Dave represents sophisticated clients in complex commercial litigation, including insurance coverage disputes, environmental claims, class actions involving financial, employment and product liability issues, unfair competition and Lanham Act claims, and enforcement of non-compete/non-solicitation clauses. Dave has appeared in trial and bankruptcy courts in more than a dozen states and handled appeals in the U.S. Supreme Court and three state supreme courts as well as five federal and five state appellate courts. He has relished the opportunity to lead large defense groups and pursue creative and novel theories against able opponents. 

Clients, who describe him as “versatile and tenacious,” rely on Dave's proven ability to resolve contentious high-stakes multiparty disputes through arbitration and mediation. One client told Chambers USA that Dave is “very easy to work with, responsive and very smart. He is efficient in both litigation and in creatively engineering settlements in very complex matters.” “He is the full package: he is a smart, strategic negotiator and good in court,” still another client told Chambers USA.

Matters Of Note

Dave's insurance practice has included the following significant matters:

  • Recently argued the appeal of a novel Waste Management privilege ruling in the Illinois Supreme Court.
  • Won a series of rulings that cap an insurer's asbestos liabilities in the BorgWarner litigation pending in Cook County, Illinois, Chancery Court.
  • Lead counsel in three-week ARIAS arbitration.
  • Represented insurers in construction defect matters in several states, including Washington, Missouri, Iowa and Illinois.
  • Lead counsel in a Minnesota coverage and good faith and fair dealing litigation concerning claims arising from dust masks and asbestos-containing products. After settling the case for the plaintiffs, we were brought back into this action to represent two other parties. We then won motions for summary judgment on the statute of limitations, defense costs, underlying exhaustion, good faith and fair dealing remedies, allocation, and the pollution exclusion.
  • As counsel in a coverage and bad faith action in Wisconsin involving the $1.5 billion cost of remediating PCB contamination of the Lower Fox River, we defeated two motions for summary judgment and then settled this matter on favorable terms.
  • Lead counsel for the defense group in United States Filter Corp. v. Allstate Ins. Co., 895 N.E.2d 1172 (Ind. S. Ct. 2008), a coverage matter involving thousands of silicosis claims. This case resulted in a seminal Indiana Supreme Court victory on the issues of an asset purchaser's right to coverage under the asset seller's policies.
  • Appellate counsel in Newnam Mfg. v. Transcontinental Ins. (Ind. Ct. App. 2007), which establishes that there is no possibility of CGL coverage for Clean Air Act obligations and therefore no duty to defend.
  • As counsel in a New Jersey insurance coverage matter, involving more than $1.5 billion in asbestos liability costs arising from Bendix brake products, Dave overcame a claim for unlimited coverage through de bene esse depositions and discovery supporting the case for reformation and the case for choice of law applying a favorable number of occurrences rule.
  • Counsel for the plaintiff in In re Signal Companies Insurance Coverage Litigation, a New Jersey insurance coverage matter involving asbestos and silica claims against a number of alleged successors to the former Signal Companies conglomerate, and in related matters in Ohio, Indiana and Texas.
  • Lead counsel for the defense group in Dow Chemical Corp. v. Fireman's Fund, E.D. Mich., an insurance coverage matter involving DBCP and EDB pollution of municipal drinking water wells in California and Massachusetts.

Dave has also seen all sides of class actions, as counsel for defendants, plaintiffs, objectors and claim-filers. For more than 20 years, he has worked with Chicago Clearing Corporation to pioneer and develop the industry of third party class action settlement redemption services. He has handled numerous NASD, FINRA and AAA arbitrations over employment disputes, as well as many other commercial disputes. Representative examples include:

  • Represented a large group of directors and officers in mediation and settlement of claims in Tribune Company LBO Litigation.
  • Counsel for syndicator of limited partnership interests sued by partnerships in Cook County, Illinois, for alleged deceptive trade practices.
  • Counsel for a financial services firm in a FINRA arbitration involving an employment dispute.
  • Counsel for two African American-owned businesses sued by the EEOC in Illinois for alleged discrimination against Hispanic employees.
  • Counsel for the class in Chicago Clearing Corporation v. Lucent Technologies, Inc., a New Jersey racketeering and fraud class action which obtained a substantial recovery for a class of small business recipients of settlement certificates in a prior litigation.
  • Counsel for American Express Financial Advisors in numerous court and NASD arbitration proceedings in Colorado, Georgia, Alabama, New Jersey, New York, and Illinois to enforce non-compete and non-solicitation clauses.

Publications And Presentations

The Buck Stops Here: Transferring Risk Through Additional Insured Coverage and Contractual Indemnity, ABA Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE, March 1, 2023.

Best Practices: Mediating the Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Claim, American College of Coverage Counsel Annual Law School Symposium, November 1, 2019.

Insurability of Disgorgement Claims After TIAA, Kokesh, and Bear Stearns: Does an Insured Defendant Give Up Coverage Too? ABA Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee Annual Conference, March 1, 2019.

The Next ‘Asbestos Problem’ Will Be . . . Asbestos: Why The Insurance Industry’s Biggest Problem Won’t Go Away Soon, ABA Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee Annual Conference, March 3, 2018.

David E. Schoenfeld and Thomas J. Dammrich, II, Proximate Causation Required for Additional Insured Coverage, ABA Section of Litigation - Insurance Coverage, July 20, 2017. 

David E. Schoenfeld and Amanda M. Leffler, Preventing Your Additional Insured Coverage from Being an Additional Headache, ABA Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar, Tucson, Arizona, March 3, 2017. 

Recent Developments in Additional Insured and Contractual Liability Coverage, ABA Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee Annual Conference, March 4, 2016.

Is Your Company Insured Through The London Market?, Law360, February 2, 2016; with Alison Newstead & Andrew Davidson.

Class Action Roundtable Discussion, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Global Corporation Actions Forum, October 24, 2014.

Creative Damages Theories In Bad Faith Cases Take A Hit, Insurance Law360, March 27, 2014.

Between A Rock and a Landfill – Five Dilemmas at the Intersection of CERCLA and Insurance Law, ABA Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee Annual Conference, March 7, 2014.

Who Is An Insured: Update On Successors' Rights To CGL Coverage, “Post-Loss” Assignments And Related Issues, ABA Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee Annual Conference, March 1, 2013.

Bad Faith Discovery Disputes, Mealey’s Bad Faith Litigation Conference, November 7, 2008.