AAI Presents 2016 Antitrust Enforcement Awards

The American Antitrust Institute (AAI) recognized leading legal practitioners and economists at the AAI 2016 Antitrust Enforcement Awards.  The Honorees were featured at a gala awards dinner on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 following the AAI’s Annual Private Antitrust Enforcement Conference.

Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement in Private Law Practice
Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
Hausfeld LLP
Susman Godfrey LLP
In re Municipal Derivatives Antitrust Litigation

In 2008, the team of filed the initial complaint in a massive MDL challenging alleged bid-rigging and market allocation schemes involving the sale of municipal derivatives throughout the United States.  This case was litigated concurrently with a DOJ criminal investigation. State attorneys general were also negotiating their own settlements on behalf of overlapping classes.  The Team was able to work with the state attorneys general in joint mediation sessions with some settling defendants and even joint settlement agreements. In 2016, the Team reached settlement agreements with the final remaining defendants, pushing the total settlement amount to $223 million. The litigation team included:  William Isaacson, Scott Gant, and Jonathan Shaw of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP; Michael Hausfeld, Megan Jones, Michael Lehmann, and Swathi Bojedla of Hausfeld LLP; and Marc Seltzer, Bill Carmody, Seth Ard, and Arun Subramanian of Susman Godfrey LLP.

Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement in Private Law Practice
Hausfeld LLP
Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP
Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman
Robins Kaplan LLP
In re Air Cargo Shipping Services Antitrust Litigation

The size, geographic scope, and significant recovery in this case make it a landmark.  The four co-lead firms worked for over a decade for victims of an alleged global conspiracy to inflate the prices of airfreight shipping services sold directly by major domestic and international air cargo carriers. The class recovered more than $1.2 billion for victims from more than 30 defendants. The litigation team included: Michael Hausfeld, Brent Landau, Melinda Coolidge, Hilary Scherrer, and Swathi Bojedla of Hausfeld LLP;  Robert Kaplan, Gregory Arenson, Elana Katcher, and Gary Specks of Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP; Howard Sedran, Austin Cohen, and Keith Verrier of Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman; and Hollis Salzman and Meegan Hollywood of Robins Kaplan LLP.

Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement in Private Law Practice
Edward Diver, Howard Langer, and Peter Leckman
Langer, Grogan & Diver P.C.
Garber v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball 
Laumann v. National Hockey League

These cases confronted a serious antitrust violation that had gone unchallenged for decades. Diver, Langer, and Leckman spent months investigating and planning the novel case.  They won significant precedents and the case ultimately concluded in landmark settlements that changed the way these and other sports leagues make their games available.  The settlements significantly reduced prices to millions of consumers and have been valued at more than $200 million. These cases benefited consumers, changed sports broadcasting, and generated several insightful, scholarly opinions that have improved antitrust law.  Their pioneering work has reinvigorated the application of the antitrust laws to sports broadcasting.

Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement in Economics
Einer R. Elhauge
Harvard Law School
Adriana M. Castro, et al. v. Sanofi Pasteur Inc.

Einer Elhauge served as the plaintiffs’ primary economic expert in this antitrust class action by physicians and other purchasers challenging loyalty commitments induced by bundled penalties in vaccine markets by Sanofi as a violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act.  Professor Elhauge provided insight and analysis to explain and demonstrate how bundled loyalty “discounts” (here, really penalties) stifle competition and harm consumers, even if a competitor continues to profit in the relevant market. His work in this case focused the Court on the proper analysis of harm to competition. The Court observed that Professor Elhauge was “eminently qualified” and recognized by various federal courts as an “antitrust titan.”

Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement in Economics
Leslie M. Marx
Duke University / Bates White Economic Consulting
Carpenter Co. v. BASF SE
Woodbridge Foam Corp. v. BASF SE
Dash Multi-Corp v. BASF SE

Leslie Marx served as the testifying expert on causation and damages for a coalition of eleven plaintiffs in In re Urethane Antitrust Litigation.  Professor Marx worked on behalf of plaintiffs who  purchased a variety of urethane chemicals, offering trial testimony about capacity manipulation and the presence of an effective conspiracy. Professor Marx was one of only two plaintiff witnesses who testified in person at trial, and her testimony provided significant support for the existence of a conspiracy.  Professor Marx’s testimony was undoubtedly a major factor in Dow’s midtrial settlement.

Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement in Economics
Carl Shapiro
University of California, Berkeley
Charles River Associates
Federal Trade Commission v. Staples, Inc. and Office Depot, Inc.

Carl Shapiro supported the FTC throughout its review
 of the proposed $6.3 billion merger of Staples and Office Depot. Professor Shapiro analyzed the competitive issues associated with the business-to-business sale and distribution of consumable office supplies and provided expert testimony in the FTC’s successful district court action enjoining the transaction. In his testimony, Professor Shapiro helped the court navigate through numerous complex economic issues. On each issue, the court’s decision relied on Professor Shapiro’s guidance, both in connecting facts and more importantly in providing a framework for analysis.  This resulted in a decision that is well grounded in economic theory and helps clarify merger review for future enforcers and antitrust counsel.

Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement in Economics
Michael D. Whinston
Massachusetts Institute of Technology / Bates White Economic Consulting
United States of America v. AB Electrolux, Electrolux North America, Inc., and General Electric Company

Michael Whinston provided three expert reports and trial testimony in support of DOJ’s challenge to the proposed acquisition by Electrolux of General Electric’s major appliance business. Professor Whinston’s testimony was an early and leading example of the upward pricing pressure methodology applied in the context of a litigated merger.  His testimony also helped advance the idea that targeted customers can be at risk of adverse competitive effects even within a larger market.

Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement by a Young Lawyer
Jeffrey Dubner
Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC
Garber v. the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball
Laumann v. National Hockey League

Mr. Dubner served in several essential roles in the consolidated cases. He served as the “right-hand” to the lead lawyers in the case. The Garber case settled just a week before trial, and Mr. Dubner had the responsibility of organizing the substantial evidence to be presented, while at the same time preparing pretrial briefs and preparing to examine witnesses at trial. He also argued a motion at the pretrial conference. Mr. Dubner recommended that plaintiffs retain Professor Einer Elhauge as a trial witness to rebut the economic experts defendants’ proffered, which proved an important strategic suggestion.

Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement by a Young Lawyer
Omar Ochoa
Susman Godfrey LLP
In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation

Omar Ochoa engaged in all of the Susman Godfrey trial team’s tasks and day-to-day operations and successfully briefed over a dozen motions to dismiss, which significantly impacted the course of the case. Mr. Ochoa briefed and argued the issue of whether foreign defendants’ conduct was subject to the federal district court’s jurisdiction under stream of commerce doctrine. Although multiple defendants argued they did not come under the court’s jurisdiction, Mr. Ochoa persuaded the court that the defendants had not only placed products in the stream of U.S. commerce, but knew that their products would be ultimately sold in the U.S.

Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement by a Young Lawyer
William V. Reiss
Robins Kaplan LLP
In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation

William Reiss has worked on the case since the first complaint was filed in late 2011.  He has been one of the leading architects in formulating the legal strategy and managing the day-to-day coordination for this litigation. Mr. Riess also played a critical role in coordinating the litigation efforts of the end-payor plaintiffs with various separate groups of plaintiffs, defendants, and state Attorneys General. He was instrumental in the success of end-payor plaintiffs in defeating defendants’ sometimes lengthy motions to dismiss that contained arguments under 30 separate state laws and the District of Columbia.  Through Mr. Riess’s leadership, the court repeatedly upheld virtually all of end-payor plaintiffs’ claims.

Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement by a Young Lawyer
Elizabeth Tran
Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP
In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation

Elizabeth Tran has actively worked on the case since inception. She led a coordination effort among at least seven different plaintiff groups, state Attorneys General, and over 50 defendant groups. Ms. Tran used her economics background to build a settlement methodology leading to more consistent results among the many differently situated defendants in the case.  This methodology enabled counsel to reach settlements that were adequate, fair, reasonable, consistent, and beneficial to the class.

2016 Judging Committee

  • Chair: Hollis Salzman, Robins Kaplan LLP
  • Ellen S. Cooper, Office of the Attorney General of Maryland
  • David DeRamus, Bates White Economic Consulting
  • Harry First, New York University School of Law
  • Kathleen E. Foote, California Department of Justice Antitrust Section
  • Warren Grimes, Southwestern Law School
  • Thomas Horton, South Dakota School of Law
  • Jeff Leitzinger, EconOne Research Inc.
  • Roberta Liebenberg, Fine, Kaplan and Black
  • Robert Litan, Korein Tillery
  • Milton Marquis, Cozen O’Connor
  • Ellen Meriwether, Cafferty Clobes Meriwether & Sprengel LLP
  • Janet Netz, ApplEcon
  • Cathy Smith, Gustafson Gluek
  • Judith Zahid, Zelle LLP