Photo of Erwin O. Switzer

Erwin O. Switzer

Officer

“Having the experience of more than a decade as chief counsel in the state attorney general’s office puts me in a stronger position when it comes to handling any type of inquiry in state government, as well as matters related to consumer protection laws and legal ethics.” 

Industries

Admissions

  • Missouri
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Education

J.D., Saint Louis University School of Law, cum laude, 1981, Saint Louis University Law Journal, research editor; Saint Louis University Public Law Review, co-founding editor, editor-in-chief

A.B., Saint Louis University, 1978

Profile

Drawing on decades of experience in commercial and government litigation, Erwin (Erv) Switzer has deep knowledge of areas of law including consumer protection issues, governmental regulatory affairs and the appeals process. As the firm’s general counsel, he also advises on legal ethics on behalf of the firm and for outside clients.

For 11 years, Erv served as chief counsel in the Office of the Missouri Attorney General. There, he led litigation on matters including the Merchandising Practices Act, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, trade and securities regulations, antitrust compliance, civil rights, First Amendment law and taxation in state and federal trial and appellate courts throughout Missouri. He was involved in dozens of high-profile matters, including the relocation of the Rams to St. Louis, representation of the Missouri Commissioner of Securities and Secretary of State, and litigation resulting in a ban against the sale of ephedra products in Missouri.

Erv frequently represents businesses facing consumer protection class action claims related to pricing and disclosure issues. In addition to handling the litigation aspect of such complaints, he guides clients through a proactive approach of reviewing consumer sales forms to make sure they comply with regulations, lessening the risk of future liability. 

With his prosecutorial and government experience, Erv is well-positioned to conduct special investigations or serve as independent counsel, monitor or special committee member. He was appointed by the Federal Trade Commission to serve as a monitor and administrator of a consent decree in an antitrust case, giving the federal agency an experienced independent monitor for the matter at more affordable Midwest rates.

Erv has also handled matters involving defense of attorney general investigations, student lending practices, deceptive advertising claims, Internet domain names and drafting legislation. He is co-chair of Greensfelder’s appellate practice section and has briefed and argued dozens of appellate cases in state and federal courts, making him a knowledgeable resource for clients seeking new counsel or a second opinion during an appeal.

Erv has significant community and leadership experience and has made mentorship of younger colleagues a priority throughout his career.

Professional Affiliations

  • Appellate Judicial Performance Evaluation Committee, Secretary, 2008-2016   
  • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, Board of Governors, 2003-2009
  • St. Louis Bar Foundation, Board of Governors, 2003-2006
  • American Bar Association Antitrust Section, Consumer Protection Committee Leadership Group member
  • Editor of the State Law chapter for the American Bar Association’s Consumer Protection Law Developments (2nd edition, 2016) 

Community/Civic Activities

  • St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners, chairman, 2016-present

  • Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life, Advisory Board, 2013-present
  • City of St. Louis, Board of Police Commissioners, 2012-2013   
  • Governor's Council on Disability, 2009-2012
  • Bankruptcy Practice Memorial Fund, Governing Board, 2006-2010
  • FOCUS St. Louis, Board of Directors, 2003-2009
  • Paraquad, Board of Directors, 1995-2007
  • St. Louis Library Foundation, Board of Trustees, 2002-2006
  • St. Louis Public Library, Board of Directors, 1994-2006; President, 1998-2002
  • Tossed ceremonial "first pitch” at St. Louis Cardinals game, August 23, 2000
  • Leadership St. Louis, Class of 1996-1997
  • St. Louis Housing Authority, 1989-1994; Chair, 1991-1993

Honors & Awards

Honors & Awards

  • Benchmark Litigation, Future Star, 2015-2017
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Appellate Practice, Government Relations Law, 2007-2017
  • St. Louis Bar Foundation, Spirit of Justice Award, 2014
  • Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, Consumer Law, 2009-2015
  • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, President's Award, 2002, 2008
  • Missouri Lawyers Weekly, Up & Coming Mentor Award, 2015

Experience

Representative Matters

  • Represents clients in class actions involving pricing issues or disclosure issues.
  • Represents clients in licensing and investigation matters before various government agencies, including the Attorney General’s Office, Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration and the Department of Social Services.
  • Defends and prosecutes false advertising claims, including on behalf of a large retail chain.
  • For the state of Missouri, prosecuted a consumer fraud case against the operator of a purported charity, obtaining judgment of guilty of all counts.
  • For the state of Missouri, prosecuted the Second Injury Fund civil RICO suit, leading to recovery of more than $1 million and referenced in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as one of its 125 most important stories in its 125-year history.

News & Insights

Seminars & Speaking Engagements

  • Moderator, "Appellate Judges Roundtable"
    Missouri Bar Annual Meeting, 2009-2010, 2012-2016
  • Appellate Practice, Bench & Bar Conference
    Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, 2009 - 2013, 2015
  • "In-House Counsel Ethical Obligation"
    2014
  • "Preventing Lawsuits and Violations in Advertising and Promotions"
    National Business Institute, 2008
  • "How to Respond to a Government Investigation"
    Association of Corporate Counsel, St. Louis Chapter and Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, 2008
  • "Antitrust and the Roberts' Supreme Court"
    Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, 2008

Publications

Articles

  • Consumer Protection Law Developments, American Bar Association
    2011, 2013, 2015 Editions
  • "What Can the Court Do? Evaluating Your Appeal"
    St. Louis Business Journal, Summer 2009
  • "How to Respond to Government Investigations"
    Missouri Lawyers Weekly, June 2008
  • “Top Court Opinions of the Year"
    St. Louis Daily Record/Countian, 2004 - 2006
  • “The Success of the Missouri Model: Aggressive Litigation at the State Level Protects Consumers and Prevents Unfair Trade Practices"
    ABA's Antitrust Magazine, reprinted ABA State Antitrust Committee Newsletter, October 2004, ABA Unfair Trade Practices Magazine, November 2004, and Business Torts Journal, Spring 2005, July 2004

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