Aton was drawn to Kaye Scholer by its long tradition as an antitrust powerhouse and was immediately assigned to work on MDL-150, the largest antitrust case at the time. As an antitrust lawyer, Aton has won cases at both the trial and appellate levels, in both federal and state court. Early in his career he wrote the briefs that convinced the California Supreme Court that the state’s antitrust laws did not apply to a multibillion-dollar merger. Just this year, he successfully argued the appeal on behalf of 15 pharmaceutical manufacturers accused of conspiring to fix the prices, defending the summary judgment he and Saul Morgenstern had won in the trial court on behalf of the industry. Aton also has successfully defended or resolved numerous antitrust class actions in MDLs in federal court and indirect purchaser cases in state court. In addition, Aton has defended manufacturers in disputes with distributors, which often include antitrust claims, and counsels clients on a wide range of antitrust issues. Aton has been recognized as one of California’s leading practitioners in the antitrust field by Who’sWho Legal: California.
Aton’s practice has expanded far beyond his antitrust roots to encompass a broad range of complex litigations, including national class actions and consumer fraud class actions, in particular. He has been nationally recognized for his successes in defending pharmaceutical companies in product liability cases and related consumer class actions. In the phenylpropanolamine (PPA) products liability litigation, which occurred as a federal MDL and in state courts, he co-chaired the PPA joint defense team on experts and science issues, defeated a class action seeking refunds on millions of dollars of product containing PPA that had been withdrawn from the market, won the first-in-the-nation PPA trial, O’Neill, et al. v. Novartis Consumer Health, Inc., JCCP-4166 (L.A. Super. Ct. Jan. 22, 2004), and then successfully argued the appeal from the jury verdict for Novartis Consumer Health, Inc. Both The Daily Journal and The National Law Journal selected this verdict as one of the “Top 10 Verdicts of 2004.”
A frequent lecturer and author, Aton has appeared at many speaking engagements and published numerous articles in the areas of antitrust and class action law. He was recently appointed to the Executive Committee of the Antitrust and Unfair Competition Section of the California State Bar.