Ted A. Schmidt

(520) 790-5600
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Ted's early career as a trial attorney began on the other side of the fence, in the offices of a major insurance defense firm. It was there that Ted acquired the experience, the skills and the special insight into defense strategy that have served him so well in the field of personal injury law. Notable among his successful verdicts was the landmark Sparks vs. Republic National Life Insurance Company case, a $4.5 million award to Ted's client. To this day, it is the defining case for insurance bad faith, and yet it is only one of several other multi-million dollar jury judgments won by Ted during his career. He is certified by the State Bar of Arizona as a specialist in "wrongful death and bodily injury litigation".

Further examples of Ted's accomplishments in and out of the courtroom on behalf of his clients include the Bloom v. Brunswick Corporation case where he successfully obtained a $9 million verdict for a young man who had lost his leg in a boating accident. Ted advocated there was a product defect in the boat and convinced the jury to include a $6 million punitive damage award. Similarly, Ted tried a tire failure case in southern Idaho where he convinced the jury that a tire had been negligently installed and secured a $4.5 million verdict for his clients.

Ted was the attorney who represented a young lady badly mauled by a bear on Mt. Lemmon a few years ago. Ted's investigation and discovery revealed that the State of Arizona had known of the dangerous propensities of this particular bear for some time and had violated its own policies in capturing and releasing the bear. Ted obtained a multi-million dollar settlement on behalf of his client, the first of its kind in the State of Arizona if not North America. More recently, Ted and Bob tried a LASIK eye surgery case for a United Airlines pilot obtaining a $4 million verdict in Pima County. Ultimately the case was settled for that amount after Ted and Bob were successful on appeal. To this date this case stands as the largest verdict in a LASIK eye surgery case anywhere in the country.

Ted represented a young United Airlines pilot who underwent Lasik surgery that damaged his eyes to the point he could no longer fly. Ted was successful in obtaining a $4 million verdict to right this wrong.

Ted is recognized in Best Lawyers in America, is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, International Academy of Trial Lawyers and International Society of Barristers as well as a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He occasionally teaches at the University of Arizona College of Law and has been recognized by the Arizona State Bar as Member of The Year and is the recipient of the Walter Craig Distinguished Service Award.

Originally from Mansfield, Ohio, Ted has been in Tucson since his undergraduate years at the University of Arizona and as a graduate of the University's College of Law. He is active in the community especially with youth activities, having been a scout leader with the Boy Scouts, a coach in Little League, and President of the Catalina Foothills High School Booster Club. He has also been a member of the President's Club at the University of Arizona, and he and his wife Ann have established the Tara Nicole Schmidt "Have a Dream" Memorial Scholarship at the UA. This scholarship has funded, and continues to fund, the educational pursuits of worthy Arizona students.

Ted and Ann have four children.

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Areas of Practice:
Products Liability
Medical Malpractice
Premises Liability
Federal Tort Claims
Bad Faith
Insurance
Governmental Liability
Litigation Percentage:
100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
Certification/Specialties:
Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation, Arizona Board of Legal Specialization
Bar Admissions:
Arizona, 1977
U.S. District Court District of Arizona, 1977
U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1982
U.S. Supreme Court, 1982
Education:
University of Arizona College of Law, Tucson, Arizona, 1977
J.D.
Honors: High Distinction
Law Review: University of Arizona, Managing Editor, 1976 - 1977
University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, 1977
B.A.
Honors: With High Distinction
Major: Government
Published Works:
Merit Selection of Judges, Under Attack Without Merit. Arizona Attorney, February, 2006
Insurance Bad Faith; First-Party and Third-Party Claims and Available Damages. Bar Bites, A Division of Arizona Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 1990
Refusals to Settle. Refusals to Defend. Reservations of Rights and Damron Agreements, Bar Bites, A Division of Arizona Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 1990
Punitive Damages in Arizona: The Reports of Their Death are Greatly Exaggerated, 29 Ariz.L.Rev. 599, 1987
State of the Art - A New Frontier in the Products liability Area, Arizona State Bar Journal, February, 1984
Turning the Plaintiffs Assertion of the Physician-Patient Privilege to the Advantage of the Defense, 25 For the Defense, (March 1983). Use of Request for Admissions in the No Liability Case. 24 For the Defense.10, June, 1982
Architects. Engineers and the Statute of Limitations. 1 DRI Monogram, 24, 1982
Common Law Concepts of Life Insurance in Community Property Jurisdictions: Recommendations for a Practical Approach, 18 Ariz.L.Rev, 182, 1976
Double Jeopardy. Multiple Punishment and the Criminality of Crime While on Bail, 17 Ariz.L.Rev. 757, 1975
Representative Cases:
Sparks v. Republic Nat. Life Ins. Co., 647 P.2d 1127 (Ariz. 1982)
Classes/Seminars Taught:
Effective Demand Letters: View from Both Sides, Arizona Trial Lawyers Association - Tucson, Arizona, May 5, 2008
Chairman, Bench and Bar, April 28, 2008
"Insurance Bad Faith Claims", (Tucson, Arizona), Lorman Business Center, January 22, 2008
Chairman, Bench and Bar, December 4, 2007
Chairman, Bench and Bar, May 14, 2007
State Chair Trial Seminar, Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, March 16, 2007
Chairman, Bench and Bar, December 13, 2006
Chairman, Bench and Bar, May 8, 2005
Chairman, Bench and Bar Roundtable With the Robes, December 8, 2005
Insurance & Tort Law Update, Tucson, Arizona, May 2, 2005
Insurance Law from A to Z, State Bar Presentation, 2004
Bad Faith, Damron, Morris, and Peaton Agreements and Himes, Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, 2003
"Trial Skills", (Pinetop/Lakeside, Arizona), State Bar of Arizona White Mountains, 2003
"Bad Faith and Punitive Damages", San Francisco, California, American Conference Institute, 2003
"Trial Skills", (Pinetop/Lakeside, Arizona), State Bar of Arizona - White Mountains, 2002
Arizona Evidence Law, CLE West, 2002
Encyclopedia of Experts, State Bar of Arizona, 2002
"Trial Skills", (Pinetop/Lakeside, Arizona), State Bar of Arizona - White Mountains, 2001 - 2004
Expert Testimony in Federal and State Court Tucson, Arizona, Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, 2000
Admissibility of Expert Opinion Evidence in Federal and Arizona Courts, Pima County Bar Association, 2000
College of Trial Advocacy Program Tucson, Arizona, State Bar of Arizona, 2000
"Use of Medical Experts" (Greer, Arizona), State Bar of Arizona - White Mountains, 2000
"Ethics" (Greer, Arizona), State Bar of Arizona - White Mountains, 1999
CLE by the Sea Program, (San Diego, California), State Bar of Arizona, 1999
"Insurance Bad Faith Law", (Tucson, Arizona), Lorman Business Center, 1999
Professionalism, State Bar of Arizona, 1999
College of Trial Advocacy Program, (Tucson, Arizona), State Bar of Arizona, 1998
"Professionalism & Ethics" (Greer, Arizona), State Bar of Arizona - White Mountains, 1998
CLE by the Sea Program, (San Diego, California), State Bar of Arizona, 1998
College of Trial Advocacy Program, (Tucson, Arizona), State Bar of Arizona, 1997
CLE by the Sea Program, (San Diego, California), State Bar of Arizona, 1997
College of Trial Advocacy Program, (Tucson, Arizona), State Bar of Arizona, 1996
CLE by the Sea Program, (San Diego, California), State Bar of Arizona, 1996
"Insurance Bad Faith Claims", (Tucson, Arizona), Lorman Business Center, 1995
College of Trial Advocacy Program, (Tucson, Arizona), State Bar of Arizona, 1995
"Disclosure vs. Discovery - Strategic, Practical and Ethical Problems caused by New Federal Rules", (New York City, New York), ATLA Annual Convention, 1995
CLE by the Sea Program, (San Diego, California), State Bar of Arizona, 1995
Legal Malpractice "A Case Study", (Tucson, Arizona), Lorman Business Services, 1995
"Proposed Rule Changes Juries", (Tucson, Arizona), Arizona Association of Defense Counsel, 1995
"Insurance Law", (Tucson, Arizona), Lorman Business Center, 1994
College of Trial Advocacy Program, (Tucson, Arizona), State Bar of Arizona, 1994
CLE by the Sea Program, (San Diego, California), State Bar of Arizona, 1994
"Making It Work Trial Practice in the 90's", (Kapalua, Maui), Western Trial Lawyers Association, 1994
Educational Lecturing Since, Western Trial Lawyers Association, 1982
Honors and Awards:
Top 50 Southwest Super Lawyers, Southern Arizona Specializing in Injury and Wrongful Death, 2007
James E. Rogers College of Law Distinguished Alumnus Award, 2007
Walter E. Craig Award, 2006
NALS of Tucson Boss of the Year Award, 2005
Sidney S. Woods Alumni Service, University of Arizona, 2005
Southern Arizona Association of High School Athletic Directors Ruy McNally, 2003 - 2006
State Bar of Arizona Member, 2002
Silver Beaver, 2002
Spanish Trails District Award of Merit, Catalina Council Boy Scouts of America, 1998
Adjunct Professor of Law, 1992 - 1993
State Bar of Arizona Outstanding Leadership in Contribution to Continuing Legal Education, 1987 - 1990
State Bar of Arizona Outstanding Leadership in Contribution to Continuing Legal Education, 1997
William Spade Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions Made to the College of Law, University of Arizona, 1977
Fellow, American Bar Foundation, 1987 - Present
Fellow, International Society of Barristers, 1995 - Present
Southwest Super Lawyers 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
Professional Associations and Memberships:
Tara Nicole Schmidt Have a Dream Memorial, 1994 - Present
Founder and Director
National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Southern Chapter, 2006 - Present
President
National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, 2003 - Present
Member, Board of Directors
Boy Scouts of America Spanish Trials, 1998 - 2001
District Chairman
Catalina Council Legal Counsel, 2001 - 2003
Council Commissioner
Advisory Commission for Certification in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation before State Bar, 1989 - 2004
Chairman
Catalina Foothills High School Football Rooster Club: Touchdown Club, 2000 - 2003
President
Canyon View Little League, 1990 - 1997
League Coach
Canyon View Little League, 1996
Board of Directors, Chairman
American College of Trial Lawyers, 1998 - 2000
Civil Justice Committee
Arizona College of Trial Advocacy, 1985 - 1999
Founding Chairman
Arizona College of Trial Advocacy, 1985 - 1999
Faculty Member
Hastings College of Trial Advocacy, 1979 - 1981
Graduate and Faculty member
University of Arizona College of Law, 1981 - 1984
Member Board of Visitors
University of Arizona College of Law, 1984 - 2003
Chairman of the Board of Visitors
State Bar of Arizona, Trial Practice Section, 1986
Chairman
State Bar Convention, 1988
Chairman
Arizona State Bar Civil Practice, 1982
Procedures Committee
Law College Association, University of Arizona, 1994 - Present
Board Member
Arizona Federal District Court of Arizona, Ninth Circuit
American Bar Association
American Association for Justice
Arizona Trial Lawyers Association
Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, 1989 - 1991
Board of Directors
Pima County Superior Court
Judge Pro Tem
University of Arizona, College of Law
Adjunct Professor
Arizona Law School, 2000 - Present
Board of Visitors
Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers, 1997 - Present
State Chair American College of Trial Lawyers, 1998 - 2001
Best Lawyers in America, 2002 - Present
Arizona State Bar Certified Specialist in Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation
Advisory Commission for Certification in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation Before State Bar, 1989 - 2004
Chairman
American Board of Trial Advocates, 1981 - Present
American Board of Trial Advocates, Tucson Chapter, 1999
President
International Society of Barristers, 2004 - Present
State Chair
State Bar Professional Liability Insurance Task Force, 2002
Serve on State Bar Task Force to Investigate a Captive Insurance Company, 2002 - 2003
Past Employment Positions:
Kinerk, Beal, Schmidt, Dyer & Sethi, Partner, 1995 - 2005
O'Connor, Cavanagh, Anderson, Westover, Killingsworth & Beshears, Partner, 1984 - 1995 (Managing Partner 1992-1995)
Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, Partner, 1980 - 1984
Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, Associate, 1977 - 1980
Pro Bono Activities:
Cub Master, Pack 220, Catalina Council BSA, 1990 - 1995
Scoutmaster Troop, Catalina Council BSA, 1995 - 2000
Venture Crew Advisor, Venture 100 BSA, 1999 - 2002
Canyon View Little League Coach, 1990 - 1997

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Schmidt, Sethi & Akmajian

Schmidt, Sethi & Akmajian is one of the most experienced, successful personal injury law firms in the Tucson area. Established in 1995, our firm has a long history of success, as seen in our many victories.

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