Since joining the firm, Todd has helped clients resolve their most difficult commercial disputes, including those involving employee benefits and insurance coverage. Todd has represented parties in complex commercial litigation throughout the state and is a past president of the Western District of Wisconsin Bar Association, an association of lawyers practicing in the fast-moving federal district court in Madison. Todd is the leader of the firm's ERISA Litigation Team.
In addition, Todd's practice has emphasized representing clients in ERISA litigation and other disputes involving benefits provided pursuant to self-funded arrangements, including welfare and retirement benefits plans subject to regulation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Whenever possible, Todd proactively works with clients to identify and avoid risk in complex ERISA matters through training that is tailored to meet the particular needs of a company. When litigation does arise, Todd’s significant experience in this area has helped him to successfully defend ERISA plans against suits seeking benefits as well as claims alleging breach of fiduciary duties. Todd also represents insurance companies in ERISA litigation seeking life, health and disability benefits under insurance policies. Todd also helps his clients out of court, advising plan sponsors and benefits committees on recent ERISA developments.
Todd also represents Wisconsin insurers in litigation, with a focus on complex coverage matters, including claims involving intellectual property, construction defects and environmental contamination. Todd also represents insurance companies in cases alleging bad faith or improper industry- or company-wide claims handling practices. Todd has helped clients revise their policy language and claims procedures and has testified before the Wisconsin legislature on proposed legislation affecting the insurance industry.
In addition to his trial court practice, Todd routinely represents clients in state and federal appellate courts. A leader in the Wisconsin appellate bar, Todd is a former chair of the Appellate Practice Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin. Todd has argued cases before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Wisconsin Court of Appeals and Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on a wide variety of cases, including insurance claims, ERISA appeals, employment disputes, copyright disputes, civil rights claims, family law disputes and criminal appeals. Before beginning practice, Todd served a one-year judicial clerkship with the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.
Todd is a cum laude graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School, and received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has worked as a legislative aide in the United States Senate and Wisconsin State Senate. He is an active member of the Defense Research Institute as well as Wisconsin Defense Counsel.
Articles in the National Law Review database by Todd G. Smith