Gordon Schnell

Gordon Schnell has been a partner of Constantine Cannon since 1999, specializing in the representation of whistleblowers under the False Claims Act, the SEC whistleblower provisions under the Dodd-Frank Act, and the vast array of other federal and state whistleblower laws.  He founded the firm’s whistleblower practice and with more than 20 whistleblower lawyers in the firm’s four offices in the United States and Europe, it has grown into one of the largest and most successful whistleblower practice groups in the world.  Mr. Schnell also litigates and counsels clients on a wide variety of antitrust, fraud and other complex commercial litigation issues.  He practices at all levels of federal court and regularly represents clients before the Department of Justice, the various state attorneys general, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other federal and state enforcement agencies.

Mr. Schnell graduated from Columbia University School of Law in 1991 as a Stone Scholar, and from Tufts University in 1986, summa cum laude, with a degree in electrical engineering and physics.  He also attended the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship.  Mr. Schnell is a two-time recipient of the N. Hobbs Knight Prize Scholarship in Physics, is listed in the International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers, and has been selected repeatedly to the Thomson Reuters listing of New York Super Lawyers.

Mr. Schnell writes and speaks extensively on whistleblower, fraud and antitrust issues and has been featured in US News and World ReportCNNHuffington PostBusiness Insiderthe HillGlobal Competition Review, European Competition Law Review, Competition Policy International, National Law Journal, and New York Law Journal, among other national, legal and industry publications. He is routinely interviewed and quoted in major business publications across the country, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, CNNBloombergUSA Today, Newsweek and NPR.  Prior to joining Constantine Cannon, Mr. Schnell was associated with the international law firm Coudert Brothers.  Prior to law school, he worked briefly as an electrical engineer for Westinghouse.

Notable Representations:

  • US ex rel. Lacey v. Visiting Nurse Services of New York.  Mr. Schnell recently secured a $57 million settlement for his whistleblower client and the United States in this qui tam action against VNSNY, one of the largest home health care agencies in the country.  The case alleged VNSNY failed to provide patients all the critical visits and services their doctors prescribed in patient Plans of Care.  It is the first reported False Claims Act settlement involving allegations of a home health agency failing to follow patient Plans of Care.  It also is the largest non-kickback False Claims Act settlement ever against a home health care company and the second largest settlement of any home health care fraud case.  Read more about the settlement hereSee 2017 WL 5515860.
  • US ex rel. Krahling v. Merck.  Mr. Schnell currently represents two virologists formerly employed at Merck who have brought a qui tam action under the False Claims Act, alleging Merck has defrauded the government through (i) Merck’s ongoing failure to disclose and efforts to conceal the alleged significantly diminished efficacy of its mumps vaccine, and (ii) Merck’s continued sale to the government of a vaccine that it allegedly falsely represents as having an efficacy rate significantly higher than it actually is.  Mr. Schnell defeated Merck’s motion to dismiss and the case is currently pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  See 2014 WL 4407969.
  • US ex rel. Ormsby v. Sutter Health.  Mr. Schnell currently represents a former compliance specialist formerly employed at Sutter, one of the largest hospital systems in the country, who brought a qui tam action under the False Claims Act, alleging Sutter and its affiliates defrauded the government as part of its Medicare Part C program, known as Medicare Advantage. The complaint alleges Sutter submitted inaccurate and unsupported medical information which artificially inflated the reimbursement Medicare provides for Sutter’s Medicare Advantage patients. In December 2018, the United States announced its decision to intervene in the case.  And in March 2020, the Court denied Sutter’s motion to dismiss the complaint.  See 2020 WL 1590521.  The case is currently pending in the Northern District of California.
  • Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. et al. v. Visa U.S.A., Inc. and MasterCard Int’l Inc.  Mr. Schnell represented Wal-Mart, Sears, Safeway and a class of roughly 5 million U.S. merchants in this antitrust class action against Visa and MasterCard.  After the plaintiffs won summary judgment on a majority of the claims in this action, the parties settled with the plaintiffs recovering $3.05 billion and injunctive relief valued by the court at tens of billions of dollars more.  This landmark victory remains one of the largest antitrust settlements in U.S. history.  See 297 F. Supp. 2d 503, aff’d 396 F.3d 96.
  • US ex rel. Spay v. CVS CaremarkMr. Schnell represented Senator Charles Grassley in writing and filing an amicus brief in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the district court’s dismissal based on its finding of a “government knowledge inference” from generalized knowledge of an industry practice.  Senator Grassley was the principal Senate sponsor of the 1986 amendments to the False Claims Act as well as a sponsor of the many additional amendments that followed, all designed to substantially strengthen the statute and correct questionable court decisions which improperly limited the Act’s reach.
  • US ex rel. Beeson v. Rose Cancer Center.  Mr. Schnell represented Kristi Beeson who reported Medicare fraud violations at her former employer Rose Cancer Center in Mississippi.  Ms. Beeson, who was a laboratory technician for the clinic, brought a qui tam action under the False Claims Act against the clinic alleging, among other things, unqualified technicians performing bone marrow biopsies, diluting chemotherapy drugs, and doctoring patient records to conceal the clinic’s fraudulent Medicare billings.  The physician who owned and ran the practice, Dr. Meera Sachdeva, pleaded guilty to various Medicare fraud violations, forfeited $5.7 million, and is now serving a 20 year prison sentence for her crimes.
  • Sealed Whistleblower Matters.  Mr. Schnell is currently handling or investigating (or has recently done so) numerous whistleblower matters under the False Claims Act and SEC/CFTC whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act involving one or more of the following subject areas: Commodities/Securities Manipulation; Failure to Comply With Government Requirements/Standards; False Government Certifications; Financial Services Fraud; Government Contracting Fraud; Government Grant Fraud; Government Overcharges; Illegal Kickbacks; Illegal Upcoding; Medicare/Medicaid Fraud; Medicare Part C Fraud; Monopolization; Price-Fixing, Securities Fraud; Selling Defective Products; and Providing Unqualified, Unnecessary Healthcare Services.
  • Supreme Fuels v. IOTC.  Mr. Schnell represented Supreme Fuels, a multinational government/military supply contractor, in an antitrust/RICO action relating to the company’s loss of a $1 billion contract to supply fuel to the U.S. troops in Iraq.  The case was settled shortly after Mr. Schnell defeated the defendant’s motion to dismiss the case.  See 2009 WL 5128504.
  • Kearse v. Kaplan, Inc.  Mr. Schnell represented Kaplan in a proposed class action alleging a per se illegal market allocation agreement between Kaplan and BAR/BRI involving their respective LSAT and bar review prep courses.  Mr. Schnell successfully dismissed the action on the pleadings.  See 692 F. Supp. 2d 398.
  • Cherny v. Emigrant Bank.  Mr. Schnell represented Emigrant Bank in a proposed class action challenging certain conduct relating to the bank’s online banking practices.  Mr. Schnell successfully dismissed the action on the pleadings.  See 604 F. Supp. 2d 605.
  • Funeral Consumers Alliance et al. v. Service Corp. Int’l. et al.  Mr. Schnell represented a consumer rights group and individual consumers in a price-fixing/group boycott challenge against the three largest funeral home chains and largest casket maker in the U.S.  Mr. Schnell successfully argued before the Fifth Circuit Court of appeals to reverse the district court’s dismissal of this action.  See 695 F.3d 330.
  • Kesmai Corp., et al. v. America Online, Inc. et al.  Mr. Schnell represented The News Corporation subsidiary Kesmai Corporation in this antitrust and fraud action against the former America Online.  This case settled on the eve of trial after Mr. Schnell defeated America Online’s motion to dismiss the case on summary judgment.
  • Dolan et al. v. Fidelity National Titles Ins. Co.  Mr. Schnell represented numerous consumers in this price-fixing challenge to the collective setting of New York title insurance rates by the country’s four largest title insurance companies.  Subsequent to the filing of the complaint and its front page coverage in the Wall Street Journal, more than 75 “copycat” actions were filed in numerous jurisdictions throughout the country.

Gordon Schnell's Publications & Speeches

Incoming HHS Secretary Becerra will be a champion for whistle-blowers

Constantine Cannon attorneys Gordon Schnell and Max Volman were published in the San Francisco Chronicle, Incoming HHS Secretary Becerra will be a champion for whistle-blowers. ...

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Wanted: A Corporate Crimebuster at the DOJ

An article by Gordon Schnell and Max Voldman was published in The Crime Report on why Sally Yates would be a good choice to replace...

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Why the federal government must toughen standards for future CARES Act relief | Opinion

Constantine Cannon whistleblower lawyers Gordon Schnell and Max Voldman published in the Tennessean on the need for more government (and whistleblower) scrutiny on the CARES...

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Commentary: Include insurance fraud in whistleblower reward program

Constantine Cannon whistleblower lawyers Gordon Schnell and Max Voldman published in Albany Times Union on the need for New York to expand its whistleblower rewards...

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A Better Approach to Fighting Fraud in West-Virginia: Bring in the Whistleblowers

Whistleblower attorneys Gordon Schnell and Max Voldman were published in The Dominion Post, A Better Approach to Fighting Fraud in West-Virginia:  Bring in the Whistleblowers. ...

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Whistleblowers could bring in money for Kansas. Why did lawmakers say no?

Gordon Schnell and Max Voldman were published in the Kansas City Star.  Their article questions why Kansas rejected proposed legislation that would have added a...

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Let the whistles blow: Never mind the Trump administration; listen to those calling out wrongdoing

Gordon Schnell and Max Voldman were published in the Daily News. (5/9/2020).  Click here to read more.

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Coronavirus Relief Bill: We Must Guard the Floodgates of Fraud

The Globe Post publishes op-ed by Gordon Schnell and Max Voldman, Coronavirus Relief Bill: We Must Guard the Floodgates of Fraud.  (April 17, 2020)

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It looked like charity but it was actually big pharma's way to keep drug prices high

Op-Ed by Gordon Schnell and Max Voldman published in The Star Ledger.  Click here to read more.

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Data analysts: a new kind of whistleblower to ‘catch a rogue’

STAT publishes Op-Ed by Gordon Schnell and Max Voldman, Data analysts: a new kind of whistleblower to ‘catch a rogue’. Click here to read more.

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What's missing from the debate about 'Medicare For All'? Combating billions in healthcare fraud

FierceHealthcare publishes article by Gordon Schnell and Max Voldman. Click here to read more.

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What Happens to Whistleblowers When the Government Doesn't Intervene?

Constantine Cannon partner Gordon Schnell writes opinion piece for the New York Law Journal on the impact on whistleblowers of the Supreme Court’s recent False...

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Government’s heightened fraud focus necessitates provider action

Senior Living publishes article by partner Gordon Schnell and Leah Judge.  Click here to read the article.

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New FBI Whistleblower Protections Could Not Have Come At A Better Time

Forbes publishes article by Partner Gordon Schnell and associate Phillip Brown.  (June 13, 2017)

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Why you should care about National Whistleblower Appreciation Day

The Hill (August 22, 2016) Click here to read the article.

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Anatomy of an IRS Phone Scam

Think Advisor (July 6, 2016) Click here to read the article.

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Trump University: A Foreboding

US News and World Report, (April 28, 2016) Click here to read the article.

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New Clarity On FCA Public Disclosure Bar For Whistleblowers

Law360 (March 30, 2016) Click here to read the article.

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Maybe Too Big To Jail, But Never Too Small

Huffington Post (March 7, 2016) Click here to read the article.

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Yes, We Need Whistleblower Rewards

The FCPA (December 3, 2015) Click here to read the article.

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DOJ Scores Big With Record-breaking Alstom FCPA Sentence -- Who's Next On the DOJ'S FCPA Hit List?

Offshore Alert (November 16, 2015) Click here to read the article.

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Deflategate's Ultimate Lesson: The NFL Needs a Whistleblower Program

Huffington Post, (October 14, 2015) Click here to read the article.

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Whistleblowing in Antitrust: Prospects and Pitfalls

American Bar Association presentation. Click here for audio recording.

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Moving Beyond the "Ag" In "Ag-Gag" -- the Next Wave of Anti-Whistleblower Legislation?

Huffington Post (August 7, 2015). Click here to read the article.

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The hypocrisy of big-time college sports

CNN (April 1, 2014). Click here to read the article.

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Why Whistleblowers Like Edward Snowden Will Keep Running to the Press

Business Insider (Dec. 24, 2013) Click here to read the article.

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Bring In the Whistleblowers and Pay Them - the Next Logical Step In Advancing Antitrust Enforcement

Competition Policy International (November 2013). Click here to read the article.

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How to Prevent the Next Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden

Roll Call (June 27, 2013) Click here to read the article.

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Presentation at American Bar Association Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Committee

Meeting on recent developments in whistleblower legislation and litigation.

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Ag-Gag Laws Seek to Put Factory Farms Off-Limits to Whistleblowers

The Hill (May 9, 2013) Click here to read the article.

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Rutgers Scandal Just the Latest Example of the Need for Whistleblower Reform in College Sports

College Sports Business News (April 9, 2013) Click here to read the article.

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Some Greater Clarity on the FCPA's Reach Over Foreign Nationals

Thompson Reuters publishes article by Constantine Cannon partners Gordon Schnell and Jean Kim. (April 2, 2013)  Click here to read the article.

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Deterring Financial Crime -- Reconciling and Improving Upon the Diverging Approaches of U.S. Antitrust and Financial Regulation

Competition Policy International (March 2013) Click here to read the article.

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Presentation at American Bar Association Corporate Counseling Committee

Meeting on the current state of whistleblower legislation and antitrust enforcement.

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Lesson Learned from the Petraeus Affair - Intelligence Agents Need Whistleblower Protections Too

The Hill (November 27, 2012) Click here to read the article.

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NFL Falls Short In Protecting Its Bountygate Whistleblower

Sports Business Journal (November 5, 2012) download PDF

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Two U.S. Courts Offer Conflicting Guidance On Protections for Internal Reporting

Thompson Reuters (September 26, 2012) download PDF

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The Age of the Whistleblower — A Time of Greater Incentives, Protections and Appreciation for the Corporate Snitch

Law 360 (September 6, 2012) download PDF

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Expanding Protections for Antitrust Whistleblowers — A Good Start But Not Nearly Enough

The Hill (August 6, 2012) Click here to read the article.

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Cooperation Agreements with Departing Employees: An Easy Way To Avoid a Whole Lot of Trouble

download PDF

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Improving the Mighty BCS - But Not Through Antitrust

Presentation at Thomas Jefferson Law School's Center for Sports Law and Policy Conference on the BCS and the Future of Big-Time College Football, San Diego,...

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How To Catch A Thief -- Corporate Leniency And The Irrepressible Challenge Of Cartel Detection; Finding A Better Way

em>Competition Policy International (September 2011) download PDF

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We've been here before, and football on Sundays survived

Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal, May 9-15, 2011 download PDF

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The Real March Madness: The Failed BCS Championship and Why the Antitrust Laws Are Not the Answer

Competition Law 360, March 17, 2011 download PDF

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Antitrust laws do not provide answer to reforming BCS

Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal (Aug. 23-29, 2010) download PDF

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A Call to Albany: It's Time to Amend the Donnelly Act

(with Sam Rikkers) New York Law Journal, November 12, 2008 download PDF

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European Commission "White Paper" On Private Antitrust Litigation Reform In The UK And Europe

Presentation at Centaur Conference, London, England.

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Exporting U.S. Competition Law

Global Competition Review, April 2008, at pp.35-36. download PDF

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RPM - What's all The Ruckus About?

Competition Law 360, February 6, 2008 download PDF

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Twombly Pleading Standard: Good Idea, Bad Execution

New York Law Journal, December 5, 2007 download PDF

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Class Action Madness in Europe -- a Call for a More Balanced Debate

European Competition Law Review, November 2007, at 617-19. download PDF

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The Case For And Against Antitrust Class Actions

Presentation at IBC Advanced EC Competition Law Conference, London, England.

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The Extraterritorial Limits Of United States Competition Law

Presentation at International Law Association's Biennial Conference, Toronto, Canada.

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Repairing the Failed Debit Card Market: Lessons from an Historically Inventionist Federal Reserve and the Recent Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation

2 N.Y.U. J. of L. & Bus. 147 (2005) (with Reiko Cyr) download PDF

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Pfizer's Cholesterol Gambit: Dodging the Antitrust Laws?

The New York Law Journal , Oct. 12, 2005, at 4 & 6 download PDF

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Exclusive Dealing

The National Law Journal, Sept. 5, 2005, at 16 download PDF

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The Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation: an Early Report on the Comparative Efficacy of Antitrust and Federal Reserve Intervention to Repair the Failed United States' Debit Card Market

N.Y.U.J.L. & BUS. (FALL 2005)

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Patents and the Presumption of Market Power: the Latest Twist in Tying Law

Andrews Antitrust Litigation Reporter, July 2005, at 15. Also published in Andrews Patent Litigation Reporter, July 2005, at 11; Andrews Software Law Bulletin, August 2005,...

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Exclusivity: The Right and Wrong Way

Chain Store Age Magazine, June 2005, at 102. download PDF

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Debit In The United States -- Where It's Going And From Where It Came

Presentation at IC Card World 2005, Tokyo, Japan.

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Will Your Merger Pass Regulatory Muster

The Corporate Board, July/August 2004, at 18-22 download PDF

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The Great Canadian Debit Debate

Credit Card Management, May 2004, at 12 download PDF

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The Future Of Debit In The Aftermath Of The Merchant Litigation Against Visa And Mastercard

Presentation to: the American Bar Association Business Law Section; Thomson Card Forum; and, the PULSE EFT Board of Directors, St. Louis, Missouri. (April, 2004)

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Muzzling Telemarketers

The National Law Journal, December 8, 2003, at 35 download PDF

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An Antitrust Challenge to the National Resident Matching Program

The New York Law Journal, August 2, 2002, at 4. download PDF

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An Overview Of The U.S. Merger Review Process

Presentation to invited guests at Constantine and Partners, New York, New York.

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Iffy Prognosis For Intern Suit

The National Law Journal, June 24, 2002, at A12 download PDF

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Antitrust Flash Points In The Consumer Products Industry

Presentation to Consumer Products Group at Deutsche Bank, New York, New York.

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Antitrust Guidelines For Meetings Of Competitors

Presentation to JSTOR (The Scholarly Journal Archive) Annual Publishers Meeting, New York, New York.

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The U.S. Merger Review Process -- What It Takes To Get It Done Quickly, Cheaply, And Effectively

Presentation to Westchester/Fairfield County Association of Corporate Counsel, Greenwich, Connecticut.

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4(c) or Not 4(c): That Is the HSR Question

New York Law Journal, March 28, 2002, at 5. download PDF

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Cooperation Agreements

Legal Times, March 18, 2002, at 32. download PDF

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4(c) Disclosure: Don't Hold Anything Back

The National Law Journal, February 4, 2002, at A24. download PDF

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Antitrust Walk-Away Provisions

The National Law Journal, December 10, 2001, at A19. download PDF

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The "Pull and Trigger:" A Simple Way to Side-Step The Dreaded HSR Second Request

Andrew's Antitrust Litigation Reporter, December 2001, at 11. download PDF

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The Do's and Don'ts of Premerger Coordination Between Buyers and Sellers

Altman Weil In-House Practice & Management, November 2001, at 10-11. download PDF

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E-Payment Network Directors Risk Antitrust Scrutiny

American Banker, September 7, 2001, at 6. download PDF

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Antitrust Guidelines For Joint Venture Participation

Presentation to STAR EFT Network Advisory Board, Memphis, Tennessee.

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The Merger Review Process: A Step-by-Step Guide to Federal Merger Review

American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law, 1995 (contributing author)

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