Gray Plant Mooty
Dan Shulman was involved in one of the largest U.S. antitrust class-action settlements ever reached. His firm was one of a dozen that represented consumers, who purchased laptops, computer monitors and LCD flat-screen televisions and sued a number of manufacturers for unlawfully conspiring to fix LCD prices. The settlement totaled $1.1 billion and the net proceeds will be distributed to consumers who submitted claims.
“It’s huge,” Shulman says. “It’s the largest settlement ever obtained in an ‘indirect purchaser’ case. … That’s what I did for four years. I made 10 trips to Asia where I took testimony in China, Korea and Taiwan of these guys who had been involved in fixing the prices.”
When the settlement was announced, Shulman waited to see if consumers would pick up on the story. However, after two months, he started educating eligible consumers about the opportunity to recover unlawful overcharges they may have paid due to the price-fixing conspiracy. He began an email and marketing and media campaign to spread the word. It worked. The number of claims from Minnesota soared to 12.5 percent of all claims, second only to California.
“I haven’t done too many class actions, mostly as a matter of choice,” Shulman says. “Class actions have had a bad rep. … So it was very important for me to make sure that everybody who had a claim, made the claim and is going to get paid.”
Shulman has been chief counsel in antitrust litigation involving major industries, including data storage, media, food, airlines, health care and consumer electronics.
“Antitrust is about trying to do something about concentrations of power,” he explains. “The issues are intellectually fascinating, and the cases are big enough so you’re able to give them the full attention they deserve.”
Also in 2012, Shulman won an arbitration award of $3.3 million for an unlawfully terminated insurance agent, and he’s well-known for his pro bono work.
“I’ve done pro bono cases against police officers and institutions over racial discrimination and violation of civil rights,” he says. “From 1993 to 1998, we did a desegregation case involving the Minneapolis Schools, which was ultimately settled. As I look back, I can say that’s the case I’m proudest of.”