Rachel Schwartz Honored by Missouri Lawyers Weekly’s 2019 Women’s Justice Awards Litigation Practitioner Award
Rachel Schwartz has been honored by Missouri Lawyers Weekly’s 2019 Women’s Justice Awards with the Litigation Practitioner Award for her exemplary legal work.
The Women’s Justice Awards recognize women across Missouri who have demonstrated leadership, integrity, service, sacrifice and accomplishment in improving the quality of justice and exemplifying the highest ideals of the legal profession. The awards honor women in various segments of the legal community, including the bar, the bench, public office, business, academia, nonprofits and the state at large.
Rachel has been a key part of some of the region’s most notable litigation and dedicates her time to building stronger ties between the bench and bar.
Rachel was part of the litigation team that worked on behalf of thousands of corn farmers to secure a $217.7 million jury verdict in 2017 – the tenth largest jury verdict in the nation – and, in 2018, a $1.51 billion global settlement with Syngenta – the largest agricultural settlement in U.S. history and Missouri Lawyers Weekly’s No. 1 “top settlement” for 2018. The multidistrict litigation stemmed from allegations that Syngenta sold a genetically-modified corn seed in the U.S. before it 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. From the drafting and filing of the complaints up through the successful jury trial and record-setting settlement, Rachel’s responsibilities touched on nearly every aspect of the litigation, from leading the charge in obtaining written discovery and more than one million pages of responsive documents from Syngenta to briefing complex causation issues and preparing expert testimony.
Her recent work also includes securities litigation on behalf of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), a federal agency. As part of a national effort in New York, California and Kansas against the nation’s largest financial services companies, Rachel filed multiple lawsuits on behalf of the NCUA alleging that mortgage-backed securities were sold as safe investments, but instead were riskier than represented. All told, the agency recovered more than $5 billion.
An established legal leader, Rachel focuses her volunteer efforts on the bench-bar community. She is currently president of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association’s Federal Court Advocates Section, which connects practicing lawyers and the federal bench, and she serves on the KCMBA’s Board of Directors. In 2018, Rachel was appointed by Chief Judge Phillips as the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri representative on the Planning Committee for 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.