Advertising Material


Christopher E. Schaefer

Direct Phone: 502.568.5721

Christopher E. Schaefer

Chris is a Member in Stoll Keenon Ogden’s Louisville office and has been with the firm since 2010. He focuses primarily on Business Litigation and Class Action cases, but he brings his substantive problem-solving expertise to multiple practice groups at SKO.

He has served as lead counsel in disputes involving companies and owners over fiduciary obligations. He has also obtained favorable verdicts in actions brought against land owners, franchisees and government clients in Kentucky and throughout the Midwest.

For his successes on behalf of clients, and his service to the legal professional community, Chris has been honored with several notable distinctions, including a Rising Star designation by Kentucky Super Lawyers® for four consecutive years. Prior to joining SKO, he graduated as the valedictorian of his class at the University of Kentucky College of Law.

Business Litigation: For companies of all sizes, across a broad scale of situations, Chris leverages his knowledge and skills to obtain the best possible result. He conducts arbitrations and mediations, tries cases and counsels clients tactically through each phase of a conflict.

Class Action: Chris represents both plaintiffs and defendants in class actions in state and federal courts in Kentucky and beyond. He is well versed in the procedural intricacies of multi-party lawsuits, as well as the legal nuances of Rule 23 practice.

 

Work Highlights

Defending and Prosecuting Class Action Lawsuits

SKO was successful in multiple class action litigations on both the plaintiff and defense side. SKO oversaw multiple complex settlements with multi-thousand class member cases.  SKO's class action clients have included a national insurance carrier, a national environmental consulting service, consumers defrauded by unfair commercial practices, a regional home builder, and national agriculture companies. 

Fiduciary Litigation

In this niche area of the Business Litigation practice, SKO attorneys represent companies and owners in disputes concerning fiduciary claims and business relationship breakups. A highlight for SKO is our firm’s role in creating a new law in Kentucky, after securing an opinion from the Kentucky Court of Appeals declaring that shareholders in closely held companies do not owe one another fiduciary duties as shareholders. SKO attorneys have also overseen and litigated numerous law firm dissolutions, as well as cases involving corporate embezzlement and the separation of owners from businesses.

Derivative Litigation

SKO’s team of nationally recognized litigators has handled a number of derivative actions, typically on behalf of the company. Our team represented Kentucky Retirement Systems in a significant derivative action involving investments and fiduciary operations. SKO attorneys have also represented large and small companies in claims brought by shareholders or members related to corporate governance and fiduciary obligations.

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.

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.

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

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.).