Rich Hernandez chairs McCarter’s Antitrust and Sports Law practices. He focuses on antitrust litigation, counseling and compliance as well as complex commercial litigation and sports law. His antitrust law experience extends to matters involving price-fixing, tying, exclusive dealing, product distribution (e.g., resale price maintenance policies, drafting, implementation and enforcement of distribution agreements, minimum advertised pricing policies, and other vertical restraints), franchising, monopolization, competitor collaborations/joint ventures, trade association conduct, and patent/antitrust matters, including reverse payment settlements, fraud on the Patent Office, and the licensing and enforcement of intellectual property rights. He has represented a variety of industry leaders, litigating antitrust matters, including complex class actions, in federal courts throughout the country.
Rich also advises on Hart-Scott-Rodino pre-merger notification, merger analysis and seeking clearance for transactions reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). He represents clients in government investigations conducted by the FTC, DOJ, and various state attorneys general into anticompetitive practices, and he often provides antitrust compliance training to help clients avoid future regulatory scrutiny.
Rich also focuses a significant amount of his practice on the business of sports. He represents industry stakeholders including MetLife Stadium, the New York Giants and the New York Jets in a wide range of complex disputes and commercial transactions, and regularly provides counseling to address other business concerns as they arise. Rich has regularly represented professional sports franchises and amateur and professional sports leagues in a number of high profile matters, experience which includes favorably resolving a highly publicized litigation over the alleged sale of fraudulent memorabilia in a settlement reached after obtaining dismissal of the core claims against his clients. Rich also defeated a putative class action filed in New Jersey federal court alleging his client’s requirement that season ticket holders purchase a “personal seat license” violated antitrust and consumer fraud laws. Rich also served as co-counsel to the NCAA, NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL in obtaining injunctions against implementation of New Jersey’s Sports Wagering Law in violation of the Federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. Rich also served as co-counsel to the NFL in an employment discrimination lawsuit brought by a player. In addition to representing sports clients involved in litigation, Rich regularly counsels professional teams and stadium operators in commercial transactions and other high profile and sensitive matters, including ticket resale issues, legalized sports betting, and crisis management.
In his diverse counseling and litigation practice, Rich also frequently represents banks, tech companies, hospital systems and other health care providers, food and beverage manufacturers and distributors, franchisors, franchisees, doctors and manufacturers of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and automobile parts. Rich has also acted as local counsel in over 50 New Jersey federal district court cases, including pharmaceutical, antitrust, and securities fraud matters.
Rich also serves on the Firm’s Partnership Selection, Professional Personnel, Diversity, and Associate Retreat Planning Committees. Rich is also a member of the ABA Section of Antitrust Law and contributing author of the 8th Edition of Antitrust Law Developments Treatise published in 2017 by the Section and the update published in 2018.
Rich is also a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation is an honorary organization of attorneys, judges, law faculty, and legal scholars whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and to the highest principles of the legal profession. Membership in The Fellows is limited to one percent of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction. Members are nominated by their peers and elected by the Board of the American Bar Foundation. Rich also serves as a trustee of the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey. The Association is the preeminent bar association for the federal court of New Jersey, which among other things, links members of the private bar with federal judges to share views on topics of mutual interest affecting federal practice. Rich also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Great Oaks Legacy Charter School in Newark, New Jersey, which serves over 2000 Newark students in grades K-12.