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Christopher E. Schaefer

Member, Louisville

Chris has been with the firm since 2010. He serves as co-chair of the Appellate practice and is a member of the Business Litigation practice, focusing on Business Torts, Antitrust, Trade Regulation & Franchise, Class Action, Securities Litigation, Trusts & Estates, Criminal Law, Construction Law and Healthcare.

Prior to joining the firm, Chris spent a year as a law clerk to the Hon. John G. Heyburn II, judge for the United States District Court in the Western District of Kentucky. There, he gained invaluable insight into the practice of law. While in law school at the University of Kentucky, Chris participated in numerous trial and appellate advocacy competitions. In 2009, his two-person trial team finished second in the nation in the prestigious National Trial Competition hosted by the American College of Trial Lawyers and he was named the best student advocate in the nation by the fellows of the College. He graduated as the valedictorian of his class at UK.

Chris is a member of the Kentucky Bar Association, the Louisville Bar Association and the American Bar Association and has been named as a Kentucky Super Lawyer Rising Star.

University of Kentucky College of Law
2009, J.D., summa cum laude
Bellarmine University
2006, B.A., summa cum laude
Pro Hac Vice: U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana
U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky
U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan


  • Kentucky Bar Association, Service to Young Lawyers Award, 2018
  • Kentucky Super Lawyers Rising Star, Business Litigation
  • Graduated valedictorian of law school class
  • Named top student trial advocate at the American College of Trial Lawyers' National Trial Competition, 2009
  • Law Clerk to the Hon. John G. Heyburn II, judge U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky
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  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • Louisville Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, adjunct professor, Evidence
  • University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, trial team coach
  • Louisville Bar Association Leadership Academy, 2013
  • Louisville Bar Association Summer Law Institute, lecturer
  • Junior Achievement USA, JA in a Day Instructor
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Work Highlights

Defending a Shareholder Derivative Action

When a single, dissident shareholder brought both derivative claims on behalf of the corporation and direct claims against certain directors, SKO successfully argued in litigation that the dissident shareholder had no standing to assert claims and lacked the ability to bring a derivative action for failure to satisfy the statutory requirements for doing so. The litigation continued to the enforcement of a stock buy-sell agreement, upon which our client was successful in both its enforcement and the valuation of the minority member’s shares.

Nuisance Claims

The firm represented several land owners being sued by neighboring property owners both individually and as a class for an alleged nuisance related to odors emanating from hog barns. The plaintiffs claimed that the odors unreasonably interfered with their enjoyment of property. The case was before the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky where it ultimately settled just before trial. Powell v. Tosh, No. 5:09-CV-00121-TBR-DW (W.D. Ky.).

Claims Against Cemetery for Improper Practices

SKO represents a putative class of individuals with relatives buried in a cemetery, asserting claims against numerous former and current owners of the cemetery for improper burial practices. The case is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

Related Practices: Class Action, Business Litigation

Drafting Form Construction Contracts & Documents

SKO has assisted a governmental client with revising its construction contract forms and documents to update them to current standards and circumstances.

Franchise Dispute, Lanham Act Violations & Personal Guarantees

This complex franchise dispute included claims that certain franchisees were in violation of their franchise agreements based on the management structure of the franchisees. The franchisor sought to terminate the franchises and recover monetary damages from the franchisees and personal guarantors. SKO successfully argued against the lawsuit taking place in the franchisor's home state. All claims, including claims against both the franchisee and the personal guarantors, were transferred to the home state of the franchisee and guarantors.