The American Antitrust Institute (AAI) announced today that Langer Grogan & Diver partners Edward Diver, Howard Langer and Peter Leckman have been honored for Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement in Private Law Practice for their work on two major sports broadcasting cases: Garber v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball and Laumann v. National Hockey League.
The firm identified a serious antitrust violation that had gone unchallenged for decades: the agreements within Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League that no team would market games outside its agreed-upon home territory, in exchange for protection from competition from teams outside that territory.
Diver, Langer, and Leckman spent months investigating and planning the novel case. They then navigated through motions to dismiss, motions to compel arbitration, motions for summary judgment, pretrial preparation, and intensive mediation—every one of these stages hard-fought and high-stakes—winning significant precedents and ultimately concluding landmark settlements that changed the way these and other sports leagues make their games available. The settlements significantly reduced prices to millions of consumers and have been valued at more than $200 million. The firm’s pioneering work has reinvigorated the application of the antitrust laws to sports broadcasting.
For the five-attorney firm, the AAI honor caps an extraordinary year. In addition to the sports broadcasting cases, the firm reached a $37.5 million settlement in Reyes v. Zions First National Bank and won a preliminary injunction stopping the City of Philadelphia and its wholly owned utility, Philadelphia Gas Works, from collecting on unconstitutional liens.
The attorneys will be recognized at the AAI 2016 Antitrust Enforcement Awards on November 9, 2016 in Washington, DC.