Chairman: Eric L. Cramer
Managing Partners: Daniel Berger, Shanon J. Carson, Todd S. Collins, Merrill G. Davidoff , Michael C. Dell’Angelo, H. Laddie Montague Jr., Sherrie R. Savett, David F. Sorensen
Number of partners: 26 Number of lawyers: 66
Languages: English, Spanish
Berger Montague is a full-spectrum class action and complex civil litigation firm, with nationally known attorneys highly sought after for their legal skills. The firm has been recognized by courts throughout the country for its ability and experience in handling major complex litigation, particularly in the fields of antitrust, securities, mass torts, civil and human rights, whistleblower cases, employment, commercial and consumer litigation. In numerous precedent-setting cases, the firm has played a principal or lead role. Our attorneys have recovered more than $30 billion in commercial litigation and class action settlements and verdicts. The National Law Journal has selected Berger Montague in 12 out of the last 14 years (2003-05, 2007-13, 2015-16) for its ‘Hot List’ of top plaintiffs’ oriented litigation firms in the United States. In 2018, the National Law Journal recognized Berger Montague as ‘Elite Trial Lawyers’ in two categories: Environmental Protection and Privacy/Data Breach. The firm has also achieved the highest possible rating by its peers and opponents as reported in Martindale-Hubbell and was ranked as a 2019 ‘Best Law Firm’ by US News – Best Lawyers. Since its founding by David Berger in 1970, the firm has focused on the same mission: protecting the rights of clients and litigating complex cases to successful conclusions.
Main Areas of Practice:
Commodities & Financial Instruments
Credit Reporting & Background Checks
Defective Drugs & Medical Devices
Employee Benefits & ERISA
Employment & Unpaid Wages
Environment & Public Health
False Claims Act/Qui Tam/Whistleblower
Predatory Lending & Borrowers’ Rights
Securities & Investor Protection
Technology, Privacy & Data Breach
Case 1: Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, Civil Action No. 05-md- 01720-MKB-JO (E.D.N.Y.)
Lead Partners: H. Laddie Montague Jr., Merrill G. Davidoff, and Michael J. Kane
Summary: Berger Montague serves as co-lead counsel for a national class including millions of merchants in the Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation against Visa, MasterCard and several of the largest banks in the US (e.g., Chase, Bank of America and Citi). The lawsuit alleges that merchants paid excessive fees to accept Visa and MasterCard cards because the payment cards, individually and together with their respective member banks, violated the antitrust laws. The challenged conduct includes, inter alia, the collective fixing of interchange fees and adoption of rules that hindered any competitive pressure by merchants to reduce those fees. The lawsuit further alleges that defendants maintained their conspiracy even after both Visa and MasterCard changed their corporate forms from joint ventures owned by member banks to publicly-owned corporations following commencement of this litigation. On September 18, 2018, after 13 years of hard-fought litigation, Visa and Master- Card agreed to pay as much as approximately $6.26 billion, but no less than approximately $5.56 billion, to settle the case. This result is the largest-ever class action settlement of an antitrust case.
Case 2: In re Domestic Drywall Antitrust Litigation, Civil Action No. 13-md-02437, (E.D. Pa.)
Lead Partners: H. Laddie Montague Jr., Eric L. Cramer, Ruthanne Gordon, Michael C . Dell’Angelo and Candice J. Enders
Summary: Berger Montague serves as co-lead counsel on behalf of a class of direct purchasers of drywall in In re Domestic Drywall Antitrust Litigation. Plaintiffs alleged that the dominant manufacturers of drywall engaged in a conspiracy to fix drywall prices in the US and abolish the industry’s longstanding practice of limiting price increases for the duration of a construction project through ‘job quotes.’ On January 29, 2018, the district court granted preliminary approval of a joint settlement for $125 million with those defendants that had not previously settled. The settlement received final approval on July 17, 2018, bringing the total amount of settlements obtained in the litigation to $190.7 million. USG Corporation and United States Gypsum Company (collectively, ‘USG’), New NGC, Inc., Lafarge North America Inc., Eagle Materials, Inc., American Gypsum Company LLC, TIN Inc. d/b/a Temple- Inland Inc., and PABCO Building Products, LLC were named as defendants in this action. Prior to reaching the final settlement with the remaining defendants, plaintiffs obtained favorable rulings largely denying defendants’ motions for summary judgment and granting plaintiffs’ motion for class certification.
Case 3: In re Cook v. Rockwell International Cooperation, No. 90-cv-00181-JLK
Lead Partners: Merrill G. Davidoff , David F. Sorensen
Summary: In a long-running environmental class action on behalf of property owners whose land was contaminated by plutonium from a neighboring nuclear weapons facility (Rocky Flats near Denver, CO), Merrill Davidoff of Berger Montague served as lead counsel and lead trial counsel in a 2005–2006 trial that resulted in a $554 million jury verdict, third largest of 2006.
In 2009, the Rocky Flats trial team, led by Mr. Davidoff, received the prestigious Public Justice Award for ‘Trial Lawyer of the Year.’ A 2010 decision by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the judgment that had been won in the district court, but Berger Montague persevered and sought entry of judgment under alternative state law grounds. After losing this battle in the district court, plaintiffs appealed to the 10th Circuit again, and, after an appeal argued by Mr. Davidoff, the Court of Appeals (by then-judge, now Justice, Neil Gorsuch) reversed and held that plaintiffs could proceed on state law nuisance grounds. Just before competing petitions for certiorari were to be decided by the Supreme Court, a settlement of $375 million was announced in May 2016.