(Daily Journal) Steven Williams of the Joseph Saveri Law Firm was selected by the California Daily Journal as a “Top Antitrust Lawyer” in California for 2020. He and fellow Top Antitrust Lawyer Joseph Saveri were profiled in a supplement contained in today’s issue. The Firm was one of only five statewide to have multiple lawyers selected for this new Daily Journal “Top” category:
Steven Williams – Plaintiffs’ litigation
Williams joined Joseph Saveri law Firm in 2018. In more than 25 years he has served in leadership positions in a dozen-plus antitrust cases throughout the U.S., recovering more than $2 billion for clients. He has four trials set for 2020 in California and Virginia.
In one trial, currently on hold in the Northern District due to the coronavirus pandemic, he and the Firm represent a class of direct purchasers of capacitors used in electronic devices. Capacitors temporarily store and even out the flow of electrical energy; nearly every electronic device contains them. The Plaintiffs allege that the Defendants formed a cartel and conspired to fix, raise, and stabilize prices in the multi-billion-dollar market for trillions of aluminum, tantalum, and film capacitors. In re Capacitors Antitrust Litigation, 3:14-cv-03264 (N.D. Cal., filed July 18, 2014).
Williams said that in the week before U.S. District Judge James Donato of San Francisco paused the proceedings he brought one Japanese executive of defendant NEC Tonkin Corp. to tears on the witness stand as the witness sought to explain an email in which he bragged about keeping other conspirators in line and described a variety of illegal conduct.
“The guy had spent a year and a day in Lompoc [Federal prison] for his role,” Williams said. “I demonstrated he has received his salary while in jail. I showed he was taking a fall for his team, and I got him to say that was not the only reason he was testifying, and when they heard that the jury was hardly ready to accept his credibility.”
Earlier, NEC Tonkin Corp was part of a $32.6 million Phase 1 settlement round. In the Phase 2 round another group of defendants agreed to pay $66.9 million. A third phase created an all cash fund of $108 million. Total settlements so far have totaled $439.55 million. Donato has denied the remaining Defendants’ motions to dismiss. Eight capacitors manufacturers and two of their individual executives have pleaded guilty and been sentenced for violating federal antitrust laws. Additional executives remain under indictment.
Williams has a leadership role in the American Bar Association Antitrust Section. He is a member of the international Cartel Task Force and the Committee to Support the Antitrust laws. The last group, among other things, represents the views of the antitrust plaintiffs’ bar during consideration of the Antitrust Criminal Penalties Enhancement and Reform Act, a statute set up for reauthorization in 2020.
The committee, Williams explained, “lobbies to counter those who try to narrow the scope of antitrust enforcement. We were established to promote antitrust laws in Congress.”
(Reporting by John Roemer)