Carmine Zarlenga is a seasoned advocate who has handled a wide variety of complex antitrust, commercial litigation and intellectual property matters. During a career of over 25 years, he has appeared in over 50 different state and federal courts across the United States on behalf of some of the largest national and international companies in the world. He is recognized as a Washington DC "Super Lawyer."
Carmine's litigation experience ranges from large, complex class actions with claimed damages in excess of $1 billion and attendant publicity to smaller, private disputes. He has handled matters involving antitrust, contract, fraud, business torts, real estate, trade secrets, unfair trade practices, intellectual property and false advertising. In addition, he regularly counsels leading companies on marketing, distribution, pricing and other trade practice matters.
He also has substantial arbitration and mediation experience, and has directly negotiated settlements in numerous litigation and non-litigation matters. In matters requiring litigation, he has examined, cross-examined and defended witnesses including CEOs and CFOs. He has worked with (and against) nationally renowned experts in the fields of economics, finance, marketing, accounting and forensics.
Clients place a high value on Carmine's strategic insight. He frequently counsels corporate boards and senior corporate management on litigation and non-litigation matters. He takes great pride in finding innovative solutions to the most challenging and varied legal problems.
- Wysong Corp. v. APN, Inc., 266 F. Supp. 3d 1058 (E.D. Mich. 2017), aff’d, 889 F.3d 267 (6th Cir. 2018). Defeated a competitor’s Lanham Act false advertising complaint alleging that images on the company’s pet food packaging were false and deceptive. The court ruled that the plaintiff’s theory of deception was not plausible because the pet food labels in question were not false and were not likely to mislead a reasonable consumer. Persuaded both the District Court and the Court of Appeals that the challenged advertising was in accordance with industry standards and the common sense notion that consumers would not expect premium, human-grade ingredients in pet food.
- Nespresso USA, Inc. v. Ethical Coffee Co. S.A., 263 F. Supp. 3d 498 (D. Del. 2017). Prevailed on motion to dismiss two Swiss entities for lack of personal jurisdiction. The District Court rejected several different alternative theories in its opinion, making this decision useful for other overseas entities named in US litigation without proper jurisdictional footing.
- In re Chocolate Confectionary Antitrust Litigation, 999 F. Supp. 2d 777, (M.D. Pa. 2014), aff'd, 801 F.3d 383(3d Cir. 2015). Represented Nestle in a lengthy antitrust MDL involving several classes of plaintiffs as well as opt outs that filed direct actions. Obtained summary judgment in an important ruling that limits the range of inferences that can be drawn from an alleged foreign price-fixing conspiracy. Also prevailed on a Daubert challenge that had the practical effect of barring evidence of damages attributable to Nestle. The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently affirmed the District Court's ruling in a unanimous opinion, thus ending the litigation.
- Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. v. Airbus Helicopters, 78 F. Supp. 2d 253 (D.D.C. 2015). Served as lead counsel for Airbus Helicopters at trial in this patent infringement action before Judge Robert Wilkins who at the time was sitting on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. Obtained a rare permanent injunction barring archrival’s use of innovative landing gear for the life of the applicable patent.
- Gemalto, Inc. v. Merchant Customer Exchange. Lead counsel for Gemalto in a complex commercial arbitration involving breach of a development contract for an electronic payment network. After a lengthy hearing, a three member AAA panel issued a unanimous 42 page ruling and a $45.8 million award in favor of Gemalto. The award included all damages requested plus over $3 million in attorneys’ fees and received substantial publicity.
- Nestle Purina PetCare Co. v. Blue Buffalo. Lead counsel for Purina in this high profile federal false advertising litigation between competitors. After vehemently denying Purina’s allegations, strategic discovery efforts forced Blue Buffalo to admit that its ingredient advertising and labeling was false. The litigation was subsequently resolved via mediation.
- Sterling Merchandising, Inc. v. Nestle S.A., 656 F.3d 112 (1st Cir. 2011). As lead counsel for Nestle S.A. and affiliates, obtained summary judgment in complex antitrust action involving alleged monopolization and exclusionary practices in the distribution of ice cream; also served as lead counsel on the appeal in which the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the judgment in all respects.
- EADS Deutschland GmbH v. Herley Industries. On behalf of plaintiff EADS, obtained expedited return of technology and equipment from a defaulting venture partner via a motion for preliminary injunction; subsequently recovered a multimillion-dollar settlement for the client via court-assisted mediation in a complex international dispute relating to multiple defense projects.
- Escriba v. Foster Poultry Farms, 743 F.3d 1236 (9th Cir. 2014). Entered a late stage appearance as lead trial counsel for Foster Farms in high profile employment case spearheaded by a public interest group; obtained a complete defense verdict on multiple claims at the conclusion of a two-week jury trial. Also served as lead counsel on the appeal in which the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the judgment in all respects.
- In re Alcon Shareholder Litigation. Represented Nestlé S.A., its CEO, CFO, CTO and other top executives in 12 securities-related class actions filed in six different fora with potential alleged damages in excess of $2 billion; obtained dismissal of all claims.
- Carrea v. Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream Co., 475 Fed. App’x 113 (9th Cir. 2012) (prevailed at the district court level on motion to dismiss a putative class action alleging false and deceptive labeling of ice cream; also served as lead counsel on appeal in which the U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment in all respects).
- Technest Holdings, Inc. v. EOIR Holdings LLC. Won $24 million arbitration award after a two-week hearing in a complex post-acquisition dispute between the buyer and seller of subsidiary corporation.
- Burke v. Weight Watchers Int’l, Inc., 983 F.Supp. 2d 478 (D.N.J. 2013) (prevailed on motion to dismiss a putative consumer class action alleging that calorie content of food product was overstated based on a novel federal preemption defense).
- In re Vitamins Antitrust Litigation and In re Methionine Antitrust Litigation. Represented plaintiff Foster Farms in two major antitrust litigations seeking recovery of antitrust overcharges for price-fixing, both resulting in multi-million dollar settlements for the client.
- Mars, Inc. v. Nestlé USA Inc. Represented Nestlé USA in a case against number one competitor Mars involving claims and cross-claims of global trade secret misappropriation, unfair competition and tortious interference; resolved via mediation.
- Hosey & Port Sales Corp. v. Recovery Engineering, Inc. Successfully defended Procter & Gamble subsidiary in a commercial litigation matter against claims of deceptive trade practices and bad faith.
- Maris Distributing Co. v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc., 302 F.3d 1207 (11th Cir. 2002). Successfully defended a $50 million antitrust claim concerning the legality of a contract restriction barring public ownership of distributors.
- McCluskey v. Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water Co. Successfully mediated a case on behalf of a Perrier subsidiary involving a competitor's allegations of misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition and tortious intereference.
- Varni Brothers Corp. v. Wine World, Inc., 35 Cal. App. 4th 880 (1995). Obtained summary judgment and appellate affirmance in favor of manufacturer in case filed by two terminated distributors; ruling clarified California law applicable to oral distributorship agreements.
- Nestlé Beverage Co. v. America’s Best Beverage Company. Handled arbitration proceedings relating to a failed joint venture/product development agreement; obtained recission of contracts for the client.
- Anheuser-Busch, Inc. v. Natural Beverage Distributors. Affirmed dismissal of counterclaims based on willful misconduct by a litigant, including destruction of evidence and perjury.
- Downing-Rivers, Inc. v. Stouffer Foods Corp. Handled an action involving alleged breach of a brokerage agreement; a motion to dismiss all claims was granted.
- Anheuser-Busch, Inc. v. A-B Distributors, Inc. Expedited review and reversal of preliminary injunction previously granted to terminated distributor.
- Auger v. Stouffer Corp. Jury trial in $80 million case involving the standard of professional management required under written hotel management contract; closely watched case in the hotel industry.
- In re Beer Distribution Antitrust Litigation. Assisted in twice obtaining denial of class certification of alleged class of "craft breweries" in antitrust action involving claims of exclusive dealing, group boycott, and attempted monopolization.
- McKinney v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc. Defended suit by potential purchasers of distributorship; obtained summary judgment for client.
- Package Shop, Inc. v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc. Obtained summary judgment for defendant Anheuser-Busch in a complex antitrust class action.
University of Cincinnati College of Law , JD
University of Cincinnati Law Review, Student Articles Editor (1982-1983)
Ohio State University, BA, cum laude
- District of Columbia
- US Supreme Court
- US District Court for the District of Maryland
- US District Court for the District of Columbia
- US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- US District Court for the Northern District of California
- US District Court for the Northern District of Texas
- US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
- US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
- US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- University of Cincinnati Law Review Alumni Board
- Board of Directors, Homestretch Inc. - a non-profit organization providing transitional housing to homeless families in Northern Virginia