Hartley, Jason S.
Jason's practice includes class action litigation, antitrust and unfair competition, and music law. He is involved in all aspects of civil litigation and has handled cases in both federal and state courts, in litigation and at trial. For the past several years, his practice has involved primarily antitrust and consumer class actions, often representing the largest plaintiff class members in nationwide antitrust actions.
Jason has successfully represented plaintiffs in federal Section 1 (conspiracy) and Section 2 (monopoly) Sherman Act cases and in state law actions alleging unfair business practices, false advertising, warranty and Proposition 65 violations, among other claims. He has served as lead counsel and in senior litigation roles in numerous class actions, which have collectively recovered more than $1 billion for plaintiffs.
Jason speaks regularly at CLE seminars on class action and antitrust issues and has published a number of articles on those issues.
In re Aftermarket Automotive Lighting Products Antitrust Litigation - Jason serves as co-lead counsel in this nationwide price fixing action against Taiwanese manufacturers of automotive parts and their US-based distributors. In March 2012, a California federal judge approved a $25.45 million settlement between a class of direct purchasers of automotive lighting products and several manufacturers accused of participating in a wide-ranging price-fixing scheme. The case is In re Aftermarket Automotive Lighting Products Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 2:09-ml-02007 (U.S. District Court, Central District, California) and continues against a number of defendants.
Leiszler, et al. v. Align Technology, Inc. - Jason represented a class of more than 22,000 dentists against the maker of Invisalign for unfair competition in suspending or decertifying dentists who did not prescribe a minimum number of new Invisalign cases. Jason obtained a settlement that amounted to a 100% recovery for the class, with a value of more than $50 million in cash and non-cash relief.
In re Urethanes Antitrust Litigation - Jason served as co-lead counsel for this nationwide class action alleging price fixing for certain polyurethanes. The case settled for over $33 million after four years of litigation.
Hackett, et al v. L'Oreal - Jason served as lead counsel for this nationwide consumer class action alleging false advertising regarding hair products. In addition to cash, the settlement required a change in defendant's nationwide $80 million advertising campaign.
Zeismer, et al v. Linens N Things - Jason served as lead counsel for this nationwide consumer class action alleging false representation of certain bed sheets. The settlement resulted in replacement sheets available to every class member around the country.
In re Relafen Antitrust Litigation - Jason represented the world's largest pork producer and only self-insured plaintiff in a nationwide class action against the company manufacturing the drug Relafen for artificially inflating prices. The case settled for $75 million.
In re Buspirone Antitrust Litigation - Jason represented plaintiffs in this nationwide class action against the manufacturer of the drug Buspar for artificially inflating prices. The case settled for $535 million.
In re Methionine Antitrust Litigation - Jason represented the largest plaintiff in a nationwide class action for price fixing an animal feed additive. The case settled for $109 million.
Fond du Lac Bumper Exchange, et al. v. Jui Li Enterprise Co. Ltd., et al - Jason developed this proprietary case for many months before filing a class action against several Taiwanese manufacturers of sheet metal automotive parts used in the collision replacement and repair market. The complaint alleges a long-standing price-fixing conspiracy that targeted buyers in the United States. The case has survived motions to dismiss and FTAIA challenges and is now in the middle of discovery.
In re Korean Air Passenger Surcharge Antitrust Litigation - Jason serves as plaintiffs' counsel in this nationwide class action against airlines that conspired to fix certain surcharges to passengers. A settlement was reached with defendant Asiana Airlines, which was approved by the Court. The case continues against Korean Air.
In re Visa/MC Interchange Fee Antitrust Litigation - Jason serves on the executive committee for plaintiff merchants in this nationwide class action against Visa and Mastercard for conspiring to fix the interchange fee charged to merchants. This case is one of the largest and most complex antitrust matters ever litigated. The case is currently in mediation.
Mobile Captions Company v. Hamilton Relay, Inc., et al. - Jason, along with other SSH attorneys, are representing the Plaintiff, alleging that Hamilton Relay and CapTel conspired to put Mobile Captions Company out of business. The suit alleges that Hamilton Relay breached its agreement with the Plaintiff at the behest of CapTel, a subsidiary of Defendant Ultratec, Inc.
H&R Block Compliance Fee Lawsuit - Jason represents plaintiffs in a putative nationwide class action against H&R Block for an unlawful "Compliance Fee" tacked onto bills for tax preparation services. H&R Block represented the fee as necessary in order to comply with IRS regulations associated with customers' tax return preparation. In reality, however, the fee is not mandatory, is not charged by the IRS and was instead used by H&R Block to charge its clients more without raising the price of the quoted tax preparation services.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit - Jason represents the surviving family of a long-time employee at the Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical facility adjacent to the San Diego Airport. The lawsuit alleges that Wayne Hopkins died of non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma as a result of his exposure to benzene and other toxic chemicals t the Teledyne Ryan site. Discovery is ongoing.
Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc., et al. v. United Egg Producers, et al. - Jason represents Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc., Four B Corporation (d/b/a/ Balls Food Stores), Cosentino Group, Inc., Cosentino Enterprises, Inc., Mid Am Food Enterprises, Inc., and CNW Foods, Inc. in an individual antitrust case against egg producers and egg industry trade groups. The defendants conspired to reduce the supply of shell eggs and egg products for the explicit purpose of artificially raising their prices. The lawsuit alleges that this conspiracy violated the Kansas Restraint of Trade Act. The case is currently pending in the District of Wyandotte County, Kansas. Discovery in this litigation is currently ongoing.
Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc., v. Cadbury Adams USA, Inc., et al. - Jason represents Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. in an individual antitrust suit against the country's largest chocolate candy manufacturers for price fixing chocolate candy bars sold in the United States. The defendants control over 75% of the U.S. chocolate candy product market. Starting as early as 2002, defendants coordinated a series of price increases for the purpose of increasing profit margins on their sales of U.S. chocolate candy products.
Jason's prior experience includes general counsel for an internationally distributed independent record company, representation of artists in major label record contracts, cruise lines in admiralty issues and vehicle manufacturers in product liability and warranty actions.
Areas of Practice
- Commercial Litigation
- Copyright, Trademark & Intellectual Property
West Practice Categories
Antitrust Law, Business & Commercial Law, Intellectual Property Law, Copyrights, Trademarks
- California, 1997
- U.S. District Court Central District of California
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
- U.S. Court of International Trade
Professional Associations and Memberships
- American Bar Association (Member)
- American Association for Justice (Member)
- Consumer Attorneys of California (Member)
- Consumer Attorneys of San Diego (Member)
- San Diego County Bar Association (Member)
- Consumer Attorneys of California (Board of Governors)
Classes and Seminars
- "Recognizing Price-Fixing and Market-Allocation Conspiracies", 33rd Annual Class Actions for Non-Class Action Lawyers - Growing Your Business by Understanding the Basics and Recognizing Opportunities, Los Angeles County Bar Association Conference Center, February 21, 2008
- "A General Practitioner's Guide: What to do if Your Client has an Antitrust or Intellectual Property Issue", Chicago, IL, April 24, 2007
- "Antitrust: The Business Case", California Western School of Law, San Diego, CA, June 20, 2006
- "Class Action Litigation: Understanding the Basics and Recognizing Opportunities", Maricopa County Bar Association, Phoenix, AZ, May 25, 2005
- "Class Actions for Non-Class Action Lawyers", Lighthouse Seminar Group, Chicago, IL, January 21, 2005
Pro Bono Activities
- Committee Board Member, Elder Help of San Diego
- OneKid, OneWorld
Past Employment Positions
- Troutman Sanders LLP, Partner, 2009
- Ross, Dixon & Bell, LLP, Partner, 2004 - 2008
- Ross, Dixon & Bell, LLP, Associate, 1999 - 2004
- Kaye, Rose & Partners, Associate, 1997 - 1999
- Tulane Law School, New Orleans, Louisiana,
Honors: cum laude
Honors: Winner, Nathan Burkan Memorial Writing Competition by ASCAP
Law Journal: Tulane Journal of International and Comparative Law, Assistant Executive Editor
- University of California, San Diego, California,
Honors: Provost's Honor List
- "Joint Comments of the American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law and Section of International Law on the Meaning of International Law on the Meaning of "Understanding" in the Australian Trade Practices Act 1974", March 26, 2009
- "Airlines Hit by Antitrust Actions", Discusses RDB's Lawsuits and the Federal Government's Two-Year Investigation, National Law Journal, November 19, 2007
- "Background of the Illinois Brick Decision", Appendix, ABA Section of Antitrust Law's Indirect Purchaser Litigation Handbook, August 8, 2007
- "The Self-Insurers' Role in Combating Excessive Prescription Drug Prices", The Self-Insurer, Vol. 20, February, 2003
- "In Re High Fructose Corn Syrup: A New Form of Chicago School Education", Findlaw.com, November, 2002