Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
Lieff Cabraser Duke/UNC “No Poach” Case Team to Receive Antitrust Institute’s 2019 Private Enforcement Award

Lieff Cabraser Duke/UNC “No Poach” Case Team to Receive Antitrust Institute’s 2019 Private Enforcement Award

The American Antitrust Institute has announced its selection of leading legal practitioners and economists to be recognized as honorees for the 2019 Antitrust Enforcement Awards, a list that includes the Lieff Cabraser team that worked on the Duke/UNC case: Dean M. Harvey, Kelly M. Dermody, Brendan P. Glackin, Anne B. Shaver, and Yaman A. Salahi. The Honorees will be featured at a gala awards dinner on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at The Hamilton Live in Washington D.C.

These attorneys from Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, along with co-counsel from Elliot, Morgan & Parsonage, P.A. won an award for “Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement in Private Law Practice” for their exceptional work on the Duke/UNC “No Poach” Employee Anticompetition Case. The award is limited to private civil actions, and nominees are judged on the benefit realized by the client, consumers or a class, as well as the positive development of antitrust policy relating to the case.

Representing Duke University School of Medicine instructor Danielle M. Seaman, M.D. in a class action lawsuit, the litigation alleged that Duke, UNC Medical School, and other entities entered into an express, secret agreement not to hire certain medical facility faculty and staff that they each employed, reducing or eliminating competition for skilled medical labor.

On May 20, 2019, a proposed settlement valued at $54.5 million was filed on the same day that the U.S. Department of Justice decided to intervene in the suit by filing a motion to intervene seeking to prohibit Duke and UNC from signing “no-poach” employee agreements during the next five years.

In court papers seeking preliminary approval of the settlement, lead plaintiffs’ counsel, Lieff Cabraser partner Dean Harvey noted, “The settlement also sets forth an important and perhaps unprecedented role for the United States Department of Justice to monitor and enforce compliance with the settlement’s injunctive relief provisions.”

The court granted final approval of the settlement on September 24, 2019, with Assistant Attorney General Delrahim adding: “Permitting the United States to become part of this settlement agreement in this private antitrust case, and thereby to obtain all of the relief and protections it likely would have sought after a lengthy investigation, demonstrates the benefits that can be obtained efficiently for the American worker when public and private enforcement work in tandem.” Learn more about the Duke/UNC “No Poach” litigation at dukeuncemployeesettlement.com.