Jason S. Hartley

San Diego - Partner | 619-400-5825 (Direct) | hartley@stuevesiegel.com

Jason's practice includes class action litigation, antitrust and unfair competition, and music law. He is involved in all aspects of civil litigation and has handled cases in both federal and state courts, in litigation and at trial. For the past several years, his practice has involved primarily antitrust and consumer class actions, often representing the largest plaintiff class members in nationwide antitrust actions.

Jason has successfully represented plaintiffs in federal Section 1 (conspiracy) and Section 2 (monopoly) Sherman Act cases and in state law actions alleging unfair business practices, false advertising, warranty and Proposition 65 violations, among other claims. He has developed an expertise litigating against foreign defendants, most notably in Asia. Jason has served as lead counsel and in senior litigation roles in numerous class actions, which have collectively recovered billions of dollars for plaintiffs.

Jason has obtained notable results for his clients in numerous groundbreaking decisions and on issues of first impression.  For example, he obtained the first ever certification of a class of purchasers in a Walker Process antitrust claim (Alfred T. Giuliano, et al. v. SanDisk Corporation, Case No. 4:10-cv-02787, ECF 302 (N.D. Ca. 2015)); he obtained the first and only court-ordered denial of ACPERA protection claimed by Defendants cooperating with the Department of Justice, thus increasing three-fold the potential damages available to the plaintiff class he represented (In re Aftermarket Automotive Lighting Products Antitrust Litigation, 2013 WL 4536569 (C.D.Ca. 2013)) and he obtained the denial of a motion to dismiss based upon the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (“FTAIA”) in a case that helped set the standard for FTAIA dismissal motions (Fond du Lac Bumper Exchange, Inc. v. Jui Li Enterprise Co. Ltd., et al; 753 F. Supp.2d 792 (E.D.Wis. 2010)).

Jason speaks regularly at CLE seminars on class action and antitrust issues and has published a number of articles on those issues.


Recent Results

Fond du Lac Bumper Exchange, et al. v. Jui Li Enterprise Co. Ltd., et al- Jason developed this proprietary case for many months before filing a class action case against several Taiwanese manufacturers of sheet metal automotive parts used in the collision replacement and repair market such as fenders, hoods and floor panels. The complaint alleged a long-standing price-fixing conspiracy that targeted buyers in the United States. In May 2015, Jason together with co-lead counsel obtained preliminary approval of settlements totaling $25 million, before deduction of Taiwan taxes. The case continues against two remaining defendants.

Childers, et al. v. New York & Presbyterian Hospital, - Jason represents a class of former residents of the hospital who were cheated out of FICA tax refunds because of a secret agreement the hospital made with the IRS to settle a separate and unrelated matter.  The case settled in 2015 for over $6.6 million months after the court denied defendant’s motion to dismiss.

Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc., et al. v. United Egg Producers, et al. - Jason represents Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc., Four B Corporation (d/b/a Balls Food Stores), Cosentino Enterprises, Inc., Mid Am Food Enterprises, Inc., and CNW Foods, Inc. in an individual antitrust case against egg producers and egg industry trade groups. The defendants conspired to reduce the supply of shell eggs and egg products for the explicit purpose of artificially raising their prices. The lawsuit alleges that this conspiracy violated the Kansas Restraint of Trade Act. After nearly four years of litigation, Stueve Siegel Hanson successfully resolved this litigation in 2014.

In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation - Jason is a member of the class plaintiffs' attorneys' executive committee in this ground-breaking antitrust case, one of the largest in U.S. history. In December 2013, the Court approved a class-wide settlement that provides for more than $5 billion in cash along with rules-changes to the way Visa and Mastercard implement fees on merchants that could be worth an additional tens of billions of dollars. The ruling is currently on appeal.

In re Aftermarket Automotive Lighting Products Antitrust Litigation - Jason serves as co-lead counsel in this nationwide price fixing action against Taiwanese manufacturers of automotive parts and their US-based distributors. In May 2014, a California federal judge approved the last of a series of settlements between a class of direct purchasers of automotive lighting products and several manufacturers accused of participating in a wide-ranging price-fixing scheme. The final settlement was reached only days before the trial would begin. Jason and his co-lead counsel recovered more than $53 million in settlements for the class. The case is In re Aftermarket Automotive Lighting Products Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 2:09-ml-02007 (U.S. District Court, Central District, California).

Leiszler, et al. v. Align Technology, Inc. - Jason represented a class of more than 22,000 dentists against the maker of Invisalign for unfair competition in suspending or decertifying dentists who did not prescribe a minimum number of new Invisalign cases. Jason obtained a settlement that amounted to a 100% recovery for the class, with a value of more than $50 million in cash and non-cash relief.

In re Urethanes Antitrust Litigation - Jason served as co-lead counsel for this nationwide class action alleging price fixing for certain polyurethanes. The case settled for over $33 million after four years of litigation.

Hackett, et al v. L'Oreal - Jason served as lead counsel for this nationwide consumer class action alleging false advertising regarding hair products. In addition to cash, the settlement required a change in defendant's nationwide $80 million advertising campaign.

Zeismer, et al v. Linens N Things - Jason served as lead counsel for this nationwide consumer class action alleging false representation of certain bed sheets. The settlement resulted in replacement sheets available to every class member around the country.

In re Relafen Antitrust Litigation - Jason represented the world's largest pork producer and only self-insured plaintiff in a nationwide class action against the company manufacturing the drug Relafen for artificially inflating prices. The case settled for $75 million.

In re Buspirone Antitrust Litigation - Jason represented plaintiffs in this nationwide class action against the manufacturer of the drug Buspar for artificially inflating prices. The case settled for $535 million.

In re Methionine Antitrust Litigation - Jason represented the largest plaintiff in a nationwide class action for price fixing an animal feed additive. The case settled for $109 million.

Current Cases

Fond du Lac Bumper Exchange, et al. v. Jui Li Enterprise Co. Ltd., et al – Jason represents a class of direct purchasers of aftermarket automotive sheet metal parts (like fenders, bumpers, quarter panels, hoods, etc.) from Taiwan-based manufacturers. The case alleges price fixing and market manipulation by the four manufacturers who control more than 90% of the United Stats market for aftermarket automotive sheet metal parts. Settlements with half of the defendants were reached in 2015.

In re SFPP, L.P. Property Rights Litigation, MDL 2647 – Jason represents property owners in several different states with rights adjacent to a railroad with Congressionally-granted land easement rights.  Contrary to the rights of the property owners, the railroad permitted the installation of a gas pipeline on property not owned by the railroad, wrongfully extracted rents therefrom and permitted a continuing trespass by the pipeline company. 

Spangler, et al, v. National College of Technical Instruction, et al – Jason represents a class of students of NCTI, a subsidiary of AMR, one of the country’s largest provider of emergency medical responders.  The complaint alleges that NCTI failed to provide the necessary internships and hospital clinicals to students as required under the law, misrepresented the duration of instruction before eligibility for licensing as an EMT, and misrepresented job placement rates, among many other violations.

Target Corporation Data Breach - Jason represents a putative class of Target store customers whose confidential financial data was hijacked by hackers when Target's electronic servers were breached.  Over 40 million customers' accounts were stolen due to insufficient security measures undertaken by Target. The parties reached a settlement that was preliminarily approved by the Court in 2015.  They are awaiting final approval.

Giuliano et al v. Sandisk Corporation– Jason serves as co-lead counsel for a class of purchasers of flash memory products from Sandisk in this “Walker Process” antitrust litigation.  Plaintiffs allege that Sandisk fraudulently obtained its “crown jewel” patents regarding flash technology that it then used to exclude competitors and charge monopoly rents on its customer. The Northern District of California recently certified the class of purchasers Jason represents in the nation’s first class certification of a Walker Process claim. 

Johnson, et al v. Consumerinfo.com Inc. – Jason and his co counsel are litigating this case against Experian’s online business for fraudulently representing that the credit scores it sells are FICO equivalents used by lenders to evaluate a person’s creditworthiness.  In fact, the credit scores it sells are virtually worthless and not evaluated by creditors at all.  The case is on appeal to the Ninth Circuit after the District Court enforced the adhesionary arbitration clause buried in customers’ online contracts, which purport to eliminate the right to pursue claims on a class-wide basis. 

In re Capacitors Antitrust Litigation – Jason is part of the team of plaintiffs lawyers representing a class of direct purchasers of electronic capacitors against their manufacturers for price-fixing. 

Wallach, et al. v Eaton Corp., et al – Jason is co lead counsel on behalf of indirect purchasers alleging price fixing by Eaton Corp. and each of the largest Class 8 truck manufacturers in the country.  The complaint alleges a conspiracy between Eaton and the manufacturers regarding kickbacks if the manufacturers purchased all their transmission needs from Eaton, excluding competition, limiting the choice, and raising the prices to the consumers Jason represents.  

In re Korean Air Passenger Surcharge Antitrust Litigation - Jason serves as plaintiffs' counsel in this nationwide class action against airlines that conspired to fix certain surcharges to passengers. Settlements were reached with the defendants, and are now the subject of appeal.

Mobile Captions Company v. Hamilton Relay, Inc., et al. - Jason, along with other SSH attorneys, are representing the Plaintiff, alleging that Hamilton Relay and CapTel conspired to put Mobile Captions Company out of business. The suit alleges that Hamilton Relay breached its agreement with the Plaintiff at the behest of CapTel, a subsidiary of Defendant Ultratec, Inc. Following a two week arbitration, Hamilton was found to have breached its agreement with Mobile Captions and Mobile Captions was awarded damages. The case continues against CapTel.

H&R Block Compliance Fee Lawsuit - Jason represents plaintiffs in a putative nationwide class action against H&R Block for an unlawful "Compliance Fee" tacked onto bills for tax preparation services. H&R Block represented the fee as necessary in order to comply with IRS regulations associated with customers' tax return preparation. In reality, however, the fee is not mandatory, is not charged by the IRS and was instead used by H&R Block to charge its clients more without raising the price of the quoted tax preparation services.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit - Jason represents the surviving family of a long-time employee at the Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical facility adjacent to the San Diego Airport. The lawsuit alleges that Wayne Hopkins died of non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma as a result of his exposure to benzene and other toxic chemicals at the Teledyne Ryan site. Discovery is ongoing.

Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc., v. Cadbury Adams USA, Inc., et al - Jason represents Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. in an individual antitrust suit against the country's largest chocolate candy manufacturers for price fixing chocolate candy bars sold in the United States. The defendants control over 75% of the U.S. chocolate candy product market. Starting as early as 2002, defendants coordinated a series of price increases for the purpose of increasing profit margins on their sales of U.S. chocolate candy products.

Jason's prior experience includes general counsel for an internationally distributed independent record company, representation of artists in major label record contracts, cruise lines in admiralty issues and vehicle manufacturers in product liability and warranty actions. He is a former partner at Ross, Dixon & Bell, LLP and Troutman Sanders, LLP.

California, 1997

U.S. District Court, Southern District of California

U.S. District Court, Central District of California

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California

U.S. Court of International Trade

U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit, New York

U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, California

Tulane Law School, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1997
Honors: cum laude
Honors: Winner, Nathan Burkan Memorial Writing Competition by ASCAP
Law Journal: Tulane Journal of International and Comparative Law, Assistant Executive Editor

University of California, San Diego, California, 1993
Honors: Provost's Honor List

Super Lawyers - San Diego, 2013 - 2015

AV Rated - Martindale Hubbell

San Diego Museum of Man, Balboa Park (Board of Trustees)

San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (Policy Committee)

ElderHelp of San Diego (Fundraising Committee Member)

Professional Organizations

American Bar Association (Member)

American Association for Justice (Member)

Consumer Attorneys of California (Board of Directors, Board of Governors)

Consumer Attorneys of San Diego (Member)

San Diego County Bar Association (Member)

American Bar Foundation (Fellow)

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