Emmy Levens is a partner at Cohen Milstein and a member of the firm’s Antitrust and Public Client practices. Ms. Levens has particular expertise in litigating large, high-profile complex litigation, class actions, and appellate litigation involving anticompetitive, consumer fraud, and environmental justice claims.
Ms. Levens has been repeatedly recognized by the legal industry for her exceptional work, including being named to The National Law Journal’s 2021 “Elite Women of the Plaintiffs Bar,” recognizing the top female litigators in the U.S., who “have demonstrated repeated success in cutting-edge work on behalf of plaintiffs,” as well as Bloomberg Law’s 2021 “They’ve Got Next: The 40 Under 40 – Mass Torts” and Law360’s 2020 “Rising Stars – Class Action.”
Currently, Ms. Levens is litigating the following notable matters:
- Flint Water Crisis Litigation (E.D. Mich.): On November 10, 2021, the Court granted final approval of a landmark $626.25 million settlement between Flint residents and businesses and multiple governmental defendants, including the State of Michigan, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and individual defendants, including former Governor Rick Snyder, in this environmental toxic tort class action, affecting over 90,000 Flint residents and businesses. Litigation will continue against other defendants, including two private engineering firms, Veolia North America and Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam (LAN), both charged with professional negligence, and separate litigation against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will also continue. Cohen Milstein’s is Interim Co-Lead Class Counsel in this litigation. Ms. Levens oversees class strategy and manages all aspects of the litigation.
- Iowa Public Employees Retirement System et al. v. Bank of America Corp. (S.D.N.Y.): Cohen Milstein is co-counsel in this groundbreaking putative class action, in which investors accuse Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, UBS, J.P. Morgan, and other Wall Street banks of conspiring to thwart the modernization of and preserve their dominance over the $1.7 trillion stock loan market. Ms. Levens is one of the lead Antitrust partners in this suit.
Some of her past successes include:
- Pre-Filled Propane Tank Antitrust Litigation (W.D. Mo.): Cohen Milstein served as Co-Lead Counsel to Direct Purchasers in this price fixing class action against two of the largest distributors of propane exchange tanks. In June 2020, the court granted final approval of the $12.6 million settlement. Ms. Levens drafted the successful appellate brief argued before the Eighth Circuit en banc. The Court adopted Plaintiffs’ articulation of the continuing violation doctrine and held that sales made pursuant to an anticompetitive agreement constitute new acts for purposes of determining the timeliness of a claim, thereby reviving Direct Purchasers’ antitrust claims against distributors of pre-filled propane tanks. In January 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review the Eighth Circuit’s ruling, allowing it to stand.
- Resistors Antitrust Litigation (N.D. Cal.): Cohen Milstein served as Interim Co-Lead Counsel for the direct purchasers of resisters, who accused the world’s largest manufacturers of resistors of fixing prices. In November 2019, the court granted final approval of a $50.25 million settlement – a remarkable recovery, reflecting 33% - 57% of estimated single damages according to Plaintiffs’ preliminary analysis. Estimated payments to class members would be an average payment of $46,850.64; a median payment of $768.39. Ms. Levens managed all aspects of this litigation.
- Allen vs. Dairy Farmers of America (D. Vt.): Cohen Milstein served as Lead Counsel for one of two subclasses of dairy farmers challenging anticompetitive conduct in the Northeast which resulted in lower prices paid to farmers. In April 2017 the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a $50 million settlement between plaintiffs and the remaining defendants, bringing the total settlement to more than $80 million, in addition to industry-changing equitable relief. Ms. Levens served as one of the principle attorneys litigating this matter since its inception.
- Plasma-Derivative Protein Therapies Antitrust Litigation (N.D. Ill.): Cohen Milstein served as Co-Lead Counsel for plaintiffs alleging that the two largest manufacturers of IVIG and Albumin – life-saving therapies derived from blood plasma – conspired to reduce the supply, and increase the prices, of these therapies. Ms. Levens played an active role in the litigation, helping to obtain settlements totaling $128 million for hospitals and other direct purchasers.
- Bulk Bleach Litigation (D.S.C.): Ms. Levens served as one of the key attorneys at Cohen Milstein representing a class of municipalities and other direct purchasers of bulk bleach in a case alleging that the two dominant manufacturers of bulk bleach in the Carolina’s engaged in an illegal market allocation agreement. After successfully defeating multiple motions to dismiss, class counsel obtained a settlement that satisfied nearly all of the class’s damages. In approving the settlement, Judge Gergel complimented counsel, stating that the, “whole case has been, I think, very professionally handled, skillfully handled.”
Ms. Leven’s recent pro bono work includes:
- Access to Education Class Action (Circ. Crt., Prince George’s Cnty.): On June 12, 2019, Cohen Milstein, the ACLU of Maryland, and the Howard University School of Law Civil Rights Clinic filed an education discrimination class action and motion for a temporary restraining order against the Prince George’s County School Board, seeking to declare its charging of fees for summer school violates the Maryland Constitution (which requires the state to provide a free education), causing serious, irreparable harm to students in the county who cannot afford the fees.
Ms. Levens was also a member of the Apple price-fixing litigation team recognized as “Legal Lions” by Law360.
In addition to her work at the Cohen Milstein, Ms. Levens has served as an adjunct Professor at Georgetown School of Law and is a Board member and Secretary of Global Playground, a nonprofit that builds schools in the developing world. She recently co-authored an article entitled, “Heightened Ascertainability Requirement Disregards Rule 23’s Plain Language,” which appeared in the Spring, 2016 issue of Antitrust magazine.
Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Levens worked as a staff law clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Ms. Levens attended the University of Kansas, graduating with honors, and earned her J.D. at UCLA Law School, graduating Order of the Coif. While at law school, Ms. Levens served as the Managing Editor for the UCLA Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, Director of the Downtown Legal Housing Clinic, and President of Moot Court.