Antitrust laws are essential to our nation’s economy. Without them, businesses would be free to conspire to charge American consumers higher prices. And monopolists would be able to squeeze competitors out of the market.
Antitrust laws are so vital that state and federal governments have empowered American consumers and businesses to bring legal claims to enforce these laws. And in some cases, they may obtain three times their damages if successful.
We have deep experience representing classes and individuals in antitrust suits against some of the world’s largest corporations. We gladly fight for those who have been harmed and want to enforce their rights, and have won billions of dollars for the classes we have represented.
Arbitration serves a crucial function in dispute resolution. By planning ahead, parties to a contract can select the decision maker, the process, and timing to resolve their disputes. As a result, many sophisticated parties have chosen arbitration rather than general courts of law.
But arbitrations are not business as usual. Even with set arbitration rules, the process allows for and demands skill and experience in the arbitration setting. Knowing the ins and outs of arbitrations in all forms gives advantages over those that treat arbitration as “just another piece of litigation.”
The lawyers at Burns Charest have experience in arbitrations, both domestic and international. They have overseen actions before major bodies, like AAA, JAMS, ICC, and ICDR, as well as bespoke arbitral settings. In cases large and small, Burns Charest has guided its clients through these arbitrations to a successful outcome because of the skill and experience of its lawyers.
The asbestos industry and companies using asbestos have ruined millions of lives by conspiring to hide the dangers of asbestos and the diseases caused by asbestos exposure. These industries actively worked to keep those dangers hidden from the public, hidden from the government and regulators, and hidden from the workers exposed to asbestos. Burns Charest is proud to represent individuals harmed by asbestos and their families in holding those industries accountable for the damage they caused.
Over the years, Burns Charest has represented thousands of clients for claims against asbestos manufacturers, refineries, shipyards, and other asbestos-containing facilities. These representations include both claims for exposed workers and secondary exposure claims for family members unknowingly exposed to asbestos on the clothing brought home by the worker.
Additionally, many of the manufacturers of asbestos sought protection from lawsuits in bankruptcy courts. These actions resulted in a number of bankruptcy trusts that can provide compensation to those injured by asbestos exposure without litigation. Burns Charest has successfully steered hundreds of clients through this administrative process and are here to help discuss your options for making a claim today.
Your business is business. Ours is trying cases. Burns Charest is the go-to firm for business disputes, including breach of contract, tortious interference with contract, unfair competition, violations of non-compete agreements, defamation and business disparagement, fraud, fraudulent inducement, accounting malpractice, and more. We’ve fought on both sides—with good effect. Our lawyers have recovered millions for plaintiffs and we’ve obtained complete defense wins. Whether your matter sits before a judge, a jury, or an arbitration panel, our expertise makes all the difference.
Big cases don’t require big bills. They require skill. Our attorneys are stand-up trial lawyers, not discovery litigators. We focus on winning at trial, not picking needless skirmishes along the way.
We’ll also craft the right fee structure for your case, whether that means blended arrangements, flat fees, or hourly rates. When appropriate, we welcome the opportunity to work on a contingency fee basis, so our reward comes only when you win. Ultimately, we want to establish a relationship that works for the client, the lawyers, and the case.
We also work with referrals. If you want to do a joint venture case, we’re willing to split work, expenses, and fees on equitable terms. If you need to refer a case due to a conflict, we can take the case forward and support your recommendation. And if you need trial counsel as the case matures, our attorneys can step into the case no matter how imminent the trial setting. Above all, we respect the client relationships of our referring counsel.
Class Actions & Consumer Protection
Corporations and special interest groups have spent millions of dollars in an effort to convince Americans that class actions are bad for business. Why? Because they know that class actions are the single most effective means of compensating Americans for corporate wrongdoing.
At Burns Charest, we believe that class actions are often the only way to assure that victims of corporate greed and unlawful conduct are compensated for their damages. Class actions are an integral part of our system of civil justice. We firmly believe in this fundamental right and are willing to stake our own financial resources on our clients’ behalf.
Federal and state governments have also enacted laws to protect consumers and businesses from unfair or deceptive practices. Burns Charest has successfully litigated many of these consumer cases, protecting Americans from violations of privacy and consumer protection laws, as well as state statutes regulating trade practices.
Big Oil is big business, and the business of Big Oil often leads to high-stakes litigation. People and companies from across the nation and around the world put a lot at risk in these deals. When things go wrong in this sector, they tend to go very wrong. That’s where we come in.
Our combination of trial savvy, industry experience, and technical know-how puts us in an excellent position to help you. The oil and gas industry has its own technology, accounting procedures and lexicon. The lawyers at Burns Charest understand these complicated concepts, and have explained any number of them to judges and juries for your benefit. We are oil and gas trial lawyers.
For example, we have litigated matters involving the costs and prices in revenue accounting for royalty calculations; the cause—at a molecular level—of production impairments in a deepwater, foreign, offshore drilling program; every aspect of seismic data collection—from shot to processor; and the prospectivity of wells in an undeveloped field. Each case brings another aspect of oil and gas technology. And our lawyers have mastered each one.
Big or small, domestic or foreign, we can help. Burns Charest has represented an array of clients from a publicly-traded, multi-billion dollar E&P company against a class of investors, to individual landowners against industry-leading operators, to one mid-major against other mid-major. Whether you are a landowner, royalty owner, working interest owner, an operator, a non-operator, a service company, or any other of the many interests in the oil field, we have the ability to focus on your issues and help you reach your goals.
With lawyers in Texas and Louisiana, our firm sits in the epicenter of the oil and gas litigation world. We’ve been involved in disputes in new shale plays—such as the Barnett, the Eagle Ford, the Bakken, the Haynesville, the Marcellus, and the Utica—as well as traditional plays—including the Anadarko Basin, the Denver-Julesburg Basin, and Central Louisiana. We’ve also litigated foreign cases, in locations such as Ghana, Mauritania, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Western Sahara, often through arbitration before the International Chamber of Commerce.
Burns Charest has represented clients regarding:
- Surface damage and other property damage
- COPAS accounting
- Contract-related disputes
- International oil and gas concessions
- Investor fraud
- Environmental claims, such as water table contamination, drainage issues, pollution and hydraulic fracturing
- Lease claims
- Lease trespass claims
- Mineral rights and royalties
- IPO securities claims
- Service provider billing fraud
- Seismic data secrecy
- Development agreement breaches
- Unitization disputes
When environmental pollution damages property, you need an attorney to hold the responsible industry or organization accountable. Whether the contamination is a result of historical or reckless oil and gas exploration and operations, unsafe storage of hazardous materials, or an environmental catastrophe, Burns Charest has the experience and knowledge to seek justifiable damages for the injuries caused.
Successful litigation of these cases requires specialized knowledge of environmental and natural resource regulations, scientific principles, and the applicable tort, contract, and property laws. Burns Charest succeeds in these cases because our attorneys are environmental practitioners as well as litigators.
Burns Charest has helped numerous landowners navigate complex claims of environmental pollution of water, soil, air, and wetlands and has brought those cases to successful resolutions. Burns Charest tailors its environmental caseload to assure that we devote the necessary attention that each case demands and work closely with our clients to achieve their goals.
Currently, Burns Charest represents landowners whose properties have been damaged from oil and gas operations and other hazardous waste left behind by neighboring property owners or previous landowners or lessees. We pursue damages and cleanups under a wide range of legal theories to secure accountability from the responsible parties.
Patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets have always represented some of a company’s most valuable assets. And today, rapid advances in technology mean companies both large and small are increasingly dealing with intellectual property disputes.
Burns Charest stands ready to help you win that fight. Our lawyers have litigated patent, copyright, and trademark infringement cases in federal courts throughout the country, including precedent-setting patent cases in both the United States Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit. One of our attorneys is also registered to practice as a patent agent with the USPTO. In addition to federal cases, Burns Charest also has extensive experience litigating theft of intellectual property in violation of various state laws and statutes.
Our lawyers have represented a wide variety of companies and investors in claims involving medical devices, consumer products, pharmaceuticals, software, electronics, and semiconductor technology. With undergraduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics, and Developmental Neuroscience, to name just a few, the lawyers at Burns Charest know how to distill complicated technologies into simplified concepts both judges and juries can understand.
Toxic and Mass Tort Litigation
Burns Charest has leveled the playing field between injured individuals and big business. Whether it’s misrepresenting the safety or efficacy of a drug, ignoring safe practices in the workplace, or turning a blind eye to testing or internal warnings that may affect the bottom line, there is no end to the depths of some companies’ duplicity and greed.
Burns Charest doesn’t back down, bringing know-how and experience to the courtroom, helping our clients seek the justice they deserve. And while big businesses may have considerable resources, so do we.
We fight alongside our clients every day on some of the most important cases in the country. Our experience in complex litigation positions us as leaders in mass tort cases and allows us to efficiently move these cases toward resolution without getting slowed down by pointless skirmishes. Courts also recognize this and routinely appoint us to leadership positions in not just mass tort cases, but antitrust cases, takings cases, and other class actions.
Part of our winning reputation comes from building deep relationships with our clients—going to their homes for dinner, sitting with them in the courtroom, and spending hours with them strategizing about their cases. Each client is an integral part of a team dedicated to seeking justice.
Lawyers from Burns Charest have successfully represented individual clients against pharmaceutical companies, oil companies and refineries, device manufacturers, and shipyards.
A sample of the current and recent cases at Burns Charest include:
- In Re Johnson and Johnson Talcum Powder Mkting, Sales Practices, and Products Liab. Lit., 16-2738 (D.N.J.) (represent thousands of plaintiffs exposed to cancer-causing talcum powder products; appointed to the Executive Committee tasked with prosecuting the litigation). On August 11, 2023, Judge Kaplan officially dismissed Johnson & Johsnon's subsidiary LTL Management's second bankruptcy case. You can read Judge Kaplan's full ruling HERE.
- In re Halliday and Charles Lit. Series., 15-097, 15-098 (V.I. Super. Ct.) (Lead Counsel in consolidated mass action of plaintiffs occupationally exposed to toxic substances at aluminum refining facility).
- 3M Bhatia et al. v. 3M Co., 16-01304 (D. Minn.) (Class Counsel in a defective products case. $32.5 million settlement)
- In re Asbestos, Catalyst, and Silica Dust Litig.,15-096, (V.I. Super. Ct.) (Lead Counsel in consolidated mass action of approximately 500 plaintiffs occupationally or secondarily exposed to asbestos. Confidential settlement three days before trial)
- Xarelto Prod. Liab. Lit., MDL 2592 (E.D.La.) (representing hundreds of plaintiffs injured after taking Xarelto).