Firm News & Events


February 2023

Marilyn Teitelbaum obituary, Saint Louis, MO

With great sadness we mourn the passing of Marilyn Teitelbaum. She will be greatly missed by everyone in the Schuchat, Cook and Werner family and beyond. Marilyn spent her entire legal career with Schuchat, Cook & Werner joining the firm shortly after her graduation from St. Louis University School of Law in 1976. Her work ethic and dedication to her clients were legendary, earning her their great respect, admiration and friendship. She represented clients in groundbreaking lawsuits and arbitrations throughout Missouri and Illinois and gained national recognition as one of the preeminent labor and employment law attorneys, chairing local and national labor law committees and publishing extensively on a variety of labor law topics. Sadly, shortly after her retirement as a partner at the end of 2022, she was diagnosed with incurable ALS.  Throughout the course of her illness, she was a model of courage, strength and grace.  Her obituary can be found here.

January 2023

With deep sorrow, the family here at Schuchat, Cook & Werner note the passing on January 19, 2023 of James Cook.  After Jim “retired” as a partner he continued to work on select projects for many years while enjoying time with his family in Arizona and St. Louis.  Jim’s legacy as a pioneering ERISA attorney shaped employee benefit funds in St. Louis and around the country.  Jim’s legacy as a mentor, teacher and friend to new attorneys and clients continues to guide those of us lucky enough to have worked with him.  Jim’s obituary may be found here.

December 2022

Congratulations to our own Chris Grant and Loretta Haggard for their continuing efforts in upholding workers’ rights!  Earlier this week, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District upheld a lower court ruling that the State of Missouri unlawfully ceased the deduction of dues from paychecks of Missouri corrections officers in violation of their “constitutional rights to organize and to bargain collectively, freedoms of speech and association, and equal protection.”  As noted by Chris a recent article from the Missouri Independent, “Employees, in the public or private sector, have a right to organize together and present their demands. . . . It was so great to see just a plain and very sharp statement to that effect.”

October 2022

We are proud to announce that the Wefel Center for Employment Law at Saint Louis University School of Law recently honored the late Charles Werner (1929 – 2019), founding partner of Schuchat, Cook & Werner, with the John E. Dunsford Award for Achievement and Service to the Labor Employment Law Community.
Below Sally Barker celebrates with Charles’ wife, Gigi Werner, his daughter, Catherine Werner, and Jack Dunsford’s daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter.

January 2022

At Owners’ Counsel of America’s Annual Dinner and Award’s Ceremony held on January 29 in Scottsdale, AZ, the Crystal Eagle was awarded to James Singer, a partner with the law firm of Schuchat, Cook & Werner in St. Louis, MO. Although Mr. Singer has practiced Employee Benefits law for nearly 46 years, he was awarded OCA’s highest accolade, not for his legal skills, but for certain extraordinary actions he took as a private citizen. In 2018, Mr. Singer, an avid historian, wrote a heavily researched article regarding a tragic event that happened over 65 years ago involving a prominent African American doctor by the name of Phillip Venable.

Titled “Reckoning in Creve Coeur,” the article was eventually published by the Missouri Historical Society. In it, Mr. Singer recounted the story of how Dr. Venable was precluded from moving into a predominantly white neighborhood in 1956 by an orchestrated act of eminent domain, which resulted in both his property and the partially constructed home being taken by the City of Creve Coeur for alleged “park purposes.” Despite overwhelming evidence that this action was racially motivated, the Missouri courts upheld the taking.

James Singer, not satisfied with simply writing his article, took all of the research that he had uncovered and used it to mobilize countless others. Eventually, the movement that he helped start led to the City of Creve Coeur publicly acknowledging its wrongful actions and taking meaningful steps towards redressing the injustice that had been perpetrated against Dr. Venable. Here is what one person, Sam Silverstein, had to say about how he was moved to act by the words and deeds of James Singer:

“Jim shared what he had learned with anyone who would listen. He wrote articles. He reached out to community leaders. He reached out to historical societies and universities. In short, he did everything he could to raise awareness about what had happened to the Venable family, and about what he felt needed to happen next.”

In late 2019, among other actions taken, the Creve Coeur City Council voted unanimously to officially change the name of the park to H. Phillip Venable Memorial Park. A re-dedication ceremony was held which was attended by many dignitaries, as well as surviving members of Dr. Venable’s family.

“Although many people and organizations eventually became involved in bringing about some measure of justice for Dr. Venable and his descendants,” says OCA’s Executive Director, Leslie Fields, “it is clear that Mr. Singer played a pivotal role, first in writing his historical article and then in galvanizing others to speak out about what had transpired. It is quite possible that without Mr. Singer’s involvement, the story of what happened to Dr. Venable and his family may have been lost forever. By awarding the Crystal Eagle to Mr. Singer, OCA’s message is that the protection and defense of private property rights is not reserved merely for the lawyers, judges, and scholars among us, but for those private citizens like Mr. Singer who understand their significance, and who care enough to devote their own time, energy and efforts to ensuring that they are recognized and honored.”

December 2021

Congratulations to Sally Barker and Loretta Haggard for being selected as recipients of the 2021 Influential Appellant Advocates Award by Missouri Lawyers Media which is awarded to lawyers behind the most significant appellate decisions in 2021.  Sally and Loretta are being recognized for their tireless work which resulted in the Missouri Supreme Court striking down House Bill 1413 (HB 1413) that prohibited bargaining over most working conditions, allowed employers to change contracts unilaterally, stripped public employees of their first-amendment rights to advocate about workplace and educational policies, and created unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles to collective bargaining.  Way to go Sally and Loretta!

September 2021

We are so very proud of our own Jim Singer whose efforts to remedy the injustice of racism in the St. Louis region led to the renaming of Venable Park and brought the story of Dr. Howard Venable into the light. If you want to know more about Dr. Venable, watch here:

Schuchat, Cook & Werner is pleased to announce that Luke Klein has joined the firm as an Associate Attorney.  Luke received his law degree in May 2021 from St. Louis University School of Law where he served as Notes and Comments Editor for the ABA Journal of Labor and Employment Law, President of OUTLaws, and Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion with the Student Bar Association.  During law school, Luke was a Peggy Browning Fellow which provides opportunities for law students to work for economic and social justice in the area of workers’ rights.   Luke has passed the Missouri Bar and was sworn-in on October 1, 2021.  Congratulations, Luke!

June 2021

Law Attacking Missouri Teachers, Nurses, and Public Workers Overturned – Missouri Supreme Court overturns HB 1413 and affirms the constitutional right to join and maintain union membership without politically motivated interference from the Missouri legislature.
JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Today, in a five to two decision, the Missouri Supreme Court held that House Bill 1413 (HB 1413), enacted by the Missouri Legislature in 2018, is unconstitutional. The ruling affirms teachers and other public-sector employees’ constitutional right to engage in collective bargaining and maintain union membership free of politically motivated interference.
HB 1413 was part of a slew of unpopular attacks on union members signed into law by the then-governor Eric Greitens only hours before resigning. HB 1413 prohibited bargaining over most working conditions, allowed employers to change contracts unilaterally, stripped public employees of their first-amendment rights to advocate about workplace and educational policies, and created unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles to collective bargaining.
“Today’s ruling affirms the constitutional right of teachers, nurses, and public sector workers to participate in their union free of politically motivated interference,” says Phil Murray, a classroom teacher and president of the Missouri National Education Association. “The attacks on educators, nurses, and public employees must stop. HB 1413 attempted to silence the voice of educators advocating for their students, coworkers, and community. Missouri educators and public employees are some of the lowest paid in the country. It is time to stop the politically motivated attacks and get to work on providing the resources students, educators, and Missouri’s public employees need.”
The Supreme Court’s majority decision recognizes that Article I, Section 29 of Missouri’s Constitution guarantees to educators and public-sector workers the constitutional right to join and maintain union membership and meaningfully bargain about terms and conditions of their employment without political interference and burdensome regulation. Missouri is one of only four states that expressly protects the right of collective bargaining in its state constitution.
Judge Mary R. Russell, writing for the majority, stated: “[T}he party challenging the constitutional validity of the statute must overcome the presumption the statute has a rational basis “by a clear showing of arbitrariness and irrationality. . . The Labor Unions have met that burden.” Judge Russell also noted that: “The purpose of Article I, Section 29 is to ‘protect employees against legislation or acts which prevent or interfere with organization and choice of representatives for the purposes of bargaining collectively.”
The Plaintiffs were represented by Sally Barker, Loretta Haggard, and Chris Grant.

May 2021

Congratulations to AFSCME, CWA, SEIU, and our own Chris Grant!  On May 13, 2021 a judge in Cole County decided that the state of Missouri cannot rely on a 2018 law, SB 1007, making state employees at-will, to limit collective bargaining. This means that union-represented state employees retain the right to bargain extra job protections, like seniority and grievance-arbitration.

April 2021

Schuchat, Cook & Werner is proud to announce that George Suggs was selected by Best Lawyers® as 2021 “Lawyer of the Year” in the St. Louis region for his expertise in the area of union labor law. In addition, George, Sally BarkerMarilyn Teitelbaum, Jim Singer, and Loretta Haggard were selected as Best Lawyers® for their expertise in labor and employment law.  In addition, Schuchat, Cook & Werner received Regional Tier 1 Recognition in the 2021 Edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” in the areas of Employment Law – Individuals, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, and Labor Law – Union.

Recognition by Best Lawyers® is based entirely on peer review. Lawyers with the highest overall peer-feedback for a specific practice area and geographic region are recognized as the “Lawyer of the Year.”  Only one lawyer is recognized as the “Lawyer of the Year” for each specialty and location.

March 2021

Congratulations to Terri Norath, our ERISA paralegal for the last seven years, who will be retiring at the end of this month. We would like to sincerely thank Terri for her hard work and dedication to the firm. We will truly miss her.

We are also pleased to announce that we have hired Laura Landmann as our new ERISA paralegal starting April 1, 2021. Welcome to the Schuchat, Cook & Werner family, Laura!

October 2020
Rhona Lyons will be serving on two panel discussions at the upcoming 35th Annual ERISA Basics Virtual National Institute sponsored by the ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits, which is scheduled for December 7-10, 2020. Rhona will be discussing ERISA preemption and the Federal regulations and reporting disclosure requirements that generally apply to ERISA-governed health plans including the Affordable Care Act, COBRA, ADA, GINA and other statutes and regulations. To find out more and to register visit:

June 2020

After almost 40 years at the Shell Building, we are excited to announce that we are relocating to the historic 555 Washington Building in downtown St. Louis. Beginning June 24, 2020, our new address will be 555 Washington Ave., Suite 520, St. Louis, MO 63101-1249. If you need to reach one of our attorneys, you can still contact us by phone (314-732-1127 or 888-365-0445), e-mail, or visit us on Facebook. Stay tuned for more information on our new office!

May 2020

The attorneys and staff Schuchat, Cook, and Werner hope you are staying safe and well. We remain available to discuss matters with you, research answers to questions, and strategize with you about how to best serve you during this extraordinary time. For information on the latest developments regarding the rights of employees, unions, not-for-profit corporations, employee benefit plans, professional corporations and associations, and other employers.

Jim Singer’s efforts to confront and to take action to remedy the injustice of racism in the St. Louis region have resulted in an engaging and enlightening article, cowritten with Ellen Kunkelmann, that was published in the Spring 2020 edition of Gateway, The Magazine of the Missouri Historical Society. To read the article click here.

March 2020

The attorneys and staff Schuchat, Cook, and Werner hope you are well and taking recommended precautions.

We also want you to know that we remain available to assist as always. You can contact us by telephone, email, or video or phone conference if a meeting is not feasible. Some of our attorneys are working from home, but everyone is still able to discuss matters with you, research answers to questions, and strategize with you about how to best serve you during this extraordinary situation.

We are monitoring the rapidly evolving circumstances of COVID-19 and are here to help you as we all navigate this unprecedented situation. Most importantly, stay safe and well!

December 2019

Photo of Charles Werner, co-founder of Schuchat, Cook & Werner

We were saddened to learn that Charles Werner, one of the founders of our law firm, passed away Saturday morning surrounded by his loving family. Charles had recently celebrated his 90th birthday. Charles spent decades in the trenches with our union clients fighting the battles of Organized Labor, and had served in a number of leadership positions over the years including University City Councilman, Chair of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, Chair of the Labor and Employment Section of the American Bar Association, and President of Shaare Emeth Congregation. Charles will be deeply missed by all of the people whose lives he touched over these many years.

Schuchat, Cook & Werner is a full-service labor law firm. Our Super Lawyers are
nationally recognized for their work representing unions, employee benefit plans,
individual workers, and highly-compensated executives. They have years of
experience in their fields, and are dedicated to seeking justice on your behalf.

Contact us to speak to one of the firm’s lawyers if you have a legal concern.

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