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US: Prominent antitrust lawyer served rare penalty

 |  March 25, 2013

A renowned antitrust plaintiffs’ lawyers based in San Francisco has been hit with a rare order after challenging the 2011 Southwest Airlines/AirTran Holdings merger. Joseph Alioto and the Alioto Law Firm have been ordered by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals to pay $67,495 to the defendants of the case that challenged the merger. While motions to sanction lawyers are often filed, they are rarely granted; the court granted the motion after the filing claimed Alioto’s litigation was “unreasonable and vexatious.” According to a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, granting the motion “almost never happens.” Additionally, the case has stirred up debate on the merit of private antitrust suits that challenge mergers, questioning whether the ruling could potentially discourage other lawyers from bringing such cases. The amount Alioto and the firm were ordered to pay equates the defendants’ law fees.

Full Content: Thomson Reuters

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