Charles H. Samel

Charles H. Samel

Partner
San Francisco, CA
Overview

About Chuck

Chuck Samel is a partner in Stoel Rives’ Litigation Group whose practice focuses on antitrust litigation, antitrust counseling and complex commercial litigation.  Chuck advises clients about whether their sales, pricing, marketing and distribution practices, or those of their competitors, comply with the antitrust laws.  He also provides antitrust compliance training programs for corporate employees.

Clients trust Chuck for his judgment and have confidence he will resolve their disputes successfully and cost-effectively through negotiation, mediation, or litigation. Chuck has experience litigating almost every type of complex business claim, including antitrust class actions and antitrust litigation alleging monopolization, price discrimination, exclusive dealing, minimum advertised pricing policies (MAPP), and price-fixing. Chambers & Partners USA observed that Chuck “enjoys a fine reputation as a superb and highly adept class actions litigator.”

In addition to his extensive antitrust litigation experience, Chuck has represented corporate clients in class actions and complex business litigation matters involving claims for breach of contract, consumer protection, false advertising and unfair competition, franchise litigation, insurance coverage, interference with contract, and trade secrets. His clients have included companies from virtually every industry, including: computer hardware and software; entertainment; financial services; credit and debit card payment processing; gasoline and petroleum products; hospital services; internet advertising; musical instruments and equipment; paper and paper products; pharmaceutical drugs; professional sports; television; tobacco; and transportation.

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Experience

Experience

ANTITRUST CLASS ACTION AND ANTITRUST LITIGATION DEFENSE

  • Defended facilities management company in action in which competitor alleged conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids to steer the awards away from the plaintiff, and to the other defendants, in violation of the Sherman Act. Motion to dismiss granted and affirmed by the Ninth Circuit.*
  • Defended major talent agency defending against alleged claims for conspiracy in violation of the Sherman Act, tortious interference with contract, tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, and violations of the California Unfair Competition Law arising from an alleged agreement among four talent agencies to exercise control over the market for scripted television series. Motion to dismiss granted and affirmed by the Ninth Circuit.*
  • Defended major oil refiners in putative class action in which service station dealers alleged that refiners used exchange agreements to restrict supply and raise the price of gasoline in violation of federal antitrust law. Motion to dismiss granted and affirmed by the Ninth Circuit.*
  • Defended major retailer of musical instruments in putative class action of consumers alleging that retailer and vendors conspired to use minimum advertised pricing policies to restrict retail competition for musical instruments and equipment in violation of federal and state antitrust law. Motion to dismiss granted and affirmed by the Ninth Circuit.*
  • Defended trucking company in putative national class action in which shippers alleged that less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers agreed to fix fuel surcharges in violation of federal antitrust law. Motion to dismiss granted and no appeal.*
  • Defended major oil refiner in class action in which consumers alleged that the refiners conspired to fix prices and restrict supply of gasoline in violation of state antitrust law. Motion for summary judgment granted and affirmed by the California Supreme Court.*
  • Defended trade association in action by independent pharmacies alleging hub-and-spoke antitrust conspiracy by drug manufacturers to fix prices and preclude the importation of pharmaceuticals from Canada. Motion for summary judgment granted and affirmed by California Court of Appeal.*
  • Defended manufacturer of semiconductors in putative national class action in which consumers alleged conspiracy to fix the prices of graphics processing units conspired in violation of federal and state antitrust law and state consumer protection laws, including the California Unfair Competition Law. Motion for certification of indirect purchasers denied. Motion for certification of direct purchaser class denied in substantial part and settlement for remainder of class.*
  • Defended hospitals in putative class action in which nurses alleged that independent hospitals conspired to suppress their wages in violation of state antitrust law. Motion for summary judgment granted and affirmed on appeal.*
  • Defended manufacturer of moist snuff smokeless tobacco in direct purchaser class action by wholesale distributors that alleged claims for monopolization based on category management practices. Noncash settlement prior to decision on motion for class certification.*
  • Defended manufacturer of moist snuff smokeless tobacco in more than one dozen indirect purchaser class actions in which adult consumers alleged claims for monopolization based on category management practices in state courts in California, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Motion to dismiss Pennsylvania action granted and affirmed by the Third Circuit, and remaining actions settled.*

COMPLEX COMMERCIAL LITIGATION

  • Defended manufacturer of semiconductors against claims for breach of contract, promissory estoppel, and quantum meruit arising from formation of cybersecurity research institute. Bench trial resulted in take nothing judgment in favor of defendant.*
  • Defended manufacturer of semiconductors against claims for breach of contract and breach of covenant of good faith arising out of allegation by educational publisher that defendant was required to continue to operate and maintain digital platform for K-12 school districts after termination of contract. Resolved by settlement.*
  • Defended consumer products company against claims for breach of contract arising out of allegation by major league baseball club that the parties entered into a binding sponsorship agreement. Resolved by settlement.*
  • Defended payment processing company against putative class action in which named plaintiffs alleged they were charged for wireless phone services that they never authorized in violation of the California Legal Remedies Act and the California Unfair Competition Law. Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed action with prejudice.*
  • Represented manufacturer of semiconductors in dispute arising out of claims against supplier of components used in data center architecture for breach of warranty, indemnity, and breach of contract. Resolved by settlement.*
  • Defended manufacturer of semiconductors in putative nationwide class action by consumers alleging claims for violation of the California Unfair Competition Law, breach of warranty, and false advertising concerning product performance claims on package and website. Resolved by settlement.*

* Prior Firm Experience

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Honors

Honors & Activities

Professional Honors & Activities

  • Ranked in BTI Client Service All-Stars: Antitrust & Commercial Litigation, 2015
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America (currently: Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Antitrust), 2007 - 2020
  • Recognized by Chambers & Partners USA as “one of the leading antitrust lawyers in California,” 2006 - 2011
  • Listed by Los Angeles Magazine as “Southern California Super Lawyers” for Antitrust and Business Litigation, 2005, 2008 - 2018
  • Executive Committee Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Litigation Section, 2018 - Present
  • Past Co-Chair, ABA Section of Litigation, Antitrust Litigation Committee
  • Annual Dinner Committee Member, Bet Tzedek Pro Bono Legal Services, 1996 - 2012
  • Law Alumni Board Member, Georgetown Law School, 2008 - 2014
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

  • “Whether to Opt Out of Antitrust Class Actions: A Four-Step Checklist,” American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, May 26, 2015.
  • “Closing the Courthouse Doors to Consumer Class Actions? What Recent Case Law Reveals About Successful Enforcement of Arbitration Agreements and Class Action Waivers,” Competition, The Journal of the Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section of the State Bar of California, Spring 2012.
  • “Antitrust Update,” West Coast Regional Compliance and Ethics Conference, Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics, San Francisco, California, June 25, 2010.
  • “Recent Antitrust Enforcement Actions and What You Should Do About Them,” 2009 Annual Compliance and Ethics Institute, Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics, Las Vegas, Nevada, September 14, 2009.
  • “Socratic Solitaire: Implications of In re Tobacco II for Proof of Injury in Antitrust and Unfair Competition Class Actions,” Competition, The Journal of the Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section of the State Bar of California, Fall 2009.
  • “Antitrust Update,” West Coast Regional Compliance and Ethics Conference, Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics, Newport Beach, California, June 26, 2009.
  • “The State of Antitrust Enforcement: Resale Price Maintenance, Bundled Discounts and Price Discrimination,” LRN Webinar, June 6, 2008.
  • “Bundled Discounts and Monopolization: What You Need to Know After PeaceHealth,” Antitrust Litigator, published by the Antitrust Litigation Committee of the ABA Section of Litigation, Summer 2008 (co-authored with Robert S. Huie).
  • “Trade Associations: Boundaries in Antitrust Litigation (Part Two – Defenses to Liability),” Antitrust Litigator, published by the Antitrust Litigation Committee of the ABA Section of Litigation, Winter 2007.
  • “Trade Associations: Boundaries in Antitrust Litigation (Part One – Associational Privacy and Civil Discovery),” Antitrust Litigator, published by the Antitrust Litigation Committee of the ABA Section of Litigation, Spring 2006.
  • “Best Practices for Examining and Cross-Examining Expert Witnesses,” moderator of panel discussion for ABA Section of Litigation, Annual CLE Conference, Los Angeles, California, April 22, 2006.
  • “The Availability of Damages for Monopolization Under California Law,” Competition, The Journal of the Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section of the State Bar of California, Fall 2004/Winter 2005.
  • “The Five People You Meet Preparing For Your Deposition: A Guided Journey For The Senior Executive,” Litigation, Summer 2005.
  • “Antitrust Enforcement, Litigation and Compliance Program Best Practices,” presented to West Coast General Counsel Conference, sponsored by American Lawyer Media, San Francisco, California, November 16, 2004.



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