Steve Medlock is an experienced antitrust litigator who brings dedication, intensity, and commercial commonsense to his representations of Fortune 500 clients, whether navigating through complex multidistrict class actions or successfully defending clients in grand jury investigations. Clients place their trust in Steve to develop unique and complex antitrust arguments for both defendants and plaintiffs. Steve’s unique mix of plaintiff and defense-side experience allows him to see the issues that exclusive defense-sided practitioners miss in a full range of antitrust matters, including corporate counseling, internal investigations, civil non-merger and criminal cartel investigations, and litigation. In these areas, Steve is known for providing practical advice that business executives can digest. Steve has secured victories for clients in major antitrust class actions and B2B antitrust cases alleging monopolization and attempted monopolization at critical stages, including winning dismissal prior to discovery and prevailing at summer judgment. His depositions and briefs have been quoted in the The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic.
Steve is a recognized a part of the next generation of leadership in the antitrust bar. He currently serves as a Vice Chair on the Exemptions and Immunities Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Antitrust Law. He is also the co-editor of the third edition ABA’s Noerr-Pennington Handbook.
Behind the scenes, Steve is a trusted antitrust advisor and advocate in antitrust compliance matters, with a particular focus on clients in the food, beverage, consumer packaged goods, automotive, and high technology industries.
Steve maintains an active high-impact pro bono practice. He was the lead trial counsel on a challenge to political gerrymandering in Maryland and is currently co-lead counsel in a challenge to the U.S. government’s policies concerning asylum seekers that are attempting to enter the U.S. at ports of entry on the U.S.-Mexico border.
- PDVSA US Litigation Trust v. Lukoil Pan Americas LLC (S.D. Fla.). Obtained dismissal of claims against multinational energy corporation alleging that it engaged with other defendants in a decade-long conspiracy to bribe Venezuelan officials and rig bids for the sale and purchase of crude oil submitted to PDVSA, allegedly costing PDVSA billions of dollars in lost revenue. The trust was purportedly assigned the claims of PDVSA and the Venezuelan government so that it could litigate on PDVSA’s behalf in the U.S. courts.
- In re Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litig. (N.D. Ill.). Representing Foster Farms, LLC against multiple class actions alleging that the major U.S. chicken companies conspired to restrict output and fix prices.
- In re Chocolate Confectionery Antitrust Litigation, 999 F. Supp. 2d 777 (M.D. Pa. 2014), aff’d 801 F.3d 383 (3d Cir. 2015). Mayer Brown litigators helped secure a significant summary judgment and appellate victories for Nestlé USA in one of the largest multi-district antitrust litigations to date in the United States. The litigation consisted of over 90 federal lawsuits and alleged a conspiracy with Mars, Hershey, and Cadbury to fix the price of chocolate candy products sold in the United States. These complaints were brought on behalf of direct and indirect purchasers and large individual corporate plaintiffs, such as Safeway, Kroger, and CVS. The Third Circuit affirmed, unanimously holding that “[a] conspiracy elsewhere, without more, generally does not tend to prove a domestic conspiracy, especially when the conduct observed domestically is just as consistent with lawful interdependence as with an antitrust conspiracy.”
- Nespresso USA v. Ethical Coffee Company SA, 263 F. Supp. 3d 498, 2017 WL 2984072 (D. Del.). Representing Nespresso USA and Nestlé Nespresso S.A. in antitrust-IP case concerning the design of Nespresso’s Original Line espresso machines. Secured dismissal of Swiss Nestlé entities for lack of personal jurisdiction and won dismissal of Lanham Act counterclaim at the pleading stage.
- Masimo Corporation v. Philips Electronics North America Corporation, 2015 WL 2406155 (D. Del.). Represented Philips Electronics North America Corporation in connection with antitrust-IP claims for monopolization, attempted monopolization, conspiracy to monopolize, tying, group boycott, restraint of trade, and patent misuse.
- Sterling Merchandising, Inc. v. Nestlé S.A., 656 F.3d 112 (1st Cir. 2011). Represented Nestlé, S.A. and local affiliates in appeal before First Circuit, which affirmed summary judgment in complex antitrust action involving alleged monopolization and exclusionary practices in the distribution of ice cream.
- Nirvana, Inc. v. Nestlé Waters North America Inc., 123 F. Supp. 3d 357 (N.D.N.Y. 2015). Secured dismissal of Robinson-Patman Act, predatory pricing, commercial bribery, exclusive dealing, and tortious interferences claims against Nestlé Waters North America at the pleading stage.
- I and U, Inc., et al. v. Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc., 2019 WL 2750890 (C.D. Cal.). Obtained dismissal of claims alleging that Wolters Kluwer monopolized of the market for health science periodicals through exclusive sales agreements and false statements to customers.
- Massengale v. City of Jefferson, Missouri, 2011 WL 3320508 (W.D. Mo. 2011). Represented Republic Services and won summary judgment on all antitrust claims, including allegations that Republic Services violated Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act.
- Zayed v. Associated Bank, N.A., 2017 WL 424855, aff’d 913 F.3d 709 (D. Minn.). Won summary judgment for Associated Bank in connection with claims that bank aided and abetted $190 million Ponzi scheme. The summary judgment was affirmed on appeal by the Eighth Circuit.
Criminal Investigations and Internal Investigations
- Non-Public Corporate Client. Currently representing a corporate client in an ongoing antitrust grand jury investigation.
- Automotive Parts Antitrust Investigation. Represented multiple executives alleged to have conspired abroad to fix the prices of automotive parts destined for the US market.
- Freight Forwarders Antitrust Investigation. Represented organization and executive in criminal investigation and subsequent civil litigation.
- In re Grand Jury Proceedings. Represented client in successful invocation of act of production privilege in response to grand jury subpoena issued by Public Integrity Section of the US Department of Justice.
- Non-Public Antitrust Audit. Conducted internal investigation and enhanced antitrust compliance procedures for multi-billion dollar automotive parts company.
High-Impact Pro Bono Litigation
- Al Otro Lado, Inc. v. McAleenan, --- F. Supp. 3d ---, 2019 WL 3413406 (S.D. Cal.). Co-lead counsel representing Al Otro Lado, Inc. and a putative class of migrants in a challenge to the U.S. Government’s policies concerning asylum seekers that are attempting to enter the U.S. through ports of entry.
- Benisek v. Lamone, 348 F. Supp. 3d 493 (D. Md. 2018), rev’d sub nom. Rucho v. Common Cause, 139 S. Ct. 2484 (2019). Lead trial counsel representing a group of Maryland voters claiming that partisan gerrymandering violated their First Amendment rights of free speech and political association.
American University Washington College of Law, JD, cum laudeMooer's Trophy for Oustanding Student in Trial Advocacy; Journal of Sustainable Development Law and Policy (2007-2008)
Georgetown University, BSFS, International Politics
- District of Columbia
- US Supreme Court
- US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- US District Court for the District of Columbia