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Carl J. Schaerf

T 212-973-8005
    Mr. Schaerf focuses on product liability, antitrust, Constitutional law and commercial litigation, including real estate and leasing disputes and defense of allegations of professional malpractice. He chairs Schnader's Antitrust and Trade Regulation Practice Group, which provides antitrust litigation and consulting services to a variety of manufacturing and retail clients. He has extensive litigation experience at both the trial and the appellate levels, including several prominent verdicts and published appellate decisions. He also has litigated numerous environmental disputes in state and federal court. Mr. Schaerf also consults and lectures nationally on ERISA and non-ERISA health, life, accident and disability matters.


    Product Liability

    Mr. Schaerf's product liability and mass tort experience is broad and spans all types of equipment including:
    • The long-term representation as regional counsel for a major international manufacturer of electrical equipment;
    • Heavy commercial equipment such as concrete mixers, garbage trucks, cranes, derricks and milling machines;
    • Automotive litigation, including occupant restraint and second impact theories; and motor homes;
    • Food equipment litigation including meat grinders, meat wrapping equipment, stoves, dishwashers, meat saws and mixers;
    • Presses; shears; benders, rollers and formers; flammable fabrics; fire trucks and apparatus; juvenile products such as toys; and a full range of allegedly toxic products. 
    • A representative appellate decision of Mr. Schaerf's in product liability is Ortzian v. McNeilus. (The decision can be found here.)

    Class Action

    Mr. Schaerf has successfully defended a major automotive manufacturer in two putative class actions, including one that was appealed to the Second Circuit. He also successfully represented a major insurer in a putative class action lawsuit challenging policies concerning post-accident replacement of auto-parts with non OEM equipment.

    Constitutional Law

    Mr. Schaerf has undertaken a long-term representation of a major municipality in Constitutional litigations brought under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983 involving children who allege that they sustained injuries while placed in foster care.


    In antitrust matters, Mr. Schaerf has represented, among others:
    • A major insurer alleged to have conspired with others concerning the terms and conditions of chiropractic coverage, and
    • A large theatre chain alleged to have locked a competitor out of the market.


    Mr. Schaerf represents clients in employee benefits litigation, particularly under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). He serves as counsel to a national insurer concerning accident and health coverage, both in an ERISA and non-ERISA context.


    • Fordham University School of Law, J.D., 1991
    • Columbia College of Columbia University, B.A., 1988

    Court Admissions

    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
    • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
    • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

    Bar Admissions

    • New York, 1992
    • New Jersey, 1996

    Professional Affiliations

    • Defense Research Institute, member, Steering Committee: Cranes and Derricks Committee
    • International Association of Defense Counsel, member
    • New York State Trial Lawyers Association, member

    Other Distinctions

    • Rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell®*
    • Noted as a "New York Super Lawyer" for personal injury defense: products, 2007-2018*
    • Fordham Law School Law Review
    • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Product Liability Litigation - Defendants, 2017-2019* 

    *No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. Further information on methodologies is available via these links.