Class Action Defense. Becky’s current practice focuses on the defense of complex and class action litigation in state and federal courts across the United States. Becky has defended numerous high profile class actions for tobacco, pharmaceutical, medical device, and alcoholic beverage manufacturers, many of which have included state consumer protection law claims. She has also successfully represented mining companies and energy producers in environmental class action cases involving significant property damage and medical monitoring claims. Becky’s experience includes the defense of a series of tenant class action lawsuits alleging toxic mold exposure stemming from construction defects at a luxury apartment community. Becky regularly defends corporate clients in cases where individual plaintiffs seek potentially unconstitutional statutory and/or punitive damages on behalf of themselves and a class.
FACTA and Privacy. Becky has extensive experience defending major retailers in privacy-related class action lawsuits based on the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA). She is well versed in Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards and other legal protections applicable to Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Becky’s privacy-related legal work has also included the defense of client interests a putative class action involving Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) claims.
Class Arbitration. Becky has also successfully defended class claims in arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act and American Arbitration Association rules, and offers particular expertise to clients facing class arbitration proceedings. She is also available to counsel companies attempting to craft effective class action waivers for inclusion in arbitration agreements.
Strategic Discovery Practice. Throughout her career, Becky has consistently approached discovery as an element of litigation to be strategically managed in order to minimize operational disruption and cost to her business clients. She understands the value of cooperation during discovery, but will not hesitate to “draw a line” and aggressively litigate discovery issues when necessary. When it comes to e-discovery, Becky recognizes that each client’s circumstance is unique, and tailors her team’s approach accordingly. Becky has successfully prepared and produced countless company witnesses in discovery, including everyone from company presidents to IT professionals to building maintenance staff. She practices a calm, methodical approach to witness preparation that fosters witness confidence and leads to more effective testimony.
Complex Individual Cases. In addition to her class action work, Becky has extensive experience litigating high-stakes, multi-defendant product liability lawsuits brought by individual plaintiffs. She has been involved in such cases from the filing of initial pleadings through trial and has defeated a wide array of claims, including those for negligence, misrepresentation, fraud, design defect, conspiracy, strict liability, unfair trade practices, and consumer protection law violations.
Effective Case Management. Becky formulates reliable class action litigation budgets and maintains strong communication with in-house counsel throughout the life of the “bet the company” cases. She takes seriously the task of assembling the most cost-effective and capable case teams possible—teams that can deliver outstanding results during every phase of litigation, including discovery and motion practice. Becky has enjoyed significant success in motion practice, regularly defeating class certification and/or winning summary judgment on key claims.
Before SHB. Prior to joining SHB in 1999, Becky clerked for Judge Fernando J. Gaitan of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. While in law school, Becky was a member of the UMKC Law Review and The Urban Lawyer, and was elected to the Order of the Barristers and the Order of the Bench and Robe.
Rebecca Schwartz, U.S. Supreme Court Rules that a Statistical Damages Model Not Sufficiently Tied to Class Plaintiffs' Theory of Liability Is Insufficient to Demonstrate Satisfaction of Rule 23's Predominance Requirement, Class Action & Complex Litigation Alert, March 29, 2013 View
Rebecca Schwartz & Melissa Plunkett, U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Precertification Stipulation to Seek Less Than $5 Million as Invalid Attempt by Class Plaintiff to Avoid Federal Jurisdiction under Class Action Fairness Act, Class Action & Complex Litigation Alert, March 20, 2013 View
Alfred J. Saikali & Rebecca Schwartz, Supreme Court Confirms Stringent Article III Standing Requirement for Privacy Cases, Data Security Alert, March 6, 2013 View
Rebecca J. Schwartz, Public Gated Communities: The Rosemont, Illinois Approach and Its Constitutional Implications, 29 Urb. Law. 123 (1997)
Becky is a member of the American Bar Association, the Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers and the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association.
Becky is admitted to practice before the state courts of Missouri, the U.S. District Courts for the Western District of Missouri, Northern District of Oklahoma, District of Kansas, and Central District of Illinois, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Eighth and Tenth Circuits.
1997 J.D., with distinction, University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law
1988 B.S., Indiana University