Aaron M. Sheanin

650.784.4026

Experience

Aaron M. Sheanin has represented businesses, consumers, and individual and institutional investors in complex litigation in federal and state court throughout his career. He has extensive experience as an antitrust litigator, taking a leadership role in every aspect of several well-known cartel cases from inception through trial. Notably, Mr. Sheanin successfully tried an antitrust class action on behalf of direct purchasers of thin film transistor liquid crystal displays, which reached a favorable multi-million dollar verdict before trebling. In addition, Mr. Sheanin represented a class of student-athletes challenging the NCAA’s rules on capping scholarship compensation packages, as well as classes of direct purchasers who received multi-million dollar settlements from several major electronics companies over litigation alleging conspiracies to fix prices of lithium-ion batteries, optical disk drives, and cathode ray tubes. He has also represented clients in securities fraud, corporate governance, telecommunications, employment discrimination, defective product, and bankruptcy matters.

Prior to joining Robins Kaplan, Mr. Sheanin gained extensive experience prosecuting class actions and other complex cases as counsel to a California-based class action firm.  From 1999 to 2001, Mr. Sheanin was a pro se law clerk for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

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Mr. Sheanin served as co-lead counsel in In re Wells Fargo Collateral Protection Insurance Litigation (C.D. Cal.), a class action on behalf of more than 2 million automobile loan borrowers on whose accounts Wells Fargo and National General Insurance Corporation force-placed automobile insurance regardless of whether they maintained sufficient independent insurance.  Plaintiffs alleged that Wells Fargo billed borrowers for charges that they did not actually owe, and often did not detect, with lasting damage to their finances and creditworthiness.  Mr. Sheanin was responsible for litigation, discovery, and settlement strategy.  Defendants settled for more than $432 million.

In In re Lithium Ion Batteries Antitrust Litigation (N.D. Cal.), Mr. Sheanin represented direct purchaser plaintiffs in a class action alleging that the world’s leading electronics components manufacturers fixed prices of lithium-ion batteries. Mr. Sheanin headed a team of dozens of attorneys in all substantive and strategic aspects of this complex international cartel case. He was responsible for drafting and editing consolidated amended complaints, oppositions to motions to dismiss, motions to compel discovery, and the motion for class certification. Mr. Sheanin oversaw document review involving extensive foreign language productions, and successfully argued substantive motions and discovery motions. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

Mr. Sheanin represented a class of student athletes who challenged the NCAA’s rules prohibiting colleges and universities from offering athletic scholarships that provided the full cost of attendance. The NCAA and member conferences settled damages claims for more than $200 million in In re NCAA Grant-In-Aid Antitrust Litigation (N.D. Cal.), while injunctive relief claims remain pending. Mr. Sheanin was responsible for briefing substantive motions, taking discovery of critical fact witnesses, and other discovery matters. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

In In re Credit Default Swaps Antitrust Litigation (S.D.N.Y.), Mr. Sheanin represented the Los Angeles County Employee Retirement Association in a class action on behalf of all purchasers and sellers of credit default swaps (CDS), alleging that thirteen of the world’s largest banks conspired to restrain the efficient trading of CDS, thereby inflating trading costs.  Mr. Sheanin was involved in all aspects of litigation, discovery, and expert analysis. The case settled for $1.86 billion, one of the largest antitrust settlements in history. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

Mr. Sheanin represented direct purchaser plaintiffs in In re TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litigation (N.D. Cal.), a class action involving international cartel that fixed prices of thin film transistor liquid crystal displays. As a trial attorney in the case against the sole remaining defendant, Toshiba Corporation, he examined witnesses, presented evidence, and argued motions before the court. Direct purchaser plaintiffs obtained a jury verdict of $87 million before trebling. Mr. Sheanin’s extensive trial preparation included taking numerous first-chair depositions of fact and expert witnesses, reviewing thousands of exhibits, working with economic and industry experts, and successfully opposing summary judgment motions and motions in limine. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

Super Lawyers 2018
  • Named a “California Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers (2014-2019)
  • Nominated as a finalist for “Consumer Attorney of the Year,” Consumer Attorneys of California (2012)
Bar Admissions
  • California
  • New Jersey
  • New York
Education
  • Columbia University School of Law, J.D. (1999), James M. Kent Scholar, Harland Fiske Stone Scholar; Harlan Fiske Stone Honors Moot Court Competition, Director (1998-1999); Columbia Journal of Law & Social Problems (1997-1999)
  • University of California at Berkeley, A.B. in History (1993), Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Alpha Theta National History Honors Society
Professional Associations
  • California State Bar Antitrust, UCL and Privacy Section; Executive Committee (2013-2016), Advisor (2016-present)
  • Antitrust Section of the San Francisco Bar Association, Executive Committee (2014-2015)
  • American Bar Association
  • All Eyes on Antitrust
    Antitrust Litigation Forum, Charleston, South Carolina (October 28, 2019)
  • Ongoing Changes to Ascertainability and Administrative Feasibility
    20th Annual Class Action Litigation and Management Conference, Los Angeles, California (May 3, 2019)
  • MDL Strategy
    Antitrust Litigation Forum, Carefree, Arizona (October 22, 2018)
  • Antitrust Class Actions Challenges and Opportunities After Supreme Court Rulings
    GCR, New York, New York (June 27, 2016)
  • Technology and Antitrust
    Panel Moderator, Antitrust Litigation Forum, New Orleans, Louisiana (November 26, 2015)
  • Discovery A View from the Trenches in Todays Complex Antitrust Cases
    San Francisco Bar Association, San Francisco, California (June 26, 2012)
  • Task Force on Contingent Fees
    American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Portland, Maine (January 1, 2006)

  • California Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law
    Treatise, Contributing Editor (2014-2019)
  • California Lawyers Association Antitrust, UCL & Privacy Law Section E-Brief
    Articles Author
  • Appellate Courts Grapple with the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act
    with Craig C. Corbitt, Competition: The Journal of the Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section of the State Bar of California, Vol. 23 (Fall 2014)
  • The Ownership/Control Exception to Illinois Brick in Hi-Tech Component Cases: A Rule That Recognizes the Realities of Corporate Price Fixing
    with Bruce L. Simon, ABA International Cartel Workshop (February 2014)
  • The Questionable Use of Rule 11 Motions to Limit Discovery and Eliminate Allegations in Civil Antitrust Complaints in the United States
    with Bruce L. Simon, ABA International Cartel Workshop (February 2012)
  • California Class Actions Practice and Procedure
    Contributing author, American Bar Association, Task Force on Contingent Fees (Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section) (Matthew Bender, 1st Ed. 2003)

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