Matthew C. Blickensderfer
Matt helps clients solve their challenges in two principal areas: (1) antitrust litigation and counseling, and (2) appellate litigation. Matt is a member in the litigation department and is the chair of the firm's competition law group.
Antitrust Litigation and Counseling
Matt has handled a wide variety of antitrust litigation, including cases alleging price-fixing and other conspiracies, monopolization, tying, and exclusive dealing. He frequently consults with clients outside the litigation context on all aspects of state and federal antitrust law including price discrimination. His antitrust work spans many industries, including sports, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, automobile-related businesses, and payment services.
He frequently advises clients on their relationships with competitors, their relationships with suppliers and customers, and pricing issues.
Highlights of Matt's recent antitrust work include these matters:
- Hyland v. Homeservices of America, et al. (E.D. Ky.) - Matt currently represents a real estate brokerage firm accused of conspiring with other real estate brokers to fix the commissions on residential real estate in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The district court certified a class of more than 70,000 sellers of residential real estate for the period 2001-2005. In July of 2012, less than two weeks before trial was set to begin, the district court granted summary judgment in favor of our client.
- Standard Iron Works v. AcelorMittal, et al. (N.D. Ill.) - Matt currently represents an integrated steel manufacturer accused of conspiring with other major steel manufacturers to restrict the output of steel as a means of propping up steel prices. This case is currently in discovery.
- Midwest Agency Services et al. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. et al. (E.D. Ky.) – Matt represented the defendants in the successful defense of tying and state law claims. The plaintiffs alleged that Chase Bank refused to purchase automobile loans made by dealers unless the loans included a gap product issued by a Chase affiliate, and that this amounted to illegal tying under the federal antitrust laws and violations of Kentucky insurance statutes. The district court dismissed all claims, accepting all of the arguments advanced on behalf of the defendants: (1) the plaintiffs failed to plead injury to overall competition and thus had not established antitrust injury, (2) the conduct alleged was not a tying arrangement at all, but rather the defendants’ legitimate choice as to what risks to accept, and (3) the conduct alleged did not violate the Kentucky insurance statutes.
- Kentucky Speedway LLC v. NASCAR (E.D. Ky.) - Matt represented NASCAR in the successful defense of a conspiracy and monopolization case brought by Kentucky Speedway in federal district court. The lawsuit alleged that NASCAR and various racetrack operators, including NASCAR’s sister company, had conspired to exclude Kentucky Speedway and that NASCAR had illegally monopolized stock car racing. The district judge granted summary judgment for the defense. The Sixth Circuit affirmed.
Matt also represents clients in federal and state appellate courts. He served as a law clerk to the Honorable David A. Nelson, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He is the editor-in-chief of the Sixth Circuit Practice Manual (LexisNexis 3d ed. 2006) and the author of its chapters on appellate jurisdiction, stays pending appeal, and briefing requirements. He is also a co-author of Kentucky Appellate Practice (Thompson/West 2006) with his colleagues Sheryl Snyder and Griffin Terry Sumner.
Matt's appellate work includes these matters:
- Welsh Development Company v. Warren County Regional Planning Commission, 128 Ohio St.3d 471, 2011-Ohio-1604, 946 N.E.2d 215 (Ohio 2011) – The court of appeals had held that Welsh Development failed to perfect its administrative appeal based on its interpretation of the statutes governing appeals in Ohio state courts. The Ohio Supreme Court accepted our discretionary appeal to establish clear standards for Ohio administrative appeals. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held that Welsh Development’s appeal had been properly filed, and it articulated clear standards for filing such appeals.
- Alliance Health Group LLC v. Bridging Health Options, LLC, 553 F.3d 397 (5th Cir. 2008) - This case of first impression in the Fifth Circuit involved an issue of interpretation of forum selection clauses on which three other circuits had split. The Fifth Circuit accepted our client's position that a clause requiring litigation "in" a particular county permitted litigation in federal court, and not just the state court for that county, so long as the federal courthouse was physically located in the county in question.
- Ignazio v. Clear Channel Communications, 113 Ohio St.3d 276, 865 N.E.2d 18 (Ohio 2007) – The court of appeals had held that Clear Channel’s employment arbitration agreement was unenforceable because of an objectionable provision. The Ohio Supreme Court accepted our discretionary appeal in order to set standards for severability of contract provisions. The Supreme Court held 6-1 in our client's favor that the unlawful provision of the arbitration agreement was severable and the remainder of the agreement enforceable.
- Scovill v. WSYX/ABC, 425 F.3d 1012 (6th Cir. 2005) – In this employment discrimination lawsuit, the Sixth Circuit accepted our client's arguments and reversed the district court’s severance of certain aspects of an arbitration agreement while affirming the district court’s findings that the dispute was arbitrable and the arbitration clause lawful.
- State ex rel. Doner v. Zehringer, ___ Ohio St.3d ___, 2014-Ohio-2102, ___ N.E.2d ___ (Ohio 2014) – Matt represented the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and its Director in this contempt proceeding involving underlying eminent domain actions that the Supreme Court of Ohio had previously ordered the Department to file. Before Frost Brown Todd’s representation began, the Supreme Court of Ohio had held the Department and its Director in contempt for delays in initiating the eminent domain actions. Subsequently, after Frost Brown Todd began representing the Department and its Director, the property owners filed a second contempt motion based on events in the underlying actions. The Supreme Court unanimously rejected the property owners’ second contempt motion.
Huffman v. Hilltop Companies, LLC, 747 F.3d 391 (6th Cir. 2014) – Matt represented Hilltop Companies in the successful appeal of a federal district court’s refusal to compel arbitration of cases brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The district court had denied a motion to compel arbitration despite the existence of arbitration clauses in the plaintiffs’ independent contractor agreements with Hilltop, because those agreements contained survival clauses that did not include the arbitration provision as a term that survived the expiration of the agreements. In a case of first impression at the federal appellate level, the Sixth Circuit reversed and compelled arbitration. The court of appeals held that the absence of the arbitration clause from the list of surviving provisions was insufficient to overcome the presumption that an agreement to arbitrate disputes survives the expiration of a contract.
Highlights & Recognitions
- The Best Lawyers in America® "Lawyer of the Year," Litigation - Antitrust, 2013
- The Best Lawyers in America®, 2013 - 2017 (Litigation-Antitrust; Commercial Litigation)
- Cincy Leading Lawyers, Antitrust, 2006-Present
- AV® Pre-Eminent Rated, Martindale-Hubbell®
- Corporate International Magazine, Ohio Antitrust Law Firm of the Year (2013-14)
Recent Blog Posts
- Indecent Exposure: Fraud Class Actions Frequently Fall at the First Hurdle
- Kentucky Civil Rule 23.05(6) Imposes a Tax on Certain Types of Class Action Settlements
- Madoff Lawsuit Shows That Individual Issues of Reliance Will Not Doom Class Certification of Fraud Claims in Securities Cases
- Class Action Waivers Require Real Assent – Part II
- Consumer Protection Class Actions Based on Verbal Conduct Are Unlikely to Be Certified
- Web-Based Class Action Waiver Requires Real Assent
- BP Asks the Supreme Court to Bar Certification of a Class with Uninjured Members
- California Supreme Court Rules Private Attorney General Actions Are Not Waivable
- In re Nexium Antitrust Litigation Asks Whether a Class May Include Uninjured Members
- Sixth Circuit Dismisses Misclassification Class Action in Favor of Arbitration
- Sixth Circuit Dismisses Misclassification Class Action
- U.S. Department of Justice Ramps Up Antitrust Enforcement
- Antitrust Developments: Legislative Changes on the Horizon?
- Whole Foods and its Wild Oats: Antitrust scrutiny of mergers and acquisitions doesn’t end when the deal closes
- NASCAR Wins Summary Judgment in Antitrust Case brought by Kentucky Speedway
- U.S. Supreme Court Gives Manufacturers Greater Leeway in Controlling Distributors’ Prices
- 168 Frost Brown Todd Attorneys Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2017
- 175 Frost Brown Todd Attorneys Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2016
- 175 Frost Brown Todd Attorneys Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2015
- 172 Frost Brown Todd Attorneys Recognized in 2014 Best Lawyers®
- Nine Frost Brown Todd Attorneys Recognized as Leading Lawyers in Cincinnati
- 17 Frost Brown Todd Attorneys Named 2013 “Lawyers of the Year”
- 167 Frost Brown Todd Attorneys Recognized in 2013 Best Lawyers®
Non-FBT Publications and Events
Editor-in-chief and contributing author: "Sixth Circuit Practice Manual" (LexisNexis 3d ed. 2006)
"Kentucky Appellate Practice" (Thompson/West 2006)
Snyder, Sumner and Blickensderfer