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The Antitrust and Unfair Business Practices Section sponsors programs and projects concerned with federal and state litigation practice, counseling, legislation, and regulatory activity, all as related to antitrust and complex business torts law (including merger-and-acquisition, unfair-competition and trade-regulation cases).




Upcoming Events 


Click HERE to view the LACBA Calendar, but check back here frequently for information about upcoming Antitrust and Unfair Business Practices Section events.


Past Events 


May 23, 2014: The Contest Behind the Contest: Antitrust and Personal Rights of Sports. The balance of rights between players and sponsoring organizations in both amateur and professional sports has long presented controversial issues. As teams battle on the field, attorneys are battling out antitrust, employment law, and right of publicity issues in the courts. This lunch program at Loyola Law School featured outstanding panelists Maxwell M. Blecher (Blecher & Collins); Carole E. Handler (Lathrop & Gage LLP); David W. Kesselman (Goldberg, Lowenstein & Weatherwax LLP); Daniel E. Lazaroff (Loyola Law School); Steven G. Sklaver (Susman Godfrey LLP); Alonzo B. Wickers IV (Davis Wright Tremaine LLP).




April 30, 2014: Restrictive Practices in Retailing and Distribution. This lunch program focused on distribution practices, including vertical price and non-price restraints. Our distinguished panelists were leading antitrust practitioners Don Hibner, Jr. (Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP); Benjamin Klein, Ph.D. (Compass Lexecon); Roxane A. Polidora (Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP); and Ronald C. Redcay (Arnold & Porter LLP). The panel was moderated by Eric P. Enson (Jones Day) and hosted at Jones Day, 555 S. Flower St., downtown Los Angeles.


January 24, 2014: Criminal Antitrust Defense Practice: Latest Developments and Panel Discussion. Our lunch panel on criminal antitrust defense featured Megan Dixon (Hogan Lovells); Sarretta C. McDonough (Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher); Kenneth R. O'Rourke (O'Melveny & Myers); and Daniel L. Zelenko (Crowell & Moring). The panelists discussed criminal practice from the defense perspective, covering both corporate and individual criminal representations. The program covered the latest developments in leniency programs, U.S. jurisdiction, cross-border investigations, statutes of limitations, and parallel civil actions.



December 10, 2013: Report from Official California. Our annual panel of leaders from each of the of the federal, state, and local government agencies actively engaged in antitrust and unfair business practices law enforcement in California featured Thomas N. Dahdouh, Federal Trade Commission; Kathleen Foote, California Attorney General's Office; Thomas A. Papageorge, San Diego District Attorney's Office; and Phillip H. Warren, San Francisco Field Office, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice. The distinguished panelists provided a briefing on the priorities and activities of their agencies, which was followed by a lively discussion with the audience.



September 11, 2013: Cross-Border Discovery: Issues in and Tips for Discovery in International Antitrust Cases. Our lunch panel on international antitrust featured Ben Bradshaw, O'Melveny & Myers LLP; Robert E. Lutz, Southwestern Law School; and Marc M. Seltzer, Susman Godfrey L.L.P. Antitrust law violations are often alleged to span countries and continents, and our panelists discussed discovery in these international antitrust cases. The program covered discovery from foreign entities, as well as differing privilege laws in the U.S. and foreign countries and the discoverability of submissions to foreign regulatory authorities.

Antitrust_photo_Sept_11_13_program

June 25, 2013: Current Developments at the Intersection of Antitrust and Patent Law. Our lunch panel on antitrust and patent law featured Bret Bocchieri of Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg; Sean Royall of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; and moderator Jonathan Barnett, USC Law School. The panelists discussed the latest issues at the intersection of antitrust and patent law, including recent developments concerning non-practicing entities, standard-setting, and drug patent settlements.

Antitrust_photo_June_24_2013_program

Antitrust_photo_June_24_2013_program

March 20, 2013: Agriculture and Antitrust: Explanations and Thoughts from Both sides of the Bar. This lunch panel featured Susan G. Kupfer, Glancy, Binkow & Goldberg LLP and Christopher E. Ondeck, Crowell & Moring, and moderator Anna M. Fabish, O'Melveny & Myers LLP. The Capper Volstead Act, a federal law providing antitrust law exemptions for qualifying agricultural cooperatives, has rocketed from obscurity into the center of several major nationwide class action litigations. The panelists discussed the main unsettled areas of the law from both a plaintiff's and a defendant's perspective, and the strategic and procedural considerations in representing Capper Volstead plaintiffs and defendants.

Antitrust_photo_March_20_2013_program

September 13, 2012: Is There Consumer Class Action Life After Concepcion and Dukes? One Year Later: The View of the Bench and Bar. This evening dinner panel featured Hon. William F. Highberger and Hon. Anthony J. Mohr, Los Angeles Superior Court; J. Michael Hennigan, McKool Smith Hennigan; Darrel Hieber and Virginia Milstead, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP; and Gail Lees, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP. Following up on a program one year before, the panelists addressed the probable effects of the U.S. Supreme Court's rulings in AT&T Mobility, LLC v. Concepcion and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes on consumer class actions in California. The panelists discussed the effects of these landmark decisions, how the law has developed, and what issues remain open.

May 9, 2012: Settling, Mediating and Arbitrating Complex Cases
This evening dinner panel featured Hon. Philip S. Gutierrez, United States District Court; Hon. Margaret A. Nagle, United States District Court; Hon. Dickran Tevrizian Ret., JAMS; Joseph W. Cotchett, Cotchett Pitre & Simon; Stephen G. Larson, Arent Fox LLP; Kenneth R. O'Rourke, O'Melveny & Myers LLP. The panel discussed ways to successfully settle, mediate, or arbitrate complex litigation.

February 9, 2012: Agreements Among Competitors to Share Revenues During a Labor Dispute Under California v. Safeway. This lunch program featured attorney from the CA Dept. of Justice, Jonathan M. Eisenberg, Jeffrey A. Levee from Jones Day, expert Thomas McCarthy for the defendants and expert Steven Stockum for the State. The panelists discussed the court's four separate opinions of this case in which leading Southern California supermarket chains participated in a revenue-sharing arrangement for the duration of a massive labor strike and lockout. The California Attorney General sued the supermarket chains for violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. The discussion included the proper analytical framework for evaluating alleged antitrust violations, particularly profit pools and horizontal market divisions, and the intersection of antitrust law and labor law.



November 8, 2011: Report from Official California. This lunch program at the L.A. Athletic Club brought together top officials from the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, the Federal Trade Commission, the California Attorney General's Office's Antitrust Law Section, and the San Diego District Attorney's Office for a briefing on the priorities and activities of the federal, state, and local government agencies engaged in antitrust and unfair business practices law enforcement in California. Speakers included Phillip H. Warren, the top U.S. Department of Justice antitrust enforcement official in California, Jeffrey A. Klurfeld, regional director for the FTC on the West Coast, Kathleen E. Foote, senior state antitrust enforcement official in California, and Thomas A. Papageorge, special prosecutor in the Economic Crimes Division of the San Diego District Attorney's Office.

September 30, 2011: Personal Foul or Slam Dunk: Sports Leagues Confront Antitrust and Labor Issues. The lunch program at LACBA's offices featured four attorneys at prestigious law firms, Maxwell M. Blecher, Carole E. Handler, Al Latham, and John Shaeffer, and an antitrust law professor, Steven Semeraro, discussing the often adversarial intersection of antitrust and labor issues, and the related strategies underlying the present disputes between the NFL and the NBA and their respective players' associations. The all-pro panel offered a play-by-play recap of events to date focusing on decertification/certification actions of player associations, summarized the litigation highlights, explained the issues, and tried to predict the final outcome.

July 19, 2011: Is There Consumer Class Action Life After Concepcion? The View of the Bar about the Impact of AT&T Mobility, LLC v. Concepcion and Wal-Mart, Inc. v. Dukes. This program featured two Los Angeles County Superior Court judges, Hon. Anthony J. Mohr and Hon. William F. Highberger, one leading consumer-protection county prosecutor, Thomas A. Papageorge, and three distinguished private-practice lawyers, J. Michael Hennigan, Darrel J. Hieber, and Virginia F. Milstead, reflecting both plaintiff and defense orientations, discussing the likely impact of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in AT&T Mobility, LLC v. Concepcion as it pertains to consumer class actions in California, particularly in cases brought under California's Unfair Competition Law (Bus. & Prof. Code 17200 et seq.) The panel discussed also the likely impact of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, particularly as it relates to class-action certification standards. The program was held at the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP.

April 11, 2011: Joint Ventures and Brand Licensing Following American Needle. This lunch program at LACBA's offices featured an antitrust law professor, Warren S. Grimes, and three attorneys – Carole E. Handler, Maidie E. Oliveau, and Jason D. Russell – at prestigious law firms, discussing the recent landmark U.S. Supreme Court antitrust decision, American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League, and its emerging implications for the antitrust analysis of both joint ventures and joint intellectual property licensing programs, and for sports antitrust issues generally. The panelists provided insightful commentary regarding anticipated and actual results from the application of American Needle to cooperative ventures, IP licensing enterprises, and branding efforts within the world of professional sports and beyond.


Prof. Warren Grimes, Jason Russell, Maidie Oliveau, Dan Flores, and Carole Handler

March 10, 2011: Clayworth vs. Pfizer, Inc. Rejected the Pass-on Defense, or Did It? This lunch program at LACBA's offices featured a top defense-side attorney, Ronald Redcay of Arnold & Porter, a top plaintiff-side attorney, Bonny Sweeney of Robbins, Geller, Rudman & Dowd, and economist Jonathan Tomlin, of Navigant Consulting, discussing the implications of one of the California Supreme Court's most important antitrust law opinions of the last decade. Clayworth rejected the general availability of the "pass-on" defense for an entity accused of violating the Cartwright Act and the Unfair Competition Law, but also tried to prevent duplicative monetary recoveries by direct and indirect purchasers of goods and services with prices artificially inflated because of antitrust violations. The program was an expert explanation of the case.

November 4, 2010: Report from Official California. This lunch program at the L.A. Athletic Club brought together top officials from the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, the Federal Trade Commission, the California Attorney General's Office's Antitrust Law Section, and the San Diego District Attorney's Office for a 1.5-hour briefing on the priorities and activities of the federal, state, and local government agencies engaged in antitrust and unfair business practices law enforcement in California. Speakers included Phillip Warren, the top U.S. Department of Justice antitrust enforcement official in California, Jeffrey Klurfeld, regional director for the FTC on the West Coast, Kathleen Foote, senior state antitrust enforcement official in California, and Tom Papageorge, special prosecutor in the Economic Crimes Division of the San Diego District Attorney's Office.



October 7, 2010: What You Should Know About Price Discrimination Laws. This lunch program at LACBA's offices discussed the complex federal and California price-discrimination laws, emphasizing how attorneys can and should advise corporate clients in complying with these laws. The presentation included discussion of the recent Bay Guardian below-cost-pricing case. The speaker, Harvey Saferstein, has advised companies on price-discrimination laws and publicly lectured widely on the subject; he also has testified before the U.S. Congress's Antitrust Modernization Commission on the topic. Mr. Saferstein is a former president of the State Bar of California, a former Los Angeles regional director of the Federal Trade Commission, and the current managing member of Mintz Levin's Los Angeles office.

June 11, 2010: "Windows Into Washington" with David Balto: A Discussion of Hot Topics in Antitrust. David Balto, one of the nation's preeminent antitrust experts, provided a quasi-Washington-insider's report on current developments and hot topics in antitrust law. Topics included the Federal Trade Commission's recent enforcement matters, "reverse payments," antitrust immunity for health-care providers, and differences between the U.S. Supreme Court's and federal antitrust agencies' analysis of antitrust law and policy. Mr. Balto is a former high-ranking official in both the U.S. Department of Justice and the FTC.



May 26, 2010: The Comcast/NBC Universal Merger: Frightening Media Consolidation or Good for Competition? This panel discussed the likely business-competition effects of the proposed joint venture between two large entertainment industry companies, Comcast and NBC Universal. The panelists included Tim Winter, Parents Television Council; Daniel Swanson, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher; and Jonathan Tomlin, LECG.



April 15, 2010: The Intersection of Criminal Antitrust Enforcement and Civil Litigation. Panelists Kate Patchen, U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, San Francisco Field Office; Hon. Stephen Larson (Ret.), Girardi & Keese; and Kenneth O'Rourke, O'Melveny & Myers, discussed issues and tensions that arise in parallel antitrust criminal investigations, civil class actions and opt-out cases in federal and state courts. The program covered follow-on civil litigation in the wake of criminal proceedings, USDOJ intervention and requests for stay, discovery implications of the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act, and the Fifth Amendment and guilty pleas.

April 1, 2010: Spring Is a Time to Be Social. The Section held an evening reception with food and drinks at the L.A. Athletic Club for members and others interested in antitrust and unfair competition laws to meet and become acquainted.

February 25, 2010: Report from Official California.
This program brought together top officials from the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, the Federal Trade Commission, the California Attorney General's Office's Antitrust Law Section, and the San Diego District Attorney's Office for a 1.5-hour briefing on the priorities and activities of the federal, state, and local government agencies engaged in antitrust and unfair business practices law enforcement in California. Speakers included Phillip Warren, the top U.S. Department of Justice antitrust enforcement official in California, Jeffrey Klurfeld, regional director for the FTC on the West Coast, Kathleen Foote, senior state antitrust enforcement official in California, and Tom Papageorge, special prosecutor in the Economic Crimes Division of the San Diego District Attorney's Office.

December 8, 2009: Fair Fighting Over Jobs: Unfair Competition Law and Employer-Employee Relations. Private-practice attorneys Daniel Flores, Dan Forman, and Cheryl Orr discussed "fair fighting over jobs," i.e., issues at the intersection of employment law and unfair competition law.

October 6, 2009: Need a Light? Understanding Voter Limits on Unfair Competition Actions After Tobacco II. A discussion of the California Supreme Court decision In re Tobacco II and its implications for class and individual actions under California's Unfair Competition Law was conducted by Los Angeles Superior Court Presiding Judge Charles W. McCoy, Jr., who co-founded and later led the Los Angeles Complex Litigation Court; a top class-action plaintiffs' attorney, Kimberly Kralowec, of Schubert Jonckheer Kolbe & Kralowec, who is author and publisher of the popular blog The UCL Practitioner; and a highly-regarded defense attorney, Gail Lees, of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, who has more than twenty-five years of experience in class actions, many involving unfair-competition claims.

September 29, 2009: Reception for Tom Papageorge. In the fall of 2009, Tom Papageorge, a long-time Section member and former chair, relocated from Los Angeles to San Diego. Formerly the head deputy district attorney for the Consumer Protection Division of the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office, Tom has become a professor at the University of San Diego School of Law, supervising the school's externship program, tries consumer-protection and antitrust cases as a special prosecutor for the San Diego District Attorney's Office, and works as general counsel to the Center for Public Interest Law. We are tremendously grateful to Tom for his exceptional service and wish him all the best with his new responsibilities. We look forward to continuing to work with him in the future.

Tom's friends from his distinguished career, including Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley and members of the Section, hosted a reception at the Jonathan Club in Los Angeles, honoring Tom for his many contributions to the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office, the Los Angeles legal community, and the public at large.

Tips for Your Practice 

Proposals for Changes to Rules of Court: Additional installments are underway and will be circulated for public comment before they are submitted to the Judicial Council for adoption. View any amendments to court rules now out for comment.

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