Founding partner

Denis Shmidt

E:   P: 415-326-3558


P: 415-326-3558

Past Experience

  • Lewis & Llewellyn LLP
  • LA County District Attorney's Office
  • Sullivan & Cromwell LLP


  • UCLA School of Law
    • Juris Doctor
  • UC San Diego
    • B.S., Economics
    • B.A., Political Science


  • California
  • Ninth Circuit
  • Northern District of California
  • Central District of California
  • Southern District of California
  • Eastern District of California

Denis is a litigator and trial attorney in every sense of those words.  He has handled a wide range of matters, both in civil and criminal law, state and federal court, and inside and outside of California. Beyond conducting hundreds of hearings and spending thousands of hours in the courtroom, Denis has personally taken 17 jury trials to verdict.

Prior to founding Orsus Gate, Denis served as a Deputy District Attorney for the County of Los Angeles. In that role, Denis personally prosecuted thousands of criminals, conducted hundreds of hearings and argued hundreds of motions during all stages of litigation. He has also taken over a dozen criminal jury trials to verdict, ranging from misdemeanors to third-strike felony life cases.

Prior to the District Attorney's Office, Denis practiced at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.  Founded in 1879, Sullivan & Cromwell remains one of the most respected law firms in the country.  Its alumni include a Director of the CIA, a U.S. Secretary of State, a U.S. Attorney General, a Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and now, Denis Shmidt.

At S&C, Denis litigated several "bet the company" cases, including successfully representing a major shoe retailer which was facing over $300 million in damages and the possibility of insolvency, and representing a major shipping company before multiple federal courts and the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico.  He has also handled patent prosecutions, antitrust, trade secrets, class actions and derivative shareholder litigations.

Beyond his profession, Denis has always prided himself on his community involvement. In addition to his work as a Deputy District Attorney, he has represented victims of domestic violence in obtaining restraining orders, asylum and standing up to major institutions.  He has also worked for the NYU Brennan Center for Justice, sat on the board of two non-profits, and volunteered in East Los Angeles middle schools on behalf of Project LEAD and the Constitutional Rights Foundation.