The American Bar Association has revived its antitrust committee for trade associations, ABA officials said last week.
"What we're going to try to do is define the major antitrust issues facing trade associations," said Steven J. Fellman, chairman of the committee.
Trade associations historically have gotten into the murky waters of antitrust problems by establishing industrywide standards, by exchanging statistics and by collectively selling products overseas.
"To compete internationally, we have to relax some of the antitrust restrictions, or have them reevaluated," said Fellman, a partner with Loomis, Owen, Fellman & Howe, a law firm that does trade association work.
Interest in antitrust activity was reawakened by recent court decisions, said James F. Rill, chairman-elect of the antitrust section of the American Bar Association. He cited Indian Head v. Allied Tube, which held that a trade association is not protected from antitrust lawsuits when setting industry standards. Rill added that some Federal Trade Commission officials have said that standards-making activities will be the focus of antitrust investigations. Rill is a partner with Collier, Shannon, Rill & Scott.
Fellman said that he plans to establish a committee of "the leading trade association lawyers in the country." Vice chairman of the committee is Harry Sullivan, senior vice president of public affairs and general counsel for the Food Marketing Institute.
The committee, to be called the trade association committee of the antitrust section of the American Bar Association, got a new lease on life after a heavily attended session of the D.C. Bar on antitrust law for trade associations. It had died a few years ago because of poor timing and lack of interest, Rill said.
The Sherman Act prohibits any combination or conspiracy that restrains trade, said Fellman. Most associations have an antitrust compliance program, said Fellman, and proposed activities are reviewed by an association's lawyer for antitrust implications. TRADE
Paul C. Abenante has been elected president of the American Bakers Association. He was director of industrial relations before being appointed interim president in October.
Thomas C. Graham was reelected to a second one-year term as chairman of the American Iron and Steel Institute.
The Chemical Specialties Manufacturers Association named Paul J. Gomez director of member services and Connie Neuman communications director. Gomez was president of Management Directors International. Neuman had been director of information and communications for the American Consulting Engineers Council.
Joseph W. Nussbaum was elected president of the National Kitchen Cabinet Association.
The Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association appointed Catherine A. Marshall director of legislative and regulatory affairs. She had been with the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. Susan A. Kernus was named manager of government affairs for trade and occupational safety and health issues, and John W. Galloway was named manager of media relations. Kernus was an attorney with Stein Shostak Shostak & O'Hara. Galloway had been director of education and consumer affairs for the National Association of Life Underwriters.