John M. Tanski
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John Tanski is an experienced courtroom advocate who represents clients in sophisticated business disputes, focusing his practice on claims of anticompetitive conduct, trade secret theft, unfair trade practices, breach of contract, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. Clients praise his “intellectual firepower” and describe him as “a valuable counselor to the business clients as they weigh the pros and cons of the possible paths to follow.”

John’s extensive litigation experience includes winning favorable results for clients in a variety of industries ranging from manufacturing and insurance to pharmaceuticals and software. His recent successes include winning summary judgment for Stanley Black & Decker to defeat an antitrust boycott claim and winning dismissal of all claims against a German exhaust system manufacturer in the Auto Parts MDL.

John also has significant appellate experience in both federal and state courts. In addition to his work for paying clients, John won a unanimous reversal of two Travel Act sentences as appointed counsel under the Criminal Justice Act, leading to his client’s release after more than twenty-three years in federal prison. Before entering private practice, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Paul J. Kelly, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

John is active in his community, serving as the Vice Chairman of the Glastonbury Water Pollution Control Authority and as a member of the Connecticut State Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He is a former member of the Commission on Connecticut’s Leadership in Corporation and Business Law.  His pro bono work has included representing inmates in civil rights lawsuits in federal district court and serving as trial counsel in discrimination matters for the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. 

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Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association, Section of Litigation

Experience

  • In the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, currently represents Tyson Foods in the Broiler Chicken antitrust litigation.
  • In the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, currently represents multiple defendants in the Auto Parts antitrust class action MDL.
  • In the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, currently represents a generic pharmaceutical manufacturer in the Opioid litigation.
  • In the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, won dismissal of all claims against Friedrich Boysen GmbH & Co. KG in the Auto Parts antitrust class action MDL.
  • In the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, won unanimous affirmance of summary judgment defeating a nine-figure antitrust claim alleging that Stanley Black & Decker and other table saw manufacturers engaged in a group boycott of table saw safety technology.
  • In the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, won summary judgment of no lost profits for Hubbell erasing a ten-figure trade secret damages claim relating to wireless lighting control systems.
  • In the Connecticut Supreme Court, successfully briefed an appeal on behalf of national insurance broker Brown & Brown, winning unanimous affirmance of summary judgment on all claims brought by Blumberg Associates Worldwide. He previously briefed and argued the case successfully in the Connecticut Appellate Court.
  • In the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, obtained a preliminary injunction for healthcare benefit and payment solutions provider WEX Health (formerly Evolution1) requiring benefits administrator Flex-Plan Services, Inc. to continue to perform the parties’ contract after Flex-Plan sued WEX Health seeking early termination.
  • In the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, defeated an effort to dismiss claims for breach of contract, fraudulent transfer, successor liability, and declarations of intellectual property ownership and then served as the principal author of moving and reply briefs that obtained the dismissal of counterclaims seeking $3 million in damages against venture capitalist Joseph Harris and his company, Conestoga Capital Partners.
  • In the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, won the unanimous reversal of Patricia Williams's two Travel Act sentences, resulting in her release after more than twenty-three years in federal prison. 
  • In the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, won permission to take an interlocutory appeal of an order certifying a class for claims of false advertising against Mead Johnson, the maker of Enfamil LIPIL infant formula. The Axinn team then persuaded the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to transfer and consolidate similar class actions filed in districts across the country.  Axinn then obtained court approval of nationwide settlement of the consolidated claims, and then won unanimous affirmance of the settlement's approval in the Eleventh Circuit.
  • In the Connecticut Superior Court’s Complex Litigation Docket, successfully briefed and argued in opposition to a motion to strike cross-claims of unjust enrichment and unfair trade practices arising from automotive parts remanufacturer Motorcar Parts of America’s purchase of assets from a failing competitor.
  • In the United States District Court for the Central District of California, won a temporary restraining order preventing Lego from blocking the import of construction toys by Canadian manufacturer Mega Brands.
  • In the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, served on a trial team that obtained a favorable resolution for Actavis of patent infringement claims by Pfizer relating to the drug Gabapentin.

Honors

  • Best Lawyers (2019)
  • Super Lawyers (2013 - 2018)
  • In February of 2018, Axinn was nominated for Global Competition Review "Litigation of the Year – Cartel Defence" for its work on behalf of Nishikawa Rubber Company in the Auto Parts litigation. This award recognizes "creative, strategic and innovative litigation on behalf of a defendant in a private action for cartel damages."

  • In February of 2017, Axinn was nominated for Global Competition Review “Litigation of the Year – Non-Cartel Defence” for its work in winning summary judgment for Stanley Black & Decker in a lawsuit alleging that leading table saw manufacturers had conspired to boycott saw safety technology.
  • Named as a “New Leader in the Law” by the Connecticut Law Tribune (2013)

Thought Leadership

Events

Education

  • JD – Columbia Law School (2006) Managing Editor, Columbia Journal of Transnational Law. James Kent Scholar. Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. Simon H. Rifkind Prize. Lawrence S. Greenbaum Prize.
  • AB, cum laude – Princeton University (2003)

Admissions

  • Connecticut
  • New York
  • US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • US District Court District of Connecticut
  • US District Court Southern District of New York
  • US District Court Eastern District of Michigan
  • US Supreme Court