Background - Practices (Details)

Class Actions


Representative Engagements

  • Dismissal for Amazon in e-books class action. Won dismissal for Amazon in a putative class action filed against Amazon and six major publishing houses on behalf of brick-and-mortar booksellers alleging conspiracy as well as monopolization and attempted monopolization by Amazon. Plaintiffs contended that the publishers conspired with Amazon to use DRM (digital rights management software) to limit the devices on which electronic books sold by Amazon can be read, thereby restraining competition in e-books.
  • Ritalin consumer fraud class actions. Represent defendant American Psychiatric Association in a high-profile series of class actions alleging fraud in the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and marketing of Ritalin as the treatment. These cases are being pursued by the same plaintiffs' attorneys responsible for the tobacco, gun, and HMO litigations. We oversee litigation strategy in the class actions and are responsible for trial work as well.
  • Coumadin consumer fraud cases. Represent DuPont Pharmaceuticals in a series of consumer fraud and antitrust class actions directed at DuPont's promotion and marketing of a pharmaceutical product. In more than three years of litigation in a dozen state and federal courts and a multi-district litigation (MDL)  proceeding, we have obtained dismissals of several state and federal cases on statutory, interstate commerce, and First Amendment grounds and defeated a state court motion to certify a nationwide class under state consumer protection statutes. We have teamed with major law firms in California and Illinois to coordinate an effective nationwide defense of the class claims.
  • Automotive rollover class actions. Represented Chrysler in a proposed nationwide class action in Maryland state court on behalf of owners of Jeep "CJ" vehicles alleging economic loss claims based on the vehicles' alleged rollover propensity. We succeeded in defeating class certification, and the case was dismissed.
  • Microsoft race discrimination litigation. Represent Microsoft Corporation in a federal court action in which the plaintiffs seek to represent a nationwide class of African Americans employees. The complaint alleges employment discrimination in Microsoft's hiring, promotions and compensation practices. This case exemplifies the firm's experience in complex employment law litigation.
  • Fiber optic right-of-way class actions. Serve as national coordinating counsel for Class I Freight Railroad in a series of class action lawsuits against railroads and telecommunications companies (AT&T, Worldcom, Qwest, etc.) seeking damages as the result of the installation of fiber optic cable on railroad right-of-way. Corridor litigations have been filed in some 30 states.
  • First Union securities litigation. Represent First Union and several executive officers in a series of consolidated class actions pending in the Western District of North Carolina. Plaintiffs allege that defendants violated the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws by concealing integration problems First Union was allegedly experiencing in the aftermath of its acquisitions of CoreStates Financial Corporation and The Money Store, Inc.
  • Securities and Antitrust. Represent First Union and A.G. Edwards in a purported class action filed in Florida federal court. Plaintiff brought this securities and antitrust suit on behalf of all municipalities and local government units that purchased U.S. Department of the Treasury securities from the defendant brokerage firms for defeasance in "advance refunding" transactions. Brock v. Merrill Lynch, et al.
  • Ignition switch nationwide class actions. Represent United Technologies Automotive, Inc. in nationwide product liability class actions stemming from what was at the time the largest automotive manufacturer recall in United States history. The putative class actions were filed in more than a dozen courts involving an ignition switch manufactured by UTA and used in Ford vehicles. We have successfully defeated class certification on three separate occasions.
  • Cellular phone late fee class litigation. Represent SBC in a series of consumer class actions filed in Maryland state court alleging excessive late fees for billing payments. We have taken the lead in organizing a joint defense group of cable, wireless, and other communications company defendants sued in similar lawsuits.
  • Voice of America sex discrimination litigation. On the plaintiffs' side, we successfully prosecuted a 13-year class action on behalf of a group of women who sued the U.S. Information Agency for gender discrimination in hiring at the Voice of America. This litigation was resolved with a one-half billion dollar settlement, the largest ever under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • Prescription drug antitrust litigation. Defended DuPont Merck against a nationwide class of retail pharmacies alleging antitrust claims in federal and state courts. DuPont Merck was the only defendant drug manufacturer to prevail on summary judgment in the lead case.
  • Alleged airline price-fixing class action. Represented Northwest and Continental Airlines in federal court against a nationwide class of airline passengers alleging price-fixing by all major domestic airlines.
  • Environmental class action. Represented one of the six largest government contractor defendants in the Hanford litigation in Washington state regarding alleged personal injuries and property damage from radioactive contamination of air, water, and soil.
  • Construction delay and scope disputes. Representing the owner and developer of fossil fuel power plants in the United States in a case concerning construction delay and scope disputes. The matters involve interpretation of key construction and financing contract clauses which are used throughout the industry.
  • Construction complex litigation. Representing the contractor in complex litigation arising out of the construction of a multimillion dollar training facility for a large labor union. Faced with numerous owner-imposed delays and failures to make payments, our client sued the owner, the project architect, and approximately 20 individual trustees of the union trust in Los Angeles Superior Court. Our matter has been consolidated with approximately two dozen separate lawsuits brought by subcontractors and suppliers who also have payment issues with the project owner.
  • Public owner representation. Represented a public owner in action by contractors challenging default termination of two subway contracts and asserting over $40 million in claims, resulting in award to client of $16.5 million pending further proceedings. Mergentime v. Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority, 116 F.3d 1260 (D.C. Cir. 1999).
  • Site conditions claim. Successfully represented Tenn-Tom Constructors, a joint venture in settlement of a multi-million dollar differing site conditions claim arising from construction of a section of the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway. Tenn Tom Constructors, (ENG BCA 986).
  • Siemens litigation. Represented Siemens in a dispute against an Italian company under the AAA complex commercial contract rules concerning alleged deficiencies in performance of power generation equipment designed, manufactured, and installed by Siemens in two power generation facilities.
  • Monopolization claims. Defending a construction company in federal suit alleging monopolization claims involving pricing and sham regulatory proceedings.