Rachel Schwartz, Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP Photo

Rachel E. Schwartz

Partner

Overview

Rachel Schwartz applies her litigation experience and her educational background in economics to prosecute and resolve high-stakes litigation matters involving sophisticated financial issues.

Rachel focuses her practice in three areas:

  • Antitrust. Rachel advocates for companies that have been harmed by unfair or illegal business tactics.  She helps clients on matters involving price fixing, monopolization, conspiracies and more. In one recent matter, Rachel prosecuted a groundbreaking Sherman Act Section 1 antitrust lawsuit on behalf of a physician-owned hospital. The hospital claimed large health care organizations conspired to prevent it from obtaining certain managed care contracts. After three years of litigation – including nearly 100 depositions and the production and review more than two million pages of documents – Rachel secured a settlement with all defendants.
  • Securities. Rachel represents plaintiffs in a variety of class and individual securities fraud cases; her experience includes misrepresentations, suitability and non-disclosure. Rachel recently represented a federal agency, the National Credit Union Administration, in multiple lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. The litigation alleged that mortgage-backed securities were sold as safe investments, but were in fact far riskier than represented. This was a part of a national recovery effort; the NCUA pursued 26 complaints against 32 financial services companies in New York, California and Kansas. All told, the agency recovered more than $5 billion.
  • Commercial Litigation. Rachel helps companies resolve business-to-business disputes through negotiation, mediation, and, when necessary, trial.  She was a part of the litigation team that worked on behalf of thousands of corn farmers to secure a $1.51 billion settlement with Syngenta– the largest agricultural settlement in U.S. history. The multidistrict litigation stemmed from allegations that Syngenta sold  a genetically-modified corn seed in the U.S. before the GMO seed was approved for import into China. As a result, China stopped buying corn from U.S. farmers, causing lower corn prices that harmed American farmers.

Lawyers across the country frequently seek out Rachel to assist with locally-filed cases, particularly those in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. She has considerable experience in that Court and knowledge of its Local Rules, Guidelines and case law.

Active in the local bench-bar community, Rachel is currently president of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association’s Federal Court Advocates, which connects practicing lawyers and the federal bench, and serves on the KCMBA Board of Directors. In 2018, Rachel was appointed by Chief Judge Phillips as the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri representative on the 2020 Eighth Circuit Judicial Conference.  Rachel previously was appointed to serve on the District of Kansas’ Bench-Bar Committee and the Merit Selection Panel for the Kansas City Magistrate Judge Vacancy. 

Rachel has been repeatedly recognized as a Missouri/Kansas “Super Lawyer” and now ranks among the area’s top 50 women attorneys. She is included among the Best Lawyers in America for commercial litigation and securities litigation. 

She is a lifetime member of the University of Kansas Alumni Association.

Experience

Experience

In re: Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., Dog Food Prods. Liab. Litig. On July 31, 2019, Rachel was appointed as both Co-Lead Counsel and Liaison Counsel in this multidistrict litigation.  In these roles, she represents pet owners from across the country who have alleged that multiple varieties of Hill's Prescription Diet and Science Diet canned dog food products contained dangerously high levels of Vitamin D, which can cause dogs to experience serious health issues and even death.  This litigation is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. 

In re Syngenta AG MIR 162 Corn Litigation. Stueve Siegel Hanson was appointed Co-Lead Counsel in this multidistrict litigation to represent farmers from across the country who allege that Syngenta prematurely introduced a new GMO corn seed into the U.S. market before it was approved in China, a key export market for U.S. corn. When China discovered the unapproved GMO in U.S. corn imports, it closed its markets to U.S. corn, resulting in lower corn prices that have harmed U.S. corn farmers. In June 2017, a jury in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas for the first bellwether class trial awarded more than $217 million to a class of Kansas corn farmers, which was the 10th largest jury verdict in the country in 2017 according to the National Law Journal. Following this verdict, a $1.51 billion settlement was reached with Syngenta on behalf of nationwide classes of corn farmers, grain handling facilities and ethanol production plants, the largest settlement in the history of GMO agricultural litigation.

Yellowdog Partners, LP v. CURO Group Holdings Corp.  Rachel currently served as Local Counsel for the appointed Lead Plaintiff in this securities class action.  Lead Plaintiff alleges that the company deliberately transitioned away from its most profitable line of business and concealed the negative, near-term impact of that transition from shareholders.  The litigation is currently pending in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas.

Mortgage Backed Securities Litigation. Rachel represented a federal agency in multiple lawsuits alleging that mortgage backed securities were sold as safe investments, but were in fact far riskier than represented. The last of these cases, which were all pending in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, resolved in 2017.

Bennett v. Sprint Nextel Corp., No. 09-2122-EFM-GEB.  Rachel served as Local Counsel for the appointed Lead Plaintiffs in a securities class action that alleged Sprint issued a series of misleading statements regarding Sprint’s wireless subscribers and the integration with Nextel Communication.  This litigation, which was pending in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, settled for $131 million in 2015.

Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc., et al. v. United Egg Producers, et al. Rachel represented Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc., and local grocery stores in an antitrust lawsuit against twenty egg producers and egg industry trade groups for artificial inflation of egg prices. The lawsuit alleged that defendants engaged in a conspiracy designed to increase the price for eggs in violation of the Kansas Restraint of Trade Act. In March 2012, Rachel successfully argued against motions to dismiss filed by twenty defendants. After nearly four years of litigation, on September 2, 2014, Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP successfully resolved this litigation.

Seaboard Corporation v. Marsh Inc. et al. Rachel represented Seaboard Corporation in litigation filed in the District Court of Johnson County, Kansas, involving anticompetitive bid-rigging conduct between Seaboard’s insurance broker and insurance companies. In 2010, Rachel successfully argued against the motion to dismiss filed by defendants, which was denied in its entirety.

Seaboard Corporation et al. v. Grindrod Limited et al. Rachel successfully represented Seaboard Corporation, Seaboard Overseas Limited and Seaboard Overseas Trading and Shipping (Proprietary) Limited (collectively Seaboard) against Grindrod Limited, the largest logistics and shipping company in South Africa, and related entities. Plaintiffs alleged multiple causes of action, including fraud, breach of fiduciary duties, misappropriation of corporate opportunities, tortious interference and civil conspiracy, based upon actions taken by one of Seaboard’s former officers and directors, who attempted to raid Seaboard of its key employees and force the transfer of Seaboard’s highly profitable overseas trading and shipping business for a price far below fair market value. Plaintiffs intended to seek more than $100 million at trial in actual and punitive damages. Approximately six weeks before a three week jury trial was to begin in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri, this lawsuit settled. Discovery in this lawsuit spanned multiple continents, including two full weeks of depositions in South Africa.

Heartland Surgical Specialty Hospital LLC v. Midwest Division, Inc. Rachel prosecuted a groundbreaking Sherman Act Section 1 antitrust lawsuit on behalf of Heartland Surgical Specialty Hospital, a physician-owned acute care hospital in Kansas. Heartland claimed that the dominant hospital systems in the Kansas City metropolitan area conspired among themselves and with the dominant managed care organizations in the region to prevent Heartland from obtaining in-network managed care contracts. Heartland also alleged that the defendants tortiously interfered with Heartland’s ability to obtain these managed care contracts. Following three years of intense litigation, including nearly 100 depositions and the exchange of over two million pages of documents, Heartland settled with all defendants.

From 2004 to 2009, Rachel successfully prosecuted multiple software licensing, trademark and copyright cases on behalf of Overlap, Inc., a Kansas City software company, against multiple, national securities firms. These defendants provided access to the client’s proprietary software to thousands of financial advisors across the country, in violation of the client’s software license and intellectual property rights.

In 2005, Rachel successfully appealed a decision by the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri granting summary judgment in an employment retaliation lawsuit. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed the District Court and remanded the lawsuit back for further proceedings.

SPEAKING AND TEACHING ENGAGEMENTS

Moderator for the KCMBA Bench-Bar CLE entitled “Righting Your Writing,” May 16, 2019

Guest Lecturer for the Complex Litigation class at the UMKC School of Law in a presentation entitled “Multidistrict Litigation: A Trial Lawyer’s Perspective,” 2017

Co-Presenter for the local chapter of the Federal Bar Association’s CLE at the United States District Court for the District of Kansas entitled “Scientific Evidence in Federal Litigation,” June 10, 2016

Guest Lecturer for the Complex Litigation class at the UMKC School of Law in a presentation entitled “Rule 23: A Trial Lawyer’s Perspective,” 2015

Panel member for 2015 National Conference for the Federal Court Clerks Association for session entitled “Viewpoint from the Bar,” June 24, 2015

Adjunct Law Professor at the UMKC School of Law for the Civil Procedure Skills Lab, 2014

Panel Member for LAKC’s CLE entitled "Predictive Coding Technology: The Benefits and Pitfalls of this Hotly Debated E-Discovery Review Tool," June 8, 2012 CLE

Co-Moderator for the FCAS Bench & Bar Dialogue CLE entitled "More Parties, More Problems? The Unique Challenges of Complex, Multiparty Civil and Criminal Litigation," September 13, 2012

PROFESSIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL HISTORY

Rachel graduated from Lawrence High School, where she was recognized as a National Merit Finalist. In 1998, she received her B.A. with honors in Political Science, Economics and American Studies from the University of Kansas, where she was a graduate of the Honors Program and a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Mortar Board. While at KU, Rachel was an elected Student Senator for three years, received the Chancellor’s Alexis F. Dillard Student Involvement Award and was selected as the University of Kansas’ Outstanding Greek Senior in 1998. In 2001, Rachel obtained her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, where she was an Associate Editor for the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform.

After graduating from law school, Rachel began her legal career in the Dallas, Texas office of Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP (now Foley & Lardner LLP) on the complex litigation trial team. In 2004, Rachel joined Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP and was elected to the Firm’s partnership as an equity partner in 2008.

Community

Community & Professional

United States District Court for the District of Kansas

Bench-Bar Committee, 2013-2015

Merit Selection Panel for the Kansas City Magistrate Judge Vacancy, 2013

Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association

Board of Directors, 2019

President of Federal Courts Advocates Section (“FCAS”), 2019

FCAS President-Elect, 2018

FCAS Secretary/Treasurer, 2017

FCAS Senior Member-at-Large, 2014-2016

FCAS Junior Member-at-Large, 2013-2014

FCAS CLE Committee Co-Chair for the District of Kansas, 2012-2013

Federal Bar Association, Kansas and Western District of Missouri Chapter

Kansas City Regional Membership Vice President, 2013-2018

UMKC School of Law

Guest Lecturer for the Complex Litigation class at the UMKC School of Law in a presentation entitled “Multidistrict Litigation: A Trial Lawyer’s Perspective,” 2017

Guest Lecturer for the Complex Litigation class at the UMKC School of Law in a presentation entitled “Rule 23: A Trial Lawyer’s Perspective,” 2015

Adjunct Law Professor at the UMKC School of Law for the Civil Procedure Skills Lab, 2014

DEBATE-Kansas City

Board of Directors, 2007-2014

Education

The University of Michigan Law School

J.D., 2001

Associate Editor of the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

University of Kansas

B.A. , Political Science, Economics and American Studies, 1998

Phi Beta Kappa; Mortar Board; Honors Program graduate; Chancellor's Alexis F. Dillard

Student Involvement Award University of Kansas' Outstanding Greek Senior - 1998

Admissions

  • Missouri, 2004
  • Kansas, 2004
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, District of Kansas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
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