Douglas Richards

Cohen Milstein (Washington), Cohen Milstein (New York)
Lawyer (Partner)

J. Douglas Richards is Managing Partner of Cohen Milstein’s New York office and a partner in its antitrust practice group. Mr. Richards has extensive expertise in class action practice and commercial litigation relating to diverse trade regulation issues, including antitrust and commodity regulation as well as related issues of patent law. Prior to joining Cohen Milstein in 2009, Mr. Richards served as head of the antitrust practice groups at two other leading class action law firms, and prior to that as Deputy General Counsel of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where he received a Special Service Award for exemplary accomplishment. His general preeminence in legal practice has been recognized by the leading peer review organizations, including by being named one of 22 Antitrust "Litigation Stars" nationally by Benchmark Plaintiff Litigation, by New York Super Lawyers (2012, 2011) and by receiving the highest available peer ranking from Martindale-Hubbell. He has written extensively about class actions, having twice authored chapters for books edited by the American Antitrust Institute covering complex issues of class action practice, as well as various law reviews and other publications. Leading antitrust organizations frequently recognize his expertise by inviting him to speak on wide-ranging issues of substantive antitrust law, civil procedure and class actions.

Linked author

Cohen Milstein (New York)

Articles

2879 Bulletin

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The US Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit vacates class certification order on ascertainability grounds in consumer false advertising case (Carerra/Bayer)

34

Purchasers of a diet supplement brought a class action asserting that Bayer falsely claimed that the supplement enhanced metabolism by including a green tea extract. The district court certified a class of purchasers in Florida. The Third Circuit vacated the class certification order and (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The US DC Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously overturns the district court’s order granting certification of a class of direct purchasers against four freight railroad companies (Rail Freight Fuel Surcharge Antitrust Litigation)

33

Railroad shippers brought a class action, asserting that four freight railroad companies that together comprised nearly 90% of the market for rail freight had participated in a conspiracy to impose rate-based fuel surcharges. The district court certified a class based on two regression models, (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The US District Court for the Southern District of New York certifies class for liability purposes only in a lawsuit brought against retail chain pharmacy (Jacob/Duane Reade)

34

Pharmacy store managers brought suit against a retail chain pharmacy, asserting that the pharmacy failed to compensate them for overtime in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The district court concluded that certification of the class for all purposes was inappropriate, under Comcast, (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The Southern District of California refuses to certify nationwide classes in nearly identical “all natural” cases brought against Kashi producers for false advertising (Astiana/Kashi)

30

Purchasers of Kashi food products brought a class action for alleged unfair business practices and false advertising, asserting that advertisements claiming Kashi products contained “nothing artificial” and were “all natural” were false and misleading. Defendants argued that the plaintiffs were (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The US District Court for Western District highlights the unique damages theory, which requires plaintiffs to “show that the method of calculating damages measures ‘only those damages attributable to that theory’ of injury asserted by the plaintiffs (Barfield/Sho-Me Power)

35

Missouri landowners brought a class action asserting that electric companies that had easements over their properties for the transmission of electricity had exceeded the scope of their easements, by also transmitting fiber optic communications through the properties in addition to electricity. (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The US Court of Appelas for the Sixth Circuit Sixth Circuit affirms class certification even for members whose product did not manifest the alleged defect (Whirlpool Litigation)

27

Purchasers of Whirlpool washing machines brought a product liability class action against Whirlpool, alleging that a design defect in many of the machines resulted in mold and mildew in the machines and foul odors in their homes. A class was certified as to liability issues, with proof of (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The US Southern District of New York holds that antitrust plaintiffs need not show that conspiracy is the sole inference from the evidence (Apple)

32

In this prominent case, the United States and 33 states and U.S. territories brought civil suits against Apple Inc. and five book publishing companies, alleging that they conspired and acted together, in violation of United States antitrust law, to cause the publishing industry to move from a (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The US Court of Appeals for the Eastern District Court of California states that if putative class members prove Medline’s liability, damages may be calculated based on the wages each employee lost (Barbosa/Cargill Meat Solutions)

63

Employees at a meat processing facility brought a class action claiming that required sanitary procedures deprived them of the benefit of the break time during which their employer required them to perform those procedures. Class certification was sought in connection with a proposed class (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The US Central District of California denies class certification on California law claims and grants class certification on New York law claims (Guido/L’Oreal)

22

Purchasers of a hairstyling product (“Serum”) from L’Oreal brought a class action, asserting that the product was flammable, that its flammability was not adequately disclosed, and that class members would not have bought the product had they known that it was flammable. On that basis, they (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The US Ninth Circuit reverses an order denying class certification of plaintiffs’ claim for pay discrimination based on national origin (Parra/Bashas)

41

Grocery store employees brought a class action alleging discrimination based on race and national origin. Defendants argued that there was no predominance of common questions, asserting that the Supreme Court’s Comcast decision precluded a finding of predominance because individual damage (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The US District Court for the Eastern District of Tennesse denies motion to dismiss in antitrust case brought against drug makers (Skelaxin -Metaxalone- Antitrust Litigation)

54

Plaintiff drug purchasers brought suit under federal and state antitrust laws, contending that the defendants had engaged in an unlawful scheme calculated to raise and maintain the prices of the drug Skelaxin through sham litigation, the filing of sham citizen petitions and unlawful horizontal (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The US District Court for the Northern District of California certifies class action underlying that the predominance element “does not require a plaintiff to prove that each element of her claim is susceptible to class wide proof” (Diamond Foods Securities Litigation)

36

Shareholders of a nut processing, marketing and distributing company brought a class action under the federal securities laws, asserting that the company had maintained artificially high share prices by understating the cost of walnuts. Defendants argued that the plaintiff had failed to (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The US Northern District of California denies class certification in high tech employees’ price-fixing lawsuit (High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation)

26

In a high-technology case, employees of various high-tech companies sued their employers for conspiring to restrict their salaries. 856 F. Supp. 2d at 1108. Many of the plaintiffs’ allegations mirrored those from earlier complaints that the Department of Justice filed against the same firms, (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The US Supreme Court holds that proof of materiality is not a prerequisite to certification of a securities-fraud class action (Amgen/Connecticut Retirement Plans & Trust Funds)

52

This case is not an antitrust case, nonetheless it has enormous precedential importance to class certifications in antitrust cases. Plaintiff securities purchasers brought suit under the federal securities laws, relying in order to establish common impact under Rule 23 on the (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The US District Court for the District of Kansas denies denying the defendant’s motions to exclude the testimony of the class plaintiffs’ liability expert (Urethane Antitrust Litigation)

31

In this recent decision, the court applied the well-known Daubert standards governing expert testimony admissibility in denying the defendant’s motions to exclude the testimony of the class plaintiffs’ liability expert. (The Court also denied the defendant’s motion to exclude the opinion of the (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The US District of Kansas clarifies the appropriate summary judgment standard for horizontal price-fixing of commodity products (Urethane Antitrust Litigation)

33

In this opinion, the court clarified the appropriate summary judgment standard to apply to the plaintiffs’ claims of horizontal price-fixing for commodity products, and then ruled on whether the plaintiffs had proffered sufficient evidence to get to trial under that standard. First, the court (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards US Eastern District Court of New York approves class settlement in a price-fixing lawsuit brought against Vitamin C manufacturers (Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation)

30

In determining whether to finally approve a class settlement reached with one defendant, the court considered the objections of several members of the proposed indirect purchaser settlement class regarding class counsel’s decision to forego a monetary distribution to the class and instead make a (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The US Southern District of New York addresses the question of standing for named class representatives (DDAVP Indirect Purchaser Antitrust Litigation)

21

When class actions in recent years have been brought asserting claims on behalf of indirect purchasers under state laws that have repealed Illinois Brick, defendants have frequently argued that named class representatives lack "standing" to assert claims in a class action under the laws of (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit applies the "filed rate doctrine" to electricity rates set by market-based auctions (Simon / KeySpan)

90

The Second Circuit was asked to consider whether the plaintiff, a retail consumer of electricity, could maintain an antitrust action against an electricity producer that allegedly agreed with its competitor to increase installed capacity prices and a financial firm that allegedly facilitated (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania certifies a class in a price-fixing conspiracy case against two leading blood reagent producers (Blood Reagents Antitrust Litigation)

26

The plaintiffs, who alleged a price-fixing conspiracy between two leading blood reagent producers, moved for class certification. The court began by noting its duty to perform a rigorous analysis and to find by a preponderance of the evidence that each requirement of Rule 23 had been satisfied (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overturnes the district court’s grant of summary judgment holding that the Matsushita standard does not apply in the presence of unambiguous price-fixing evidence (Publication Paper Antitrust Litigation)

27

The Second Circuit was asked to determine, among other things, whether there was enough evidence for a jury to find that the alleged agreement among competitors to raise prices actually caused the price increases that subsequently occurred. 690 F.3d at 65-66. While the Court conceded that it (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards US Ninth Circuit holds direct-purchaser antitrust plaintiffs lacked standing to seek damages for alleged antitrust price-fixing in the ATM services (ATM Fee Antitrust Litigation)

38

Having failed at obtaining federal standing to sue for damages under one exception to the Illinois Brick rule, the plaintiffs argued in the alternative that they had standing under the “ownership/control” exception to that rule. Again, the court disagreed. 686 F.3d at 756. The court found that (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The US Northern District of California denies motion to dismiss conspiracy claims with bilateral agreements (High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation)

23

In a high-technology case, employees of various high-tech companies sued their employers for conspiring to restrict their salaries. 856 F. Supp. 2d at 1108. Many of the plaintiffs’ allegations mirrored those from earlier complaints that the Department of Justice filed against the same firms, (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards US District Court for the District of New Jersey dismisses class action claims of price fixing brought by indirect purchasers against several magnesium oxide companies (Magnesium Oxide Antitrust Litigation)

52

In this horizontal price-fixing conspiracy case, the defendants argued that the plaintiffs’ complaint failed to adequately plead fraudulent concealment so as to toll the statute of limitations. In particular, the plaintiffs purportedly failed to plead (1) that the conspiracy was (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The US Central District of California rejects plaintiff’s market definition of live rock music concerts (Live Concert Antitrust Litigation)

28

This case illustrates the degree to which courts have become fundamentally confused in recent years about "market definition" concepts, with the consequence that cases increasingly are dismissed based on rejection of a plaintiff’s proposed product market definition, and expert analysis of market (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The US Northern District Court of California recognizes indirect purchasers’ standing in cases where component products have little independent utility (Flat Panel Antitrust Litigation)

57

In re TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litig., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145935 (N.D. Cal. 2012) Even though many states have chosen to part company with federal antitrust laws by permitting antitrust standing for so-called "indirect purchasers" under state law — despite the holding of the Supreme (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The US Seventh Circuit clarifies the standards trial courts should use in evaluating expert testimony submitted in connection with class certification (Mesner/Northshore Univ. Health)

46

In this opinion overturning the district court’s denial of class certification, the Seventh Circuit clarified the standards trial courts should use in evaluating expert testimony submitted in connection with class certification. The plaintiffs filed a motion seeking to exclude the defendant’s (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The US District Court for the District of Idaho issues an advisory opinion denying motion to dismiss antitrust conspiracy claims against potato grower cooperatives in US several states (Fresh and Process Potatoes Antitrust Litigation)

918

In this case the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants conspired to reduce the supply of potatoes. 834 F. Supp. 2d at 1148. The conspiracy allegedly began when potato growers formed a cooperative to increase the price of potatoes by agreeing to limit potato planting acreages and by paying (...)

Christopher J. Cormier, Douglas Richards The US Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit approves a classwide settlement against a diamond distributor in abuse of dominance lawsuit (Sullivan/DB Investments)

35

This case involved indirect purchaser claims under various state antitrust laws, arising from allegedly monopolistic conduct by DeBeers that was alleged to have increased diamond prices worldwide. Objections were raised to the settlement, principally on the basis that diversity of available (...)

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