J. Douglas Richards is a Partner in the Antitrust practice group, having joined the firm in 2009. Mr. Richards has had a long, extensive and eclectic career, litigating on behalf of defendants for 16 years, serving as a government regulator at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) and representing plaintiffs for the past 16 years. As a result, he brings a global understanding of antitrust litigation.
Mr. Richards’ extensive experience litigating both Commodity Exchange Act and Sherman Act claims and his expertise in the antitrust class action field is widely recognized. He was named one of twenty-two antitrust "Litigation Stars" nationally, as one of the world’s leading competition lawyers by The International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers and Economists (2014), and has received the highest available peer ranking for many years from Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. Richards has been appointed co-lead counsel in numerous large antitrust class actions in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) and nationally. Mr. Richards has argued dozens of appeals, among them a number of antitrust matters that have helped shape the landscape of antitrust law, including Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007) before both the Second Circuit and the United States Supreme Court, and Second Circuit cases like In re Tamoxifen Citrate Antitrust Litig., 429 F.3d 370 (2d Cir. 2005), cert. denied, 127 S.Ct. 3001 (2007), and Kruman v. Christie’s Int’l PLC, 284 F.3d 384 (2d Cir. 2002).
Mr. Richards possesses extensive experience in the Commodity Exchange Act field, having served as Deputy General Counsel of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) from 1997 to 2000. During that time, Mr. Richards assumed responsibility for all litigation by and against the CFTC (including personally arguing numerous appeals on behalf of the CFTC), and for two of those years simultaneously managed the CFTC’s adjudicatory functions. In 1999, the Commission awarded Mr. Richards a Special Service Award for performing those two roles at the same time and successfully eliminating a long-standing backlog of Commission adjudicatory matters.
Mr. Richards is a leading lawyer nationwide in pharmaceutical antitrust litigation, a specialization that requires a deep understanding of the drug industry, patent law, FDA regulation and trade regulation. Starting in 2000 with the Cipro litigation, Mr. Richards was co-lead counsel on several antitrust lawsuits challenging the pharmaceutical industry’s practice known as pay-for-delay, or reverse payments. Many of those cases hit a roadblock in the courts, when the courts adopted a scope of patent rule. Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Actavis in 2012, the Supreme Court overruled the legal standards that had been adopted in the lower courts of appeals and opened the door for further litigation. In the wake of Actavis, Mr. Richards leads a team of litigators that have filed new pay-for-delay reverse payments cases.
Mr. Richards graduated with honors from the University of Chicago, majoring in Economics, and earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School. Prior to joining Cohen Milstein, Mr. Richards served as head of the antitrust class action group at two major plaintiffs firms and, before that and his government service at the CFTC, Mr. Richards served as a litigation partner in a boutique law firm. He is a noted speaker at professional conferences, discussing the trends in commodities and pharmaceuticals antitrust law. He has written extensively about antitrust laws, including chapters for books edited by the American Antitrust Institute covering issues of class action practice, law reviews, and other scholarly publications.