Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP
Beth Fancsali is a partner in the Litigation Department of Edwards Wildman. She counsels and defends corporations in complex investigation and litigation matters covering antitrust, corporate compliance and governance, and other commercial subjects. Many of these matters extend across multiple jurisdictions, are brought as class actions, or are parallel to internal or government investigations. Her practice spans the insurance, manufacturing, healthcare, and retail industries for national and international companies.
Investigations and Compliance
- Counsel for CNA Insurance in nationwide multi-district class action and related tag-along cases alleging a nearly industry-wide customer allocation conspiracy among insurers and brokers in violation of the Sherman Act, the RICO statute, state antitrust statutes, and common law. CNA is one of just three insurers for which dismissal of all federal claims was affirmed on appeal. In re Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litigation, 618 F.3d 300 (3d Cir. 2010).
- Successful defense of electrical product manufacturer in a multi-week arbitration proceeding brought by former distributor alleging conspiracy in violation of the Sherman Act, price discrimination in violation of the Robinson-Patman Act, wrongful termination of the distributorship, deceptive conduct in violation of Illinois and Tennessee consumer protection statutes, and other common law tort claims. The claimant sought more than $10 million in damages, but was awarded nothing and ordered to pay all costs of the arbitration.
- Representation of companies in antitrust investigations by various state attorneys general, including investigations concerning whether industry participants engaged in unlawful group boycott and whether companies conspired to rig bids or allocate markets.
- Representation of leading manufacturer of hospital equipment in seven year litigation and trial of monopolization and attempted monopolization claims brought by competitor. This case raised novel theories of bundling and monopoly leveraging, in addition to tying and predatory pricing claims, that implicated hospital and group purchasing organization practices utilized throughout the country.
- Regular counseling of clients in various industries on antitrust issues relating to distribution, marketing, pricing, and compliance programs.
- Led internal investigation for Audit Committee of publicly traded company regarding anonymous allegations of conflicts of interest and misuse of corporate funds by company executive.
- Led investigation for non-profit corporation associated with public university regarding questions publicly raised as to potential conflicts of interest, corporate structure, relationship to for-profit subsidiary and compensation practices.
- Conducted investigation for Special Committee formed by Board of Directors of publicly traded company in light of shareholder derivative suit against current and former officers and directors of the company.
- Conducted internal investigation for insurance company arising from internal “whistleblower” allegations.
- Conducted compliance program review and counseling for large corporation.
- Representation of Chicago based company in investigation and competing civil lawsuits brought by and against the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office and the Attorney General of California involving application and constitutionality of consumer protection statutes.
- Representation of individuals (including a target) in investigation by several federal government agencies and grand jury proceeding concerning accounting practices—no indictments issued.
- Internal investigation for school district concerning widespread media reports of fraud in alternative teacher certification program
- Representation of several internet retailers in qui tam litigation brought by a private party on behalf of three states alleging reverse false claims in connection with tax on sales made through the internet. These cases involve novel issues including the nexus required for a state to constitutionally impose tax on sales made by remote internet retailers and the ability of a private party to raise tax issues on behalf of a state in order to collect a “whistleblower” reward.
- Representation of several retailers in qui tam litigation involving alleged reverse false claims to State of Illinois relating to collection of sales tax on shipping charges from internet purchasers.
- Representation of publicly traded REIT in lawsuit by non-profit organization alleging violation of the Fair Housing Act and Americans with Disabilities Act concerning accessibility to disabled of more than 300 apartment properties located across the country.
- Representation of publicly traded REIT owner/manager of apartment complexes in class action alleging violation of Florida consumer protection and deceptive practices statutes, including trial and subsequent settlement based on award of less than 20 percent of the damages sought.
- Representation regarding Limited Liability Company Agreement for real estate development asserting breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty claims
- Achieved dismissal of Australian company from thousands of Texas asbestos suits in landmark personal jurisdiction mandamus proceeding. CSR Limited v. Link, 925 S.W.2d 591 (Tex. 1996). This case was called one of the “three most important Texas cases in the area of personal jurisdiction” by O’Connor’s Texas Rules – Civil Trials.
Recent Speaking Engagements and Publications
- Speaker, "Proportionality in E-Discovery: Taming the Beast," Network of Trial Law Firms Seminar, New York, August 2011.
- “Winning at the Gate: A Practical Approach to Pleading or Attacking Antitrust Claims in the Post Twombly/Iqbal World,” Illinois State Bar Association Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Newsletter, April 2011.
- Speaker, “Defining the Relevant Market in Antitrust Litigation,” Great Lakes Antitrust Institute, October 2010.
- “Defining a Relevant Market? Better Get Your Experts Ready,” Illinois State Bar Association Antitrust & Unfair Competition Law Newsletter, April 2010.
- Moderator, “Practical Antitrust Counseling in an Age of Enhanced Enforcement,” IQPC Corporate Counsel Exchange, La Jolla, California, December 2009.
- “Second Circuit Reins in Risk of ‘At-Issue’ Attorney-Client Privilege Waivers,” The Corporate Counselor, April 2009.
- Speaker, “Protecting Your Investigation When the Government or a Whistleblower Comes Calling,” Navigant Consulting Legal Roundtable, June 2008.
- “Attorney-Client Privilege in Corporate Internal Investigations,” The Corporate Counselor, June 2008.
- Speaker, “Complications of the Attorney-Client Privilege in Government Investigations,” IQPC Internal & Government Investigations Conference, Washington, D.C., January 2008.
- “How Wide Did the Supreme Court Open the Door to Minimum Resale Pricing?”, Andrews Antitrust Litigation Reporter, Vol. 15, Issue 6, September 2007.
- Contributing author, Antitrust Law Developments (Sixth), 2007.
- Contributing author, Indirect Purchaser Handbook, ABA Section of Anitrust Law, 2007.
- Contributing author, Supplement to Antitrust Law Developments (Fifth), 2006.
- Mass Torts and Class Actions: Facing Increased Scrutiny, 167 F.R.D. 483 (1996).
Before Edwards Wildman
Beth was a partner of Haynes and Boone, LLP in Dallas, Texas until she returned to her home state of Illinois in 2003 and joined the legacy firm of Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon, LLP.
Besides Edwards Wildman
Beth rides and shows Morgan horses that have won world, national and regional titles. Since childhood, her horses have proven to be an effective respite whether she is simply spending time at the barn or competing across the country. Beth is a Trustee of The American Morgan Horse Institute and a Vice President of The Jubilee Regional Championship Morgan Horse Show, both of which benefit educational and other charitable causes.