Bonny E. Sweeney
“Every consumer has rights to open competition and a marketplace free from deceptive business practices, and unfettered by anticompetitive restraints.”
Bonny Sweeney specializes in antitrust and unfair competition class action litigation. She represents businesses and individuals in lawsuits challenging unlawful price-fixing, monopolization, false advertising and unfair and deceptive business practices.
Bonny E. Sweeney is a partner in the Firm's San Diego office, where she has specialized since 1996 in antitrust and unfair competition class action litigation. She is a former Chair of the Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section of the State Bar of California. Ms. Sweeney has been an Advisory Board Member of the American Antitrust Institute since 2004 and an Advisory Board Member of the Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies, Loyola University, since 2009. In 2007, Ms. Sweeney was honored by Competition Law 360 in its “Outstanding Women in Antitrust” series.
Ms. Sweeney is lead or co-lead counsel in several multi-district antitrust class actions pending in federal courts around the country, including In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litig. (E.D.N.Y.), In re Aftermarket Auto Lights Antitrust Litig. (C.D. Cal.), and The Apple iPod iTunes Anti-Trust Litig. (N.D. Cal.).
Ms. Sweeney was one of the trial lawyers in Law v. NCAA/Hall v. NCAA/Schreiber v. NCAA (D. Kan.), in which the jury awarded $67 million to three classes of college coaches. She has participated in the successful prosecution and settlement of numerous other antitrust and unfair competition cases, including In re Currency Conversion Fee Antitrust Litig. (S.D.N.Y.), which settled for $336 million; In re LifeScan, Inc. Consumer Litig. (N.D. Cal.), which settled for $45 million; the Bank Privacy Cases (San Francisco Super. Ct.), which resulted in better bank privacy policies, funding to non-profit groups advocating for privacy rights, and benefits to credit cardholders; In re Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) Antitrust Litig. (N.D. Cal.), which settled for more than $300 million; In re NASDAQ Market-Makers Antitrust Litig. (S.D.N.Y.), which settled for $1.027 billion, and In re Airline Ticket Comm’n Antitrust Litig. (D. Minn.), which settled for more than $85 million.
A frequent lecturer on antitrust law, California’s unfair competition law, and complex litigation matters, Ms. Sweeney has published several articles, contributed to books and treatises, and testified before the California Judiciary Committee and the California Senate on these topics.
In 2003, Ms. Sweeney was honored with the Wiley M. Manuel Pro Bono Services Award and the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program Distinguished Service Award for her work on behalf of welfare applicants in Sanchez v. County of San Diego.
Ms. Sweeney graduated summa cum laude from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 1988, where she served as editor of the Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. She earned a Master of Arts degree from Cornell University in 1985, a Chinese Language Certificate from the Beijing Language Institute in 1982, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Whittier College in 1981.
A litigator since 1988, Ms. Sweeney is admitted to practice before all courts in California and Massachusetts, and before the United States Supreme Court. She is a member of the Antitrust Section of the American Bar Association and the Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section of the California Bar Association.
Ms. Sweeney speaks Chinese (Mandarin).
- Defining Antitrust Violations, Private Enforcement of Antitrust Law in the United States: a Handbook (Albert A. Foer and Randy M. Stutz, eds.) (forthcoming, 2011)
- Defining Antitrust Violations in the US, The International Handbook of Private Antitrust Enforcement of Competition Law (Albert A. Foer and Jonathan W. Cuneo, eds.) (Elgar, 2010)
- State Common Law Torts, Business Torts and Unfair Competition Law, Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Treatise (4th ed., 2010) (co-author)
- The Next Antitrust Agenda: the American Antitrust Institute’s Transition Report on Competition Policy to the 44th President of the United States (Albert A. Foer, ed. 2008) (co-author)
- The ‘Federalization’ of the Cartwright Act, 17 COMPETITION 139 (Fall 2008)
- An Overview of Section 2 Enforcement and Developments, 2008 Wis. L. Rev. 231 (2008)
- Market Competitiveness: Does State Antitrust Law Need to be Updated? Statement Before California Senate Judiciary Committee, 14 COMPETITION (Spring/Summer 2005)
- “Civil Litigation in the Aftermath of Criminal Prosecution,” ABA Antitrust Section, 2014 Spring Meeting, Washington, D.C. (upcoming, 2014)
- Faculty Member, ABA/IBA International Cartel Workshop, Rome, Italy (Feb. 2014)
- “Comcasting a Wider Net? A Real-Life Study of Comcast Corp. v. Behrend’s Application and Effect at Class Certification,” ABA 2013 Class Action National Institute, Boston, MA (Oct. 2013)
- “Recent Developments in California Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law,” Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section, San Francisco, CA (June 2013)
- “Judgment Sharing Agreements: The Plaintiff’s Perspective,” ABA Antitrust Section, 2013 Spring Meeting, Washington, D.C. (Apr. 2013)
- Panelist, “Antitrust and Sports Law,” Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, Lahaina, HI (Aug. 2012)
- Contributor, “Joint Comments of the American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law and Section of International Law to the Department for Business Innovation & Skills’ Consultation on Options for Reform of Private Actions in Competition Law” (July 2012)
- Faculty Member, ABA/IBA International Cartel Workshop, Vancouver, Canada (Feb. 2012)
- Panelist, “Clayworth v. Pfizer,” Los Angeles County Bar Association, Antitrust Section (Mar. 2011)
- Faculty Member, ABA/IBA International Cartel Workshop, Paris, France (Feb. 2010)
- “Hydrogen Peroxide Will Clear It up Right Away: Developments in the Law of Class Certification,” ABA Section of Litigation, 13th Annual National Institute on Class Actions, San Francisco, CA (Oct. 2009); Washington, D.C. (Nov. 2009)
- Panelist, “The Future of Privacy Advocacy Conference,” San Diego, CA (May 2009)
- “Re-Energizing Section 2 of the Sherman Act,” American Antitrust Institute’s 10th Annual Conference, Washington, D.C. (June 2008)
- “Plaintiffs’ Strategies for Pursuing Private Damage Claims,” ABA Antitrust Section, 2008 International Cartel Workshop, San Francisco, CA (Jan. 2008)
- “An Overview of Section 2 Enforcement and Developments,” University of Wisconsin Law School Colloquium, Madison, WI (Nov. 2007)
- Plaintiffs’ Trial Team, ABA Antitrust Section, The Antitrust Litigation Course, Philadelphia, PA (Oct. 2007)
- “An Overview of Section 2 Enforcement and Developments,” American Antitrust Institute, Washington D.C. (June 2007)
- “Recent Developments in Class Action Litigation,” PLI program, New York, NY (Mar. 2007)
- “Recent Developments in 17200 Litigation,” Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section, San Francisco, CA (Dec. 2006)
- “Consumer Litigation (Bus. & Prof. C. §17200, Class Actions, CLRA),” Rutter Group program, San Francisco and Los Angeles, CA (Mar. 2006)
- “Arbitration in the Class Action Context,” CLE International program, San Francisco, CA (Feb. 2006)
- “Market Competitiveness: Does State Antitrust Law Need to be Updated?” Testimony, California Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Anti-Competitive Conduct and Market Competitiveness, Sacramento, CA (Aug. 2005)
- “Financial Services and Insurance Industry Litigation,” ALI-ABA program, New York, NY (Mar. 2005)
- “Recent Developments in Antitrust Law,” Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section, San Francisco, CA (Jan. 2005)
- “Implications of Proposition 64: Changes to the UCL, Bus. & Prof. Code §§17200 et seq. Imposed by Prop. 64,” Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section, Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA (Nov. 2004)
- “Introduction to California Antitrust Law,” Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section, Monterey, CA (Oct. 2004)
- “Trying the Antitrust Case,” Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section, Los Angeles, CA (Apr. 2004)
- “The Unfair Competition Law,” San Diego County Bar Association program, San Diego, CA (July 2003)
- “The Nuts and Bolts of 17200,” Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section, Los Angeles, CA (Mar. 2003)
- “Nuts and Bolts of a 17200 Action,” Section Educational Institute, Berkeley, CA (Jan. 2003)
- “Financial Privacy Law,” National Council of Higher Education program, Carlsbad, CA (Mar. 2000)
- Guest speaker on KSDO radio Legal Affairs program devoted to financial privacy issues, San Diego, CA (Feb. 2000)
American Bar Association, Antitrust Section, Member
California Bar Association, Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section, Member
Honors & Awards
- Super Lawyer, 2007-2010, 2012-2014
- "Outstanding Women in Antitrust," Competition Law 360, 2007
- Wiley M. Manuel Pro Bono Services Award, 2003
- San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program Distinguished Service Award, 2003