ABA LSD Antitrust Liaisons

American Bar Association Law Student Division Liaisons to the Section of Antitrust Law


Looking for a paper topic?

Although the deadline for this year's AT writing competition has already passed, it's not too early to start planning for next year's! ESPN reports on an antitrust case filed last week on behalf of Division I-A football players and major-college basketball players. The suit against the NCAA is targeting the scholarship caps in place that do not fully cover the cost of attendance for many athletes.

The lawsuit applies to 144 colleges, so the 20,000 or so affected athletes would have been shorted a potential $117 million, an aggregate figure that represents the gap between the grant-in-aid and the official cost of attendance over the past four years.

Damages get trebled under antitrust law, pushing the potential penalty to $351 million.


Midyear Meeting Summary

I'm back from the ABA Midyear meeting in Chicago where I had the chance to catch up with fellow AT members and staff ahead of the Spring meeting next month in Washington. Although the AT usually does not meet during the Midyear meeting, they did host a "Section Round-up" in the Boardroom of ABA HQ Thursday night that was well-attended by current and future AT members and staff. Albert Kim, YLD Antitrust committee Chair, also provided more info for attendees who had not yet joined. Congratulations are in order for Albert, too - he has been recognized as a Star of the Quarter by the YLD Leadership!

Friday, the AL presented a couple of sessions on antitrust related issues, as previously mentioned. The YLD also hosted the "Section Connection" where many of the ABA sections had representatives available to answer membership questions. Friday evening, I also had the chance to update fellow LSD members on the AT's activities and student programs at the LSD Liaison Caucus.

Saturday, the YLD Assembly convened, where delegates heard from ABA President Michael Greco, President-Elect Karen Mathis, and Chair of the House of Delegates, Stephen Zack, among others. For the 3Ls out there, your YLD membership is automatic (and free) following graduation, and for 5 years after you are licensed to practice or until you reach age 36 (details here). So, if you didn't get the chance to participate in the LSD's national activities, there is still a great place for you to connect with your peers in the ABA after graduation.

The AT also sponsored my attendance to the Spirit of Excellence Awards luncheon Saturday afternoon. It was an inspirational and touching awards presentation, made even more enjoyable because we were joined at our table by leadership from the Section of Science & Technology.

I was fortunate once again to have the opportunity to meet many interesting ABA members from across the country while attending informative presentations covering hurricane relief efforts, federal gun control laws, and the "politics of fear," among others. Just keep in mind, the ABA Midyear meeting attracted over 3,000 members for several section meetings - the AT Spring meeting alone already has over 2,000 registrants! If you haven't made plans to attend yet, there's still time. You won't want to miss it.


Let's Meet in Chicago

The ABA Midyear meeting is under way in Chicago at the downtown Hyatt this week. For you antitrust law geeks out there, the AT is co-sponsoring 2 sessions on Friday, Feb 10, with the Section of Administrative Law & Practice (AL):

9AM: The Antitrust Pot Boils Over: Is Deception in Rule Making an Antitrust Violation? (The Unocal Case)
Unocal raised the question of whether the FTC can punish deception in rule making as an antitrust violation. Under the Noerr-Pennington doctrine, political action directed to enactment of a statute cannot be punished as an antitrust violation (even though the same action is punishable if taken outside the political arena). Is rule making as political as statute making so that Noerr-Pennington applies? Or is the notice-and-comment procedure more like adjudication, to which Noerr-Pennington does not apply? This panel features lawyers who were on both sides of Unocal—a hotly contested FTC decision. In addition, the panel will update us on three important antitrust cases pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

1045AM: Antitrust and Administrative Law: Exploring the Mandate of the Antitrust Modernization Commission in Regulated Industries
Over the last two years, the Antitrust Modernization Commission (AMC) has identified nine areas of study, and our panelists will focus on the commission's study and investigation into regulated industries. Recent litigation and administrative enforcement actions in the pharmaceutical and energy sector have exposed the important considerations antitrust and administrative practitioners must take into account when dealing with heavily regulated industries. Noted authorities from the AMC and private practice will shed some light on the recent trends in the field concerning regulated industries.

In addition to the Friday morning sessions, there will be an AT member reception at ABA HQ Thursday evening.

The LSD & YLD will also be sponsoring additional activities for their respective members, as well as the national finals of the law students negotiation competition. For more details, the Midyear program brochure is available online. I hope to get a chance to meet you there!