Profile

Since joining the firm at its inception in 1997, Bill’s main practice area has been complex commercial litigation, including both civil trials and arbitration. Bill, the Vice Chairman of the firm, is a 2016 American Lawyer Litigator of the Year, ranked by Chambers & Partners, a three-time winner of The AmLaw Litigator of the Week, among 31 lawyers in the LawDragon 500 for each of the last ten years, and a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Global Competition Review writes, "Arguably no antitrust lawyer in recent memory has had as much success for both plaintiffs and defendants as Boies Schiller partner Bill Isaacson.” 

In 2015, after a three-week jury trial in the District of Nevada, Bill–together with BSF co-counsel Karen Dunn–won a $50 million verdict, later increased to $124 million in a judgment, for Oracle for software copyright infringement and state law violations. In 2014, in O’Bannon v. NCAA, he won significant attention for his cross-examinations of NCAA witnesses, obtaining a historic victory for college athletes. In the same year, Bill served as trial counsel, with Karen Dunn, in a high-profile antitrust class action in the portable music industry, winning a complete defense verdict. In 2013, Bill was also trial counsel in the first antitrust action against Chinese companies for cartel conduct relating to products sold in the United States, winning a $162 million judgment, and $33 million from settling defendants

The publication Lawdragon has recognized Bill as one of 30 lawyers who for 10 years has been listed as one of the 500 leading lawyers in the U.S. and writes: "It’s nearly impossible to find a more reliable antitrust litigator than Isaacson, who has successfully handled several of the most high-profile cases in the past two decades.” Law 360 has named Bill as a Competition MVP both in 2015 and 2018 and Titan of the Plaintiff Bar, and a Litigator of the Week by Global Competition Review. Legal 500 describes him as a “leader” at the firm “with many successes to his credit” who has a "brilliant knowledge of international arbitration." 

Bill is a member and former Chair of the Board for Legal Counsel for the Elderly. In 2015, Legal Counsel for the Elderly on its 40th Anniversary gave him its individual Award for Sustained Excellence and Outstanding Commitment. His pro bono work was featured in articles in the Washington Post on June 10, 2010 and January 10, 2017.

Experience

In addition to Bill's other work, in the field of antitrust, ten federal antitrust class actions have gone to trial and to judgment in this century and he has tried five of those cases, winning verdicts in each case, whether plaintiff or defense. His commercial litigation includes:

  • Summary judgment awarded on the eve of trial for defendant in a billion dollar case in the music industry
  • Jury verdict followed by $124 million judgment in action for software copyright infringement and state law violations
  • A defense verdict from the jury in a billion dollar class action defending against accusations of monopolization in the digital music industry
  • As trial counsel in O’Bannon vs. NCAA won a historic judgment for college athletes finding the NCAA in violation of the antitrust laws and ordering injunctive relief for NCAA athletes permitting the sharing of name, image and likeness monies
  • Antitrust litigations with settlements exceeding $300 million for BSF clients
  • Co-lead counsel for the direct purchaser class in In re: Municipal Derivatives Antitrust Litigation ($220 million in settlements) and In re: Polyurethane Foam Antitrust Litigation ($430 million in settlements)
  • In Shandling v. Grey, represented comedian Garry Shandling against Shandling’s former manager for breach of fiduciary duty. His argument on summary judgment reversed a tentative decision for defendant. Variety wrote about the summary judgment proceedings under the headline "Shandling Claims Get New Life in a Stunning Reversal.”
  • Lead counsel in proceedings in the Southern District of Texas and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to enforce an international arbitration award under the New York Convention, resulting in a $261 million judgment that was affirmed on appeal
  • Represents the Ultimate Fighting Championship in defense of a potential antitrust class action being pursued by a group of mixed martial artists
  • He acted as lead trial counsel for plaintiffs in Animal Science Products v. Mitsui & Co. in federal court in Washington, DC. This was an international cartel case that resulted in a jury verdict in June 2003 for the class of $49.5 million (before trebling) in favor of the direct purchaser plaintiffs in this price-fixing conspiracy and market-allocation case. The plaintiffs, direct purchasers of choline chloride (Vitamin B4), alleged that manufacturers and sellers of B4 participated in a 10 year conspiracy to set prices and allocate the market for B4, a supplement commonly used in animal feed. The defendants found liable in this action are manufacturer DuCoa LP; its general partner, DCV Inc.; a Japanese trading firm Mitsui & Co, Ltd.; and its subsidiary, Mitsui & Co. (USA), Inc.
  • Arbitration trial followed by over $60 million in contract concessions for an internet company
  • In In re Scrap Metal Antitrust Litigation won a jury verdict in 2006, trebled to $34.5 million. He served as lead counsel in the case, which involved antitrust violations in the scrap metal industry.

 

 

Publications & Presentations

Antifederalism Revisited, 21 University of Toledo Law Review 147 (Fall 1989)

Education

  • University of Virginia School of Law, J.D.; Order of the Coif; Margaret G. Hyde Award
  • University of Redlands, B.A., Political Science & English; National Debate Tournament Finalist

Admissions

Bars

  • District of Columbia

Awards and Associations

Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America

Global Competition Review 2014 Litigation of the Year – Non-Cartel Prosecution

Global Competition Review 2014 Litigation of the Year – Non-Cartel Defense

Clerkships

  • Hon. Harrison L. Winter, U.S. Court of Appeals: Fourth Circuit