Aton Arbisser is the Chair of the Litigation Department of Kaye Scholer’s Los Angeles office and part of the firm’s Antitrust and Product Liability Groups.
Aton was drawn to Kaye Scholer by its long tradition as an antitrust powerhouse and was immediately assigned to work on MDL-150, the largest antitrust cases at the time. As an antitrust lawyer, Aton has won cases at both the trial and appellate levels, in both federal and state court. Early in his career he wrote the briefs that convinced the California Supreme Court that the state’s antitrust laws did not apply to a multibillion-dollar merger. In 2012, he successfully argued the appeal on behalf of 15 pharmaceutical manufacturers accused of conspiring to fix the prices, defending the summary judgment he and Partner Saul Morgenstern had won in the trial court on behalf of the industry. Aton also has successfully defended or resolved numerous antitrust class actions in federal court and indirect purchaser cases in state court. In addition, Aton has defended manufacturers in disputes with distributors, which often include antitrust claims, and counsels clients on a wide range of antitrust issues. Aton has been recognized as one of California’s leading practitioners in the antitrust field by Best Lawyers in America (2007-2015), including “Antitrust Lawyer of the Year-Los Angeles” in 2015, and Who’s Who Legal: California.
Aton’s practice has expanded far beyond his antitrust roots to encompass a broad range of complex litigations, including consumer fraud class actions and mass torts. He has been nationally recognized for his successes in defending pharmaceutical companies in product liability cases and related consumer class actions. In the phenylpropanolamine (PPA) products liability litigation, he chaired the joint defense team on experts and science issues, defeated a class action seeking refunds on millions of dollars of product containing PPA that had been withdrawn from the market, won the first-in-the-nation PPA trial and then successfully argued the appeal. The National Law Journal selected the verdict as one of the “Top 10 Verdicts of 2004.” Aton won similar recognition for another PPA trial in 2006.
A frequent lecturer and author in the areas of antitrust and class action law, Aton was recently appointed to the Executive Committee of the Antitrust and Unfair Competition Section of the California State Bar.
- Clayworth v. Pfizer Inc., Calif. Court of Appeal, A131804 (August 22, 2012) (affirming summary judgment dismissing alleged price fixing conspiracy brought by 15 pharmacies against the major pharmaceutical companies)
- Mag Instruments, Inc. v. The Coleman Co., 408 Fed.Appx. 363 (Fed. Cir. 2011) (affirming summary judgment that held that patent was invalid)
- Centerprise Int’l, Ltd. v. Micron Tech., Inc., 538 F.3d 1107 (9th Cir. 2008) (affirming dismissal of putative class action on behalf of foreign purchasers of allegedly price fixed product).
- Carter v. Novartis Consumer Health, Inc., 582 F. Supp2d 1271(C.D. Cal. 2008) (granting dismissal of putative class action seeking refunds for all sales of children’s cough cold products).
- In re Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) Antitrust Litigation, 516 F. Supp. 2d 1072 (N.D. Cal. 2007) (barring indirect purchaser claims by computer purchasers where alleged price fixing was only on component).
- O’Neill v. Novartis Consumer Health, Inc., 147 Cal. App. 4th 1388 (2007) (affirming double defense judgment after trial in product liability case).
- Kobar v. Novartis Corp., 378 F. Supp. 2d 1166 (D. Ariz. 2005) (granting partial summary judgment on a punitive damages claim in product liability case).
- Nodine v. Shiley Inc., 240 F.3d 1149 (9th Cir. 2001) (affirming summary judgment of product liability claim based upon statute of limitations).
- Vestal v. Shiley Inc., 1998 U.S. Dist. Lexis 21566 (C.D. Cal. 1998) (granting summary judgment on product liability claim on statute of repose).
- Mission Resources v. Texaco Inc., 94 F.3d 652 (9th Cir. 1996) (affirming defense judgment after jury trial).
- Greenberg v. Wolfberg, 890 P.2d 895 (Okla. S. Ct. 1995) (favorable response to certified questions relating to application of statute of limitations to malicious prosecution claim).
- Adray v. Adry-Mart, Inc., 76 F.3d 984 (9th Cir. 1995) (affirming defense jury verdict on trademark infringement claim).
- Ultramar, Inc. v. South Coast Air Quality Management Dist. 17 Cal. App. 4th 689 (1993), (affirming writ enjoining enforcement of rule that would have required refinery to spend $100 million).
- Auwood v. Harry Brandt Booking Office, Inc., 850 F.2d 884 (2d Cir. 1988) (affirming nominal damages in jury trial for antitrust violation).
- Cushman & Wakefield, Inc. v. Equit. Life Assur. Socy. of the U.S., 143 A.D.2d 611, 533 N.Y.S.2d 426 (App Div, 1st Dept 1988) (reversing multimillion verdict against his client).
- California v. Texaco Inc., 46 Cal. 3d 1147 (1988) (holding that California antitrust law did not regulate a $10 billion merger).