Michel (Mitch) Baumeister, BA’66 (Flor), a renowned trial attorney for almost 30 years, has concentrated his practice in the field of aviation accident and mass tort litigation. In 1988, he co-founded with his wife, Lynn Samuels, the now-internationally recognized firm of Baumeister & Samuels, specializing in the fields of aviation, toxic tort and medical malpractice.
Combining his extensive trial background with more than 40 years of aviation experience as a pilot, Baumeister’s career has been dedicated to helping air-crash victims and their families receive proper and adequate compensation, as well as to making improvements in aviation safety. Baumeister & Samuels represented the families of many of the passengers killed on board the various planes hijacked on September 11, 2001, as one of three New York firms specializing in aviation disasters to handle the bulk of the cases.
Prior to his entry into private practice, Baumeister served as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan and assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. While serving as a federal prosecutor, he conducted an international investigation that resulted in the first successful tax-fraud indictment and verdict in the commodity futures field.
He is routinely contacted by the media for his analysis of aviation mass disasters and has made numerous appearances on both television and radio broadcasts in the U.S. and internationally. He is a contributing editor on aviation law for the New Jersey Law Journal, a member of the editorial board of the Aviation Litigation Reporter and adjunct professor of aviation law at Seton Hall University School of Law.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Baumeister received a JD from Seton Hall University School of Law and an LLM in international law from New York University School of Law.
Baumeister’s connections to FDU are extensive. He is a member of the Division III Hall of Fame (lacrosse) and a recipient of The PINNACLE and the Elia G. Stratis Award for Service. Baumeister became close friends with lacrosse coach Robert Shields and contributed his first major gift to FDU for the Shields Field campaign at the College at Florham. He is a major benefactor whose financial support has also been directed to the lacrosse program, the Stratis and McAdam scholarships and the Annual Robert T. Shields Devils Alumni Golf Outing. He has endowed a global MBA scholarship, established the Shields Memorial Fund and most recently has seeded the development of an academic aviation program at FDU.