(Daily Journal) The Joseph Saveri Law Firm was selected by the California Daily Journal to the “Top Boutiques in California 2018”: a Daily Journal contest that selected and profiled the top 20 boutique law firms in California. Earlier in 2018, the Firm was awarded by the Daily Journal as “Top Plaintiff Lawyers 2018” (Joseph Saveri and Steven Williams) and “Top 100 Lawyers 2018” (Joseph Saveri). The Firm is the only one in California to receive all three awards in 2018:
Since Joseph R. Saveri opened the doors in 2012 after a long career at Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP, his Firm has moved to a bigger office four times—most recently this year—as caseloads have grown and the attorney roster has expanded to 12, plus one of counsel. Also in 2018 Saveri for the first time added a partner: Steve N. Williams, formerly of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy LLP.
“Managing the growth has been a challenge as we continue to be busy and successful,” Saveri said. He and his team have generated more than $3 billion in settlements and successful resolutions for clients, he added. “Having a highly competent partner is important. An opportunity like this doesn’t come along often, and as I looked across the country at those doing complex antitrust and other commercial litigation I saw very few who can operate at the very highest level. Steve is one. It made a ton of sense for the Firm and I couldn’t pass it up.”
For his part, Williams said that while working for Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy he’d likely done as many consumer antitrust cases as any lawyer in the country. “I’ll continue with that, but I’m very hopeful I’ll do other things I find fulfilling.” As an example he named a new Class action filed in September on behalf of content moderators who claim their work at Facebook Inc. exposed them to psychological trauma. “They sit in a room for eight hours a day watching rapes and beheadings and suicides,” Williams said. “They end up with [post-traumatic stress disorder]. This is definitely a new area of law.” Scola v. Facebook Inc., 18-civ-05135 (San Mateo Super. Ct., filed Sept. 21, 2018).
Saveri advanced antitrust law with his landmark 2015 win before the state Supreme Court in a case that helped reverse a run of adverse rulings for the antitrust bar pressing restraint-of-trade claims. Courts had expanded the so-called rule of reason doctrine to block such claims unless plaintiff lawyers could show through detailed economic analysis that alleged antirust activity “unreasonably” restrained trade, a difficult undertaking. But in his antitrust Class action against Bayer Corp. over its antibiotic Ciprofloxacin, or Cipro, Saveri successfully contended that Bayer illegally shelled out pay-to-delay fees to a rival drugmaker to keep its competing generic off the market, allowing Bayer unfairly to charge consumers higher prices. The state high court reversed an appellate panel and held that pay-to-delay deals are subject to antitrust scrutiny under California law, limiting defendants’ rule of reason shield. In re Cipro Cases I & II, 61 Cal. 4th 116 (Cal. 2015). The decision returned the matter to a San Diego trial court, where it settled in January 2017 for $399 million on the eve of trial.
Importantly, Saveri said, he has been able to use the Cipro ruling in subsequent cases such as his claims that Endo Pharmaceuticals and others entered into an illegal pay-to-delay deal with a rival to keep a generic version of topical shingles patch Lidoderm off the market. In 2017 a Northern District judge certified a class; the case settled in early 2018 for $105 million shortly before trial. In re Lidoderm Antitrust Litigation, 3:14-md-02521 (N.D. Cal., filed April 3, 2014).
“We built on our Cipro success,” Saveri said. “Cipro was a groundbreaker for us. Now, we’ve just been appointed lead counsel in antitrust litigation in New York over Restasis,” a dry eye treatment, “and California’s Cipro rule will apply there because we represent California indirect purchasers.” In re Restasis Antitrust Litigation, MDL 2819 (E.D. N.Y., consolidated Jan. 31, 2018).
“We continue to move the needle and build on what came before,” Saveri said.
(Reporting by John Roemer)