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Class Action Litigation 2020

Speaker(s): Adam S. Zimmerman, David G. Keyko, James Shah, Kate T. Spelman, Lester J. Levy, Maeve L. O'Connor, Robert P. DeWitte, Sharon Robertson
Recorded on: Jun. 1, 2020
PLI Program #: 276199

David Keyko is a partner in the law firm's Litigation practice and is located in the New York office. His practice has focused on major, complex litigation, often involving multiple parties. He has handled cases involving allegations of securities or other types of fraud, antitrust violations, ethics issues and trusts and estates issues across the country, often involving insurance coverage issues. He has conducted internal investigations and represented clients responding to government probes. He has also served as an expert witness in connection with legal malpractice litigation. Among the prominent cases Mr. Keyko has handled was the representation of a defendant in a $1.4 billion antitrust lawsuit.

Mr. Keyko was named the "New York City Best Lawyers Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law Lawyer of the Year" for 2012, 2017 and 2019. He has lectured and written widely on securities, antitrust, legal ethics and general litigation topics, and chairs PLI's programs on federal pretrial practice and ethics for corporate lawyers. He is a former columnist for the New York Law Journal and has written several dozen articles on litigation and ethics issues for such publications as the National Law Journal.

Mr. Keyko has undertaken a variety of pro bono projects, including representing for over 20 years a death row inmate in Alabama asserting that the inmate is innocent of the crime for which he was convicted, serving as Chair of the Board of Mobilization for Justice Legal Services, Inc., and serving two terms as a member of the Departmental Disciplinary Committee of the First Department. He was Chairman of the Professional Responsibility Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. He chaired the ad hoc committee of the Association that commented on proposed SEC regulations under Section 307 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. He is currently a trustee of the Association and is the chair of the ABA Legal Referral and Information Service Committee.

Mr. Keyko is a member of Pillsbury's Sarbanes-Oxley Committee, Opinions Committee and Professional Responsibility Committee. He is an adjunct professor at the Fordham University School of Law where he teaches legal ethics.

James C. Shah is a partner of Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP and focuses his practice on the prosecution of complex class and commercial litigation.  A significant portion his practice during the past 18 years has related to consumer class actions, including automotive defect cases.  James is also actively involved in litigating ERISA, wage and hour, and qui tam matters.  In addition to contingent matters, he also represents a significant number of commercial clients in hourly litigation, including many international companies.  James earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Oregon (1990) and a law degree from Temple University School of Law (1994).  James began his career as a litigator in Philadelphia with Pelino & Lentz, P.C.  In April 2000, he joined with Scott Shepherd and began building a firm, which now has more than 20 attorneys and offices in six states. 

During the past several years, James has been actively involved in initiating and litigating cases against manufacturers who placed engines with faulty emissions technology into the marketplace.  He served as co-lead class counsel in a vigorously contested MDL against Caterpillar, Inc, which resulted in a common fund settlement of $60 million.  (In re: Caterpillar, Inc., C13 and C15 Engine Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2540 (D.N.J.) (Hon. Chief Judge Jerome B. Simandle).)  James also served as co-lead counsel in an action against Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, Inc., involving claims that the diesel engines on approximately 10,000 trucks were equipped with defective emissions control technology.  (

Q+Food v. Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, Inc. (D.N.J.), 3:14-cv-06046 (Hon. Douglas E. Arpert).)  That action resulted in a $17.5 million common fund settlement.  In addition, James is co-lead plaintiff’s counsel in Rodman v. Safeway Inc., (N.D. Ca.), 3:11-cv-03003 (Hon. Jon S. Tigar), where plaintiff obtained certification of nationwide class of individuals who asserted that they had been overcharged for groceries delivered to their homes and also obtained summary judgment on liability, as well as a $43 million damages judgment, which was recently upheld by the Ninth Circuit.

James is a member of the American Association for Justice, Public Justice and the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association.  In addition, he is an active member of IAG International (Integrated Advisory Group),, a consortium of independent law, fiduciary trust and accounting firms in Asia, Canada, Central America, Europe, the Middle East, South America and the United States.   

Lester J. Levy, Esq.
Settlement Master/Ombudsman

Lester J. Levy is an expert in designing and managing post settlement proceedings in class action and mass torts cases. Mr. Levy created JAMS Class Action Settlement Adjudication Program and is a founding member of the JAMS bankruptcy practice.

Lawyers and their clients have confidence in Mr. Levy because he pays attention to the details. The processes he designs and oversees have integrity that yields predictable and consistent outcomes.

Settlement Master/Ombudsman – Practice Area Expertise

  • Business/Commercial Transactions
  • Bankruptcy Claims & Preferences
  • Consumer Finance, Credit & Banking
  • Construction Defect & Building Products
  • Employment & Civil Rights
  • Environment & Toxic Torts
  • High Tech/Intellectual Property
  • Insurance Products
  • Limited Partnership Disputes & Dissolutions
  • Personal Injury
  • Product Liability
  • Real Estate
  • Securities & Antitrust

Representative Settlement Master/Ombudsman Responsibilities

  • Negotiation and adoption of plans of allocation
  • Development of damages matrixes
  • Elimination of invalid claims
  • Individualized awards based on individual circumstances
  • Quality control measures to ensure consistency of process and awards

Representative Matters

  • Advisor, The International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (International settlement involving more than 55,000 claims for life insurance benefits)
  • Chief Adjudicator, the African American Farmers Cases (Pigford v. U.S. Department of Agriculture) (25,000 Civil Rights actions based on alleged historical discrimination)
  • Judge Pro Tempore, In re General Chemical Richmond Works Cases (Mediated settlement and oversaw distribution of settlement funds to 65,000 claimants resulting from toxic release)
  • Mediator, Hanlon v. Chrysler Motors (Fee mediation relating to settlement of national Product Liability action alleging defective mini-van door latches)
  • Mediator, In re BKP Securities (Class action by Limited Partners of hedge fund against General Partner)
  • Mediator, Manufacturers Life Insurance Company Premium Litigation (National MDL class action involving all purchasers of vanishing premium life insurance policies)
  • Mediator, Masonite Hardboard Siding Cases (National Product Liability class action involving allegedly defective hardboard siding)
  • Settlement Master, Cemwood Hardboard Siding Cases (National Product Liability class action involving allegedly defective products)
  • Settlement Master, In re Catacarb Cases (Allocation of finite settlement fund among 11,000 claimants resulting from refinery airborne toxic release)
  • Settlement Master, In re Cryptosporidium Cases (Class of 4,000 Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Action based on contamination in Milwaukee, Wisconsin municipal water system)
  • Settlement Master, Lesser v. IKON (class action regarding corporate sales tax liability)
  • Settlement Ombudsman, In re Providian Credit Card Cases (Settlement of coordinated federal and state cases nationwide involving 24,000,000 class members)
  • Special Master, Atchison Topeka Railway Company v. INA, et al. (National coordinated insurance coverage action involving more than 600 contaminated sites throughout the United States)
  • Special Master, Barnett v. Glenborough Federal Bank (Judge for all purposes, by appointment, presiding over 5,000 limited partnership claims)
  • Special Master, Beloit Liquidating Trust (Systematic mediation and arbitration of claims and preferences arising out of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Proceeding)

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Registered Mediator, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York
  • Adjunct Professor, Alternative Dispute Resolution, University of San Francisco Law School
  • Member, ADR Panels for the Northern California Federal District Court, and the Superior Courts of San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, and San Mateo Counties
  • Member, ADR Panels for the Bankruptcy Courts in the Districts of Delaware and the Southern District of New York
  • Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators
  • Former Vice Chair & Member, Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Committee, Tort Trial & Insurance Section of the American Bar Association
  • Chair & Member, ADR Committee, American Bankruptcy Institute, 2005-2008
  • Founder, JAMS’ Class Action Settlement Program
  • Founder, JAMS’ Environmental Judicial College
  • Trained in mediation/negotiation at Harvard Law School (Roger Fisher, author of Getting to Yes)
  • Written and lectured on ADR to Bar Associations including the ABA, IBA, law firms, private companies, and law schools throughout the United States
  • "Mediator Creates Healthy Settlement Environment," ADR Profile, Daily Journal, March 23, 2007

Background and Education

  • Munger, Tolles & Olson, San Francisco and Los Angeles, California, 1986-1994
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Irving R. Kaufman, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1985-1986
  • J.D., magna cum laude, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, 1985; Chief Articles Editor, Cardozo Law Review
  • B.Mus., San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 1981, Classical Guitar Performance and Composition

Maeve O’Connor is a litigation partner whose practice focuses on securities litigation, shareholder litigation and complex commercial matters.  She represents public and private companies as well as their boards and officers in high stakes litigation and regulatory matters around the country.  She is Co-Chair of the firm’s Securities Litigation Practice and she spent six years as a member of the firm’s Management Committee.

Maeve is recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA and The Legal 500 US. She is also recognized as a "Litigation Star" and as one of the "Top 250 Women in Litigation" in the IFLR Benchmark Litigation Guide.  She is a co-author of Takeovers: A Strategic Guide to Mergers & Acquisitions (Wolters Kluyer Law & Business).

Prior to joining Debevoise, Maeve served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable H. Lee Sarokin, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Ms. O’Connor received her J.D. from Yale Law School and her B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Adam Zimmerman is a Professor of Law at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, where he teaches Tort Law, Administrative Law, Mass Tort Law, and Complex Litigation.  Professor Zimmerman's teaching methods have been featured in the national news media. He was named Best New Law Professor in 2011 and Professor of the Year in 2013 by the Student Bar Association.

Professor Zimmerman’s scholarship explores the way class action attorneys, regulatory agencies and criminal prosecutors provide justice to large groups of people through overlapping systems of tort law, administrative law and criminal law. His recent articles have been accepted for publication in the Columbia Law ReviewDuke Law JournalNew York University Law ReviewUniversity of Pennsylvania Law Review, Virginia Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal. In 2016, the federal government adopted Zimmerman’s recommendations to permit class actions in administrative hearings based on findings that appear in his forthcoming article in the Yale Law Journal, Inside the Agency Class Action.

Professor Zimmerman graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law, where he served as Associate Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal and co-founded the first student chapter of the American Constitutional Society in the country.  After graduation, he clerked for Judge Jack B. Weinstein in the Eastern District of New York. He then served as counsel to Special Master Kenneth R. Feinberg in the design and administration of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.  Afterwards, he was associated with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, where he represented clients in complex commercial litigation and mass tort cases, as well as domestic and international arbitration. As a practitioner, Professor Zimmerman has also worked on global class actions involving the tobacco industry, gun manufacturers, and Agent Orange.

Robert brings expertise in all types of class action litigation to KCC. As Vice President of Class Action Services, Robert helps guide the strategic direction of the business development team in implementing
initiatives that foster client relationships and ensure clients receive professional level service.

As part of these duties, Robert consults with clients at all stages of class action litigation, from prior to class certification through final approval of a class action settlement.

As a former class action attorney in Chicago, Robert represented plaintiffs in a wide array of class action litigation, including the In re DVI Securities Litigation. In the course of this experience, he litigated and argued class action cases at the trial and appellate levels in state and federal court.

Robert is Lead Editor of the KCC Class Action Digest, a monthly publication distributed to a wide range of KCC class action clients and prospects. He is a frequent speaker at class action industry events and a frequent contributor to various class action publications, including the ABA’s Class Action and Derivative Suits committee newsletter, Law360, and others. Robert regularly provides CLE programs on class action notice and settlement administration. Additionally, he is a past Chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s Class Action Committee, and currently serves as its Membership Coordinator.

Robert received a joint Juris Doctor and Master of Public Administration degree from Indiana University where he served as Notes and Comments Editor for the Indiana Law Journal. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University in History and Criminal Justice where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and ran varsity track and cross country.

Sharon Robertson is a Partner at Cohen Milstein and a member of the Antitrust practice group.

Ms. Robertson has been repeatedly recognized for her success in leading complex, multi-district antitrust litigation. In 2018, the American Antitrust Institute honored her with its prestigious “Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement by a Young Lawyer” award for her role in securing one of the largest recoveries by end-payors in a federal generic suppression case in more than a decade.  Similarly, The Legal 500 selected her as a “Next Generation Lawyer” (2017 and 2018), an honor bestowed upon only 10 lawyers under 40 years old across the country, who are positioned to become leaders in their respective fields. Likewise, The New York Law Journal recognized her as a Rising Star (2018) – one of only twenty individuals selected to receive this honor. In addition, Benchmark Litigation selected Ms. Robertson for inclusion on its “40 & Under Hot List” (2018) and Law360 named her as one of five “Rising Stars” (2018) in the field of competition law whose “professional accomplishments belie their age”, as did Super Lawyers (2014-2016). Ms. Robertson has also been recognized by Law360 as one of a few female litigators to secure leadership roles in high-profile MDLs, such as In re Lidoderm Antitrust Litigation, (March 16, 2017). 

Ms. Robertson is spearheading the firm’s efforts in cutting-edge and industry-defining pay-for-delay pharmaceutical antitrust lawsuits, which allege that the defendant brand manufacturer entered into non-competition agreements with generic manufacturers in order to delay entry of lower-priced generic products. Ms. Robertson also heads up the firm’s generic price-fixing cases, which allege that certain generic drug manufacturers conspired to inflate the prices of generic drug products.  These cases come on the heels of a government investigation led by the U.S. Department of Justice alleging similar conduct, which, while ongoing, has already resulted in indictments and guilty pleas.

In addition to leading complex MDLs, Ms. Robertson is an accomplished trial lawyer. She served as a trial team member in two of the largest antitrust cases tried to verdict, including In re Urethanes Antitrust Litigation, where the jury returned a $400 million verdict, which was trebled by the Court, as required by antitrust law, to $1.06 billion, resulting in the largest price-fixing verdict in U.S. history, as well as In re Nexium Antitrust Litigation, the first pharmaceutical antitrust case to go to trial following the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in FTC v. Actavis, 570 U.S. 756 (2013).

Ms. Robertson co-chairs the firm’s Professional Development and Mentoring Committee and serves on the firm’s Diversity Committee. She is also an active member of the Executive Committee for the Antitrust Section of the New York State Bar Association.

While attending law school, Ms. Robertson was an intern in the Litigation Bureau of the Office of the New York State Attorney General and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  Additionally, while in law school, Ms. Robertson was selected as an Alexander Fellow and spent a semester serving as a full-time Judicial Intern to the Hon. Shira A. Scheindlin, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Ms. Robertson graduated from State University of New York at Binghamton, magna cum laude with a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Law.  She earned her J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where she served as Notes Editor of the Cardozo Public Law, Policy and Ethics Journal.

Prior to attending law school, Ms. Robertson worked on the campaign committee of Councilman John Liu, the first Asian American to be elected to New York City’s City Council.