Debra Bernstein is the Managing Partner of Quinn Emanuel’s Atlanta office. Debra is a trial lawyer with a national commercial litigation practice with an emphasis on antitrust matters and class actions. Clients trust Debra to represent them, whether as a defendant or a plaintiff, in bet-the-company litigation. Debra helped to pioneer the area of large corporate opt-out litigation with her representation of Dell as an opt-out plaintiff in multiple computer parts price fixing cartel cases. On behalf of clients, Debra has secured more than $1 billion in settlements and has helped clients avoid liability. She also has litigated cases at the intersection of IP and antitrust law, and is one of the only antitrust lawyers in the country to defend an antitrust case instituted in the International Trade Commission.
Debra has spoken at conferences internationally on a wide range of antitrust topics, including international cartels, ACPERA, and the intersection of intellectual property and antitrust law. She has been recognized for her antitrust experience by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and named a female trailblazer by the ABA Antitrust Law Section’s Women Connected and the Diversity advanced initiative. She is a member of the leadership of the American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law, where she serves as Vice Chair of the Civil Practice and Procedure Committee.
Debra received her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Georgia School of Law and her B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania with a major in American history. Debra was a law clerk for the Honorable Orinda D. Evans, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
- Represented Dell as an opt-out plaintiff in the prosecution of antitrust claims over price-fixing by LCD screen manufacturers, obtaining settlements exceeding amount collected by the direct purchaser class.
- Lead antitrust counsel for Rockwell Automation in federal court. Won summary judgment on all 18 antitrust claims alleging price fixing, group boycott, and monopolization filed in federal court.
- Lead counsel for Rockwell Automation in the first antitrust case ever instituted in the ITC, defending against antitrust and unfair competition claims. On the eve of trial, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed its claims.
- Represented Dell as an opt-out plaintiff in the prosecution of antitrust claims over price-fixing by cathode ray tube suppliers, obtaining favorable settlements.
- Represented Dell as an opt-out plaintiff in the prosecution of antitrust claims over price-fixing by optical disk drive suppliers, obtaining favorable settlements.
- Successfully defended manufacturer of ceramic substrates accused of allegedly price-fixing in multiple class actions, opt-out cases and government investigations arising out of the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) largest cartel investigation on record in the In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation.
- Represented Dell as an opt-out plaintiff in the prosecution of antitrust claims over price fixing by lithium-ion battery suppliers, obtaining favorable settlements.
- Obtained favorable settlements for Dell from manufacturers of computer capacitors related to antitrust claims of price fixing.
- Lead defense counsel for Interactive Communications International Inc. (“InComm”). Defeated a motion for preliminary injunction alleging a Section One claim for per se price fixing, attempting to enjoin InComm from operating its Vanilla Reload network, and obtained dismissal of the complaint.
- Successfully defended AMVAC Chemical Corp. against monopolization and attempted monopolization claims related to AMVAC’s acquisition of multiple IP rights and alleged refusal to license IP to a competitor. Defeated a motion for preliminary injunction and obtained a TRO enjoining a competitor from infringing AMVAC’s IP.
- Represented a major manufacturer of musical instruments against class action price-fixing claims consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. Defended the manufacturer in an FTC investigation involving similar allegations.
- Represented a large Korean trading corporation in 12 state antitrust indirect purchaser class action lawsuits alleging a price-fixing conspiracy.
- Successfully represented the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in putative class action alleging it overstated the paper’s circulation in order to increase the cost of advertising in breach of contract and in violation of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
- Represented the largest microprocessor manufacturer in antitrust litigation and government investigations alleging monopolization.
- Represented one of the largest wholesale tire distributors in the country in commercial and antitrust litigation obtaining dismissal of the complaint alleging violations of the Robinson Patman Act.
- Provided merger and antitrust counseling to one of the largest minerals manufacturers in the world.
- Served as antitrust and outside general counsel for a wireless data systems trade association.
- University of Georgia
(J.D., cum laude, 1998)
- University of Pennsylvania
(B.A., magna cum laude, 1995)
- The State Bar of Georgia
- Georgia Superior Court
- United States District Court:
- Northern District of Georgia
- United States Court of Appeals:
- Ninth Circuit
- Eleventh Circuit
- Georgia Circuit
- United States Supreme Court
- Alston & Bird:
- Partner, 2007-2021
- Associate, 2000-2006
- Law Clerk for the Honorable Orinda D. Evans, Chief Judge
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, 1998-2000
- Ranked by Chambers 2021 Georgia in Antitrust and quoted as “very strong and incredibly well respected."
- Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business
- Named a female antitrust trailblazer by the ABA Antitrust Law Section’s Women Connected and the Diversity advanced initiative.
- ABA Antitrust Law Section Spring Meeting, Panelist: “Are ACPERA Benefits Obtainable?” (2020)
- ABA Antitrust Law Section Moderator: “Taking and Defending Foreign Language Depositions” (2020)
- ABA Antitrust Law Section’s International Cartel Workshop, Moderator: “Current Developments & Relative Exposure with Respect to Private Damage Actions”, Paris, France (2018)
- ABA Antitrust Law Section’s International Cartel Workshop, Panelist: “Obtaining Discovery Abroad” and “Factors to Consider for Corporate Opt-Outs”, Tokyo, Japan (2016)
- Women in Law and Leadership Summit, Panelist (2018)
- “Proceedings Subsequent to Decisions,” Georgia Appellate Practice Handbook, 7th ed., 2012.
- Law Seminars International Conference on Complex IP, Panelist, The Intersection of IP and Antitrust law.
- American Bar Association Antitrust Section, Vice Chair Civil Practice and Procedure Committee
- Georgia Bar Antitrust Law Section, Board Member