LovellStewartHalebianJacobson

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FIRM NEWS

In re: Platinum and Palladium Commodities Litigation 10-cv-3617 (S.D.N.Y.)–On July 15, 2014, the Honorable William H. Pauley III preliminarily approved the Futures Plaintiffs’ partial settlement of this action with (a) the Moore Capital Defendants for $48,400,000, and (b) Defendant Joseph Welsh for a judgment of $35,000,000 in respect of the negligence claim against him collectable solely from his personal assets consisting of his rights against certain insurers. Defendant MF Global, Inc. is not part of the proposed settlement. Lovell Stewart is sole lead counsel for the Futures Plaintiffs in this action. Persons who traded in NYMEX platinum futures contracts and/or NYMEX palladium futures contracts during the time period June 1, 2006 through April 29, 2010 should save their relevant trading records because they may file claims to participate in this proposed settlement. Please check this website and the settlement website for updates regarding the proposed settlement. The settlement website is http://platinumpalladiumfutureslitigation.com. Contact Christopher M. McGrath, Esq. (CMcGrath@lshllp.com).

Precision Associates, Inc. et al., v. Panalpina World Transport (Holding) LTD. et al, 08-cv-0042 (E.D.N.Y.)–On June 27, Plaintiffs filed a motion seeking preliminary approval of settlements with Defendants Panalpina, Geodis, DSV, and Jetspeed for an immediate cash payment of $44 million plus additional sums to be paid from proceeds from another litigation. Lovell Stewart is co-lead counsel in this action. Class Members can find additional information on https://www.freightforwardcase.com Contact Benjamin M. Jaccarino, Esq. (Bjaccarino@lshllp.com).

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Antitrust

The Firm has extensive trial experience and is the only Plaintiffs’ law firm of which it knows to try, in the Southern District of New York, a price fixing claim and successfully obtain a favorable jury verdict.  Strobl v. New York Mercantile Exchange, 582 F. Supp. 770 (S.D.N.Y. 1984) (upholding jury verdict and denying judgment notwithstanding the verdict), aff'd, 768 F.2d 22 (2d cir. 1985) (same) cert. denied sub nom., Simplot v. Strobl, 474 U.S. 1006 (1985).  In Strobl, the U.S. Department of Justice decided not to bring claims under the federal antitrust laws regarding the conduct at issue, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) had lost a trial seeking to prove manipulation at issue.  Nonetheless, the Firm tried and won claims for price-fixing and manipulation in a three week jury trial before then Chief Judge Lloyd F. MacMahon).  

Since successfully trying Strobl, the Firm has been privileged to serve repeatedly as Court-appointed class counsel in antitrust class claims, including with respect to claims on which billions of dollars have been recovered for the members of various classes.

The Firm has particularly extensive experience in antitrust claims in the exchange context or of commodity prices. Thus, Bloomberg Markets magazine reported:

“To classify Pacific Investment Management Co. [managed by CEO and founder Bill Gross] as a large mutual fund family does it little justice.  Its $747 billion in bond assets almost matches the gross domestic product of Australia . . . . Pimco has found itself up against a formidable opponent in [Christopher] Lovell.  What [Bill] Gross is to the world of bonds, [Christopher] Lovell is to commodities-manipulation and price-fixing lawsuits.”

Seth Lubove and Elizabeth Stanton, Pimco Power in Treasuries Prompts Suits, Bloomberg Markets, February 20, 2008. 

In one of these actions, the Firm, as Court-appointed co-lead counsel, obtained what then was the largest class action settlement in the history of the antitrust laws.  In re NASDAQ Market-Makers Antitrust Litig., 187 F.R.D. 465, 471 (S.D.N.Y. 1998)(a class action resulting in an “all-cash [$1.027 billion] settlement, achieved through ‘four years of hard-fought litigation,’ apparently is [at that time] the largest recovery (class action or otherwise) in the hundred year history of the state and federal antitrust laws”). 

The Firm has argued repeatedly in courts of appeal and once before the U.S. Supreme Court on antitrust issues including, for example: 

  • Billing v. Credit Suisse First Boston Ltd., 287 F.Supp.2d 497 (S.D.N.Y. 2003) (dismissing complaint), vacated, 426 F.3d 130 (2d Cir. 2005) (“epic Wall Street conspiracy”) (vacating dismissal and remanding for further proceedings), reversed, 127 S.Ct. 2383 (2007);
  • Starr v. Sony BMG Music Entm’t, 592 F.3d314 (2dCir. 2010), cert. denied, 131 S.Ct. 901 (2011) (“Digital Music”) (first decision by a court of appeals reversing a decision on Twombly grounds);
  • Strobl supra (after the Department of Justice decided not to bring price-fixing claims under the federal antitrust laws and the CFTC had lost at trial charges of attempted manipulation, the Firm tried, and won and successfully upheld on appeal claims for price fixing and manipulation in a three-week jury trial).  
  • In re Microsoft Litigation, M.D.L. No. 1332 (U.S.D.C. Dist. Md.); (nationally consolidated class actions alleging long term unlawful maintenance of a monopoly and other anticompetitive conduct by Microsoft.)

In addition to commodity price fixing and exchange related claims, the Firm has also been privileged to serve as class counsel in other cases alleging the price fixing of luxury goods or services.  For example: 

Precision Associates, Inc. et al., v. Panalpina World Transport (Holding) LTD. et al, 08-cv-0042 (E.D.N.Y.).  The Firm is Court appointed co-lead counsel. Defendants representing approximately one third of all Defendants’ market share have settled, so far, resulting in partial settlements of $134,000,000 in this action. 

Leider v. Ralfe, No. 01 Civ. 3137 (S.D.N.Y., later transferred to D.N.J.).  The Firm filed the first action alleging price-fixing and monopolization by DeBeers in the non-industrial diamond market in violation of the antitrust laws.  The Firm successfully certified a class.  The Firm then prosecuted the class claims through almost the conclusion of an evidentiary hearing on injunctive relief.  On the day before the scheduled conclusion of the trial, proposed settlements were agreed upon.  As later amended, the injunctive relief against De Beers immediately took effect; total settlements in this action and the other class actions with which Leider was consolidated in the District Court of New Jersey were $290,000,000.  Lovell Stewart’s trial of the injunctive claim in Leider was a principal cause of the timing and terms of the DeBeers diamonds settlements.

In re Auction Houses Antitrust Litig., No. 00 Civ. 0648 (LAK) (S.D.N.Y.).  As interim co-lead counsel, the Firm prepared and upheld against dismissal the antitrust complaint alleging fixing of auction house fees and prepared the successful class certification motion.  In re Auction Houses Antitrust Litigation, 193 F.R.D. 162 (S.D.N.Y. 2000)(LAK) (granting class certification of these claims for alleged price-fixing in violation of the antitrust laws).  An auction on who would serve as counsel was then held.  The counsel who prevailed in that auction, without any significant further prosecution of the claims, settled the case for $512,000,000.

In re Brand Name Prescription Drugs Antitrust Litigation, No. 94 C 897 (N.D.Ill.).  A senior partner of the Firm served on the Executive Committee and performed extensive work on claims alleging price-fixing in violation of antitrust laws.  The claims resulted in partial settlement of $696,667,000 in cash, with additional benefits.  After that attorney left the Firm, the remainder of the claims were taken to trial which was unsuccessful.   At the time it was made, the partial settlement was the second largest settlement in the history of the federal antitrust laws.

         

In re Dynamic Random Access Memory ("DRAM") Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1486 (N.D.Cal.).  The Firm was appointed to the Executive Committee in these class action claims alleging price-fixing of computer memory in violation of the federal antitrust laws and have resulted, so far, in settlements of in excess of $313,000,000.