Fine, Kaplan and Black, R.P.C.

Practice Areas

Antitrust

Since its inception, the firm has been involved in many of the most significant antitrust class actions litigated in the federal courts. Our attorneys have broad experience in class action procedure, complex discovery management, antitrust economics, expert preparation, criminal antitrust litigation, and trial practice. We've served as the principal drafters of important merits, class certification, and appellate briefs in dozens of antitrust matters. We represent both plaintiffs and defendants, and are available to counsel clients in all areas of antitrust law, including criminal amnesty issues, patent/antitrust litigation, regulatory proceedings, and state competition law. Our representative matters include:

  • In re Urethane [Polyether Polyols] Antitrust Litigation, 2012 WL 6610878 (D. Kan. Dec. 18, 2012), a pending multidistrict price-fixing action in which the firm serves as co-lead counsel for a putative class of direct purchasers. Settlements totaling $139 million have been reached with three defendants. The litigation against the remaining defendant has been tried before a jury resulting in a verdict for plaintiffs in excess of $400,000,000 against The Dow Chemical Company. After post-trial briefing, the Court entered judgment for $1.06 billion after trebling the largest antitrust judgment in 2013 and the largest price-fixing verdict ever. While on appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States, Plaintiffs reached an agreement to settle the case against Dow for $835 million. Combined with earlier settlements, the total settlements reached in the case are $974 million.
  • United States v. Stolt–Nielsen S.A., 524 F. Supp. 2d 609 (E.D. Pa. 2007), a case involving important issues relating to the Department of Justice's Antitrust Amnesty Program, in which the firm successfully represented an executive charged with criminal violations of the antitrust laws. The firm litigated the matter through a three–week bench trial in 2007, obtaining an extraordinary result when the court dismissed the charges against our client on the basis of an amnesty agreement.
  • Standard Iron Works v. ArcelorMittal, et al., 639 F. Supp. 2d 877 (N.D. Ill. 2009), an antitrust class action in which the firm is one of two co–lead counsel. The complaint alleges that the major U.S. steel producers conspired to restrict artificially the supply of new steel, thus fixing the prices of steel products throughout the United States.
  • In re Aftermarket Filters Antitrust Litigation, 2009 WL 3754041 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 5, 2009), a multidistrict price–fixing action in which the firm serves as co–lead counsel for a putative class of direct purchasers of aftermarket oil, air and fuel automotive filters, and achieved a settlement of $18 million.
  • In re Metoprolol Succinate Antitrust Litigation, C.A. No. 06-cv-71 (D. Del.), an antitrust class action in which the firm was Co-Lead Counsel, and achieved a settlement of $11 million for end-users who paid too much for a prescription drug.
  • Love Terminal Partners L.P. v. City of Dallas, 527 F. Supp. 2d 538 (N.D Tex. 2007), a complex antitrust matter in which the firm represented defendant Southwest Airlines in a case alleging an unlawful agreement relating to airline competition. We achieved a favorable result when the trial court dismissed the case, with prejudice, on defendants' motion to dismiss.
  • In re Copper Antitrust Litigation, 528 F. Supp. 2d 908 (W.D. Wisc. 2007), a complex antitrust matter in which the firm represented several of the largest copper purchasers in the United States in litigation alleging futures market manipulation and manipulation of the global price of copper. The case settled favorably, on the eve of trial, in May 2007. The settlement amount is confidential.
  • In re Remeron End–Payor Antitrust Litigation, 2005 WL 2230314 (D.N.J. Sept. 13, 2005), an antitrust class action in which the firm was Co–Lead Counsel, and achieved a settlement of $36 million for end–payors who paid too much for a prescription drug.
  • In re Linerboard Antitrust Litigation, 305 F.3d 145 (3d Cir. 2005), a horizontal price–fixing class action against the major manufacturers of corrugated containers, in which two members of the firm served on Plaintiffs' Executive Committee. Settlements in the fall of 2003 resulted in a recovery in excess of $202.5 million for the benefit of the class.
  • In re NASDAQ Market–Makers Antitrust Litigation, 187 F.R.D. 465 (S.D.N.Y. 1998), a large, complex multidistrict price–fixing class action in which a member of the firm was Plaintiffs' Co–Lead Counsel. A class of more than a million class members was certified by the Court, and the case ultimately settled for a recovery of more than a billion dollars.
  • In re Lorazepam and Clorazepate Antitrust Litigation, 2003 WL 2203774 (D.D.C. 2003), an antitrust class action in which we were co–counsel for the class of direct purchasers. The Court, in approving a $35 million settlement for our class, characterized counsel as "among the best and most experienced antitrust litigators in the country."
  • In re Microcrystalline Cellulose Antitrust Litigation, M.D.L. No. 1402 (E.D. Pa.), a price–fixing action involving the sale of microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), which settled for $50 million. The firm served as one of the co–chairs of discovery.
  • In re Vitamins Antitrust Litigation, M.D.L. No. 1285 (D.D.C.), a massive international price–fixing class action, in which the firm served as a member of Plaintiffs' Executive Committee. Settlements resulted in a recovery for the class in excess of $325 million.
  • In re Polypropylene Carpet Antitrust Litigation, 93 F. Supp. 2d 1348 (N.D. Ga. 2000), a horizontal price–fixing class action involving the carpet industry, in which the firm was co–counsel for the class, resulting in a recovery of nearly $50 million.
  • In re Commercial Explosives Antitrust Litigation, 945 F. Supp. 1489 (D. Utah 1996), a large, complex multidistrict price–fixing class action in which a member of the firm was Discovery Co–Chair for the plaintiff class. The case was settled for a recovery of more than $77 million.
  • In re Drill Bits Antitrust Litigation, C.A. No. H–91–627 (S.D. Tex.), a complex price–fixing class action in which a member of the firm was on the Plaintiffs' Trial Team, resulting in a recovery of $53.4 million.
  • Swarthmore Radiation Oncology, Inc. v. Lapes, 1993–2 Trade Cas. (CCH) 70,443 (E.D. Pa. 1993), an antitrust group boycott case in which the firm represented the plaintiff and achieved a favorable settlement on the eve of trial.
  • In re Domestic Air Transportation Antitrust Litigation, 137 F.R.D. 677 (N.D. Ga. 1991), a complex antitrust price–fixing class action, in which the Court appointed one of the firm's members as Plaintiffs' Co–Lead Counsel, resulting in a settlement valued by the Court at $458 million.
  • Transamerican Refining Corporation v. Dravo Corporation, 130 F.R.D. 70 (S.D. Tex. 1990) ("Specialty Steel Piping Antitrust Litigation"), an antitrust action in which the firm and its co–counsel obtained a $50 million settlement for the plaintiff class.
  • Meredith v. Mid–Atlantic Coca–Cola Bottling Co., 129 F.R.D. 130 (E.D. Va. 1989) ("Virginia Soft Drinks Antitrust Litigation"), a price–fixing action in which the firm, as one of the principal counsel for plaintiffs, obtained class certification and a settlement for 100% of damages, after prior similar actions (brought by others) had failed.
  • Mead Data Central v. West Publishing Co., No. C–3–87–426 (S.D. Ohio 1987); and West Publishing Co. v. Mead Corporation, 799 F.2d 1219 (D. Minn. 1986). The firm, with co–counsel, represented West Publishing Company in two courts as both counterclaim defendant and plaintiff in a massive antitrust battle with Lexis, and ultimately achieved a very favorable settlement for West.
  • In re Corrugated Container Antitrust Litigation, 1983–2 Trade Cas. (CCH) 65,628 (S.D. Tex. 1983), a seminal price–fixing class action in which a member of the firm was one of the principal trial counsel for the plaintiff class that obtained $500 million in settlements after a four month jury trial resulted in a verdict for the class.

Other Class Actions

The firm handles a wide variety of other class actions. We have litigated cases alleging breaches of form contracts, breaches of fiduciary duties, securities fraud, common law fraud, and violations of statutes and regulations such as the federal fair–credit and RICO statutes, and state consumer protection and insurance regulations. Recent examples include:

  • In re Terrapin Express, Inc. v. Airborne Express, Inc., No. 11–199–01536–05 (AAA 2007), a class–wide arbitration in which the firm represented a class of independent contractors alleging systematic underpayment and breach of contract. In June 2008, a panel of arbitrators approved a $24.75 million settlement (the largest recovery in AAA class arbitration).
  • Cummings v. Stewart Title, No. 00747 (Phila. Com. Pl. 2005), a class action in which the firm represented consumers alleging that a major title insurance company overcharged its customers in violation of rate schedules filed with state insurance regulators. The case resulted in the distribution of more than $4 million to thousands of property owners in Pennsylvania.
  • Baker et al. v. Family Credit Counseling Corp. et al., No. 04–CV–5508 (E.D. Pa.), a class action asserting claims under the Credit Repair Organizations Act, RICO, and common law torts and breach of contract. The firm and one other firm litigated the matter on behalf of plaintiffs and obtained a favorable settlement providing monetary and injunctive relief for the class.
  • Parsky v. First Union Corp., 2001 WL 535786 (Phila. Com. P1. 2001), a class action alleging breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty against First Union Corp., arising out of First Union's conversion of its common trust funds to shares of its in–house mutual funds. The firm litigated the matter, and in 2003 achieved a settlement in excess of $23 million for the benefit of the class.
  • In re Providian Financial Corp. Credit Card Terms Litigation, M.D.L. No. 1301 (E.D. Pa. 2001), a large consumer fraud class action in which a member of the firm was Plaintiffs' Co–Lead Counsel, and achieved a $105 million recovery for the benefit of the class.
  • Sutton v. Independence Medical Service Association of Pennsylvania, et al., 1994 WL 246166 (E.D. Pa. 1994) ("Blue Cross/Blue Shield"), an ERISA and fraud class action in which the firm was Plaintiffs' Lead Counsel and obtained a class action settlement including full damages and equitable relief, greatly improving the extent to which Blue Cross/Blue Shield pay major medical benefits.

Complex Commercial Litigation

The firm has significant experience, as well, in other complex commercial litigation on both the plaintiff and defense sides. We have handled cases in a variety of legal areas, including legal malpractice, breach of contract, director and officer liability, and other kinds of business disputes. In addition to handling litigation, the firm provides research and advice to clients contemplating — or trying to avoid — litigation. Some representative cases include:

  • Mid–Valley Candy Co. v. Pratt, et al., No. 2002–09346 (Pa. Com. Pl.). The firm represented the defendants in this action alleging legal malpractice, civil conspiracy, tortious interference with business relations, and wrongful use of civil proceedings. The Court granted our client's motion for judgment on the pleadings on three of the plaintiffs' four counts. The case settled favorably in 2007 after our client's motion for summary judgment was filed on the remaining count.
  • Martin v. Ball, et al., No. 5:o6–CV–85 (N.D. W.Va. 2006), a complex legal malpractice action in which the firm served as counsel in a case involving challenges to a class action settlement agreement.
  • Amplifier Research Corp. v. EM Test AG, No 05–5954 (E.D. Pa. 2005). The firm successfully represented a foreign defendant sued in Pennsylvania state court. The firm removed the case to federal court, obtained an order denying plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction, and obtained dismissal of the case on the pleadings pursuant to an arbitration clause.
  • Harleysville Mutual Ins. Co. v. GE Reinsurance Corp., 2002 WL 922148 (E.D. Pa. May 6, 2002), a complex contract litigation in which we won summary judgment for our plaintiff client less than six months after the action was filed.
  • In re Allegheny Health, Education & Research Foundation, No. 98–2577 (W.D. Pa.). The firm successfully represented a former executive of the Allegheny Health System as a defendant in a variety of civil proceedings in federal and state trial courts, and in a federal bankruptcy court. The firm also represented the client successfully in connection with a variety of government investigations concerning the financial collapse of the Allegheny Health System.
  • Petroleum Fermentations, Inc. v. Pennie & Edmonds, CA. No. 93–5396 (S.D.N.Y.), a complex legal malpractice case in which the firm successfully represented a specialty chemical company in litigation against its former patent firm.
  • Northeast Jet Co. v. Lehigh–Northampton Airport Authority, et al., 767 F. Supp. 672 (E.D. Pa. 1991). A member of the firm successfully represented Defendants in RICO, antitrust, 1983, and other claims against an airport authority, the chairman of its board, and the airport's executive director. All claims were dismissed on summary judgment before trial.
  • Stainton v. Tarantino, 637 F. Supp. 1051 (E.D. Pa. 1986). The firm successfully represented a partner of a prominent Philadelphia law firm as a Defendant in RICO litigation, and obtained a defense verdict after a month–long jury trial.

Special Education and Pro Bono

  • One of the firm's partners, Michael Basch, devotes his practice entirely to representing disabled children and their families in special education proceedings.
  • In re Frascella Enterprises, Inc., 349 B.R. 421 (Bkrtcy. E.D. Pa. 2006). In conjunction with Community Legal Services of Philadelphia and the law firm of Langer & Grogan, P.C., the firm served as pro bono co–counsel to a class of Pennsylvania residents victimized by "payday lending," a practice in which loans were issued to low–income citizens at very high (and allegedly unlawful) rates of interest. The case settled favorably in 2007.
  • Among other pro bono engagements, the firm represents children and foster children in Philadelphia family court; provides estate planning and document preparation for low–income seniors living in Philadelphia; and handles immigration hearings and appeals in federal court. In addition, attorneys at the firm have represented clients on a pro bono basis in election–law and civil rights litigation.
  • In 2007, working with several public interest organizations, Adam Pessin litigated an immigrants' rights case all the way to the New York Court of Appeals. Mr. Pessin briefed and argued the matter before New York's highest court.