ProfessionalsRobert A. Atkins
A litigator at Paul, Weiss for 29 years, Bob Atkins is the Chairman of the firm’s legal ethics committee and a member of the firm’s Management Committee. He has tried cases in state and federal courts, including an antitrust and false advertising trial in the Eastern District of Texas that won Bob recognition as The American Lawyer's "Litigator of the Week." Bob also has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the “Best Lawyers” in the U.S. in Antitrust Litigation.
Bob handles litigations and government investigations in a wide range of matters and industries, including antitrust and product liability class actions in the medical products business, mass tort actions arising from the 9/11 attacks, struggles for corporate control in the insurance and newspaper industries, charges of payola in the radio industry, false advertising lawsuits in the healthcare industry, and trademark and copyright infringement in the movies and on TV.
Bob represents Becton Dickinson (BD) in antitrust lawsuits and class actions, as well as government investigations regarding the sale of medical devices. Bob tried a Sherman Act case for BD in Tyler, Texas, winning a defense verdict on all the Section 1 and Clayton Section 3 claims. Bob also defended BD in a nine-year antitrust class action in the District of New Jersey, alleging monopolization and exclusive dealing, including a successful appeal to the Third Circuit that established the standard for direct purchaser standing in that circuit. In re Hypodermic Prods. Antitrust Litig., 484 Fed. Appx. 669 (3d Cir. 2012).
He represents IBM in unfair competition litigation and the owners of the Ashley Madison website in a consumer fraud class action arising out of the hack of its dating website, Ashley Madison. Bob is also trial counsel for PharMerica, one of the country's leading pharmacy companies.
Bob also represented CIT Group in winning a motion to dismiss before the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, and confirming the victory on appeal to the Third Circuit in a price-fixing conspiracy case. CIT and co-defendants were accused of violating Section 1 of the Sherman Act by sharing confidential information about their clients' customers and reaching agreements regarding the terms and conditions of credit to be extended.
Bob also defends product liability and negligence suits involving allegations of unsafe products, defective medical devices and the transmission of infectious diseases. His representations include:
- Mitsubishi Motors Corp. in investigations and litigations related to allegedly defective airbags.
- FieldTurf in product defect and consumer fraud class actions and related investigations.
- Boeing against design defect claims in the multi-billion dollar property damage lawsuits arising from the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11.
- Becton Dickinson in product defect class actions and individual suits claiming fatal injuries to healthcare workers.
- Take-Two Interactive in dismissing wrongful death and strict liability claims against the creator of the Grand Theft Auto video game.
Bob has litigated high-profile disputes over corporate control and management, including the representation of AIG, the litigations between Hollinger and its former CEO Lord Conrad Black, and the thwarted hostile takeover of True North Communications.
In addition to his commercial practice, Bob regularly litigates voting rights cases and Constitutional challenges to voter registration and identification laws. Bob serves as the Co-Chair of the Board of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.