ProfessionalsRobert A. Atkins
Bob has been a litigator and trial lawyer at Paul, Weiss for 34 years, and is a former co-chair of the Litigation Department, a former member of the firm’s Management Committee, and the current co-chair of the firm’s legal ethics committee. Bob has twice been named The American Lawyer’s “Litigator of the Week,” first for his successful trial and appellate work in an antitrust and consumer deception case in the Eastern District of Texas and the Fifth Circuit, and most recently for winning a trade secrets and noncompetition trial involving IBM and Microsoft in the Southern District of New York. Bob has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the “Best Lawyers” in U.S. Antitrust Litigation. He also litigates voting rights cases as the Co-Chair of the Brennan Center for Justice.
Bob has a nationwide practice trying cases and arguing appeals, primarily in the areas of antitrust, consumer deception and false advertising, and corporate commercial disputes. His work spans numerous industries and businesses, including cloud computing and information technology, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and private equity. He appears in state and federal courts across the country, including currently California, Florida, New York, Delaware, North Carolina, New Jersey, Michigan and Washington. Bob has argued appeals in the Second, Third, Fifth and Eleventh Circuits, as well as many state appellate courts.
Bob represents medical device manufacturer Becton Dickinson (BD) in several antitrust purchaser class actions, including cases in Illinois, New Jersey and Georgia. In addition, Bob was lead counsel for BD in a jury trial in Tyler, Texas involving antitrust and consumer deception claims, where he secured a defense verdict on 11 of 12 counts and then won the appeal in the Fifth Circuit on the 12th count for attempted monopolization by deception. Most recently, Bob lead the Paul, Weiss team in the complete dismissal, with prejudice, of an antitrust class action against BD in which a putative class of all U.S. hospital and healthcare providers alleged conspiracy with the distributors of its products to inflate the prices of syringes and IV catheters by excluding competitors from the market.
He represents IBM in unfair competition litigation and government investigations. Bob is also trial counsel for PharMerica, one of the country’s leading pharmacy companies, MacAndrews & Forbes, Novo Nordisk and Viacom.
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 consumer and purchaser class actions and multi-plaintiff consumer deception lawsuits in several industries. His representations have included:
- 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.
- Ruby Corp. (previously Avid Life Media, the parent company of online site Ashley Madison) in consumer fraud class actions stemming from a highly publicized cyber intrusion and data breach.
- Massage Envy Franchising in multi-plaintiff consumer deception and personal injury lawsuits in state courts in California, Florida, New Jersey and many other states.
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 lawsuits involving gerrymandering, one-person/one-vote, and voter suppression. Bob serves as the Co-Chair of the Board of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.