S. US Civil and Criminal Enforcement of International Cartels

Course Information

Course Number
Curriculum Level
Areas of Study
Administrative Law and Public Policy, Civil Procedure and Dispute Resolution, Criminal Law and Procedure, International and Comparative Law

Section 001 Information


Section Description

U.S. antitrust law imposes harsh civil and criminal penalties on companies and individuals that engage in price-fixing, bid-rigging, or the allocation of customers and markets. Criminal fines imposed by the U.S. Department of Justice against companies have in some recent years exceeded $1 billion on an annual basis, and individuals have been forced to serve on average more than two years in jail. Follow-on class actions by direct and indirect purchasers seeking treble damages based on joint and several liability, as well as states seeking restitution in their parens patriae capacity, have cost companies hundreds of millions dollars more. The reach of U.S. antitrust criminal and civil enforcement is long and hundreds of companies and individuals operating outside the U.S. have been subjected to tough US scrutiny and sanctions. This seminar exposes students to U.S. procedural and substantive law in this area, and to how U.S. law operates in a global environment that has multiple aggressive cartel enforcers, including the European Union, the Japan Fair Trade Commission and the Canadian Competition Bureau. The course will cover: the principles of global cartel enforcement; the extraterritorial reach of U.S. antitrust law; the grand jury process for criminal antitrust investigations; the U.S. Department of Justice's leniency program; the criminal exposure faced by companies and individuals depending on the timing of their cooperation; the plea negotiation process to resolve possible criminal charges; the procedure and strategy involved in a multi-jurisdictional cartel investigation; and the civil class action and parens patriae follow-on lawsuits by victims of the cartel behavior from the filing of the lawsuit through its resolution by trial or settlement. Method of Evaluation (Grading): Paper(s) and in-class performance.

School Year & Semester
Spring 2024
JGH 807
Class meets on
  • Wednesday
6:20 pm - 8:10 pm
Method of Evaluation
J.D Writing Credit?
Minor (automatic)
Major (only upon consultation)
LLM Writing Project

Learning Outcomes

  • At the end of the course, students will have acquired understanding of and/or facility in a specific body of law, including major policy concerns
  • At the end of the course, students will have acquired understanding of competing interests and perspectives in U.S. civil and criminal enforcement of international cartels, including from U.S. regulators and private litigants
  • At the end of the course, students will have acquired understanding of and/or facility in various lawyering skills, for example, oral advocacy, legal writing and drafting, legal research, negotiation, and client communication

Course Limitations

Instructor Pre-requisites
Instructor Co-Requisites
Recommended Courses
Antitrust is preferred.
Other Limitations