21 February 2007
20 February 2007 - The Supreme Court and Appellate Practice Group of international law firm Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP represented the prevailing side in two major U.S. Supreme Court decisions issued today.The decisions, both of which are favorable to the American business community, involve punitive damages and antitrust issues.
The Court ruled 5-4 on behalf of Philip Morris USA in Philip Morris USA v. Williams
, a ruling expected to impose new curbs on the use of punitive damages across the country. The case involved the constitutionality of a blockbuster $79.5 million punitive damages award against Philip Morris USA. The Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to award punitive damages to punish a company for harming individuals other than plaintiffs in the case. Andrew Frey of Mayer Brown's New York office argued the case last October 31.
In Weyerhaeuser Co. v. Ross-Simmons Hardwood Lumber Co.
, the question before the Court in essence was how aggressively a business may compete before crossing a line that violates antitrust law. Specifically, the case revolved around whether the same standard that the Court articulated for predatory-pricing cases applies in cases alleging predatory buying
. The Court ruled unanimously in favor of Weyerhaeuser. Business groups, including the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and the National Association of Manufacturers, filed amicus briefs supporting Weyerhaeuser's argument.Andrew Pincus of Mayer Brown's Washington, D.C. office argued the case last November 28.
For more information on these cases, please visit the website of Mayer Brown's Appellate Practice Group, www.appellate.net
In representing Philip Morris USA, Frey argued his 64th
case before the Supreme Court - more than any other lawyer active in private practice. Philip Morris
was the fourth punitive damages case that Frey has argued in the Supreme Court; no other business-side lawyer has argued more than one.
For Pincus, Weyerhaeuser v. Ross-Simmons
was his 15th
case and third antitrust case in the Supreme Court.
Besides the two cases decided today, Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw attorney Evan Tager last month argued United Haulers Association v. Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Management Authority
(Commerce Clause).On February 28th Andy Pincus will argue Hein v. Freedom from Religion Foundation
(Establishment Clause).And finally, on March 27th Steve Shapiro of the Chicago office will argue Credit Suisse First Boston v. Billing
(Shapiro's seventh antitrust case before the High Court).
Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP is among the largest law firms in the world with more than 1,500 lawyers in seven U.S. cities (Charlotte, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto and Washington), six European cities (Berlin, Brussels, Cologne, Frankfurt, London and Paris) and in Hong Kong.