropolitan Crime Stoppers, Board Member, 2004-2006
  • Kidney Foundation of Western New York, Board Member, 2016-2018, Treasurer, 2017-18
  • Leadership Buffalo, Class of 2002, Board Member, 2003-2008; Treasurer, 2005-2006; VP, Program, 2007, Strategic Planning Committee, 2008-2009
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, Corporate Documents and Nominating Committees, 1999-2004
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation of WNY, Board Chair, Wish Granter and Honorary Board Member, 1997-2004
  • Upstate New York Transplant Services (UNYTS), Board Member, 2013-2018, Treasurer, 2017-18