Cafferty Clobes Meriwether & Sprengel LLP has earned a national reputation for thorough, effective advocacy on behalf of our clients. Our team of skilled and sophisticated litigators has been responsible for hundreds of cutting-edge cases in major industry sectors, including the airline, automobile, financial services, health care, technology and utility industries.
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Cafferty Clobes attorneys are well versed in the federal and state antitrust laws that protect the public interest by ensuring market competition. These laws allow private parties to file suit to recover damages for injuries caused by antitrust violations. Our firm has participated in antitrust litigation involving a variety of industries and has helped secure substantial settlements for the benefit of classes harmed by alleged anticompetitive practices.
Airlines. As co-lead counsel in litigation against the major airlines over an alleged conspiracy to fix the amount of commissions, we helped secure an $87 million settlement for the benefit of a class of travel agents.
Telecommunications. In cases alleging conspiracies to fix prices for cellular telephone service in California’s three largest markets, we served as co-lead counsel for classes of cellular telephone customers, helping to secure settlements worth more than $200 million in pricing benefits and consumer debt release.
Pharmaceuticals. We have served in leadership positions in numerous high profile antitrust class actions concerning widely prescribed prescription drugs. These lawsuits benefit consumers and third party payors by seeking to recover damages for the excessive costs imposed by anticompetitive conduct that blocked, delayed or restricted competition from lower-priced, generic versions of the branded drugs. Substantial settlements (aggregating nearly $580 million) have been approved in class actions concerning the drugs Augmentin®, Cardizem®, Coumadin®, Lorazepam, Clorazapate, Paxil®, Relafen®, Synthroid® and TriCor®, among others.
Retailing. Our participation in antitrust litigation against Visa and MasterCard helped secure a $3.3 billion settlement, plus widespread reforms and injunctive relief, for the benefit of retailers. The actions alleged that the credit card companies forced retailers to pay excessive prices for debit card transactions through an illegal “tying arrangement” that forced retailers to accept Visa and MasterCard debit cards in order to be approved to accept Visa and MasterCard credit cards.
Insurance. We serve as co-lead counsel in pending antitrust litigation alleging that insurance brokers and insurers conspired to allocate customers in a complicated scheme to maximize their own revenues at the expense of their customers. To date, more than $218 million has been recovered in settlements that have already been approved by the court. The approval process is underway for additional settlements worth $41 million.
Appellate Practice Group
Cafferty Clobes attorneys are experienced appellate advocates, having represented clients in federal and state appellate courts throughout the nation. The Firm is frequently engaged by trial court counsel to prosecute or defend appeals. The Firm’s attorneys are skilled appellate advocates, familiar with assimilating complex trial records and legal issues into cogent, powerful appellate briefs and effectively advocating for clients during oral arguments. The Firm has handled appeals in a wide range of practice areas, including antitrust, medical malpractice, construction, insurance, healthcare, employment, commodities, securities, consumer fraud and RICO.
Business Matters and Commercial Litigation
Cafferty Clobes provides high-quality legal representation to businesses and entrepreneurs. The Firm’s clients come from a wide-range of sectors, including commodities, securities, trading, medical supplies, clothing apparel wholesalers, physicians groups, restaurants and retailers. The Firm works closely with clients up-front to develop a successful strategy that fits – not just the issue at hand – but the client’s overall business objectives.
Cafferty Clobes Meriwether & Sprengel LLP has a proven record of success in prosecuting important claims on behalf of its business clients. The Firm works closely with clients at the outset of a dispute to analyze risks, draft cease-and-desist notices and responses and explore dispute resolution. Often, resolution before litigation is the best possible outcome. If litigation cannot be avoided, however, the Firm’s attorneys have extensive experience litigating in federal and state trial and appellate courts throughout the country. The Firm’s attorneys are skilled in all areas of business and commercial litigation, including breach of contract, commercial code issues, unfair trade practices, deceptive trade practices, anttrust laws, securities laws, commodities laws and more.
Cafferty Clobes Meriwether & Sprengel LLP offers a wide range of billing options for clients, including results-based contingency fee agreements and flat-fee or hourly billing agreements.
Consumer Fraud, Protection and Privacy
Cafferty Clobes’s class action litigation protects consumers from fraud, deceptive or harmful sales practices, unfair regulation and violation of their privacy rights. As lead counsel and co-lead counsel, we have secured numerous settlements compensating consumers in various industries for damages from such practices; and in several industries we have changed, or are working to change, the practices themselves.
Much of our antitrust litigation seeks to protect consumers from excess costs and prices imposed by alleged anticompetitive company conduct. Consumers of cellular telephone service and pharmaceuticals have received settlements providing hundreds of millions of dollars in pricing benefits, excess cost recovery and debt relief through class action litigation aimed at increasing industry competition. Settled lawsuits involving air travel, insurance premiums and a number of name brand prescription drugs target similar consumer benefits.
Our attorneys have substantial experience assisting financial services customers victimized by fraudulent sales practices. Our litigation aims at securing settlements for insurance policyholders who did not receive insurance they paid for, whose insurance was canceled unjustly and without warning, and who were victimized by policies that paid few benefits for the excessive premiums charged. Similarly we help compensate investors coerced or deceived by stockbrokers into purchasing fraudulent or misrepresented securities and other financial instruments, or who suffered losses from the illegal manipulation of commodities trading.
Consumer protection law for such technology-intensive industries as telecommunications and e-commerce continues to evolve, and Cafferty Clobes attorneys play a leading role. As co-lead counsel we secured monetary compensation and procedural change from e-commerce giant Amazon.com and its Internet service provider because they secretly collected personally identifying Amazon.com user information without consent–a settlement endorsed by the Federal Trade Commission.
Cafferty Clobes attorneys have been involved in numerous cases under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), passed by Congress to protect the interests of participants and beneficiaries in employer-sponsored pension and welfare benefit plans. For example, after the Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Corporation was placed in bankruptcy rehabilitation, we sued to recover benefits on behalf of all participants and beneficiaries in the company’s savings and investment plan. Our legal action under ERISA resulted in a $4.55 million settlement for participants and beneficiaries, and a compliment from Judge Harold Ackerman that we had done “a darn good job” on behalf of our clients. Similarly, attorneys of the firm assisted with a class action on behalf of over 25,000 retirees of Unisys Corporation concerning entitlement to retiree medical benefits. After trial, the court approved a partial settlement of nearly $73 million.
Cafferty Clobes represents insurance policyholders injured by the fraudulent and unfair business practices of insurance companies. Our class action suits challenge such unlawful company practices as misrepresenting policies as investment vehicles, providing inadequate or non-existent coverage on paid policies, and canceling coverage without warning. Our attorneys have secured multi-million dollar settlements in a number of these actions, and we have substantial lawsuits pending in state and federal courts.
Insurance class actions settled by our firm and attorneys from the firm frequently involve substantial compensation to class members. One example is our suit against the Pennsylvania Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association for claims arising out of the Executive Life Insurance Company’s failure to pay benefits and required payments to the company’s Pennsylvania policyholders brought a summary judgment, upheld on appeal, of $18 million.
Securities and Commodities Investor Protection
Cafferty Clobes attorneys have been prominently involved in significant class action litigation on behalf of securities and commodities investors and investor classes. Various federal and state statutes provide causes of action to investors injured by fraud, deceptive practices and market manipulation. Our attorneys and the firm, as lead or co-lead counsel, have used them to secure substantial settlements compensating investors.
Much of our litigation on behalf of securities investors has come against leading investment firms, including Merrill Lynch, Prudential Bache Securities, Nuveen Funds and Van Kampen Funds. These and others sold allegedly fraudulent or misrepresented speculative limited partnerships, closed-end mutual funds, real estate limited partnerships, and public securities offerings. We have also sued over patterns of deceptive conduct, as in a securities fraud and racketeering class action lawsuit against the penny stock sales practices of Blinder Robinson’s high-pressure “boiler room” operation that led to a $70 million judgment. Finally, we have participated in securities fraud class actions against the officers and directors of various companies, including Archer-Daniels-Midland, Caremark and Motorola.
On behalf of commodities investors injured by fraud or unlawful manipulation of commodities markets, our attorneys have participated in class actions securing multi-million dollar settlements involving the soybean and soybean futures markets. In another notable case, a $135 million settlement over Sumitomo Copper’s manipulation of the global copper market was one of the largest on record under the Commodities Exchange Act.
Cafferty Clobes attorneys have been involved in important shareholder derivative actions. In such actions, individual shareholders allege that management of a corporation has engaged in unlawful conduct to the detriment of the company. Upon satisfying certain procedural requirements, shareholders themselves may assert the right of the corporation against its management. The firm has help secure derivative settlements for companies such as General Electric and Structural Dynamics Research Corporation.
Whistleblower – False Claims (“Qui Tam”)
The Federal False Claims Act (“the FCA”) is designed to encourage private citizens (“whistleblowers”) who uncover the knowing submission of a false or fraudulent claim to the United States Government or one its agents to come forward by authorizing them to file a civil suit in the name of the United States, and reward them with a percentage of the recovery.
Cafferty Clobes’s attorneys are well versed in Qui Tam litigation. Our firm is committed to working with citizens to expose fraudulent acts against our government by individuals or corporations, and ensure they are held responsible for their actions.