Two new opinions

In re: Suboxone Antitrust Litig. (amended 8/25/20) —civil—affirmance—Shwartz

Suboxone is a drug used to treat opiod addiction by blocking the effects of, and craving for, the drug. It’s a life-saving treatment and advocates have fought hard to make it more widely available. But the pharmaceutical corporation that manufactured it engaged in various alleged marketing practices allegedly designed to suppress competition, like switching it from a tablet to a film in order extend its exclusive-seller period while falsely disparaging the tablets when generic competition for their sales began.

Suboxone direct purchasers sued the drug maker, alleging anti-competitive conduct violating the Sherman Act and seeking class certification. The district court granted certification and the drug maker appealed. Today, the Third Circuit affirmed, holding that the plaintiff class satisfied the requirements for common injury, predominance, and class-representative adequacy.

Joining Shwartz were Greenaway, Jr., and Rendell. Arguing counsel were Peter Kohn of Faruqi & Faruqi for the plaintiffs and Jonathan Berman of Jones Day for the drug maker. Impressively, the opinion issued less than a month after the argument.


Commissioner IRS v. Brokertec Holdings, Inc.—tax—reversal—Ambro

Tax appeals aren’t very common in the Third Circuit, at least not ones decided by precedential opinion. But the court decided an interesting one today, siding with the IRS and holding that tax breaks, grants, and the like given by New Jersey to businesses in exchange for relocating to the state are taxable income.

Joining Ambro were Shwartz and Bibas. Arguing counsel were David Blair of Crowell & Moring for the business and Judith Hagley of the DOJ tax division for the government.