¬ History

History

Harold E. KohnOur firm has pioneered the prosecution of the most complex form of litigation -- the class action -- for the past 35 years. Our founder, Harold E. Kohn, was invited to and did work with the drafters of the federal statute on multidistrict litigation and the original Manual for Complex Litigation, and its revisions, after serving as a member of the Committee of Lead Counsel for the plaintiffs in the Electric Equipment Antitrust Litigation in the 1960s. He obtained a trebled verdict of $29,000,000 in the first case tried in that litigation.

 

In the 1990s, following a competitive bidding process established to select competent counsel from among 50 vying law firms, Judge Milton Shadur of the Northern District of Illinois appointed the firm as sole counsel for a class of claimants pursuing relief in a nationally publicized price fixing case against Archer Daniels Midland. In re Amino Acid Lysine Antitrust Litigation, 918 F. Supp. 1190, 1200-01 (N.D. Ill. 1996). Under the firm's leadership, the case was settled for $50 million, and Judge Shadur praised the firm's "extraordinarily professional handling of the case."

In addition to the Lysine case, the firm has repeatedly served as counsel in substantial antitrust cases, including, among others: In re Graphite Electrodes Antitrust Litigation, Master File No. 97-CV-4182 (E.D. Pa. 1997); In re Residential Doors Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1039 (E.D. Pa. 1996); In re Domestic Air Transportation Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 861 (N.D. Ga. 1993); In re Plastic Tableware Antitrust Litigation, Master File No. 94-CV-3564 (E.D. Pa. 1994); In re Chlorine and Caustic Soda Antitrust Litigation, Master File No. 86-5428 (E.D. Pa. 1986); Cumberland Farms, Inc., v. Browning-Ferris Industries, Inc., No. 94-CV-1692 (E.D. Pa. 1991); In re Tampico Fiber Antitrust Litigation, No. 94-CV-1692 (E.D. Pa. 1995); In re Pillar Point Partners Antitrust and Patent Litigation, MDL No. 1202 (D. Ariz. 2003); Big Apple BMW, Inc. v. BMW of North America, Inc., 974 F.2d 1358 (3d Cir. 1992), cert. denied, 507 U.S. 912 (1993); Alvord-Polk, Inc. v. F. Schumacher & Co., 37 F.3d 996 (3d Cir. 1994), cert. denied, 514 U.S. 1063 (1995).

 

The firm also has extensive experience in securities and consumer class actions, having been appointed lead counsel, or a member of the executive committee, in the following cases: In re SmithKline Beckman Corp. Securities Litigation, (E.D. Pa.); In re Chrysler Motors Corp. Overnight Evaluation Program, MDL No. 740 (E.D. Mo.); In re Beech-Nut Apple Juice Litigation, Master File No. 86-6608 (E.D. Pa.); In re Silicone Breast Implant Litigation, MDL No. 926 (N.D. Ala.); In re Intel Pentium Processor Litigation, Master File No. 745729 (Santa Clara, Calif.); Schwab v. America Online, No. 96 CH 13732 (Cook County, Illinois); In re Pennsylvania Diet Drug Litigation, Master File No. 0031262 (Phila. County, Pennsylvania); Solo v. Duval County Housing Finance Authority, et al., No. 94-1952-CA (Duval Cty. Fla.), and Goldenberg v. Host Marriott Corp., et al., Civil No. PJM-95-3461 (D. Md.).

 

Never hesitant to take on a challenge, the firm's diverse practice also led it to serve as special litigation counsel for the bankruptcy trustee in the New Era bankruptcy, one of the largest and most widely-publicized bankruptcies ever filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In re Foundation for New Era Philanthropy, No. 95-13729 (E.D. Pa. Bankr. 1995). As special counsel, the firm successfully negotiated settlements totaling in excess of $22 million for the benefit of New Era's creditors, virtually all of which were non-profit charities that had fallen victim to New Era's fraudulent fundraising scheme.

 

Our firm's pioneering has continued in the field of human rights litigation. Robert Swift served as trial counsel in the Marcos Human Rights Litigation, MDL No. 840 (D. Hawaii), and won a $2 billion verdict that is believed to be the largest personal injury verdict in history. He has also served as co-lead counsel in the Holocaust Swiss Bank Litigation (E.D.N.Y) and the European Insurance Holocaust Litigation (S.D.N.Y).

 

KSG is also at the forefront in the emerging field of copyright law in the digital era. Michael J. Boni served as lead counsel in In re Freelance Works in Literary Databases Copyright Litigation, MDL No. 1379 (S.D.N.Y.), in which the court approved an $18 million settlement, the largest copyright class action settlement in history. Mr. Boni also served as counsel for a start-up e-book publishing company in a closely watched case involving book authors’ electronic rights. Random House Inc. v. Rosetta Books, LLC, et al., No. 01-Civ-1728 (S.D.N.Y.). Mr. Boni presently represents authors in a copyright class action against Google, challenging Google’s highly publicized Book Search Library Project as massive copyright infringement. Authors Guild, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 05-CV-8136-JES (S.D.N.Y.). That case is pending.

CONTACT US

One South Broad Street
Suite 2100
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: 215 238-1700
Fax: 215 238-1968
E-Mail: info@kohnswift.com

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