Michael Schneider

Hon. Michael H. Schneider, Sr. (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Special Master

Case Manager
Trisha Loscalzo
T: 713-651-1400
F: 312-655-0644
609 Main Street, Suite 3930, Houston, TX 77002


Hon. Michael H. Schneider, Sr. (Ret.) served as United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas from 2004-2016, previously serving as a Judge of the Supreme Court of Texas from 2002-2004.  Judge Schneider entered his judicial career as a State District Judge, 157th District of Harris County, Texas from 1990-1996 and served as Chief Justice of the First Court of Appeals, State of Texas from 1996-2002.

Judge Schneider is known for his good judgement, integrity, keen intelligence, and fortitude. He is fair, open-minded, patient, experienced, decisive, and faithful to the rule of law.  His decisions as reflected in his opinions are clear, concise, and well-reasoned.

In addition to his tenure on the bench, Judge Schneider practiced law for 20 years where he gained diverse and unique experience, including six years as Vice President - General Counsel of Bawden Drilling International Ltd. (later acquired by Noble Drilling) and five years as an attorney at Dresser Industries where, at both companies, he was responsible for managing litigation worldwide.  He also served as General Solicitor, Union Pacific Railroad Company—acting as the top railroad legal official in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi—where his in-house litigation team tried cases and handled business transactions related to the transportation industry.

Judge Schneider has tried hundreds of cases as a lawyer, presided over and made decisions in thousands of cases as a Judge, written hundreds of legal opinions, negotiated hundreds of domestic and international contracts, qualified American and Canadian entities to do business in energy producing countries, formed and negotiated international joint ventures, and negotiated settlements of hundreds of domestic and foreign lawsuits.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Conducted hundreds of settlement discussions during his service on both the federal and state judiciary that led to settlement
  • Certificate in Advanced Arbitration Skills, University of Houston Law Center—AA White Dispute Resolution Center

Representative Matters

On the bench (26 years) and in practice (19 years), Judge Schneider tried, presided over or disposed of cases in a wide range of practice areas, including the following:

  • Appellate
    • As Chief Justice of the Texas’ First Court of Appeals, presided over oral argument and (combined with his service on the Supreme Court of Texas) authored hundreds of legal opinions and orders, covering a variety of domestic and international legal issues
  • Business/Commercial/Complex Transactions
    • Cases involving distributorship, sales representative, franchise arrangements, oilfield products and services, drilling and workover, mortgage, foreclosure, escrow, financing, sales, purchases, insurance, indemnity, warranty, presentation, fraud, bad faith, unfair trade practices, acquisition, stock purchase, asset transfer, real estate, oil and gas leases, mineral and royalty agreements
    • Presided over a variety of insurance disputes, including straight property recovery, casualty, life insurance, subrogation and actions in interpleader involving multiple claimants and insurers and financiers
    • Managed, settled, ruled on summary judgments or presided over thousands of individual claims embodied in certified or putative class actions resulting from fraudulent commodity investments
      • Presided over numerous conferences between counsel and international parties litigating a putative class action involving 50 named plaintiffs and hundreds of interested claimants, resulting ultimately in settling all claims
  • Civil Rights
    • Hundreds of cases involving alleged deprivation of civil rights by state and federal actors including civil rights lawsuits under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 between state, county and municipal actors and private citizens, involving claims of wrongful death, sexual assault, illegal searches and seizures, deliberate indifference to medical needs, excessive use of force, and other typical civil rights violations
    • Supervised settlement of numerous statewide school desegregation cases that had been pending for more than 45 years and appealed numerous times
  • Employment
    • Cases involving claims of breach of contract, sexual harassment, discrimination (age, gender, race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation), hostile work environment, wrongful termination, retaliation, and claims related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
    • Managed, settled, ruled on summary judgments or presided over thousands of individual claims embodied in certified or putative class actions resulting from wage and hour disputes, failure to pay overtime, and misclassification
  • Federal
    • Cases grounded in federal statutory law such as Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), False Claims Act, Federal Employers Liability Act FELA, Fair Debt Collection Act, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CAFA), Federal Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act (MCSIA), Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and Clean Air Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
    • Adjudicated cases involving securities and commodities
      • Presided over lawsuit alleging violations of the Securities Exchange Act by disseminating materially misleading public statements
        • Analyzed scienter requirement and heightened pleading requirements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA); affirmed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
      • Similarly adjudicated a case requiring application of the PSLRA’s safe harbor provision for forward-looking statements; scienter requirements; and causation
      • Putative Class Action settled against investment advisor who fraudulently represented he was licensed to trade
  • Intellectual property
    • Presided over, ruled on motions and conducted trials in Intellectual Property cases
      • Adjudicated over 100 Patent Infringement cases filed in the Eastern District of Texas, from inception through Claim Construction/Markman proceedings, settlement negotiations, and trial (where necessary)
      • Technologies included: complex computer programs, electronic devices, and other inventions and techniques 
      • Strongly experienced in working closely with Technical Advisors of diverse backgrounds as well as court-appointed Special Masters
    • Presided in numerous Trademark cases, including analysis of trademark dilution, infringement and unfair competition, and under the Lanham Act
    • Presided in numerous Copyright cases, including direct and vicarious copyright infringement and availability of statutory copyright fees
    • Led parties to a settlement in a case of first impression involving a most-favored nation (“MFN”) clause applied to lump-sum payments under a licensing agreement that arose out of an Eastern District of Texas patent infringement lawsuit
      • Settlement of the claims arose after a cutting-edge interpretation of lump-sum reimbursement and contract novation relying in part on innovative application of existing case law and third-party treatise research
      • Settlement upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • International
    • As an attorney, negotiated and formed international joint ventures, partnerships, sales, stock purchases, and settlement agreements with local entities and national petroleum companies
    • Presided over numerous conferences between counsel and international parties litigating a putative class action relating to defective electronic parts involving 50 named plaintiffs and hundreds of additional interested claimants, resulting ultimately in settling all claims
  • Personal Injury/Torts
    • Cases involving mass torts (breast implants, asbestos, plastic pipes), transportation incidents, automobile crashworthiness, defective seatbelts, death case resulting from breaking golf club Roll-overs, product liability, motorcycle crashworthiness, railroad crossing death case, 18-Wheeler collisions, hydrogen sulfide death case, defective drilling rig draw works death case
    • Class Actions: Managed, settled, ruled on summary judgments or presided over hundreds of individual claims embodied in certified or putative class actions resulting from:
      • defective fuel
      • price fixing, anti-trust among plumbing suppliers
    • Honors
      • Alumnus of the Year, University of Houston Law Center, 2016
      • Texas Trial Judge of the Year, Texas Association of Trial & Appellate Specialists, 2005
      • Texas Appellate of the Year, Texas Association of Trial & Appellate Specialists, 2001
    • Memberships & Professional Activities
      • Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS
      • Member, American Law Institute
      • Member, American Bar Association
      • Life fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
      • Life fellow, Houston Bar Foundation
      • T. John Ward Inn of Court (Marshall, Texas)
      • Volunteer, for Habitat for Humanity
    • United States District Judge, Eastern District of Texas, 2004-2016
    • Justice, Supreme Court of Texas, 2002-2004
    • Chief Justice, First Court of Appeals of Texas, 1996-2002
    • Presiding Judge, Harris County (Texas) 157th District Court, 1990-1996
    • Of Counsel, Davis & McFall, Houston, Texas 1989-1990
    • General Solicitor, Union Pacific Railroad Company, 1986-1989
    • Vice President, General Counsel, Bawden Drilling International Ltd., 1980-1986
    • Judge (part-time), West University Place (Texas) Municipal Court, 1978-1990
    • Attorney, Dresser Industries, Inc., 1976-1980
    • Assistant District Attorney, Harris County Texas, 1971-1975
    • LL.M., University of Virginia School of Law, 2001
    • J.D., University of Houston Law Center, 1970
    • B.S., Stephen F. Austin State University, 1965



    Practice Areas

    • Appellate
    • Business/Commercial
    • Civil Rights
    • Class Action/Mass Tort
    • Employment
    • Energy/Utility
    • Federal Law
    • Insurance
    • Intellectual Property
    • International & Cross-Border
    • Personal Injury/Torts
    • Securities


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