- Comments of the Section Cochairs
- Steering Committee Meeting and Welcoming Reception
- Recap of Recent Section Activities
- Section Notes and News
- Steering Committee
- Introductory Remarks - Lewis Bernstein Memorial Lecture
Comments of the Section Cochairs, Don Resnikoff and Tracy Rezvani
Many thanks to those who agreed to stand for election to the Antitrust and Consumer Law Section Steering Committee in June. The names of steering committee members, including newly–elected members, appear at the end of the newsletter, along with their committee assignments.
The coming year promises to be a rewarding one. We will be pursuing advocacy programs and public programs, some of which will relate to our advocacy efforts.
Our advocacy programs include mortgage foreclosure fairness, including, among other things, concerns about foreclosures based on small amounts of unpaid taxes. Another advocacy interest of steering committee members is sufficient funding of local government consumer and antitrust enforcement agencies.
Some steering committee members are supporting legislative initiatives to encourage and facilitate nonprofit public interest litigation, and also to develop unit–pricing regulations to facilitate informed consumer choice.
Each of these advocacy interests offers a possible basis for a public program on relevant issues.
In addition, the section plans further “nuts–and–bolts” practice programs, mentoring programs for new attorneys, and, at the discretion of the U.S. Department of Justice, a Lewis Bernstein Memorial Lecture on a topic of antitrust interest.
Please feel free to contact any steering committee member with suggestions for programming and activities. We welcome your participation in the section’s committees and look forward to meeting you!
Tracy Rezvani and Don Resnikoff
Please join us as we welcome newly elected steering committee members. Also, learn more about the section and how you can become involved. We invite participation by all section members as well others with an interest.
Our goal is to invite suggestions and participation with regard to the coming year’s activities. Please send your RSVPs to Tracy Rezvani by October 24, 2012.
Our welcoming speaker will be George Slover, a new member of the steering committee with substantial legislative experience as a Congressional staffer and with the United States Department of Justice, Antitrust Division. He will discuss current legislative initiatives of the Antitrust and Consumer Law Section with the D.C. Council.
Recap of Recent Section Activities
The Antitrust and Consumer Law Section has enjoyed another successful year of providing our members and the general public with timely and interesting programs and activities. We have increased our efforts to partner with related organizations, including bar organizations (the Bar Association of the District of Columbia (BADC) and the American Bar Association (ABA)), local educational institutions (George Washington University Law School), and other groups (the American Antitrust Institute, the Alliance to Help Owners Maintain Equity “AT HOME” and DCConsumerRightsCoalition.org).
Our section was very involved in the annual Youth Law Fair, held in March and sponsored by the D.C. Superior Court and D.C. Bar sections. The section once again made a financial donation to the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program. We are very proud of our outreach on all fronts and will continue to commit further time and resources to these efforts.
In January 2012, we hosted a Mentor–Mentee event at the D.C. Bar, where we matched experienced lawyers with less experienced mentees. Participants were enthusiastic about the conversation, collegiality and light refreshments. We intend to continue to host mentoring/networking events for students and junior attorneys with an interest in antitrust or consumer law.
In March 2012, we put on a number of exciting programs.
March 1, 2012: We worked with the American Bar Association to present a program on Most-Favored-Nation Clause agreements among health insurers and hospitals in metropolitan areas.
March 30, 2012: We cosponsored the Department of Justice’s annual Lewis Bernstein Memorial Antitrust Lecture. We were honored to have the Vice President of the European Commission, Joaquín Almunia, as our speaker this year.
April was a busy month for us as well.
April 3, 2012: We presented a program at the D.C. Bar where our panelists discussed recent developments in mandatory arbitration decisions: Concepcion, CompuCredit, Marmet Healthcare, and In re D. R. Horton, Inc. The significance of these cases stretched across practice areas and garnered considerable interest.
April 18, 2012: We organized a program exploring the opportunities and risks presented by federal agencies’ “whistleblower” programs, many of which offer monetary compensation to whistleblowers providing information leading to successful enforcement actions. The event was held at the offices of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in downtown D.C. We continued to present great programs into the month of May.
May 1, 2012: We hosted a Nuts–and–Bolts of Antitrust program, where former FTC Commissioner William Kovacic and Michael Brockmeyer provided an overview of Section One and Section Two of the Sherman Act, Section Five of the FTC Act, and civil and criminal antitrust theories and examples. The event took place at the D.C. Bar.
Planning for Part II of the program is currently underway. Our section’s commitment to community outreach and pro bono efforts continues to be strong. In March, our section participated in the Youth Law Fair cosponsored by D.C. Superior Court and sections of the D.C. Bar.
In May, the section also supported the outreach efforts of the Alliance to Help Owners Maintain Equity (“AT HOME”), which advocates for D.C. attorneys to revisit how the District’s foreclosure laws are implemented, particularly the potential for extreme adverse impacts against the elderly, who have lost their homes for nominal amounts of unpaid taxes. The section issued a letter in support of AT HOME’s efforts and garnered the cosponsorship of two other sections.
The section collaborated with DCConsumerRightsCoalition.org to get these useful forms and instructions posted to a website that is accessible from our section webpage.
The section also donated $3,000 to the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program, in keeping with our section’s history of supporting pro bono work.
In August, section member Reid D. Henderson volunteered at an Advice & Referral Clinic held at Bread for the City. Many thanks to Reid for his time and dedication.
Section Notes and News
The section has the dual mission of serving practitioners in the fields of antitrust and competition law as well as those practicing in the areas of consumer protection and trade regulation law. The section steering committee is proud of the fact that our newsletter continues to be a resource for generating new members while keeping current members informed of section activities and upcoming programs.
The section also updated both the Antitrust and Consumer Protection chapters of the D.C. Practice Manual. Our thanks go to steering committee members Steve Vieux, Grace Kwon, Don Resnikoff and Tracy Rezvani for their work on the chapters.
Finally, Nadine Jones will be rotating off her duties as section cochair, although she will continue to serve on the steering committee for the remainder of her term. We thank her for excellent work as cochair.
The section continues to be fiscally responsible and ended its 2011–2012 year in the black. We expect the same result this year. We endeavor to maintain financial stability while continuing to provide valuable programs for our members at moderate cost, as well as making donations to worthwhile organizations.
The steering committee members and their responsibilities are as follows:
Cochairs: Tracy Rezvani and Don Resnikoff
Financial Officer: Nadine Jones
Public Statements: George Slover
D.C. Practice Manual Coordinator: Robert Hauberg
Listserv Email List Coordinators: Don Resnikoff and Tracy Rezvani
Community Outreach: Wendy Weinberg
Newsletter: Don Resnikoff
Consumer Law Chair: Tracy Rezvani and Wendy Weinberg, Vice Chair
Antitrust Committee Chair: Don Resnikoff and Robert Hauberg, Vice Chair
Nominating Committee Chair: Nadine Jones
Membership Coordinator: Daniel Ducore
Internet Coordinator: Don Resnikoff
Continuing Legal Education Coordinator: Steve Vieux
View contact information for these section leaders.
Introductory Remarks—Lewis Bernstein Memorial Lecture
Following are the introductory comments of John Shenefield delivered at this year’s Lewis Bernstein Memorial Lecture. John Shenefield supervised Lew when John was AAG for Antitrust, and Lew was Chief of the Antitrust Division’s Special Litigation Section.
There are a few reasons we are including this article as an addendum to the Newsletter. One is that the comments of someone who knew Lew added an important personal touch to the Bernstein Lecture, and helped make this section cosponsored event a success.
Also, our newsletters have, in the recent past, included substantive articles, such as Don Resnikoff’s article discussing funding for the District of Columbia’s antitrust agency. The editors find John Shenefield’s comments to be a moving tribute not just to Lew Bernstein, but to all those who dedicate their professional lives to public service. As John Shenefield said, Lew Bernstein was an exemplar, and it is wonderful that we’ve had regular events over the years to celebrate his kind of work. We hope you agree.
Vice President Almunia will in a few moments deliver this year’s Lewis Bernstein Lecture. The lecture is one of a series named for Lew Bernstein and dedicated to his memory.
And so I would like to say a few words about Lew Bernstein as lawyer, as public servant, as teacher, and as prime exemplar of the life of the law as an expression of human morality.
As a lawyer and prosecutor back in the mid-portion of the last century, Lew had a giant reputation. Long before I ever met him, I had heard plenty about him. In my first year of practice in Richmond, I worked on United States v. Container Corp. Lew was the government’s chief trial counsel and he had developed a truly innovative case. Indeed the Supreme Court ultimately built its majority opinion on what by then had come to be known as the “Bernstein theory.” But long before that climactic ending, Lew was urging the defendants to join him in preparing the case for trial in a stripped-down, efficient way, a rifle instead of a shotgun. Before they acquiesced in his approach, which they finally did, though somewhat reluctantly as I recall, I remember many meetings in which the dozens of defense counsel began and sometimes ended their strategy sessions with an analysis of Lew Bernstein as litigator, with acknowledgement of his reputation for fairness and square dealing as an opponent, with wariness about his creativity and resourcefulness as an adversary, and finally with genuine and nervous puzzlement about what Lew really had up his sleeve.
As usual, the truth, when you finally came to know him, was both simpler and more complicated than it seemed. Simpler because throughout his long career, Lewis’ guiding inspiration was, after his family and his faith, the straight–line commands of excellence in all things, generosity with all people, and modesty and self–deprecating humor with himself. You had to work hard to discover that his career was a catalogue of the antitrust jurisprudence of his time which had been built, stone by stone, into the edifice we now take for granted: Schine Theaters, Jones & Laughlin Steel, American Pathologists, Pennsalt, Buffalo Press, National Malleable, Penn–Olin, Tetracycline, each one a foundation stone still in place today.
But the truth was also more complicated. He was more than a trial lawyer and section chief. He was also coach of his team, teacher of his juniors, psychologist for his staff, father–confessor to friends, comforter, stern taskmaster, lively companion, dedicated adviser whose domain ran from the airy precincts of policy to the gritty details of evidentiary objections and jury argument.
I first got to know Lew personally as a leader of the team that was then in its eighth year or so of the IBM litigation in the Southern District of New York. “Grace under pressure” is a phrase attributed I think to Grantland Rice, but it perfectly describes Lew’s imperturbable demeanor in that cockpit of controversy and confrontation. As he had been for years as chief of the Special Litigation Section, he was the central driving force, the cheerleader, and the mentor of the IBM trial staff.
I remember sitting with him one afternoon as he helped several younger lawyers prepare for the next day of trial, suggesting approaches for cross–examination, dispensing tips about courtroom tactics, always attentive to the morale and the well–being of his colleagues, working as hard as any, even though technically he had retired several years earlier.
As always, he led by example. And he was hands–on, quite literally the inspirational craftsman. No one who worked with him, for him, or against him will ever forget the experience.
And so I come to Lew Bernstein, the public servant. Here was a lawyer who loved the law and valued the profession and its traditions. But more than that, he was the quintessential public servant, a man who was willing to devote himself and his energies to the antitrust law, which he saw as the guarantor of our political and economic liberties. For him, public service was the highest calling. He served his country throughout his long career, from combat service with the Army in Europe in WW II to the highest reaches of prosecutorial stardom in the Justice Department, with every ounce of intellect, energy and dedication in him. He is in the mind’s eye of many of us what public service is all about.
And now I come to an aspect of Lew and his professional life that forces the bounds of prosaic language. Let me first say, quite simply, that he was a good man. For him the moral teachings of his faith became reality in his workaday world.
Many of us can still hear Lew’s voice telling us that something was simply not right, or that it was not fair. Sharper than any specific memory of Lew is the lesson we all learned from him, that morality and the practice of law are not polar extremes, as we are sometimes told, but are the connected twin pillars of the life of the law as it should ideally be lived and practiced.
All of us who are lawyers, whether in public service or private practice, indeed all of us as human beings, could pay Lew Bernstein no greater tribute than to seek to follow the example of this fine lawyer and truly good man.
Today we bring together here in this Great Hall, perhaps, the aspiring Lew Bernsteins of this generation, from Europe, from the U.S. and from across the globe. How pleased and proud Lew would be of this very special occasion.